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Thread: Gloxinia - Hey! Don't THROW it AWAY! It's Probably Not DEAD!

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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Gloxinia - Hey! Don't THROW it AWAY! It's Probably Not DEAD!

    Hi, Everyone!

    It is that time of the year when my focus turns toward my favorite houseplants, and, Gee, I have many....

    One of my long time favorite is Gloxinia. I have propagated them from leaf petiole cuttings, from leaf cuttings and my favorite propagation for these is, guess what, by seed. They are so very easy to grow from seeds and you can grow very unusual ones, including double flowered ones that you rarely, if ever, see in the retail stores.

    As many of you know, I have given numerous presentations and classes on the topic of plant propagation. In every one, I try to bring up the topic of Gloxinia, and my response from attendees tends to be the same... 'Mine DIED!' So, this is what I tell them...

    Well, Folks! It probably did not die. They just forgot to tell you that most of them go dormant after blooming, and if you don't refrain from watering them after they go dormant, or protect them from freeze, yes, they will die.

    Here is a picture of some dormant Gloxinia tubers that are very healthy and very much alive. These particular ones were grown from seed which bloomed within a matter of months and were full grown in well less than a year.



    There are three in the picture. The one that I am holding has three small sections. These can and probably should be divided before repotting. The other two were from small plants in 4 inch pots. For you see, Gloxinia do not require pots that are as large as the foliage and flowers. They just need to be large enough to allow the tubers to grow and multiply.

    Also, note that I removed most of the fibrous roots. I will store these tubers dry for a month or two longer in a cool (but not refrigerated), dark location (brown paper bag). Then I will pot them up, put them in a warm spot and slowly start to lightly water them, letting them dry out between watering until I start to see new leaves begin to sprout. At that time, I will increase the frequency of watering.

    By spring, I will have beautiful, bloomiing Gloxinia, once again.

    It may sound complicated, but it really isn't! And they are so very easy to propagate. You can even harvest your own seed....

    Here are a couple of pictures of Gloxinia that I grew from seed:



    Enjoy and Please Do NOT Trash Them. They are probably not DEAD!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  2. #2
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    Thank you Ann. I had no idea an wondered why they always wilted and "died" after they bloomed. Next time I will save those tubers. Thanks! Any suggestions for non-blooming african violets?

  3. #3
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    Bobby,

    This is also one of the questions I get a lot!

    Do a Landspro search on 'african violets'... There are several posts about african violets.

    Did you know that that African Violets and Gloxinia are in the same family of plants?

    Enjoy!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #4
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    Breaking Dormancy

    Do you remember those dormant gloxinia bulbs that I dug up and put in a brown paper bag?

    Recently, I put the bag on the nightstand next to my bed as a reminder that it is time to pot them up and start watering them. Well, needless to say.... Life has been somewhat hectic as of late, and I finally got around to checking on them today.

    And Whoops! They have sprouted... No soil, no water! But it's not too late! I will pot them up and water the ones that are still in pots today!



    Here is another one that I grew from seed last winter. I left in a small 4" pot and simply stopped watering it. That shiny thing on the upper left is a quarter, so you can hopefully get an idea of the size of the leaves. It is also dry as a bone and now needs to be watered. It is leaning because it wants more light. This one will also need to go into a larger pot this year. I thought perhaps you might want to see what they look like when their rest period is over.



    Believe it or not, but now that it is 82 degrees outside and the chance of frost is over for me, these will go outside in dappled shade until they bloom. When they bloom, I could leave them outside, but I like to bring them into my screened patio where I can enjoy the blooms more often.

    So, if you should happen upon some of these on sale at your garden center or florist departments (usually for $1 to $1.50 here), then why not buy one or two and try your hand at them.

    You can also hand pollinate them, let them go to seed and try the seed for yourselves. They grow to a blooming size remarkable fast. They don't need a lot of water or fertilizer, and they are easier to care for than you imagine.

    Just keep in mind that they will go dormant, and they need that rest period. Just stop watering them until you notice the new little leaves appearing...

    Enjoy!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Kirbyville,Texas
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    Ann
    Just yesterday I bought two gloxinia bulbs the nursery told me to water from the bottom to avoid rotten the bulb they both had a cup shape indention so I planted that up. My mother use to always propagated them by there leaves. I assume they will form a bulb also. I have never seen my mother did up the bulb and breakl them apart although she probaly did. It seems to me hers bloomed in the fall to winter is this so. Hers was always in pots kept in the house.
    If you plant them outside what keeps the bulb from rotten in the ground. Also when is is best to propagated the leaves.
    I just recently bought a package of geranium seeds from wally world. I hope I end up witha good many.
    Where is the best place to get seeds for the gloxinia I assume this would be the best way to a bunch started.any help would be appreciated
    Gene
    Gene

  6. #6
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    Gene,

    They are usually propagated by leaf cuttings. Most people will simply slit several leaf veins with a razor blade, and pin the cut portion to the soiless mix with whatever is available (inluding a small wieight such as a piece of gravel). Ie., just use anything that will keep the newly formed cut in the damp, not moist, mixture.

    Yes, the plantlets that will from from the leaf cuttings will form bulbs, just as the Rex Begonia leaf sections will form rhizomes.

    They will bloom many times of the year, but that seems to be more dependent on when they have previously bloomed and the conditions under which they have gone dormant or grown before.

    I have never put mine in the ground because I would have to dig them up for the winter, and YES, we get too much rain, although that rain seems to have disappeared as of late....

    As to which leaves to use for scoring veins, leaf sections or leaf petiole cuttings, all you need to do is make sure that the leaf is not old and losing luster. Younger to middle aged leaves will most likely give you the best results.

    I have harvested seeds from well cared for Gloxinia (sometimes hand pollinated), but the best source I have found for seeds of the doubled and 'different' variety is Parks Seed.

    Some of the seeds may take awhile to germinate, so be patient, and most important do not overwater them. The ones I have successfully germinated were not enclosed in a 'mini' greenhouse environment. I simply watered them every few days to keep the soil damp, not moist or wet, and watched them grow and bloom!

    These plants are easier to grow than most people realize....

    Have FUN!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
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    Bumping...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #8
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    Will that work with African Violet leaves as well ? I just cut off a bunch of the fading outer edge ones and felt guilty b/c I'm thinking they can be rooted.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Cathy,

    Yes, they root fairly easily. Some people root them in water.

    I have seen where you can use a small necked jar, filled with water. Cover the top with aluminum foil. Slit the foil just enough to insert the stem of the leaf.

    Add and/or change water when necessary.

    I have much better luck using rooting hormone, sticking them in seed seed starting mix and covering with clear wrap.

    Gosh! I'm dieing to make new pages for the main site, but I can't right now. I have too much catching up to do around here....
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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