Gloxinia is a worldwide tropical flower. Naturally, it grows in Latin America. And it owes its memorable name to the world famous botanist Benjamin Gloxin.
Indoor gloxinia is a tuberous perennial with a short stem and juicy velvety leaves of a rich green color. The same velvety bell-shaped flowers, simple or double, pink, red, white, purple, speckled, frill or two-colored, reach 5 cm in length and 7 cm in diameter.
Gloxinia has a wide variety of species, differing from each other in the shape and shade of flowers, the dimensions of the plant itself and its leaves. The most striking of all varieties are red gloxinia.
Who Discovered the Plant?
At the end of the 18th century, the plant was discovered by a physician from Alsace, Benjamin Gloxin. It is worth noting that the scientist was then only 20 years old. He discovered a flower in the form of a bright bell in Brazil and made a detailed description of it.
Later, another European scientist - German Wilhelm Sinning discovered and described another type of flowers - "sinningia". The trick was that they were the same Gloxinia, only with a different name.
A German botanist discovered that the flower has a tuberous root system. The scientific community recognized the discovery, renamed the flower in botanical catalogs and began to call it "synningia". But flower growers did not attach any importance to this and are still called "gloxinia".
What does it look like?
In height, the flower can be from very tiny 5-6 centimeters, up to 70 or more centimeters. Some types of gloxinia are classified as grasses, while others are classified as shrubs.... Herbaceous plants prevail, of course.
The annual development of the perennial plant begins in early spring and continues until the end of autumn. Gloxinia is dormant in late autumn and winter, minimizing its activity. The herbaceous part of the flower dies off, and the underground part survives the winter with the help of nutrients accumulated over the summer.
With the appearance of the first rays of the sun, the buds are hatched, the first leaves appear. Over the course of several weeks, the stems and pedicels crawl out of the ground. Each of them can have from one to seven buds, which soon bloom.
The distinctive features of gloxinia flowers include:
- Visually, they resemble bells.
- A wide range of flower colors.
- Long bloom.
Many amateurs confuse gloxinia with violet. But these are two completely different plants, the main visual difference from each other will be the shape of the flower. For the heroine of this article, as noted, it looks like a bell, and for a violet it is flatter. Also, the number of flowers per plant will be more in the first case.
Gloxinia has several breeding options at once.:
Varieties: description and photo
Of course, gardeners and florists in many countries of the world liked those types of gloxinia that have red flowers most of all. Indoor breeders adhere to the same preferences. Red looks very bright and, as they say in our country, “rich”.
Red Riding Hood
The variety got its name due to a large cluster of red flowers, similar to a hat.... Such a headdress appears over a small herb during the flowering period. It has a bright red color that gradually darkens towards the white inner area. The leaves are dark green and tucked down.
The flower is deep red, the throat is lighter in specks. At the tips of the petals, there is a barely noticeable color transition to pink. When flowering, they form a "cap".
The leaf is dark green, powerful, the edges are curled inward. Photos of gloxinia with "hat" buds show all the splendor of this flower
A rare variety of everyone's favorite flower, in the photo you can see all its beauty. It is considered extremely scarce.
When flowering, a volumetric rosette opens from the peduncle. It has a bright red-pink shade with white specks.
There are also plain flowers without blotches of a different color.... The end of the petals is always lighter than the base of the rosette.
Gloxinia are extremely unpretentious flowers to cultivate. A novice florist can also successfully grow them. You just need to follow a number of rules:
- Sufficient lighting - Gloxinia is native to Central America, which means it needs a lot of light. The plant should be placed on the sunny side of your home, or in a lighted area of the garden. It is possible that the flower is kept in partial shade, but then it will more resemble meadow grass than a bright flower.
You will immediately know that your pet is lacking in sunlight if the leaves begin to grow upward. Subject to the lighting regime, they look horizontally or down.
- Sufficient temperature - the plant requires the temperature regime of its homeland, that is, the tropics. Translated into degrees, this is approximately +20 Celsius. With an increase in this indicator by 8-10 units upwards, gloxinia stops developing pedicels. At temperatures below 18 degrees, gloxinia can die.
- Sufficient moisture - Gloxinia prefer moist soil and not dry air. Therefore, placing them near artificial heat sources would be an irreparable mistake. Regular spraying and watering will help in establishing a tropical climate for the plant.
Watering should be frequent and moderate, but such that the water does not stagnate and ruin the root system. That is, there must be drainage in the pot. Experienced gardeners have come up with a kind of "life hack" for this. In order to maintain a balance of soil moisture, you can place sphagnum moss on the ground. He will take part of the moisture and then gradually give it to the ground.
Red Gloxinia varieties have the same soil and growing requirements as everyone else.
The soil should be loose and breathable.... From soil mixtures for growing gloxinia, both universal and mixtures of peat soil with sand are suitable. The acidity level of the soil should not be higher than 6.5 Ph. Gloxinia will not actively develop in acidic soil. Before planting, it is recommended to spill the soil with a manganese solution to destroy parasites and pathogens.
If the flower is planned to be grown not in the garden, but in a pot, the following facts should be taken into account:
- the pot should have a wide diameter;
- gloxinia prefers shallow growing containers;
- the material from which the pot is made does not matter.
For plants planted for the first time, a container with a diameter of 7-10 centimeters is suitable.... For older gloxinia, the diameter should be increased to 15 centimeters.
Diseases and pests
Gloxinia are characterized by the same parasites as all herbaceous plants. For domestic varieties, of course, parasites that live inside the soil mixture are dangerous.
The most common enemies are:
- spider mite;
Conventional drugs from a specialized store will help to cope with them when used strictly according to the instructions.
Among the diseases that persecute this type of flowers, root decay, black leg and gray rot should be noted. All diseases of gloxinia arise from too abundant watering.... For cures, first of all, reduce the level of moisture in the soil, remove damage and treat with fungicidal preparations.
The natural endurance of gloxinia and the unique climate of its ancestral home affected the methods of flower reproduction. This plant can be safely called universal, since it reproduces in almost all ways known to science:
- Seeds - sown over the ground from November to February. The first shoots appear in 14 days. With the appearance of 2-3 leaves in small gloxinias, they are thinned out or transplanted into other containers.
- Leaves - a full-fledged leaf is carefully cut off from the plant. An incision is made along the central vein and placed in the moistened soil with incisions. Soon, shoots will appear from the notches on the original leaf.
- Tubers - Bulky tubers are divided in such a way that 1-2 sprouts remain on each segment. The cut points are sprinkled with crushed coal and planted in moist soil.
- Cuttings - healthy cuttings with leaves are separated from the main trunk of the plant. Each stalk is placed in a container with water, and after the roots appear, they are planted in the ground.
Color Brothers - Similar Plants
- Hippeastrum - a bulbous flower with a large bulb (up to 20 centimeters in diameter) and a developed root system.
During flowering, it throws out large flowers that can reach the size of a human fist in width. Flowers have many shades: red, white, yellow.
- Coleria - a close relative of gloxinia. A distinctive feature is the oblong jagged leaves. The flowers also resemble bells, but have a surreal appearance due to their disproportionate elongation.
- Tuberous begonia - also beloved by flower growers all over the world beauty from the windowsill. Begonias have small double flowers of bright colors. Some varieties bloom only in winter, while others bloom all year round.
- Streptocarpus - another relative of gloxinia. It differs in a different shape of the leaves, they have a linear and elongated appearance. Flowers are also different, on the streptocarpus they are spiral.
- Ahimenez - flowering perennial shrub. Flowers that visually resemble a bell have a very large base. Accordingly, they look visually elongated. Blossoming - up to twice a season.
We suggest watching a video on how to care for gloxinia at home:
Blooming red gloxinia will help you decorate your home interior or your garden with bright and long-lasting flowers. They are very unpretentious to care for and will not create great difficulties. Following a series of simple grooming guidelines will help you enjoy them for up to 10 years.