Having in-depth knowledge of Gloxinia plant care is a must if you want to grow these colorful plants indoors. This flowering houseplant is native to Brazil but is a favorite of many indoor gardeners. Gloxinia plants can grow around four to six inches tall with leaves around two inches wide.
Gloxinia plants can add pops of colors indoors, but only if you know how to care for them properly. Pay attention to the Gloxinia plant care requirements to ensure that these perennials stay healthy long-term.
Gloxinia Plant Care Dos and Don’ts
Adding Gloxinia plants in your home will have a visual impact right away as these plants grow fast. The velvety leaves and bright-colored flowers of Gloxinias make them great centerpieces on tables and decor around the house.
Caring for Gloxinia isn’t rocket science. As long as you follow the basics of Gloxinia plant care, you can have healthy Gloxinias indoors. The Gloxinia plant care guide also teaches you how to propagate these plants. With this knowledge up your sleeve, you can create a garden filled with Gloxinias without spending too much money!
1. Gloxinia Plant Care Light Needs
Gloxinias don’t like direct sunlight as this can cause stress and dehydration. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can also cause Gloxinias to lose their green vigor, resulting in leaf discoloration.
One part of the Gloxinia plant care requirements is ensuring that these perennials only receive bright and indirect light. It’s best to place your Gloxinias a few inches away from a window to protect them against the sun’s rays. You can also hang a sheer curtain in your windows to filter out more light without going overboard.
Seeing brown leaf edges or tips signifies that you’re giving your Gloxinias too much light. Elongated stems and a dull-green color, on the other hand, mean that you’re not giving enough light to your Gloxinias.
2. Gloxinia Plant Care Soil Requirements
Another critical aspect of Gloxinia plant care is the soil you’re going to use. The quality of the soil determines the nutrients your Gloxinias will need.
Gloxinias thrive when you keep their soil constantly moist, especially during their growing and blooming seasons. Its flower during summer, so pay close attention to the condition of their soil during this time of the year.
When repotting Gloxinias after their blooming season, cut back on watering and allow the leaves to die first. Then, place the plant into the new pot and only water after it sprouts.
A well-draining, loose, and slightly acidic potting mix works well for Gloxinias. You can also use a potting mix that contains 50% sifted peat. The other half of the potting mix should contain perlite, coarse sand, and vermiculite. The pH level of the soil you’re going to use for your Gloxinias should be at 5.5 to 6.5 only.
If available, use an African violet or a gardenia potting mix to get the most color out of your Gloxinias.
3. Gloxinia Plant Care Watering Tips
As mentioned, moisture is vital for Gloxinias. Giving too much or too little water to these plants can cause leaf discoloration.
Water your Gloxinias often enough to keep the soil moist. When watering your Gloxinias, avoid hitting the leaves as this can cause brown spots.
4. Temperature and Humidity Requirements for Gloxinia Plants
The temperature and humidity levels where you’re going to place your Gloxinias affect their ability to grow.
Since Gloxinias don’t like dry heat, place them in humid environments around 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit. To provide humidity to your Gloxinias, refrain from directly spraying their leaves and mist in their stems or roots only. Misting the leaves of your Gloxinias will encourage fungal growth and diseases.
If you’re looking to start growing Gloxinias, consider investing in a humidifier to create the ideal growing environment.
5. Fertilizing Requirements for Gloxinia Plant Care
Gloxinias require moderate fertilization. As part of your Gloxinia plant care routine, use peat-lite fertilizers alternated with calcium nitrate-based fertilizers. You can also use controlled-release fertilizers for your Gloxinias as these provide essential nutrients and vitamins for your plants.
Only use fertilizers for your Gloxinias during their growing season and reduce the frequency of application during dormancy.
Fertilizing is essential for the growth of your Gloxinias, but you need to be careful about the amount. Too much fertilizer can result in brittle blue-green, curled, or cupped foliage. Yellow foliage, on the other, indicates that you’re not giving enough fertilizer to your Gloxinias.
6. Pruning Your Gloxinia Plant
Pruning is an integral part of your Gloxinia plant care because it allows room for new growth. It also includes removing dead leaves and stems so your Gloxinias look and stay healthy long-term.
When pruning your Gloxinias, start by cutting at the base of the flower stems. Be careful with the leaves because these are usually brittle and get damaged easily. Remove any dead or dying leaves using a pair of garden shears the moment you notice them.
7. Propagating Gloxinia Plants
Gloxinias bear velvety bells in different colors, which is why many choose to grow them indoors. However, you need to know how to propagate them to enjoy an indoor garden filled with Gloxinias. Propagation is essential in Gloxinia plant care because it enables you to multiply different varieties of the plant.
There are many ways to propagate Gloxinias, like using roots readily from leaves and tuber cuttings. You can propagate your Gloxinias through the following steps:
- Use a soilless seed-starting medium to fill a brand new pot. This pot should be larger than the pot of the mother plant to allow the new plant to grow. Water the pot thoroughly until you can see water running out at the bottom. Let the soil sit for ten minutes and water again to ensure that the medium is wet enough.
- Find the petiole of the mother plant. The petiole is a partially mature leaf that emerges from the central part of the plant. Using a sharp knife, gently scoop out a small amount of the end of the petiole.
- Dip the petiole cutting in rooting hormone for a few minutes to encourage the production of root cells. Rooting hormones are available in nurseries, but you can also use apple cider vinegar as an alternative.
- Push the petiole at least one inch into the moistened soilless medium. Make sure that the petiole is standing straight in the pot to encourage growth. Once done, cover the pot with a clear plastic bag on top to increase humidity. Doing so can also encourage tuber formation, allowing the roots to grow fast.
- Following the above instructions will ensure that the plant will not develop diseases or need pesticides.
8. Potting and Repotting Your Indoor Gloxinia Plant
You will not use the same pot for the entire lifespan of your Gloxinias. These plants grow fast, which is why you’ll need to repot them when they mature. Repotting is an essential aspect of Gloxinia plant care because it gives them additional room to grow. Repotting also refreshes the soil since it depletes nutrients over time.
Potting and repotting Gloxinias is easy and doesn’t require specific tools or experience — even novices can ace this task! Generally, avoid moving them during their growing season. Only repot your Gloxinias during late winter, after their growing season has ended and their leaves have died back.
Repotting your Gloxinias is easy, as demonstrated in these steps:
- Prepare two pots with sufficient drainage. The new pot should be bigger than the old pot to encourage the plant to grow. Fill the new pot with peat-based compost and about 2.5 centimeters of sharp sand.
- Remove the plant from the old pot. Gently grab the root ball of your Gloxinia to prevent damage and ensure that it remains intact.
- Carefully remove stale soil from the root ball. Look for any signs of damaged or diseased roots, and remove these parts, as well.
- Lay the tuber on a flat surface and cut it in half using a sharp knife. Each section of the plant must have a shoot for the plant to grow in the new pot.
- Place each section in the pots and top them with compost.
9. Common Pests and Diseases for Gloxinia Plants
Be sure to protect your Gloxinias from common pests and diseases to keep them healthy. When left untreated, pests and diseases can kill your Gloxinias and damage other plants in your indoor garden. In worse cases, severe pest infestation might require you to start a brand new garden from scratch.
Gloxinias are naturally susceptible to several pests and diseases. Fortunately, you can treat these problems using inexpensive solutions
Boron plays a vital role in many plant functions, like reproductive growth. The most common symptom of boron deficiency is the appearance of dark spots at the leaf base of the plant. These spots are either dark brown or black. Over time, these spots can spread up to the leaf blade and flower stalks of your Gloxinias. Boron deficiency can cause your Gloxinias to wilt and die.
Add boron to your Gloxinias to treat and prevent boron deficiency. You can do this by applying boron directly to the soil, using a foliar spray, or through fertigation. Also, combine boron with other fertilizers and tilt it into the soil before planting.
Also known as gray mold, Botrytis blight is a fungal disease caused by the Botrytis cinerea. This disease affects the buds, leaves, flowers, and bulbs of your Gloxinias. The longer you wait to treat this problem, the more damage it can cause.
Botrytis Blight often has different symptoms, depending on which part it affects. Flowers, for example, will develop irregular flecks and brown spots. Brown and soft spots may also appear on the leaves and stem.
Fortunately, you can treat Botrytis Blight by avoiding overcrowding and giving your Gloxinias enough space to grow. Adequately spacing your Gloxinias will encourage good air circulation and prevent fungus from thriving.
Also, remove fading flowers and discolored leaves to prevent the fungus from affecting healthy plants in your garden.
Phytophthora Crown Rot:
The roots of your Gloxinias are prone to diseases like Phytophthora Crown Rot. The pathogen carrying this disease will infect the root crown of your Gloxinias and then spread to the leaf blades.
Seeing dark and water-soaked crown roots is a common sign of this disease. The purpling and reddening of older leaves is also another sign to look out for. Unfortunately, young plants can quickly die from this disease.
As part of your Gloxinia plant care, destroy infected plants right away to prevent the disease from spreading. Don’t propagate using infected plants or use them as compost. Potting in pasteurized media can also prevent the outbreak of this disease in your indoor garden.
Foliar Nematodes are microscopic worm-like organisms that infect and thrive on the leaves of your Gloxinias. This disease can cause dry and dull black spots on the leaves. Over time, Foliar Nematodes can cause premature death of leaves even though they’re still attached to the plant.
10. Toxicity of Gloxinia Plants
When starting or expanding your indoor garden, know the toxicity level of your houseplants. Unknowingly caring for toxic houseplants can be dangerous, especially if you live with children and pets.
Fortunately, you won’t have any problems with Gloxinias as these are non-poisonous. Therefore, you can place them anywhere and not worry about the health and safety of your children and pets!
Use Your Gloxinia Plant Care Knowledge
Growing Gloxinias indoors is challenging, but this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to accomplish. As long as you know the Gloxinia care guide and practice these regularly, you can easily care for these plants at home!
5 FAQs on Gloxinia Plant Care
Gloxinias are naturally susceptible to several pests and diseases, such as Boron deficiency, Botrytis Blight, and Foliar Nematodes.
Boron deficiency is common among Gloxinias and affects their reproductive growth. You can treat and prevent boron deficiency by adding boron to your Gloxinias.
Botrytis Blight is a fungal disease caused by the Botrytis cinerea. This disease damages the buds, leaves, flowers, and bulbs of your Gloxinias.
Foliar Nematodes are microscopic worm-like organisms that infect and thrive on the leaves of your Gloxinias. This disease can cause dry and dull black spots on the leaves.
Only repot your Gloxinias during the winter months, after the end of the growing and blooming seasons. Do not repot them during the growing season.
To repot your Gloxinias, gently remove them from their current pots. Remove stale soil from the root ball and remove any damaged or diseased-looking roots. Then, plant your Gloxinias in a new pot with fresh soil.
There are many ways to propagate Gloxinias, like using roots readily from leaves and tuber cuttings. The best way is to use the petiole of the mother plant. Once you’ve found this part, gently scoop out a small amount of the end of the petiole. Use a sharp knife and protect your hands with a pair of garden gloves.
Dip the petiole cutting in rooting hormone for a few minutes to simulate the plant to produce root cells. You can buy rooting hormones in nurseries, but you can also use any apple cider vinegar.
Push the petiole at least one inch into the moistened soilless medium and cover the pot with a clear plastic bag. This can increase humidity and encourage tuber formation, allowing the plants’ roots to grow fast.
Gloxinias need moist soil, especially during their growing and blooming seasons. Use a potting mix that is well-draining, loose, and slightly acidic. African violet or a gardenia potting mix is an excellent option for your Gloxinias, too. These types of medium will ensure that your Gloxinias receive all the nutrients they need.
One part of the Gloxinia plant care requirements is to ensure that these perennials receive bright and indirect light. You can meet this requirement by placing your plants away from windows or adding sheer curtains to your windows.
As for the water requirements, giving too much or too little water to these plants can cause leaf discoloration. Water your Gloxinias often enough to keep the soil moist and avoid getting water on the leaves.