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Lush And Velvety Gloxinia

Gloxinia (Mokkie, Wikimedia).

Gloxinias are native to Brazil and can be grown here indoors. They have lovely large leaves and velvety blooms in strong colors.

The plants like peaty soil and good light with shade from hot sun, even through the window of a house. The soil should be kept moist but never soggy. Always remove any spent flowers promptly.

The leaves and the flowers arise from a tuber, and the tuber needs to be fertilized weekly once buds are produced. In the fall, the flowers and the leaves will die down naturally so do not mistake this seasonal process by assuming that the plant is dying. Just allow the pot to completely dry out and store the tuber in a brown paper sack in a dry warm spot until the following spring.

Repot it in a container with drainage holes and use moist peat as the growing medium. A temperature no lower than 70 ⁰F is needed until growth is established. Handle the large but fragile leaves with care, as they are brittle.

Gloxinia plants look lush and there are many varieties, but all have clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers, and some even have frilled edges. The blooms can be single or double and are in luscious shades of red, purple, pink, and white.

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