How to Grow & Care for Gloxinia Plants

Gloxinia flowers are perfect for any place that needs a splash of color. Their beautiful hues can quickly lighten up any dull space at home or blank areas in your garden.

Best of all, you’ve got a lot of colors to choose from with these lovely perennials.

Learn how to care for and grow these flowers in and around your home.

About Gloxinia Plants

Gloxinia Plant Care and Growing Guide

Gloxinias are bright, beautiful houseplants that bring a lot of color into any room. Despite growing to just 6 to 12 inches high, they’ll quickly become the focus of any area thanks to their large, velvet-looking flowers.

They likewise come in a wide variety of colors including purple, red, pink, white, and blue.

Their lovely appearance is one of the reasons you often see them in floral shops during spring and late winter.

That said, it’s worth noting that they’re available as both annuals and perennials. While they’re originally perennials that give you spectacular blooms then die back before blooming again, many hybrids are annuals.

These were bred to produce lots of flowers in a short amount of time. As such, they’ll give you amazing flowers for about two months.

But, unlike their perennial counterparts, once they start slowing down, you’ll likely never seem them come back to their original form.

As such, after their bloom cycle, they’re mostly discarded.

Gloxinia Plant Care

How to Grow & Care for Gloxinia Flowers

Light

Gloxinias like bright, indirect light. Thus, it’s a good idea to place it near a window but away from the direct path of the sun’s rays.

If you can put it in a room with white walls, that helps too. The light-colored walls make the light bounce around providing the entire space with more indirect light exposure.

Temperature & Humidity

In addition to a lot of light, gloxinias also like warm weather. They grow best in rooms where the average temperatures run from between 70 to 78 degrees in the daytime and about 65 or higher at night.

This makes them ideal choices as houseplants since most homes support these conditions.

That said, they also enjoy high humidity, which can be more of a problem indoors. So, if you find that your home’s air is fairly dry, you can set the plant’s container on top of a water tray with stones or pebbles.

This will increase the moisture above and around the plant to give it the humidity it desires.

Last but not least, make sure to keep your gloxinia in a room where the air is circulating freely. Without it (and water) it’s brittle leaves are more likely to rot.

Watering

Make sure to keep your gloxinia’s soil moist during its growing and blooming seasons. This allows it to show off its beautiful flowers.

If you allow it to dry out, even slightly, you run the risk of it going into dormancy. When this happens it goes into its “rest period”.

Similarly, dry conditions can cause their leaves to roll up.

While they do enjoy moist soil, they don’t like sitting in water. Just like most other plants letting them do so encourages root rot.

Finally, do not spray water directly on leaves. This is something that many beginner gardeners do to the detriment of their plants. Doing so makes your gloxinia more susceptible to fungal disease. A sign of this is brown spots on its leaves.

Soil

Gloxinias like soil that’s loose and well-draining. They likewise enjoy a slightly acidic environment with soil pH running between 5.5 to 6.5.

If you have some experience under your belt, you can create your own DIY potting mix made from peat, coarse sand, perlite, and vermiculite.

You can likewise go to the garden center and pick up a potting mix that’s designed for Gardenias or African violets. Both will work and are better options if you’re just starting out.

Gloxinia Plant Care Guide

Fertilizing

During its growing season, fertilize your gloxinias moderately every time you water. You don’t need to feed it a lot in order to get it to bloom.

Do use a balanced fertilizer. You can choose between liquid and controlled release formulations. Both of which are ideal for this plant.

Once dormancy comes, you can scale back of the feedings as it will require less energy during this time.

Flowering

Gloxinias work on a “boom or bust” kind of cycle. That is, during blooming time, they’ll give you a spectacular display of beauty and color. Then, take a few months off to recharge and recover before coming back again.

This cycle means that you need to give it the proper care at each stage, each of which is vastly different from the other.

Just as importantly, gloxinias are very sensitive to their environment. When things aren’t to their liking, they’ll get stressed, which they don’t handle well.

This negatively affects their overall growth and you’ll see it in the size and number of blooms that appear.

That said, given the right conditions, you can expect one plant to give you as many as two dozen flowers.

You can likewise make them grow at the same time by pinching the first two blossoms early in their development. This makes for an even lovelier sight.

But, once they’ve completed blooming, you’ll see them slow down and go into a dormant period.

During this time, you can scale back on watering as fertilizer.

Then, finally, stop watering and allowing the leaves to die.

The dry soil will allow them to rest and recover for the next 2 to 4 months.

After that, you’ll see new growth, which is a sign to start watering again.

Propagation

Gloxinias are fairly easy to propagate. In fact, there are many ways you can do so. These include growing them from seed, tubers, and cuttings, be it leaf or stem.

Repotting

Whether or not you’ll need to repot your gloxinias will depend on how you’re treating it. If you’re growing it as an annual, then there’s no need to bother with repotting.

But, as a perennial, you’ll need to understand when it’s in its growth stage and rest stage.

That said, you should never repot your gloxinia during the growing season. Instead, do so in the winter after it’s active period has passed and its leaves have died back.

To do so, use

  • A slightly bigger container
  • Add fresh potting mix that’s loose, well-draining and slightly acidic
  • Start watering again once you see it start sprouting again

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