Sinningia speciosa
Common Name: gloxinia 
Type: Bulb
Family: Gesneriaceae
Native Range: Brazil
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Lavender, purple, red, white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Flower: Showy

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 11-12. In St. Louis, it is grown as a potted house plant that may be taken outside in warm weather. Tubers are usually available for purchase only in winter or early spring. Plant tubers ½” deep in pots containing a peaty, well-draining potting soil. Place pots in bright indoor light with no direct sun and provide consistent moisture. After the initial spring flowering is completed, plants can be cut back to the first two leaves for purposes of encouraging a second bloom period. After flowering is completed, reduce watering until foliage dies back, and then place pots in a dark location at a uniform 60-65 degrees F. Regularly mist soil to prevent tubers from shrinking. After a dormancy period, tubers normally begin to show signs of new growth in winter at which point they may be repotted and returned to a well-lit location with resumption of regular watering. New plants may be propagated from established plants in spring to early summer by removing a leaf and rooting the stem in a glass of water. In the alternative, many gardeners prefer to simply purchase potted plants in bloom and enjoy the long bloom period.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sinningia speciosa, commonly called gloxinia, is native to Brazil and in the same family as African violets. It features large trumpet-shaped flowers (to 4” across) that are lavender, purple, red or white. Velvety, ovate to oblong leaves in a rosette. Hybrids commonly sold under this species name are commonly referred to as florists’ gloxinia. These hybrids feature larger flowers in a slightly broader range of a colors including various pastels. Gloxinia is a popular flowering plant that is commonly sold in pots in bloom by florists, nurseries and grocery stores.

Genus name honors Wilhelm Sinning (1794-1874), head gardener, University of Bonn.

Specific epithet means showy.

Problems

Avoid overhead watering to minimize possible crown rot and/or gray mold.

Uses

Flowering house plant or greenhouse plant.