Achimenes (group)

Common Name: hot water plant 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Gesneriaceae
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Pale pink to bluish purple
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy


Grown primarily as a pot plant. These plants need a minimum temperature of 50° F. They prefer night temperatures of 60° to 70° F and daytime temperatures in the mid-70’s F. They should be grown in light, well-drained, humus-rich potting soil, such as the commercial African violet mix. Site your plants in bright, indirect light. The plants do well in artificial light. Keep the soil moist and fertilize weekly while in active growth. Pinch back to maintain shape. In early fall, when the flowers fade, reduce watering. This will cause the plants to go dormant and begin forming tubers. These will grow under the soil as well as at nodes along the stems. Once the leaves have fallen, the fragile tubers may be gathered and saved for replanting the next summer. Store them unwatered, in pots or bags of soil, sphagnum moss, or vermiculite in a place where temperatures range from 50 to 70° F. The tubers may be replanted 1/2” to 1” deep in moist, rich soil the following season when they will begin to sprout in early summer. After a few weeks, the flowers will begin to grow, continuing on until the plants are dried off again in early autumn.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Achimenes is a genus of around 26 species native to Central and South America. They are related to the popular African violets and gloxinias. These plants are mainly grown as summer-flowering houseplants and in greenhouses. Achimenes have scaly, rhizomatous roots. The scales overlap somewhat like the cones of a pine tree. Their attractive, fuzzy foliage ranges from bright to dark green, some varieties have bronze undertones. The gorgeous, funnel-shaped flowers, which come in an array of colors resemble pansies or petunias and grow from 1 to 3 inches in diameter. These plants will bloom profusely from late spring to fall and will look spectacular cascading over the side of a hanging basket.

Genus name origin obscure.


None serious. Plants require bright light and high humidity.


Used primarily as a pot plant or in baskets in greenhouses or sunrooms.