The genus sinningia includes dozens of species of flowering plants of tropical origin, widespread in nature in Central and South America; Sinningia speciosa is the botanical species from which the large-flowered hybrids grown all over the world were obtained, it is native to Brazil. It is a medium-sized, deciduous tuberose, also called Glossinia; each single tuber produces a small, dense and rounded shrub, made up of large velvety, wrinkled, slightly fleshy, light green leaves, with showy raised veins; the underside of the foliage is reddish or pink. During the spring months, and often also in autumn, thin stems rise between the leaves of Glossinia, bearing small trumpet-like flowers, blue or purple. There are numerous hybrids, characterized by very large flowers, white in the external part of the cup, but very showy in the internal part, in shades of red, purple and lilac; the petals are deep and velvety. During the cold or very dry months the gloxinias go into vegetative rest, losing all the aerial part.
These plants in Europe are particularly suitable for growing indoors, as they fear frost; they are grown in a bright place, but not exposed to direct sunlight. Sinningia speciosa plants can be brought outside during the warm months, in a shady and well-ventilated place. Glossinia fear excess summer heat, which can cause an early period of vegetative rest.
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In early spring, when from the tuber of sinningia speciosa the first sprouts sprout, we begin to water regularly, keeping the soil cool and moist enough, but avoiding over-watering, so as not to favor the development of rot. We intensify the watering during the summer months, and reduce it with the arrival of autumn, until it stops when the plant turns yellow and enters vegetative rest. There are many hybrids of glossinia, some do not have a vegetative period, so they need regular watering throughout the year; others, on the other hand, behave like annuals and, once the period of vegetative rest has begun, it is difficult for them sinningia speciosa produce new shoots. From March to October, dissolve a small dose of fertilizer for flowering plants in watering water; it is advisable to always add the fertilizer to the glossinia water every time you water, but in a very low dose. Or it is possible to sprinkle a slow release granular fertilizer on the ground, which will dissolve every time we water.
These tuberous plants prefer fresh, humid, very soft and rich soils; generally, universal soil is used, mixed with a small amount of sand and pieces of chopped bark: in this way we will obtain a substrate that hardly causes stagnant water, but at the same time remains fresh.
It generally occurs by division of the rhizomes or by leaf cutting; it is also possible to try to sow the sinninge, but it is good to get the seeds from specialized dealers since often sinningia they are sterile, or it is probable to obtain plants not identical to the mother plant.
Glossinia, Sinningia - Sinningia speciosa: Parasites and diseases
The key word to treat gloxinias in the best possible way is watering: an excess of water easily causes the tubers to rot, a scarcity of water brings the plant into vegetative rest very quickly. Sometimes they are attacked by mites or rust.