Glossinia - Gloxinia

Glossinia - Gloxinia


The term Glossinia indicates a small tuberous plant, native to South America, the Gloxinia perennis; in reality the glossinias that we find for sale at the florist are hybrids, which hardly resemble the mother plant, a close relative of the Saint Paulia saddle. It produces a short stem, stocky and fleshy, herbaceous, which bears very large oval or rounded leaves, slightly fleshy, with very evident veins and sometimes covered with a thin light hair.

From late spring to late summer, large white buds develop from the center of the leaves, which blossom into huge colored bells, usually red, purple, pink or lilac, with velvety petals on the inside. The glossinia flowers are particular and very decorative, and the plant is cultivated only for flowering; in fact after the summer the plant decays and dries up completely, to enter a period of vegetative rest; the big round tuber will begin to sprout again with the summer. In reality it is very simple to force glossinia tubers in the greenhouse, to make them bloom practically at any time of the year; we can therefore find glossinia in full bloom on the market even during winter; remember that the following year we will have to make the plant reacquire the right seasonal cycle if we want to see it bloom again.

How it is grown

Generally glossinias are bought in full bloom, it is difficult to buy the tubers; the plant in full flower should be kept in a very bright place, but not directly exposed to sunlight, especially during the hottest hours of the day; we could also place it on the terrace, or in the house, the important thing is that it receives a lot of light, in order to favor the continuous development of new buds.

The soil must be kept constantly humid, not soaked with water; it is sufficient to water when with the fingers we feel that the soil is starting to dry: in summer even every 2-3 days, in spring about once a week. Let's avoid soaking the earth excessively, in order not to favor the development of harmful rot of the tuber. We also avoid leaving the plant completely dry for a long time; if the soil dries up the glossinia withers, in watering the soil the plant recovers, but it does not tolerate more than a couple of events of this kind in a season.

Every week we add fertilizer for flowering plants to the irrigation water.

The leaves and flowers are very afraid of the proximity to water, if they are wet they are quickly and irreparably damaged; when we water we remember to wet only the ground and not the plant; since in general the foliage completely covers the pot, let's arm ourselves with a watering can with a spout, in order to be able to direct the jet of water.

  • Glossinia, Sinningia - Sinningia speciosa

    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 they ...

After flowering

In autumn the plant withers and dries up; at this point let the soil dry up completely and then place the pot, or even just the tuber, in a dark, dry and cool place, with temperatures above 10 ° C. In spring we will be able to reposition the tuber in pot, in a good fresh and well drained soil, with the upper part just level with the ground; as soon as we see the first small shoots we will start watering again and keeping the plant in a bright place. Generally glossinia plants bloom again for two to three years and then begin to produce smaller and smaller flowers; if we want to keep the flower of our specimen we can propagate the plant through leaf cutting. This cutting is done in summer, or in late spring; we take a beautiful healthy leaf, make small incisions along the central veins and place the leaf on a good soil mixed with sand, stopping it with metal clips. We keep the container in a place that is not too sunny, but bright, and water periodically, in order to avoid leaving the compost completely dry. From the cuts on the veins, small plants will sprout, which in a few weeks can be removed from the leaf and repotted individually.

Glossinia - Gloxinia: Gloxinia or Sinningia?

The genus Gloxinia once counted about twenty species, which over time have been greatly reduced; now it has only a few species, of which Gloxinia perennis is the most widespread; some species produce small tubular flowers, at the apex of the stems. The genus Sinningia is often confused with that of Gloxinia, due to the similarity of the flowers and the bearing of the plant, however, they are two separate genera, related by the fact of being widespread in South America, and by belonging to the gesneriacee family.