The Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) is a popular indoor plant. The species was originally part of the genus Gloxinia, and was called Gloxinia speciosa, but has been separated to its own genus Sinningia, although the common name continues to be gloxinia. To avoid the confusion, it is also often called Florist's Gloxinia.

Gloxinia originates from the jungles of Brazil, where it was first discovered in 1785. The name Gloxinia speciosa was assigned to it by English gardener Conrad Loddiges in 1817, in honour of physician Benjamin Peter Gloxin of Colmar, Germany. In 1825, it was separated from the genus Gloxinia into the newly named genus Sinningia, after the curator of the Botanical Gardens in Bonn, Wilheim Sinning. Modern day gloxinia are hybrids from two species Sinningia speciosa and Sinningia maxima.

Gloxinia flowers come in colours ranging from pure white to pink, lavender, red, to deep purple. There are also those in two colours and those with white-border petals. The most popular cultivars are those in deep red and purple. Cultivation of gloxinia is similar to that of its cousin, the African Violet.

Botanical Name Sinningia speciosa
Common Name Gloxinia (or Florist's Gloxinia)
Family Geraniaceae
Type Balcony / Garden Plant
Position Gloxinia likes warmth and high humidity. They are not fond of bright sunshine. To flower, they need some brightness out of the sun. Light intensity of a maximum of 2000-3000 foot-candles is sufficient.
Care Gloxinia likes light, well-drained potting mix high in organic content.
Watering Gloxinia needs a great deal of water, but are sensitive to mineral salts. Water them with unpolluted rainwater or demineralised water. If it lacks water, its leaves will collapse - if this should happen, plunge them into a tub of water.
Feeding Gloxinia are hungry plants and need lots of fertiliser. It is fine to mix a dilute amount of fertiliser to every watering.
Repotting If the gloxinia you bought comes in a very small pot, it may be repotted immediately. The best potting medium is equal parts leafmould, peat and rotted cow manure.
Propagation Gloxinias are best propagated through leaf cuttings and offsets.
Pests and diseases Apply fungicide after potting to prevent fungal diseases. Apply fungicide a second time after six weeks of potting. If leaves develop brown circles, it indicates viral diseases that is incurable.

Gloxinia, scientific name Sinningia speciosa

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