Jan, that is so cute. I have a couple of sinns, thanks to Olaf. I'm waiting patiently for them to start blooming. He promised the S. gutatta would start to bloom in Dec. I hope so. I can hardly contain my excitement!
Saintpaulia 'Heinz's Seduction'. First buds. This one was challenging to get through Summer. Well, the plant has almost doubled in size and leaf count since the temperatures started dropping in September. Now I can't wait for the flowers...
Saintpaulia 'Rob's Tippy Toe'. I can't help but find suckering miniatures with their unkempt look adorable! Since I don't plan on showing, that's not an issue anyway. Now, if I can only get it to bloom... :)
Your Rob's Lovebite is growing in a perfect rosette and is lovely! Here are some of the Sinningia pusilla seedlings I'm growing from the seeds that you sent to me. They are in a little terrarium. Should I keep the lid off, would that help?
Are those others Sinningia species? Your kohleria table looks great. It must get wonderful light. Do you let them go dormant over the winter? I've always kept mine in continual growth through pinching. Is that ultimately bad for kohlerias?
Here's Episcia Genivieve grown from a stolon shared by Miss Bonnie. Thanks Bonnie, I love yellow blooms.
Actually, I'm kind of surprised that I managed to keep 'Rob's Love Bite' looking so neat... LOL
Those pusillas are looking good! They should be blooming soon! :) I grow them both enclosed and unenclosed with no problem at all. I would simply try to take the lid of gradually and see what the plants do. If the leaves start curling, the air is too dry and you better leave them domed.
Some of the Sinningias are species, some are hybrids. The three micros are the three actual micro mini Sinningia species. S. nordestina is the oddball Sinningia that acts like an annual and kind of looks more like a Kohleria than a Sinningia.
Sinningia bullata used to be known as S. sp. "Florianopolis".
The other Sinningias are hybrids.
I only let the Kohlerias go dormant that want to go dormant. Right now, I have a few rhizomes of various Kohlerias that went dormant in pots under lights. They usually sprout anywhere from within a few weeks to within a few months... :)
'Genevieve' is one of my favorite Episcias (and one of the few that actually likes my conditions...) and what I like about yours is that it stayed nice and compact and is already blooming! Mine wanted to get BIG first and then make flowers! LOL
It looks like you are going to have a sturdy stem of flowers on nordestina. Did you order all those as seeds from the Gessie Seed Fund or from Brazil Plants? I just joined Brazil Plants and placed an order for Drymonia serrulata, 'Maranguape', Gloxinia erinoides 'Luzianaia', Neomortonia nummularia, Paliavana sericiflora "Morro do Chapeu', Seemannia purpurascens, and Vanhouttea fruticulosa.
S. nordestina does not have a sturdy stem at all... LOL I got to take a picture of the whole "mess" that is this plant. I have to admit that the plant itself isn't a looker but the flowers are worth growing it.
From the habit of the plant, I would assume that it grows among other, sturdier vegetation which it uses for support.
I had the seeds from the seed fund. Germination is slow - about two to three months, which is very unusual for a Sinningia.
Once germinated, the plants grow rapidly and seem to set buds when the days get shorter.
I hope to get some viable seeds because the plant is, according to everything I have read, supposed to be an annual - another unusual feature for a Sinningia.
She's a beautiful little plant. The foliage itself is lovely too.
I sowed seeds from the Gessie fund last April and am still awaiting germination of Chiritas lavandulacea and liboensis, Gesneria cuneifolia 'Quebradillas', Cantzia tigrina, Diastema affine, and Titanotrichum oldhamii. Does anyone know how much longer it should be, or if I should place over heat, or more or less light...? From that same tray Chiritas sericea, hamos, and involucrata, Paliavana plumeriodes, and Radermachera sinica all gave me nice seedlings. They were all sown over a light, moist mix with a very fine layer of vermiculite sprinkled over them and then domed. Any advice would be appreciated.
After over six months, I would say that you can forget about any chance of germination. The longest germination time that I have observed in any Gessie is Sinningia nordestina at just under three months.
Some seeds just won't stay viable for long and you never know how long the seeds from the seed fund, for example, have been in their fridge.
Gesneria cuneifolia should germinate within a week, for example...
Great pictures and info, never heard of yellow sinn --- concinna looks incredible, what an unusual color. Amizade keeps getting even more adorable. Lovely episcias too, I can't wait for My Precious to start blooming. Following the yellow theme here is my new NOID Nematanthus. Anyone familiar with it?
The only two yellow Sinningia species that I can think of are Sinningia richii "Robsen Lopez" and Sinningia sulcata. There aren't many (if any...) truly yellow flowered hybrids either. Some very pale yellow ones or some species and hybrids with more or less yellow in the throat but that's about it.
This Nematanthus looks more like a xCodonatanthus, which is an intergeneric involving Codonanthe and Nematanthus.
Almost impossible to say for sure but maybe xCodonatanthus 'Sunset'.
I have a question, for those of you that use both square and round pots. In all of my hiding spots where I have planting supplies, I don't seem to have a 2 1/4" square pot. I need to know which size round pot would hold the same volume. You'd think 2 1/4", but I think there's extra volume in those corners on the square pots . . .
Round pots of the same size/diameters as square pots hold less mix. That's the advantage of square pots. you don't waste any space. So, I would assume that a 3" round pot should be about the same volume as the 2.25" square or as close as you can get.
I finally, finally found a strep "Curly Shirley" on Ebay. It's my mother's name, I've wanted one since she passed away. It arrived in good condition, I'm so happy. I'll have some photos later, this plant isn't in bloom but looks like it might be soon.
Thanks Jamie, I hope the flowers will get more red tones, maybe in summer with better light. I even didn't know what I was buying other than some goldfish plant, hehe. I'd love to propagate the cuttings to share, are they easy to root?
Vista is lovely, what a beautiful pink color, the flowers look pretty big (or rather long) too
The flowers were what attracted me to 'Vista' in the first place. I'll take a picture of my plant tomorrow and post it. I didn't fully appreciate the maroon splotches on the leaves until I actually saw the plant. :)
Mine hasn't bloomed so far because I was too busy pinching and finding a location that it likes. As it turns out, it wants good light, even a bit of sun and it will grow nice and compact. Watering has never been an issue. It's a tough and happy little plant.
I have two carnosa tubers that are about a year old and in their second growth cycle. They both haven't bloomed yet due to not being in the right spot. This Sinningia needs good light and some morning or afternoon sun to stay compact and bloom well.
It's one of the Sinningias with a determinate growth pattern, which means that on a mature tuber, you'll get one or several shoots with two or three pairs (or whorls) of leaves and then a terminal inflorescence. After setting seed, those shoots wither and the tuber goes into dormancy. So, if there aren't any buds on the shoots pretty much from the moment that they emerge, there will be no flowers on this shoot for this season.
This is unlike the Sinningias with a non-determinate growth pattern like Sinningia speciosa or eumorpha where there's a succession of leaves and flowers from their axils until the shoot is done.
As for fertilizer: I'm only using MiracleGro Tomato, 1/4 strength with every watering as long as the plants are actively growing. I don't fertilize in the height of Summer and through the cold, dark season I cut back to fertilizing every other watering and only if the plant shows signs of growth or buds.
This fertilizer is cheap (about 6 bucks for 1.5 pounds), balanced and widely available. It has been working very well for me for about a year now and I don't see any reason for me to use anything else. :)
Oh, thank you! On all other Sinningia species, the corolla (the whorl of petals) attaches to the calyx at the "hub" of the flower. On Sinningia pusilla, it's off center and the flower has a little "bump" (spur) protruding in the opposite direction from the corolla.
You can see that a bit better in these pictures from Alan LaVergne's "Sinningia And Friends" website:
WOW! Jannich. What beautiful sins. I love the deep colors. And all those babies. Are they streps? I have no luck with them. I can get the leaves to produce babies, but then I have no luck growing the babies. None have ever made it.
Well, micro minis grow extremely quickly from seed. They take only a few months from seed to bloom. If the seeds are fresh, germination happens in about 4-10 days. If they aren't fresh, germination can be random and very sporadic.
I have been frustrated more than once after sowing micro mini seeds from ebay, the seed fund or other sources that weren't fresh and not a single seedling came up.
Once they're germinated, just wait for them to have two to three pairs of baby leaves before you repot. The seedlings will be tiny and stay tiny for quite some time. However, they are incredibly tough for their size!
If you want to make them grow faster, just take a tooth pick and "tickle the roots" of the seedlings every two weeks for about 8 weeks.
And if you really are in a hurry, take a pair of small scissors and remove the tiny cotyledons and every baby leaf but two pairs and pot up the plant with the remaining leaves just abouve the surface of the mix. This is tedious and sunds scary at first but gives those seedlings an incredible growth boost!
I grow both S. pusilla and muscicola (aka. "Rio Das Pedras") unenclosed. The former on wicks, the latter on a pebble tray. They grow, bloom and set seeds with no problems at all. My experience is that if you can keep the plants moist and above 50% humidity, they'll do just fine!
They also do well in any high sided glass container or, of course, enclosed.
A Wardian case may be too large for plants that max out at about 2.5" across at maturity. Think along the lines of a brandy snifter or a half-pint mason jar...
However, in a small Wardian case, you can easily put a whole collection of these tiny plants. :)
To give you an idea, here's a picture of Sinningia concinna with my hand for scale.
Sinningia 'Super Orange' - or one of its children. The hybrid is fertile and the orange is stable. Oh, and I just harvested a pod. If the seeds are viable, I will definitely share. I also have some more Gessie seeds in the fridge that really need to be sown. If anyone's interested, just write me a D-mail.
I would assume that it is a bit hot and humid for them in Florida...
In nature, a lot of Streps grow near cool streams. So, they like it humid but on the cool side. However, if you can grow babies from leaves and they die when repotting, then there's the problem.
What I usually do with pretty much anything leaf grown is (from Begonias to Violets...) to leave a little piece of the mother leaf or petiole on the plantlet and dip everything that hits the mix into some RootOne for its fungicidal purposes. Another crucial point is to keep the freshly repotted plantlets just as moist as absolutely necessary but keep the humidity up at the same time.
It's trial and error and there is no "Silver Bullet"-recipe for that. You'll get the hang of it. Just don't give up and keep on trying! That's what the hobby is all about! :)
It doesn't really matter whether you bury the tuber or not. It's more a matter of personal preference. As a matter of fact, if the stems aren't too brittle, you can roll up a mini Sinningia just like you would a Kohleria.
Kohleria 'HCY's Jardin De Monet' and 'Kapo' x 'Cinnamon Toast'. 'HCY's Jardin De Monet' is about two feet tall and full of buds. 'Kapo' x 'Cinnamon Toast' already looks large compared to other Kohlerias but is being dwarved by 'Jardin'...
WOW! I didn't think kohleria got that tall. Very pretty. What is the paint brush for? Are you going to change their colors? Just kidding. I think you probably use it to brush their leaves. I know I have a small brush to dust of my violet leaves after repotting. I'm messy and always manage to get soil/mix on their leaves. The brush comes in very handy.
Remember the person who said "Never throw away a tuber"? I put the tuber and moss in the back of one of my terrariums, thinking the worst that'd happen is that it'd be some nice soil cover. The darn thing sprouted. The bad news...no clue what it is.
Gorgeous Primulina tobaccum and you grow those kohlerias incredibly. BTW, I just snatched up a tuber of Sinn. tubiflora on ebay and there's still one left. It looks like the vendor is selling a massive number of succulents, with this one sinningia among them all.
I have some tubiflora seedlings that can't decide whether to go dormant or not right now... Can't wait to put those little critters outdoors next year!
They get real tall and aren't particularly well suited for growing under lights but make an easy patio or garden plant.
They also are VERY prolific and spread by runners if they're allowed to.
Getting tubiflora to bloom seems to be a whole different subject altogether. For some it's a prolific bloomer while others never see even a single bud...
Kohlerias are both extremely hungry and thirsty when actively growing. They also need a few hours of good sunlight for strong growth. NEVER let a Kohleria dry out completely or it won't bloom or will blast its buds. Leaf damage will soon follow. Heat tolerance is pretty good but high temperatures and humidity often result in mildew damage and leaf loss. I grow my Kohlerias in a sunny East window in a 3rd floor apartment in Chicago. No secrets here. All I use for fertilizer is MiracleGro Tomato. My large Kohlerias, I usually keep a little overpotted because that makes watering less tedious. I don't usually pinch my Kohlerias and just let them grow and do their thing. If i have, I start several (usually 5 or 7) cuttings or rhizomes in one pot to get a full plant from the beginning. Propagating Kohlerias is generally about as difficult as propagating a Trdescantia or a Spider Plant. Cuttings root within days. Seeds germinate within about two weeks. Rhizomes can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to sprout. That's the part that can be a bit tricky but it's not hard. A very porous mix and even moisture prevents the rhizomes both from drying out and from rotting. Stubborn rhizomes can be stripped of their scales and the scales sprinkled on top of seedling mix and treated just like seedlings. The scale method is also the best way to keep fancy leaf varieties like 'Texas Rainbow' coming true. Kohlerias also make wonderful garden or patio plants. One more thing: Not all Kohlerias are good rhizome makers ('Dark Velvet' would be an example)! It's always good to have a few cuttings as backups just in case...
That's pretty much everything I can think of when it comes to Kohlerias. If I should have forgotten something, please ask!
I think that everyone should grow at least one Kohleria. They are fun, forgiving and remarkably easy and quick to grow to specimen size. They make cool plants for kids as well - the rhizomes are the coolest thing for them since they look like scaly worms or caterpillars... :)
Great info, thanks Olaf. Now have your Kohlerias ever got leggy? Is it a good idea to cut them back (and root the cuttings of course)? if yes when is the best time -- after blooming, at rest or actively growing?
Here is my only K. Longwood I believe, starting to bloom again but the stem is getting long and twisted. I heard about rolling but too scared to do that now, the stem feels rather firm.
Well, old varieties like 'Longwood' get tall and leggy and tend to flop over. Unfortunately, that's normal and there's not much you can do about it but staking the plant when you grow it potted.
However, as a bedding plant in a greenhouse or in a suitable climate, the stems will support each other and the effect is much more tidy.
Look at tall growing Kohlerias as you would at a tall growing perennial in your garden, say like perennial Phlox. A single stem of Phlox would probably fall over at the first sign of a breeze but if you have a whole clump of it, the stems will support each other. And outdoors perennials that get bare from the bottom, you usually want to plant some fast growing annual in front of it in order to cover the unsightly, bare stems.
That's why the tall and weak stemmed Kohleria hybrids fell from grace as houseplants and most of the modern cultivars and hybrids are either shorter in stature or have much thicker and sturdier stems.
Rolling up a Kohleria is nothing to be afraid of. The best way is to let the plant dry out a little bit to make it more pliable, remove any leaves but the good looking ones on the top (about 2-4 pairs), take the plant out of the pot and just wrap the stem around the root ball. Then you plant the result into either the same or a little bit larger pot and fill with mix. Just make sure that there is as little stem as possible left above the surface of the mix. Don't worry if a stem snaps, the plant will make more roots from those injuries.
Here's a link with some more detailed instructions as well as some pictures:
Other than that, you can take Kohleria cuttings pretty much at any time of the year but if the plant isn't actively growing, it can happen that the cutting will root and just sit there for months while making rhizomes. Kohleria cuttings can be a bit tricky in this regard because sometimes the cutting seems to suddenly die without ever growing. However, if you knock the mix out of the pot, you'll often find one or a few rhizomes that you can then just pot up and wait for them to sprout.
One more thing: If you think that Violets have a "cold-water-burn"-problem, guess again! Most Kohlerias are much, much more sensitive to it than other Gesneriads! Careful watering is always a must with Kohlerias!
In general, Kohlerias are easy to grow and bloom but there are, of course, those caveats that can easily discourage someone from growing them.
It is hard to predict, what particular cultivar will work particularly well for someone just wanting to try one Kohleria but I would dare to suggest 'Perdiots Mango Martini', a very nice, medium size Kohleria with soft, medium green leaves and medium size salmon flowers with darker spots and streaks by Iain James. This Kohleria has been the "battle horse" for me. Another one would be 'Strawberry Fields' by Patrick Worley. This Kohleria has the most amazingly large, strawberry red blooms with an almost psychedelic pattern of slighly darker spots. It's a very tidy, upright grower and makes an "instant show plant" almost every time with very little effort.
If you can get your hands on any of the Swedish or Korean Kohlerias, you're in for a treat! Check out the links:
Great bloom, Olaf, and carpathaingirl. Keep them coming. Pretty soon I'll have a bloom on Sinn.Fuschia Treasure. She' had this bud for two weeks. It's getting longer, so it should open soon. I can wait to see it.
WooHoo!!! Finally got a bloom on this little sin. It's 'Fuschia Treasure'. I have it about two months and I've been waiting, it seems, forever for it to bloom. I couldn't get a clear shot. I guess I have to take a good picture and then crop it. I'll try again. But here is the little beauty.
This little mini av is one of my all time favorites. It's not showing much leaf variegation right now, but will have beautifully variegated leaves as it grows through the cooler months. It's growing in a 1 1/4 oz. Solo cup.
Pixie Panache (A. E. Adams) Single pink two-tone bells. Tommie Lou variegated foliage. Miniature (User Database)
Pretty little pictures. I love them. I'm getting tired of waiting for this little Rob's Gundaroo to open it's bud. The momma leaf is still attached and I don't want to disturb it until it finishes blooming. It's had this bud for weeks. It is one stubborn little plant.
My Rob's Gundaroo started out in a little cup like that. Just give it time and it will simply amaze you. It's a heavy bloomer and shapes up very nicely. I never pinched back any of the crowns, just removed leaves where needed to promote new crown development. It's definitely a keeper.
It's two large bowls held together by two or three hair clips (sold three for a dollar). The set-up can hold up to a 6 inch pot, with some spread. I place the larger episcias beneath a big, tall propagation dome, seen here. I like this method so much better than what I used to do, which was enclose the entire shelf in plastic wrap. I like the easier access and increased humidity provided this new way.
I have good luck finding bubble bowls at tag sales and thrift stores, but Flower Factory almost always has them here.
I ordered some seeds from Mauro--any advice on starting them? I normally use sterilized Jiffy Mix topped with a little sterilized sand in small plastic containers, that has worked for many plants. Bottom heat? No bottom heat?
I don't know about the bottom heat. We just got a cold front and it's regularly in the 60's inside now, so I might move my seeds to a heat pad at 70º. I've got Brazil Seeds going now also. I placed mine atop a moistened mix of peat, vermiculite, and trace minerals (Gardener's Supply Germination Soil).
All I use for sowing are the cheapest, stackable plastic containers that I can finnd. As a medium, I usually use 1:1 Perlite/Vermiculite that I make wet, squeeze out the excess and fluff it back up.
The containers don't even have to have clear lids. The light that gets through the sides of the containers is sufficient for the initial stage, so stacking the containers is no problem.
For cuttings, I use regular, cheap greenhouse flats that I fill with a real moist Perlite/Vermiculite/SoilMoist crystals-mix. Then I use small pots with my regular, barely damp seed sowing mix for the cuttings and plunge them into the flat.
For both: Bottom warmth is always a good idea but if you place the trays under lights, the heat from the lights is usually enough. To put it in my grandmother's words "Wouldn't you prefer to have warm feet?" LOL
I usually use the bottom tier of my shelf to place seedlings and cuttings as the temperatures don't get too crazy but stay warm enough for everybody.
I have clear plastic oval containers that I used in my biz, that I now use for starting seeds, I'll probably use those, then. They're clear, but I have them already. I have some smaller mats that I got at a tag sale, I will probably plop all of these containers on one mat and see what happens. I'm so excited!
I also have seed pods ripening on a couple of streps that I will sow when they're ready. I'm interested to see how Monarch's Journey and Silvia cross seedlings will look.
Quick question about seeds. how do you order them from Mauro? I went to his website, but there are no prices for the seeds. How does it work. Do you have to belong to a club in order to buy seeds? There are no gessie or african violet clubs near me. The closet one is in Orlando, and that's close to a 2 hour drive.
I joined Brazil Plants on the yahoo site. I submitted a request to join and Lee Stradley emailed me with information. I choose the cheapest membership which is $60, that gives you 6 packs of seeds three times during the year. You can buy additional seed packs beyond that too, for a nominal fee. Mauro has a list on the Yahoo site for the seeds currently available. In the files section there is information on membership, etc... I mailed the check to Lee and she combines them for a paypal payment to Mauro. That is my understanding and experience.