Category Archives: plant profiles

Streptocarpus thompsonii


Streptocarpus thompsoniiStreptocarpus thompsonii 
is a lovely little streptocarpus, that resembles a streptocarpella more so than a streptocarpus.

One of the most striking features of this plant is the transparent purple-spotted stem. Its swollen base makes this little plant look like an alien bonsai.Streptocarpus thomsonii

 

Streptocarpus thompsonii originates form Madagascar. It has tiny bell flowers, and though I could not find explicit information on the web, mine flowers yearround and constantly produces little seed pots. I sporadically find seedlings of this plant growing in my other plant’s pots. Some cultivars have white flowers, mine is pale blue.

The flowers are extremely tiny, and might be unnoticeable at first, but they are numerous and cute. It’s this plants unique and bizarre stem that makes it so attractive.

 

Requirements

Watering needs:

Streptocarpus thompsonii has average watering needs. This plant likes a well drained medium and moderate watering. It can tolerate drying out.

Light:

Part shade is ideal for this plant. I have grown in on north/east/west windows. The plant pictured on the right is growing on a north window. This little jem is very easy to keep. It tolerated quite a range in conditions.

Humidity:

Streptocarpus thompsonii doesn’t seem to mind lower humidity levels. Higher humidity will make it more resistant to infestations though. I’ve had some mealybug problems in the past, when it was kept in dryer conditions.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:


I use a well draining mix. African violet soil with extra perlite, or regular potting mix with perlite/vermiculite and peat moss will do the trick. I apply mild fertilizer during the growing season, usually a diluted african violet fertilizer.

Propagation:

This plant is very easy to propagate. I’ve propagated it from cuttings in the past, both in water and in moist soil. The plant also self pollinates. It quickly forms seed pots and self seeds in random places. I’ve found it growing in random pots. Even the seedlings have that interesting purple spotted, translucent stem.

Streptocarpus thomsonii seedlings
seedlings

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

Though this plant spreads though seed like a weed, it doesn’t have an aggressive growth habit. I’ve drown it with different gesneriads in the same pot, and they get along just fine. Streptocarpus thompsonii has a gentle root system. It will occasionally get leggy and tall, but it takes on pruning quite well. You can shape it however you want, and show off it’s unique stem.Streptocarpus thompsonii


 

Sinningia ‘Georgia Sunset’ x Macrostachya

Sinningia hybridThis is a wonderful sinningia hybrid. ‘Georgia Sunset’ x Machrostachya is a power house when it comes to blooming. It’s a very vigorous plant, and cuttings start blooming merely a month or two after rooting! The newly plated cuttings quickly grow a large tuber. Though its parent, Sinningia machrostachya, requires dormancy and flowers only during the summer, this hybrid, despite having a tuber, flowers year round and requires no dormancy. This is a very easy and vigorous plant to grow.

The leaves are somewhat large, deep green and textured. The flowers are orange red, pinker and somewhat spotted on the inside. They are large and come in clusters. The flowers are nicely displayed and last quite a bit.

This sinnigia hybrid tends to grow out and get leggy and disordered. Pruning and/or staking is a must with this plant. This can be grown out to a large and showy specimen, though I prefer keeping mine small (I’m running out of space).Sinningia machrostachya hybrid

Requirements:

Watering needs:

This plant has average watering needs. Let the soil dry out lightly between watering, but never leave it soggy, as it might cause the tuber to rot. It can take quite a bit of drought as well. Keep it on the dry side during the winter. I like to let this plant dry out and then soak the pot to water it.

Light:

Medium light is required. The pant does tend to get leggy, so having more light will help keep it denser, but it will flower and grow even on a north facing window. I would recommend east/west windows, or a north garden window.Sinningia machrostachya hybrid

Humidity:

Higher humidity is a plus, but do not spray the leaves. Humidity tray will help keep this plant looking its best.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:

African violet soil with added per-lite or a mixture of per-lite, peat moss and regular potting soil will be perfect. When you repot a plant that already has a tuber formed, it is important to leave the top of the tuber exposed. If you plant the whole tuber under the soil it will likely rot, and also struggle spouting new growth. Diluted african violet fertilizer will be perfect.

Propagation:

Propagation is very easy though cuttings. I have even propagated this plant through a leaf. The cuttings root both in water or in moist soil under high humidity. Newly rooted plants come to flower very quickly.

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

It’s a great plant to have! It flowers heavily and from an early age. The flowers are quite showy and numerous. The leaves are deep green and interesting. The plant does tend to get a bit out of hand, and unshapely, so don’t be afraid to prune it heavily if need be. The older leaves do get unsightly (they just seem to get bigger and bigger on top of just aging), so I tend to periodically remove them to keep the plant looking neat. I think this one can be shaped like a bonsai as well, to show off its tuber. Sinningia georgia sunset x machrostachya

Pachystachys lutea (Lollipop Plant)

pachystachys lutea lollipop plantPachystachys lutea, also known as lollipop plant or golden shrimp plant, is a great houseplant to add to your everblooming collection. It makes quite a showy bush with lush leaves. You can keep it small and in shape by pruning, or grow it out to a large specimen at 3 feet in a pot, more if planted in a greenhouse.

 

This plant is a relative of the shrimp plant Justicia brandegeana, and just like it, has colorful, attractive bracts. It’s the bracts that are really the interesting aspect of the plant. The actual flowers emerge from the bracts and are small, white, and tubular.

 

The lollipop plant  is not a fussy plant, and does not require high light level to flower. It’s a very rewarding and reliable plant with lush tropical foliage. It’s easy to grow indoors and can be maintained at a medium or a larger size. pachystachys lutea lollipop plant

Requirements:

Watering needs:

Pachystachys lutea is not as drought tolerant as the regular shrimp plant, and does tend to soak up quite a bit of water during the warm months. Overall it has average watering needs. I would recommend letting the soil somewhat dry out between watering, especially during the winter months. If you accidentally dry out the plant, make sure you soak it in water and then drain the excess water well to ensure the soil is thoroughly moist.

Light:

pachystachys luteaEast/west or south windows are the best for this plant. Couple of hours of direct sunlight are ideal to keep the plant happy. They do tend to get leggy as they age, so a good light source and some pruning are essential to have a neat plant. I do take this plant out in the summer, and slowly acclimate it to higher light levels without any trouble.

Humidity:

Pachystachys lutea likes higher humidity, and  does like its leaves sprayed occasionally. Lower humidity levels will be tolerated, however the plant will be more susceptible to whiteflies, aphids and spider mites.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:

Regular potting mix with a bit of extra per-lite to keep the soil from compacting to much. Pachystachys lutea is not very needy. A regular fertilized and occasional blooming fertilizer applied during the growing season (spring to fall) will keep the plant looking its best.

Propagation:

Pachystachys lutea is very easy to propagate through cuttings.

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

This is a great plant to have. It will brighten the dull winter months with its stricking yellow candle-like flowers. The flowers (by that I mean the bracts) are pretty large and showy. The lollipop plant makes a wonderful bush and can even be trained into a tree. Pruning it is very important (it flowers from the tips of the branches therefore you want a well branched plant), and form my experience this plant can take quite a hard pruning, returning to blooming in no time.pachystachys lutea golden shrimp lollipop plant

Clerodendrum ugandense (Blue Butterfly Bush)

Clerodendrum ugandenseClerodendrum ugandense, also called Rotheca myricoides, and commonly known as Blue Butterfly Bush, is a wonderful plant to have at home. It’s not a fussy, high requirement plant, and it’s very rewarding to have. The flowers sport two hues of blue and truly resemble butterflies, especially the way they flock around the plant.

The Blue Butterfly Bush requires warmth and light to flower. It flowers heavily during the warm months, and even if you cannot provide enough light and warmth during the winter time it might sporadically flower anyway. In the winter I grow mine next to a west facing window with additional grow lights and it’s doing great. In my experience it’s a very easy to grow plant, virtually pest free, and the only downside is that it can get quite leggy when not pruned.

The plant itself is an average looking bush with light bark and ordinary looking leaves. The leaves have a bit of a peppery smell to them, and that’s probably the reason why this plant is quite resistant to bug infestations. The flowers are relatively small, but the way they are positioned around the plant (like flocking butterflies) and the fact that they are quite numerous, makes up for it.  It can survive down to 20°F, and sprout back from the root ball, but if grown indoors it’s evergreen and with enough light everblooming. Blue Butterfly Bush

Requirements:

Watering needs:

Clerodendrum ugandense has average watering needs. In the hot summer months, I would recommend keeping the soil evenly moist, while during the colder months it will be better to let it dry out a bit between watering to prevent root rot.

Light:

Full sun to partial shade is ideal for this plant. Full sun will help get fuller growth and more flowers, though it will flower and grow well at partial sun as well. South/east or west windows are ideal for it. I grow mine on a west facing window and supplement it with grow lights to get a more uniform growth. You can take your plant outside during the warm months for best results. If you do bring your plant back indoors and provide enough light it will flower year round.

Humidity:

Higher humidity is preferable, though this plant can tolerate lower humidity as well. For best results, grow on a humidity tray or next to other humidity loving plants.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:

Blue Butterfly PlantClerodendrum ugandense doesn’t seem to have any special preference about the soil type. I grow mine in generic potting mix with extra sand/per-lite added to it and a bit of peat moss. It’s a moderate feeder, and requires regular fertilizing from spring to fall. A generic fertilizer should be fine. As usual I would suggest fertilizing with more diluted than the recommended solution.

Propagation:

The butterfly bush can be easily propagated though cuttings, and it does sprout suckers once the plant is well established. Very easy to propagate and share with friends.

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

Clerodendrum ugandense seems to flower at the tips or new growth. Feel free to trim it anytime it seems to be growing out of proportion. I think the flowers look the best when the stems are hanging out and down, they seem to stand out more that way. I would say this plant is more of a vine-like bush and it will benefit from having some support or having it’s branches braided in a way. I will try to shape mine like a small willow tree, I think that would be the best way to showcase those wonderful little flowers.Clerodendrun ugandense

Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns)

crown of thornsEuphorbia milii is a very easy plant to grow, that thrives on neglect and puts out a colorful display of bracts around the unnoticeable flowers. The crown of thorns, generally blooms heavy in the winter and intermittently throughout the year. However when you have a large specimen plant it’s more or less a continuous bloomer. Interestingly enough light during the night time can disrupt the flowering cycle of this plant according to Tropica Nursery.Crown of thorns euphorbia milii

Crown of Thorns sap is poisonous and can be a skin irritant so be careful when trimming or reporting the plant. If you are making cuttings you can use cold water to stop the oosing of the sap from both the plant and the cutting.

There are variety of hybrids available with colors ranging from red , orange, yellow all the the way to white. The bracts can be stripes even dotted. There are dwarf varieties and variegated ones as well. Flowering depends on the hybrid type, not all are prolific bloomers.Euphorbia milii crown of thorns

Requirements:

Watering needs:

This plant can thrive on neglect. It can tolerate dry soil pretty well. Overall it has lower to medium watering requirements. Don’t let the soil be soggy, as your plant will most likely rot. Some of the hybrids however prefer a bit more frequent watering than your tipical succulent plant.

Light:

The higher the better. This plant will grow well on east/west and south facing windows.

Humidity:

Dwarf euphorbia milii
Dwarf Euphobria milii

Euphorbia milii is very tolerant of dry environments and is not needy in any way. It’s pretty much indifferent to the humidity level as you can just as well grow it next to higher humidity plant.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:

Cactus soil and cactus fertilizer work just fine for Euphorbia milii. You can use a regular fertilizer as well, at low dilution. Be careful during reporting time, I would recommend using gloves or wrapping the plant in newspaper to help with handling it.

Propagation:

Can be propagated though cuttings very easily. As with most succulents, it helps to leave the cutting out a few days to dry out a bit before planting it in moist sand to root. Rooting hormone can be used to speed up the process.

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

Euphornia miliiThe plant tolerates well being re-potted lower than the original level it was in its old pot. Euphorbia milli can get leggy and the higher the light, the better the plant growth and flowering habit.

Most hybrids available are very easy to flower, are free branching and have a bushy growth habit in general. If the plant grows leggy don’t feel bad for cutting it back.

 

Episcia ‘Suomi’

Episcia suomiEpiscia ‘Suomi’ is a little gem of a plant. It is a bit of a fussy episcia, but once you match it’s requirements it will rapidly grow out and flower profusely. It’s a very free flowering plant, and with the right condition, especially if grown under lights, will flower year round.

Episcia ‘Suomi’ is a tiny leaved episcia. The leaves are glossy , dark olive green, and have a silver stripe through them. The coloration varies slightly between cultivars and different conditions. The flowers are creamy yellow, with a bit of orange in the center, though some cultivars may lack the orange hint in the flowers.

This plant is perfect for terrarium culture. In fact it pretty much requires it. If grown outside, the leaves crumple and get curled up at the corners, and the plant will eventually end up dying. I grow mine in a glass bowl open at the top, or in a sealed terrarium. Though I’ve had some success growing it outside of a terrarium as well, I’d recommend sticking to a terrarium culture.

This episcia, though a bit tricky to grow at first (I definitely killed a few in the beginning), is a pleasure to have at home, and absolutely lovely to look at. The contrasting foliage, creamy yellow flowers and the tiny stature of the plant are really cute.Episcia suomi

Requirements:

Watering needs:

Episcia_suomiEpscia ‘Suomi’ loves to be watered. If you manage to keep the soil evenly moist, the air humid enough and the temperature warm, you can grow it outside of a terrarium as well. I’ve had some success growing it with a hygrolon strip through the soil, making sure the soil is kept constantly and evenly moist, and planted with some other high humility plants in the same pot to keep the humidity around Suomi high.

Light:

Tiny episcia suomiThis espicia is a low light plant. If the light is too low, however, the leaves will get longer, and the plant will produce long stolons that plant themselves at a considerable distance from the main rosette. If the light is too high the leaves will be small and start curling up at the edges. I grow mine in a closed environment next to a west facing window where it doesn’t really get direct light (because it’s to the side of the window) but plenty of very bright indirect light. This plant flowers and grows profusely. I’ve grown this episcia with equal success on a north facing window and well grown up terrarium facing east. I have several episcias ‘suomi’ growing in multiple glass bowl set ups, where the plant adds its dark foliage and lovely yellow flowers to those mini-gardens.

Humidity:

Episcia ‘Suomi’ loves humidity. It is essential for the plant, as it will not tolerate lower humidity. If you manage really high humidity you can let the soil dry out a bit between watering, but having soggy soil and dry air is a sure way to kill this plant. Soggy soil and very humid and warm air (rot conditions) seem to be well tolerated by this episcia. Episcias don’t like to be sprayed, and though this variety has more of a glossy type leaves, it is still no exception. Spraying it will cause wilt spots on the leaves, and you might loose your plant to rot.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:

Light soil with plenty of per-lite. I use either african voilet soil with extra per-lite, or equal parts generic potting mix, peat moss and per-lite. You can also use vermiculite instead of  per-lite, but keep in mind that vermiculite is more moisture retaining. This is a tiny low light plant, and I use very diluted fertilizer (usually african violet fertilizer) from spring to fall.

Propagation:

Very easy to propagate. Epsicia ‘Suomi’ grows tons of stolons that just plant themselves next to the mother plant. You can simply wait for them to root and repot them, or cut and root stolons yourself. It is great to simply root multiple in propagation jars (a closed glass bowl or terrarium with drainage and constantly moist soil with a tad bit of rooting hormone in there). That way you can have multiple Suomis to experiment with, and try different conditions, knowing that you have a back up. I generally do that with almost all miniatures as soon as I can get enough material form them to propagate them.

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

Episcia SuomiThis low light miniature is a terrarium plant to be admired. I will recommend growing it in a terrarium and propagating it, before trying anything else. Light level is also very important. It will grow at very low light levels, but you will not get much flowers out of the plant in that case. Bright indirect light, or artificial light is ideal. Episcia ‘Suomi’ can take some early morning or late evening light, but it will die if the light is too strong. It takes a bit of playing with the light levels to get the perfect amount, where it’s not enough to damage the foliage, but plenty to induce tons of flowers. Once you match its needs, this plant becomes a piece of cake to take care of, and its rapid growth and easiness of propagation will give you plenty of material to share, or experiment with.

Ruellia brevifolia


Ruellia brevifoliaRuellia brevifolia
is an interesting delicate looking plant. Native to Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, this plant likes a warm and humid environment. They are generally found growing under trees. The plant grows somewhat tall, to about 20 inches, though individual plants don’t spread wide. The flowers are very delicate and almost look like made of thin bright red paper, and appear freely throughout the year.

 

Ruellia brevifolia is also known by “short leaf petunia”, “red Christmas pride”, “tropical monkey plant”,

Ruellia makoyana
Ruellia makoyana

“firecracker plant’ and other similar names. It’s related to the more widely known Ruellia makoyana, that is more commonly found and has many cultivars and hybrids available. The R. makoyana plant is a more seasonal bloomer, though often flowers out of season as well, nevertheless it’s grown primarily for foliage.

This plant is relatively easy to grow, and is very easy to flower. It quickly sets seed and readily self seeds in it’s pot. It does greatly benefit from couple of hours of direct light, and though Ruellia brevifolia may look delicate, it has quite a wide spreading and strong root system, that quickly takes over a pot.Ruellia brevifolia

Requirements:

Watering needs:

This plant requires medium watering. It can tolerate quite a bit of drying out, if the air is humid enough. Water less in the winter, and water generously in the summer. Ruellia brevifolia can take some neglect.

Light:

Ruellia brevifoliaPart shade is ideal for this plant. East and west windows will be perfect. You can grow it at lower light, or a north facing window as well but since the plant is already naturally leggy, it might not be feasible. Strong direct noon sun will burn the leaves. If you slowly acclimate your plant to higher light level you could grow it in almost full sun, though the leaves might turn a bit purple at the edges.

 

 

 

 

Humidity:

Ruellia brevifolia likes high humidity. Spraying the plant frequently will help reduce the risk of it getting spider mites. A humidity tray can also be quite beneficial. The plant has somewhat large, glossy leaves and loves being sprayed. Make sure the place you are growing it is not stagnant and has some air flow to prevent fungus infections.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:
Ruellia brevifoliaI use normal potting mix with a bit of peat moss, sand, and a bit of per-lite. This plant seems to rapidly grow roots in a sandy soil. It’s not very fussy about the soil type and you can probably grow it in other soil types and even in the pots of larger plants you grow. I use diluted generic fertilizer spring to fall.

Propagation:

Ruellia brevifolia easily makes seed and seeds itself. I believe it can also be propagated though cuttings, as easily as its relative, though I haven’t tried it since all the seedling it produces grow very quickly and start blooming early.

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

Ruellia brevifoliaThis plant is cute and delicate looking, but very easy to grow. The flowers are thin, wrinkled, tubular and bright red. It’s a great plant to have. I think in could make a wonderful ground cover in warmer climates. Though it spreads quite easily and grows wide roots, it doesn’t seem to suffocate other plants grown in the same pot, even the tiny delicate ones, so I think it will make a great plant for floral arrangements. Ruellia brevifolia is overall a pleasure to have at home.

Columnea ‘Melissa’

Columnea MelissaColumnea ‘Melissa’ is a wonderful plant to have at home. It has large showy flowers, that surprisingly last for a very long time. The leaves are small and darker somewhat variegated at the edges and redder on the bottom side. The flowers are large, bight orange with yellow throat and darker red lines. They look very similar to Columnea ‘Lava flow’, another everblooming columnea.

Columneas are generally seasonal bloomers, but a lot of hybrids and cultivars are available that bloom constantly and heavily. Some columneas are cascading with softer stems, other grow more shrubby and have more rigid stems and upright habit. Some have tiny leaves, other large, some are hairy others glossy and so on. The flowers range from yellow, orange, red, and any type of marking in between, some cultivars have pink flowers. The strange shape of the flowers are why those plants are commonly called “flying goldfish plant”, “dancing dolphins” or “shark plant”.Columnea melissa

On general columneas are epiphytic plants, and like orchids, require very well draining , open medium, higher humidity, and like to be kept lightly moist with very slight drying out between watering. Some varieties are more tolerant to drying out. They generally prefer warm environment, though some are high altitude plants that require lower temperatures. The seasonal bloomers sometimes require colder periods of time to promote blooming.Columnea melissa

Columnea ‘Melissa’ is an excellent hybrid, very easy to grow, and starts blooming very early and profusely. It has somewhat more rigid stems medium sized leaves and very large flowers. It’s quite tolerant of a bit of neglect, and if grown from cutting, it takes only a few months to have it start blooming.

Requirements:

Watering needs:

Medium watering needs. Allow the plant to slightly dry out between watering it in the winter, and try to keep it evenly and lightly moist during the summer. Grows wonderfully with hygrolon strip though the medium to keep constant moisture in the soil without letting it get soggy. If you overdry out plant, don’t overwater it right after (though usually that’s fine for other pants), as it most likely will rot your columnea, rather water it slightly and slightly increase the watering.

Light:

Part shade, though  it can take higher light if slowly accustomed to it. You can grow this plant on south/west/east window and even a north window, though it will reduce the flowering and make the growth leggy. Allow for plenty of light to get the maximum out of your plant. You can also grow under artificial light.

Humidity:

Columnea MelissaColumnea ‘Melissa’ is not very needy as some other columneas, or columea species. It can tolerate lower humidity. Don’t directly spray the leaves though to avoid wilt spots. Humidity trays will help you plant look its best. Very low humidity will make your leaves dry at the edges.

 

 

Soil Type and Fertilizer:

Make sure your soil is very well drained. I sometimes add orchid potting mix (little chunks of wood) to the bottom of the pot, and a bit throughout the medium, quite a bit of per-lite, and either african violet soil or peat moss and maybe a bit of regular soil. Columneas don’t mid underpotting, and they seem to flower more when potbound. I use african violet fertilizer, though orchid fertilizer might work just as well. Fertilize more during spring and summer when the plant is growing rapidly. Columnea ‘Melissa’ is quite a rapid grower.

Propagation:

Colmuneas are very easy to propagate though cuttings. I root the cuttings in moist soil and an enclosed environment to keep the humidity high (either a glass bowl, in a ziplock bag, or a pot wrapped with a plastic bag).

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 
Columnea MelissaMake sure you don’t over dry your plant as recovery will be difficult. Trimming will help maintain shape and create a fuller specimen. Columnea ‘Melissa’ is a wonderful plant to have. It will be perfect for hanging baskets, even though it has more of a bushy growth habit. Very easy and fun to propagate, since it starts blooming almost right away. I highly recommend it! The flowers are quite spectacular and numerous, and it makes for quite a display!

Kohleria ‘Tropical Night’

kohleria tropical nightKohleria ‘Tropical Night’ is a very generous blooming kohleria. Like all kohlerias, it’s very easy to grow. It has dark foliage and smaller but numerous, very cute red fuzzy flowers. I love how cute and fuzzy this plant is.

It’s a relatively small plant, though it can grow pretty high. The flowers appear throughout the stem, though some kohlerias flower mostly at the top of the plant. I personally prefer the more uniform distribution of flowers as it gives the plant a wilder look.

Like all kohlerias, kohlera ‘Tropical Night’ has rhizomes and spreads quickly to fill up a pot. So if you accidentally dry it out, the plant can still re-sprout from the rhizomes. It has a wonderful overall growth is very balanced. The plant may need staking if you’d like to grow it taller.

This kohleria is very easy blooming, and to keep it blooming, just remove spent blooms, cut back any overgrowth or stake them, and it will reward you with never-ending array of intricate fuzzy flowers.Kohleria tropical night

Requirements:

Watering needs:

Kohleria ‘Tropical Night’ has medium watering needs. Getting the soil to slightly dry out between watering will do jut fine. Be careful not to overwater it as the plant can rot. This is a bigger problem than drying it out, since if the rhizomes are viable it can recover quickly from drought. If you overwater the plant, you might be able to rescue it by rooting less affected cuttings. One of the best ways to water it is by soaking the pot in water till moist, and then draining it thoughtfully. This doesn’t wash off or compress kohleria tropical nightthe soil.

Light:

Medium light, part shade to shade will work for this plant. Kohleria will flower even on a north facing window, but it can get quite leggy and in need of support if not enough light is provided.

 

Humidity:

Kohlerias like it warm and humid, thought do not spray the leaves directly as it will cause wilt spots on them. Humidity trays will work fine if you have a dry home environment, Kohlerias are not very fussy with their need for humidity, and will grow and flower at lower humidity levels as well.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:

I use african violet soil with extra per-lite to make it lighter and more aerated. You can also use regular soil mixed with equal parts peat moss and per-lite. I’ve noticed this plant doesn’t do very well if the soil gets compressed and hard. I use dilute african violet fertilizer for this plant from spring to fall.

Propagation:

Kohleria tropical night offshootVery easy to propagate. Kohlerias grow shootings readily, some more so than others. Kohleria ‘Tropical Night’ is no exception, though it doesn’t sprout offshoots as vigorously as some other kohlerias. You can always root cuttings, even a leaf, though it’s a lot easier and quicker to use an offshoot or a rhizome. Here is a picture of a offshoot that is flowering.

 

 

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

Kohleria tropical NIghtPinching off the top, and cutting back some old growth will help you kohleria look fuller and even flower more. If growth is leggy you might try increasing the light a bit more and maybe staking the stems for support.
This plant is very generous and aKohleria Tropical Night pleasure to grow at home. It looks very strange with it’s furry tubular flowers. I’ve always had a soft spot for kohlerias, and only a few so far haven’t been easy and constant bloomers for me. I love this hybrid’s contrasting leaves and overall dense and compact growth in my experience, though I’ve seen some ‘Tropical Night’ cultivars grow quite tall.

If you let the soil get copmacted and hard and don’t cut back some old leggy growth, or water the plant too little it may stop flowering, and go into a sort of state of dormancy. A repotting and some pruning back will help bring the kohleria to active growth and flowering. I have also noticed that if you spray it against bugs, the leafs will get burnt and a lot of the growth will die back. If you have your plant infected with pests it might be easier to just cut off all growth and re-pot the rhizomes in a fresh new pot.