Kohleria ‘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’ 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 the soil.
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.
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.
Very 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:
Pinching 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 a 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.