Sinningia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae. There are about 65 species of tuberous, herbaceous perennials, all occurring in Central and South America, with the greatest concentration of species occurring in southern Brazil. Sinningia species often grow on rocks or cliffs and most are pollinated by hummingbirds or bees.
Growing Conditions and General Care
Sinningia grow from tubers, so there is seasonality to them. When the plant is actively growing, keep it lightly moist. When the foliage dies back, just mist the soil regularly to keep the tubers from drying out too much. Start your normal watering when new leaves start to show. As with most plants, Sinningias can survive a short drought, but they don’t recover from drowning. Use tepid water when watering. Nobody enjoys a cold shower. Water the soil, not the plant. Sinningias are prone to crown rot and gray mold which happens when the leaves stay wet. Do not let the plant sit in water, it must be well drained.
Sinningias are shade plants. They have the same light requirements as an African Violet. Morning or soft late afternoon light is best. That means an East, shaded West, or North-facing window. By all means, avoid direct sun during the harsh “skin cancer” hours of the day.
Regular meals during the growing season, please. When in leaf and bloom, fertilize every other watering. Use a fertilizer with a balanced formula ( 10-10-10 or 20-20-20) mixed at 1/2 the usual strength. You can try to encourage a second blooming by cutting the plant back to the first two leaves after it finishes blooming. When the leaves fall off, move the pot into a cool (58 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit / 14 to 18 degrees Celsius), dark place to rest.
Your plant is potted in a peat potting mix but any well draining, soil-less mix will be fine. Repot your Sinningia when new shoots appear. Increase the pot size only if you must and then by the smallest increment possible. Avoid deep pots, they will hold too much moisture. Moisten the mix prior to removing the plant from the old pot. It makes it easier to remove the plant without damage. Moisten the new mix before planting. Pot the Sinningia so that the mix is firmly in the pot but still airy. Remember to pot the plant so that the crown of leaves sits just above the potting mix surface.
Remove spent flowers. In particular, do not let spent blossoms drop onto the leaves and lay there. This will invite rot and disease. Remove old, yellowed, or unhealthy leaves. A clean plant is better able to remain pest and disease free. If you use anything to cut leaves or stems, please sterilize the instrument first.
Keep the plant in its comfort zone. It is happy in the temperature range between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 30 degrees Celsius). It is well suited to normal house temperatures.
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