Gesneriads, Begonias and other houseplants
Saintpaulia, Primulina (Chirita) and Alsobia (Episcia)
Adequate light is very important for abundant bloom. Use a good peat based potting compost. They require a bright position but not in direct sunlight. When watering use water at room temperature and only water when the surface of the compost is dry to the touch. Watering can be from the top or the bottom, but avoid splashing the leaves and do not allow plants to stand in water. The ideal temperature range is 18-25°C (65-80°F). Once the plants are established, feed when you are watering with a high potash feed. Remove dead leaves and flowers.
xAchidonia, xAchimenantha, Achminene, Kohleria, Sinningia and Smithiantha
Let soil become slightly dry between watering. Use a good peat or fibre based potting compost. Feed regularly with a high potash feed when watering. Plants require a bright position to promote compact growth and flowering. They require a minimum temperature of 15°C (60°F). The plants will die back in the winter and there will be several long rhizomes in the compost (except Sinningia where there will be a corm) which, if kept, can be replanted the following spring.
Aeschynanthus, Codonanthe, xCodonatanthus, Columnea and Nematanthus
These are easily grown plants, ideal for the house. They like a humid atmosphere in a bright position out of direct sunlight and an occasional misting will help. Pot into a peat beased compost and feed with a high potash feed when watering. Do not over water and water when the surface of the compost is fry to touch. They require a temperature of at least 10°C (50°F). Keep on the dry side during winter.
Begonias make excellent foliage house plants. They do not tolerate direct sun and should be given shade to prevent leaf scorch. To obtain the best foliage colour, red leaf varieties should be grown in bright light and a lower light intensity will often enhance silver leaf types. A minimum temperature of 15°C (60°F) is required and given these conditions the plants will provide a colourful display for many years. While the plants are actively growing, the compost should be kept moist and after approximately a month, start to feed regularly with a liquid house plant ferteliser. Take care to avoid over-watering as wet compost can lead to rotting.
Our named varieties of Coleus (correctly now known as Solenostemon) are chosen for their splendid colour and variety. Water frequently so that the compost is always moist. Less water in winter. Feed regularly with a balanced house plant food. Place in strong light with some shading from strong overhead summer sun, which may burn leaves. Temperatures should not fall below 10°C (50°F). For plants to keep their colour and not to grow too tall and leggy, regularly pinch out the growing tips and remove any flowers. They will survive the winter with reduced watering and can be cut back and re-potted in spring.
Known as the ‘Parrot Plant’, this is an exceptionally bizarre and easy to grow plant. Pinch out growing tips to encourage side shoots. A bright position out of full summer sun is required. Feed and water the plants regularly during spring and summer with a well balanced fertilizer. In winter reduce water but ensure the plants receive as much light as possibly. Minimum temperature 10°C (50°F).