Caring for Mini Sinningia

dave_in_virginia(z7a VA)January 12, 2009

I have two mini sinningia, S. Dollbaby and S. Leo, purchased from Albert Buell when he still had his greenhouse in Eastford, CT. These have been in 3" pots for years and not given any special treatment. Their tubers have grown to 1-1/2"x2-1/2" and 2"x3", respectively, and are healthy-looking and rot-free. However, neither plant grows very vigorously when they are actively growing, and only sprout from one central location on each tuber. Should I simply re-pot these and give them a little more TLC when they sprout in the spring, or would dividing the tubers perhaps re-invigorate them? Are there dormant eyes on the perimeter of the tuber that would sprout if first divided? Thanks.

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irina_co(z5 CO)

Dave - you are super sinningia grower!

Most of the time the buds are in the center - and if they die - you have a healthy tuber which never sprouts. I would cut the tip of new growth with 4 leaves and root it. And continue growing the mamas until they will be turnip size. You are going for the record!


    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 9:23PM
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I have several such plants which have been in the same pots for going on 20 years, and I agree with the above advice. The problem with repotting is that drainage is paramount when growing all Sinningias, and larger pots, which increase soil volume, create conditions in which the soil stays wet for too long and can rot the tuber. I think a cooler, drier rest period after the current flowering stem goes dormant naturally is the best way to reinvigorate these plants; I've grown hundreds from seed, so I've done lots of experimenting. I even treat a few dozen as "bedding out" bulbs in the summer, bringing them in after the first light frost and storing them in bags of nearly dry peat/vermiculite mix over the winter, just as I do with the larger S. tubiflora, S. selloviae, and related hybrids. They all seem to grow most vigorously in spring after a rest period.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 4:18AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Bubba -

we all would love to come and visit your personal sinningia paradise!


Especially in winter with all this snow...


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 8:23PM
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Thanks so much Irina - you'd be disappointed, I'm sure - it's a big mess right now, due to lack of time. And by the way, some snow would be welcome right now, since we have a forecast in the lower teens for the next two nights. I' know that's nothing to heartier Northern gardeners (and plants), but everything's relative; I spent my one half hour of gardening time yesterday wrapping palm trunks in polar fleece, while being unable to feel my fingers!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 4:22AM
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dave_in_virginia(z7a VA)

Thanks to you both. I'll follow Jeff's advice in the spring and see what happens. Right now, the tubers are resting in my (cool) sunroom, out of pots, washed clean and ready to go in the spring. When they start to sprout, I'll pot them up and see what happens.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 4:51PM
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Hi, how do I get to Bubba's site. can you send me a link please.
I thought I was 'bad' leaving a mini sin a same pot for 10years, but apart from being a bit yellow in the leaves it grew and flowered great.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:43PM
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Hi Dee-

It's just a blog I update fairly infrequently - here's the link:

Thanks for asking!


Here is a link that might be useful: Transitional Gardener Blog

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 4:08AM
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