What to grow

gootziecat(6)March 25, 2007


I have discovered gesneriads and other neat houseplants only recently. Talk about a kid in the candy shop. However, I can't buy all of them and being unfamiliar with these plants, I'd like some advice. I'm interested in chirita, episcia and streptocarpus particularly. My house has a window with western exposure where now hangs spider plants. Espiscia would look stunning there. I have a sliding glass door, with an overhang and southern exposure, where the non-operating portion might be converted with a plant stand or small indoor greenhouse. Temps never get below 60. We usually run the a/c in the summer, but there are days, like today being unseasonably warm, where the windows are open and temps are in the low 80's. If the a/c or heat is running, temps are usually in the low to mid 70's. Can some one help guide me as to which of the above species might thrive for me?

Thank you.


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irina_co(z5 CO)

G. -

Aeschinanthus and nematanthus will work beautifully instead of the spider plants.

It can be too much light if it is direct western exposure for the rest of them. Episcia is very tender - so 60F is too low for it. Streps like low temps, but low 80s are too high for them, chiritas too like it cooler.

I think you can try them all but - I think the most critical factor is light. If it is a lot of light - you need to put sheer curtain between the plants and the glass.

You can try Kohleria - they have high light requirements and mostly quite tough. Look up Red Ryder Kohleria - they have huge flowers and the leaves are very attractive too.

Good luck


    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 8:48PM
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komi(z7/8 DC)

Irina is right of course. I would add that many of the Streps, chiritas and epicias may grow acceptably most of the year, and although you may find temp stress, it probably won't be bad enough that you would lose them. Your temps sound better than mine, and I grow some of all three. I am pushing the temps, though. You might try a couple of each.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 9:32AM
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Thanks for the input. I just ordered a couple of streps and I love chirita s. hisako so that'll probably be the next purchase. Aeschinanthus look interesting and some of the Epicas are gorgeous although I am concerned about them being a bit delicate. And oh, all those AV's. Sounds like I'm already in deep fertilizer.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 6:48PM
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