Gloxinia Sylvatica Questions? Please...

puglvr1(9b central FL)April 14, 2008


I rescued a plant today, it was in very sad shape, looks like its been neglected for some time. It was very leggy with a lot of brown dead leaves, but yet showed some new growth starting at the tips on some of the branches. It was in a 5 gallon pot,asked the nursery lady what it was and was told it was a goldfish plant. I really thought it was because it did have one orange flower, and sort of resembled a small fish? Said if I wanted it for $2.00? Of course for that price, that's barely a cup of coffee...By the way when I got home, I saw a lable tucked in the back that said "Gloxinia Sylvatica". Since I have never owned a goldfish or one of these before I checked on line and of course the nursery was wrong, and it wasn't a goldfish plant, no surprise, LOL...By the way I was so excited as I have been looking for "goldfish Plant since I saw them here on this forum, *sigh*

I got home to check the roots( make sure that the roots wasn't rotting) and repot it in a nicer pot. The roots were very white and healthy, but definitely root bound. I untangled some of the circling roots, trimmed most of the leggy stems ( wanted a shorter more compact look). I added some fresh soil.

My guestions are, can I root these small branches that I pruned? Should I just stick it back in the soil to make a more compact plant or should I root it in water first? Also do they like it moist or rather on the dry side? Direct Sun or under a canopy of a tree(shade)? Also how cold can these plants take night time temps?

Sorry for the many questions, but I know this is the place to come for answers...Thanks so much!!

Here's a pic, to make sure the lable is correct...

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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

That one is supposed to be hardy at least for me, so also for you, but I've only had it from cuttings from a friend since this spring. It started easily in my regular AV-type potting soil--plenty of perlite for drainage--and one cutting even bloomed before I let it get too dry. It was quite recently re-classified from Gloxinia to Seemannia, and is rhizomatous, so it will go dormant in the winter I think. It'll spread out and make a nice patch fairly soon. I really think I'm going to like it a lot. Good luck with yours!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:22PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks greenelbows, Do you give yours any direct sun? I have potted it with lots of drainage. I went ahead and stuck the small branches that I pruned in some soil(same type). I had some extra and put several in a 6" pot to make a full pot. I guess I will water when slightly dry. I wonder if this will go dormant here in FL? Since you haven't had yours too long, and we have similar climate, I guess we will find out together.

Maybe someone out there that has had it a while can share their experience and needs. Appreciate it!!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 8:50AM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

Your plant will form long stringy rhizomes that produce fat scaly rhizomes at the tips--in the pot, out the bottom and dangling over the side! It may go dormant after forming rhizomes so don't give up on it--just keep it on the dry side and start watering regularly once you see new growth.

I saw a nice planting of this species (now Seemannia sylvatica) at Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Florida a couple of years ago. It was growing in full sun, but it was also winter--which seems to be when this species tends to bloom. I don't think it grows outdoors year-round there--I suspect Florida's summer heat would be too much for it--so you might be best growing it indoors and planting it out in fall for winter bloom.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seemannia sylvatica at Fairchild

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 10:28AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks johnnieb,

I appreciate the information and the link that you posted. What a beautiful plant especially when its blooming. Appreciate the "new" name its going by also. Maybe I can do more research under that name and see what comes up.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 8:19PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

My, that is gorgeous! I saw what I thought was a pretty amazingly beautiful plant early this spring, grown by the guy who manages the greenhouses for the local university. He asked me what it was and it occurs to me I should tell him the whole name--at that time I only knew it must be a Seemannia. It had been grown outside I guess in a pot, and he brought in for a meeting. He grows a lot of nice things, most of them very well. Sometimes they're experimental and turn out not to be suited for this climate. Very important information sometimes!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 1:14AM
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This plant has lots going for it - easy to propagate, beautiful foliage, and root hardy here in zone 7b (although we've had zone 8 winters for the last several years.) However, it never manages to bloom here because of its winter flowering cycle. I root small plants and bring them into the greenhouse for bloom beginning around Christmas (they make great little gifts, btw.) I wrote about the frustrations of growing this and other plants which are hardy, but can't survive frost to produce blooms, on the February 9 post to my blog - here's the url if you're interested:

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

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 4:01AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)


Thanks for that link...You sure have gorgeous plants, your garden is just beautiful. Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures.

Its funny I covered my Mango and Lychee trees with Christmas lights and frost cloth when we had a freeze here in Florida in Jan. I was awake almost the whole the night checking on them to make sure it didn't catch on fire. I know I'm paranoid, I'm sure it wasn't hot enough to cause fire, it was only (25) count C-7 lights. But I was still worried, LOL...

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 11:54AM
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