Episcia question

korina(9b, Sunset 17)August 31, 2005

Hi. I have one Episcia, 'Silver Emblem', that someone *insisted* on including in a box. Well, it finally has its first very pretty flower with more to come.

The question is, I thought Episcias were supposed to make suckers on stolens? It has suckers, but they're directly on the main stem. So do I cut the suckers off to propagate it, or do I let them stay?


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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

There is no hard and fast rule. Stolons shoot out from the nodes with a plantlet on the ends. But, episcias also branch as well as grow a main stem with a terminal crown. You can't over propagate an episcia, from the standpoint of keeping your plant nice and compact and full. In the past I have often heard that the best plants come from stolons. But, I am finding that I get perfectly fine plants from rooting crowns or branches. Roots will emerge on episcias from anywhere on the stem, not just at the nodes. Often when a propagation gets leggy in a small pot I will roll it, to get a nice new plant. (Huh?) Rolling is a new term, which Rob of Rob's may have invented. But, it is pretty self descriptive. The plant is flexable, so you just unpot it and roll the root ball around (once or more) so that you can bury the stem up to the base of the crown of the top four or six leaves. I pinch off the leaves at nodes to be buried, and viola--a new plant. It then roots out from the buried stem and then you can repot again (or again and again as it grows and changes). During the growing season you can work with episcias by rerooting, rolling, etc. until you get the plant you want. I don't want huge plants, so my ideal is to get a nice crown of four large flat leaves rising on a short stem from the soil, in a pot not larger than 5" diameter. When I grow episcias under domes the stolons put out roots from the new growths, so that when I remove them and pot them up, I have an instant new plant. I'm always propagating my episcias as its the only way to keep them small. At last weekend's San Francisco show I brought in quite a few episcias and most sold, raising lots of money for the club.

The alternative to my methodology is to leave the plant alone and let it grow out into a bigger specimen with any number of crowns and stolons. That can make a spectacular specimen, but I usually end up with a much less ideal situation. Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 12:36PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

As always, Jon, a veritable font of information! Thanks. Fortunately for me, my Episcia seems to be pretty small. I'm hoping hard that it will stay that way.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 2:18PM
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Hi Korina,

Episcia appears to know the limits of its growing space. I grow mine in 2ft plastic fishtanks and 3in plastic pots and my Episcia stay small. I guess the pot size has a significant impact on their attainable size.

As for root formation, if your enclosure is humid enough, you will often get a generous growth of aerial roots. The stolons and stem of the parent plant will sprout roots in mid-air!

As to your question, I would suggest that you allow the suckers grow a little larger, once they have attain a size that they can grow independently, cut them off and root them in a separate pot. This is because the suckers as they get larger can actually distort the shape of the mother plant.

Hope that helps,

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 6:49PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Thanks Wilson. Um, enclosure? It's sitting on capillary matting with some of my mini AVs; it seems happy. The humidity around here is pretty severe (averaging around 70-90%), only the temps are a bit cool (60's in the summer).


    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 1:13PM
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gaylemuchowski(z5 ONT)

I am a casual observer of this forum, and you have given me a great way to fix my 'leggy' episcias. I have four rather 'leggy' plants in a pot which I am going to separate and 'roll' them into new pots. Thanks for the great idea! (I love these forums - I always learn something new)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 9:23AM
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Hello, I had a gorgeous Episcia last year but my cat ripped it too pieces. Cat is gone and I want another one. Before cat, mine grew to about 2-3 feet and was constantly blooming year round. Where can I purchase this plant? My local nurseries don't have them.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 11:34PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Sandi -

why didn't you restart your old plant when cat tore it? They are so easy to root - any tip cutting would root if covered. And they grow so fast - especially because you seem to have "the touch".

There are plenty of places where you can order episcias = but you need to wait until it get warmer - they are very sensitive to cold.

My cat just dropped 2 pots from the window...Why he needed to squeeze his way between the window and the pots - I do not know... Lots of dirt and broken stems. Will repot and repair the mess on Saturday.


Here is a link that might be useful: one of the good places to order episcias

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 1:18PM
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sandis(z6 East Tn)

Irina, I did start new cuttings from the broken pieces but cat would destroy them too. I finally gave up. Now that I don't have a cat, I want to start with these beautiful plants again. Mine grew soooo fast. I had it hanging from a south window over my kitchen sink. It grew so long that sometimes it tried to take a bath in my dish water. ;) Thanks for your reply/


    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 3:03PM
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