gloxinia seed germination

rredbbeard(SE CT USA/zone 6)October 5, 2004

I have been experimenting for the first time with planting gesneriad seed, had some interesting results and would like to hear from others.

I prepared two jars with regular 'sterile' seedling mix from the store, and one of these I sterilized in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. The medium in both jars was otherwise identical, and had been treated with a mild fertilizer. After surface sowing the seed, the jars were sealed and placed under flourescent lights.

Here's the interesting part that I would like some comment on: The non-sterilized jar germinated abundantly, about 10-14 days sooner than the sterilized jar. After the sterilized jar finally germinated, it quickly outpaced the other jar, which appears stunted in comparison. Has anyone else seen results like this? I am prone to usuing the sealed jar method/sterilization because I also work with orchid seed.

Here's a pic of the two...


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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

Rick you forgot the pic ;)

I don't know what happened for you. I start seeds using my mix of equal parts perlite, vermiculite and peat moss (Canadian sphagnum peat), which I moisten and then sterilize by cooking in the oven at a low temperature (approx. 170 F) for about three hours. After that I store the mix in a covered container until I have some seeds to plant. My mix will last in fine condition for at least two or three years. By cooking it that long I no longer get growth of algae or liverworts besides not getting other fungal problems. If by some accident I do get a fungus like damping off or that white fuzz I will spray with an anti-fungal like tinactin.

I always thoroughly wet my mix before scattering seeds. I use regular pots so that I can run the water through until the mix is totally saturated. Then I scatter seeds on the surface, label the pot and enclose in a ziplock bag and put under lights. I don't feed until after germination but I think your method of putting a weak fertilizer solution in the soil first is a good idea. If I don't feed my seedlings will not grow. They will even turn totally white if I leave them for several months. Once I feed them they turn green and start growing.

Dale Martens, who posts on the AGGS message board and is active in AGGS, is a big advocate of transplanting seedlings early and often. She believes that disturbing tiny seedlings actually sppeds up their growth.

Gloxinias are very easy to grow from seed or from cuttings of stems, leaves, and even spent flower pedicels. But, they need good strong light to prevent stretching.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2004 at 3:48PM
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i want to plant gloxinia seeds. what is the best temperature for gloxinia seeds germination ?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 8:14AM
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rredbbeard(SE CT USA/zone 6)

I would suggest the same warm temperatures and conditions as for african violets.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 2:29PM
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Hi im new to garden web,i've been raising gloxinias for years from leaves that way i know what color it is,what i want to know is how do you get double blossoms and variegated also what is spent flower stems?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:17AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Lady -

you get double blossoms from double blossom seeds - I think they sell them on ebay - or you try to look for starters in the same place ( Sinningia speciosa is a correct name of florist gloxinia so look for both). check, I think they had some amazing varieties for sale recently.

I didn't try starting sinningias from pedicels (bloomstalks) - I did it with AVs - and you remove the flower and plant the stalk. It works if you have good size leaflets on the stalk just before the stalk starts branching into little stems with flowers. Do not remember seeing any leaflets on S. speciosas, but you can always try to stick them in a soil under the baggie. Jon knows everything about Sinnigias, that is a given.


Here is a link that might be useful: violet barn sinningias

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:00PM
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Thanks Irina for the tip looked on the violetbarn web site yes thats what im looking for i'll send them an email.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 6:14PM
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Hi Irina, Just to let you know only sells plants not seeds,I'll keep looking thanks anyway.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 10:21AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Mary - keep en eye on ebay!

Why do you insist on seeds, by the way? You get from VB a named variety, guaranteed to bloom right, more of it - guaranteed to bloom this year, not next.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 3:51PM
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I have never tryed seeds thought it would be fun,and because i can't find veriegated or double blossom gloxinias plants i thought i would get some with seeds.I talked to someone about ebay he said the seed weren't good. What is VB? Mary

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 5:29PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Violet Barn.

Gesneriad seeds are miniscule, should be seeded on the surface of the soil in a covered transparent container, shouldn't be top covered at all. Light stimulates their awakening, seedlings are extremely small and weak at the beginning. The seeds should be kept in a fridge, year old seeds will lose most of their ability to grow if not kept in a cold, and older seeds are probably not viable.

I woud think it is nice what somebody else made the crosses, picked the best out of hundreds of seedlings, gave it a name - and now you can buy a cream of the crop propagated from cuttings, instead of going through above mentioned experience. Hybrid varieties do not reproduce exactly from seeds - so you will get some kind of other hybrids from their cross that can be interesting or not.

Like if I want to grow zukkini - I would buy seeds and get tons of zuks, but when I collected the seeds from zuks - I got something else I couldn't cut with a knife and they were pear shaped - my best guess - bees visited pumpkin flowers first.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 4:43PM
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