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Sinningia Basics??

Posted by Jane_in_Bristol (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 27, 02 at 15:45

Hi, well, I posted on the houseplant forum, and was SURPRISED to see... Gesneriad forum! Who knew? Cool!

Anyhow, I have my first Sinningias, which I found out by accident had tubers! Neat! But now, I don't know if they need a period of dormancy, and whether, (or how) I should "force" them into dormancy. In the heat and my own neglect at the end of the summer, they had a period of dormancy where they at first languished, and then looked dead, but got watered on occasion only because they were in the same long tray as an AV, and I was too lazy to "clean them up". Then, they completely surprised me by growing again once the weather turned cooler. I've repotted them into little clay pots, moved the AV elsewhere because there wasn't room, and converted their shared tray into a "pebble tray" for humidity.

I have S. 'Apricot Dream' , S. 'Silhouette' and S. 'April Star' x self, all of which I got last spring at a combined plant sales from the local AGGS chapter.

Jon has been nice enough to comment over on the HP forum, and discussed the exposure of the tuber in the larger species, but now I'm feeling daunted by the question of dormancy.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
-Jane


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Jane,
It's best to allow them to go through a resting period once they flower. They'll begin to look a little ragged anyway. I remove the growth and store them in a cool dark place for 3-4 months. Most times they'll start regrowing on their own or you can just start watering them again and they'll sprout new growth. I water them a little about once a month during this period.


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Jane, I have not found dormancy necessary for the mini sins. I just remove spent crowns which allows new ones to develope. When they revert to dormancy on their own, I use the same method that Penny described.
Jude


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Ditto on the mini sinningias. Most of them do not go dormant. You will see new growth coming from the tuber before the old growth is gone.

I was growing my sinningias in an enclosed container. Now I'm growing them in the open, like all other plants but they are wicked. They appreciate being wicked much better than growing in the enclosed atmosphere. No blooms growing in the enclosure and loads of buds from the short time they have been wicked.

They like the same bright light AV's like but a little longer time-wise and warmth.

Enjoy, Kathy


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Thank you all very much for the info!

Kathy, with your suggestion of wicking, I think I may transfer them in the spring (I just repotted them, so want to let them recover for a bit) to some of those 2-part AV pots, with the porus clay liner within the glazed outer pot, that one keeps with water.

Will they only have one stem or crown at a time? Or, when they get more mature (if I'm so lucky, LOL!) will they get multiple "heads"?? Will they achieve AV size, or never get that large? So much to learn!

Thanks very much for your input!
-Jane


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Actually Jane, I rearranged my sinns in the enclosure (similar to repotting), they languished. Then no more than two months later I potted them up and wicked them. Again, they seemed to forgo the extra humidity in favor of the wick watering and the potting up didnt seem to bother them at all. (I use one part peat moss, one part vermiculite and two parts perlite to wick)

As for size of plants,I'll let someone else answer that one. there are many different sizes of sinns but I'm not sure how big the biggest are.

Kathy


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Thanks, Kathy.... OK, so Wicking is the top priority then! I'll add some extra perlite to the mix I have, to mimick your ratios.

Thanks for all the great info here! I guess it was rather dumb luck that they did well in my window last spring and summer, and now I'm actually having to pay attention to these guys! Cute little things!

Again, thanks for all the great information!
-Jane


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

  • Posted by Jon_D Northern Calif. (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 3, 02 at 15:16

Mini sinningias don't need wicking to do well. They can be grown on a windowsill just like any other plant. But, wicking does work and is used by many growers--it allows the plant to stay evenly moist. But, they can dry a little bit without going into shock, wilt, or dormancy. Mini sinns were the most popular gesneriads twenty years ago; but nowadays people like to grow a little of everything.


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Jane, you asked about the size. I have the little micro minnis like S. pusilla, and 'White Sprite', they get about the size of a quarter. The mini sinns are like mini sized violets. Some grow one crown at a time with little starts waiting their turn and some, like 'Freckles' and 'Tinkerbell', have several crowns blooming at a time. Then there are compact and large growing sinns but generaly not any larger than AV's. Only sometimes taller.
Jude


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Where can I buy sinningias? I had some about 10 years ago and now I never see them for sale anywhere and I don't remember (senior moment?) where the original plants were bought. I seem to remember one with pink blooms and one with purple. Funny story, every year for 3 years running I would get lightning bugs in the house and they loved the sinningias! Once I noticed little tiny seedlings growing and a few months later unpotted this plant and discovered that the seedlings had teensy tiny bulbs! I potted them up and gave them to coworkers.


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Tiarella, I grow alot of my sinns from AGGS seed fund seeds. But you do have to be a member to buy them. Other than that I've gotten them from Marcia Belisle in Wisc. (mail order) She's listed in the AV magazine.
Jude


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Tiarella, there are several places that have websites, as well. Use a search engine like Google or Yahoo to find the links to the websites, if I don't have them here.

Logees (www.logees.com, I think)
Kartuz Greenhouses (www.kartuz.com will take you there)
Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses (www.lyndonlyon.com, there may be an "s" after l-y-o-n )
Lauray's of Salisbury (http://lauray.com, that's right, no "www" part)
Rob's Violets (more than just violets)
Pat's Pets

I'm sure there are others I'm leaving out.
Happy Hunting!
-Jane


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

  • Posted by Jon_D Northern Calif. (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 5, 02 at 15:14

In New Jersey the best source would be the members of Freilinghausen (or however it is spelled) Gesneriad Society that meets at the above named botanical garden in Morristown. They hosted the AGGS convention last July and are the worlds best gesneriad propagators. So, their chapter plant sales as well as the plants available at their general meetings would be most fantastic. I am sure there are members who specialize in the minis, and would be happy to share starts. Some of their members also propagate for the Greater New York chapter, which meets in Manhattan, so the plant offerings at that clubs meetings are also awesome. Marcia Belisle does offer the largest selection of minis. Being in Northern Wisconsin I believe she is probably not shipping now, but this would be a good time to get an order in, so she could propagate them for spring.

On the scene now is the new species, related to pusilla but, with brown and green patterned foliage and differently patterned flowers--called 'Rio de las P--?'--oops I can't remember the name! Anyway, I have seen the tiny flowering seedlings and their are really cute--AND TINY--same size as pusilla. Many are now growing seedlings from the first seed offering, which was at last July's AGGS convention, so it should be soon readily available from mail order gessie types.


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Could it be 'Rio de las Piedras'? I'm not familiar with the plant, but by the description it would make sense.


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

  • Posted by Jon_D Northern Calif. (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 6, 02 at 14:34

Thanks Jen, that is indeed the name, as well as the place where it was discovered. By the way, the tiny plants were found growing on a vertical moss covered cliff, in shade. I imagine water was dripping down the surface to keep these little guys happy. This is the first time a pusilla like species has been found since they were originally introduced from somewhere in the Rio area.


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Jane,
There are varying sizes to sinningia. Here in SoCal S. tubiflora is a 'vigurous' grower over 2' tall. Great garden plant if you have an area you want to fill quickly.
I am only familiar with Apricot Beauty from your list. It is a tubiflora hybrid and should be nearly as tall and somewhat fragrant. I am going to be trying this one outside here this next summer. I am hoping for the best. I have many sinningias growing outside with the largest being my HUGE bulbs of S. sellovii that are over 15' across. They grow up to 2 1/2' tall and are still in bloom. They have flowered for me all summer and have just started to sent out a large flush of new spikes. Not too bad, huh? I am hoping to get cuttings from it but every time I want to take a cutting, it seems to have already formed a spike. I don't want to cut those but they may have to be sacrificed if it doesn't stop blooming.
As far as sources, one other source I should list is www.yuccado.com. They have S. 'Tante' which is another tubiflora hybrid. I purchased several of these also to try as garden plants. Time will tell. In our climate, tubiflora goes semi-dormant, mostly dying back on the flowering stems with only a few non-flowering stems left above ground. So far, Tante and Apricot Beauty don't seem to be interested in dormancy but the temps here have been unusually warm for this time of year. We are just now starting to cool off but night temps are still in the 40's and 50's with days in the 60's and 70's (perfect weather for our orchids, cymbidiums, to flower).

John Ingram

Here is a link that might be useful: Yucca Do's Web Page


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Hi John,

thanks for the info! Your Apricot Beauty sure sounds like a beauty! I have 'Apricot Dream", which, unless misnamed, is one of the minis. Mine is more like 2", not two feet, LOL! Hmmm, but now you have me thinking (and desiring...) in a whole different size category!

Wow, there is so much to learn!
-Jane


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Jane, I'd say we do have completely different plants. The link below has some great info on all things gesneriad. Great photo gallery. There are pictures of the Apricot Beauty.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Gesneriad Reference Web


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

This is a good thread. How about putting it in a FAQ? I wanted some basic tips and this was on the last page and I wouldn't have been able to see it after a few more new posts.

When people talk about putting their houseplants in "a cool dark place", what place is this, really? I don't think there is really a place in my apt. like this. By dark do you mean in the closet where there is no light at all? cuz I could do that. Or do you mean "dim", like a dark corner of a room. And I don't know about the cool thing. What temp is "cool"? I live here and I don't want to be cold so all of my apt. has some min temp.

One more question about size. I never see these really tiny ones you guys have in the big chain stores. They always have just two sizes. Do you know what I mean? What are those two sizes? Standard and large? Small and medium?


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

I don't think you'll ever find the minis in the big stores, they're too fragile for trucking around. Really need to go to one (or many) of the sites mentioned, and as Jon says Marcia Belisle has the largest number as she's hybridizing them and collecting from others for her hybridizing. She doesn't have a web site but she has an e-mail address and will send you a catalog. It's a shame a wider variety isn't more available; S. tubiflora, for instance, is reputedly hardy to z7 and likes full sun--and is fragrant!--so a lot more people could grow it if they knew about it and it was more available. Makes about a bushel of tubers too. Gotta try more of them myself as I get more information here! (I've killed a lot!)


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Wow, I didn't even know this thread was "still alive", LOL!

No, these were NOT from a store.... this was a show and sale run by the Gesneriad Society...... small plants, from offsets or seeds, grown by fellow AGGS members. I think a few "commercial" growers do grow them, but I would never expect to see them in any quantity, or in any generalist store. I agree, Greenelbows..... I want to chekc out Belisles, too!

thanks for resurrecting this thread... I had meant to save it, but never got around to it, so now I have a second chance, and its good timing to get a "refresher" on their care!
-Jane


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Is Sinningia Speciosa the same type plant-just larger? I just bought 2 of them in 4.5 containers at Lowe's. I've just gotten interested in chirita, espiscia and now sinningia. I guess "Florist Gloxinia" is their nickname. I'm hoping their care is the same as african violets.


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Hi Susan,

It is basically the same care that you would give a violet. I find though for myself that they need a little more light or they will run. Even in the thin air in Denver I put them in direct sunlight in a South window.

Larry


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RE: An Addiction in the making??

Hi Susan,

Chiritas, espiscias and now sinningias. It sure seems like you have gotten the gesnariad bug. They sure are addicting. I hope you are having fun with your new obsession! Remember, no 12-step for gesnariads.

Larry


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RE: Sinningia Basics??

Yes, Larry, I'm moving away from my previous hoya addiction since I've discovered variegated leaves on large AV's and also found trailing AV's. I wonder why these haven't become popular in the big box stores. I had never seen a variegated leaf violet until I visited a specialty store last year. I'm sure these would sell like crazy in chain stores. Also, had never heard of trailing AV's until I began visiting these forums. What a secret!!! I've also preferred plants with glossy leaves b4 but have started taking a second look at the gesneriad world and their lovely leaves.

Susan


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