Gloxinias grow from tubers which look like a bit like begonia tubers. They are rounded, brown in colour and have a concave side and a convex side. The concave side is the upper side, so this is the side which should be facing upwards when. It isn’t always possible to tell which side is the upper side, so in these instances it’s perfectly fine to plant the tuber on its side and it will correct itself as it starts to grow.
Here are some simple steps to help you get started:
- On arrival, remove the tubers from the packaging and give them a soak in water for 2-3 hours. Doing this will rehydrate them and wake them up;
- While your tubers are soaking, prepare your pots. Pots which are around 12cm in diameter across the top are just right for one tuber. You can position more tubers in larger pots if you prefer, at a spacing of around 10-15cm between the tubers;
- Choose a good quality multipurpose compost or house-plant compost and half fill your pots;
- Position the tuber on the surface of the compost with the concave side facing upwards, or on its side if it’s difficult to tell the top from the bottom;
- Fill the remaining space in each pot with more compost and gently firm down, leaving a 1cm ‘lip’ at the top of the pot;
- Water your tubers in after planting. Gloxinias don’t like to sit in soggy soil, so do let the excess water drain out of the bottom before putting the pot on a tray or in a water-tight outer container;
- Position your planted pots in a space which receives plenty of daylight, but out of direct sunlight (they can get too hot on a windowsill which is in full sun all day);
- Water them lightly whenever the soil is dry.
Spring-planted Gloxinias will produce foliage within the first month or so and are normally in bloom by the summer.