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How to Grow Tree Gloxinia — Kohleria

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Kohleria, also called tree gloxinia, is a topical flowering plant with attractive velvety foliage. Tubular or bell-shaped red flowers appear mostly from summer through fall. With the proper conditions, Kohleria can bloom year-round.

Kohleria can be trained upright or grown as a trailing plant in a hanging basket.

Get to know Kohleria

  • Plant type: Tropical perennial
  • Growing Zones and range: 11-12
  • Hardiness: Tender; average household temperatures
  • Height and width: 1 to 4 feet (.3-1.2m) tall; can trail
  • Foliage: Velvety dark green foliage is fuzzy with a purplish pattern
  • Flowers: Tubular or bell-shaped flowers in shades of pink, red, orange, or white; flat lobed flowers with dot-like markings
  • Bloom time: Summer through fall
  • Uses: Houseplant
  • Botanical name: Kohleria
  • Common name: Tree gloxinia
Kohleria flowers
Kohleria flowers

Where to plant Kohleria

  • Grow Kohleria in bright light with direct, early morning sun from eastern exposure; grows well under artificial light needing 14 to 16 hours daily.
  • Plant in average potting soil.

How to water and feed Kohleria

  • Keep the soil evenly moist; mist twice daily; best at 50 percent humidity.
  • Fertilize every 3 weeks with mild, all-purpose fertilizer during the active growing period. Do not fertilize during the dormant period.

Kohleria care

  • Each spring, separate rhizome clusters and repot.
  • Prune in spring if needed.
  • Kohleria is susceptible to aphids, mealybugs, scale, powdery mildew, and root or crown rot.
  • Plants grown under artificial light will not go dormant; dormant plants should be kept at 50° to 60° F (10° -16° C)

Kohleria propagation

  • Propagate by rhizome division, tip cuttings taken in spring, or seeds.

Kohleria varieties to grow

  • Kohleria amabilis has dark green leaves and silver markings with rosy flowers.
  • K. bogotensis grow 24 inches tall with dark green leaves and white markings; flowers are yellow with red spots.
  • K. digitaliflora bears white flowers flushed with rose.
  • K. eriantha has leaves edged with red and white hairs and orange-red flowers.
  • K. hirsuta has soft-haired leaves and orange-red flowers.
  • K. lindeniana has white flowers with purple markings.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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