|Sinningia 'Peridots Sand Pebbles'|
A few weeks ago, at the African violet meeting I attended, we learned about gesneriads other than African violets. Many of these plants are grown more often for their fabulous foliage rather than their flowers. The flowers are gorgeous, but many are just not that floriferous.
|Sinningia 'Peridots Sand Pebbles' tuber|
|Sinningia 'Peridots Darth Vader'|
|Sinningia 'Merry Christmas'|
Petrocosmea are beautiful symmetrically growing gesneriads. To me they look like water lilies. They do flower, but it wouldn't matter to me if they didn't. The flowers resemble those of wild violets, but with better foliage. The leaves overlap each other and the entire plant is very flat. These plants can be placed at the end of the light tubes needing less light, and on the lowest level, where it is cooler.
|Streptocarpus 'Brooklin's Bubble Gum'|
|This Streptocarpus flower resembles a pansy.|
|Episcia 'Lemon Zest'|
|Episcia 'Kee Wee'|
|Episcia 'Kee Wee' leaf|
|Kohleria 'Peridots Mango Martini'|
Kohlerias are grown from rhizomes. Bearded or German iris are also grown from rhizomes if that helps visualize it. These are planted horizontally, and the rhizomes or rootless stems send foliage up from the top and grow roots on the bottom side. Kohlerias can go dormant for a period of approximately 3 months and then start to grow again.
|Primulina (Chirita) 'Crossroads'|
Primulinas, formerly chiritas, are very easy plants to grow. I have found from first hand experience, that these plants are very adaptable. Mine is on the same light stand as my African violets and blooms well there. They can be grown at the end of the light tubes, as they need less light and on the bottom shelf, where it is cooler. Their thick, quilted leaves are quite beautiful and I've found them to be less demanding of water.
|Columnea 'Orange Prince'|
Columneas are beautiful plants, usually grown as hanging baskets. That is how this 'Light Prince' was growing when I purchased it. Read more about this particular plant here: http://www.houseplantguru.blogspot.com/2013/02/heres-to-you-fabio.html .
Whether you stick with the ever-popular African violet or venture into the world of its gesneriad cousins, I think you'll find these are an easy to grow group of plants. They ask for no more than bright light, consistent water, and regular fertilizer to keep them happy, blooming, and healthy. What more could you ask for?