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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Thursday - October 01, 2015

From: Arlington , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Florist Gloxinia Care
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Got a florist gloxinia and it was doing great for months. Went on vacation and returned; it was wilted. Think son watered it too much. Allowed it to dry. It has some new leaves forming on the very leggy stems now. I removed wilted green leaves and repotted, but I am now wondering if I should have cut stems off. Please advise. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Florist Gloxinias are outside the scope of Mr. Smarty Plants as we promote and answer questions on native plants, but having grown non-native indoor plants such as this plant, here's some advice.

Florist Gloxinias grow from an underground tuber and perhaps now is a great time to let the plant rest. This plant needs a period of dormancy to prepare it for blooming again. It will naturally start to decline (leaves yellow and growth stop) later in October/November. So reduce watering and cut off the stems and leaves. Put the plant in an area about 55 degrees F and let it rest. Check on the plant about every 3-4 weeks to see if any new growth as started. Once new leaves start to form, move it back to a warmer and brighter location and start watering it regularly. You can also repot it once new growth starts if needed.

The Grow Notes website has some good information about growing Florist Gloxinia if you want more details.

 

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