How do you pronounce the name of the association?
The accentuation should be on the first "a": Ges-neri-á-sterna,
with a shortlyaccentuated a in the middle of the name. The association
has taken its name from the plant family Gesneriacea.
What is vermiculit and perlit and where can you get it?
Vermiculit is a light brown mineral product attracting moisture. It makes
the soil airy and damp. Vermiculit is excellent for growing seeds and plant
cuttings. Perlit is a white vulcanic glass that is used to make the soil
porous. You can buy the soil improving materials in 200 litre sacks at
Granngården (former Lantmännen and Odal butik). Smaller quantities (3 to
5 litres) can be bought from the association at fairs and exhibitions or
at well-assorted gardening stores.
What is a rhizome?
A rhizome is a earth stem. Among the Copperleafs and the Eucodonia, the
rhizomes look like small cones, whereas they among the Fool's hoods look
more like earthworms, sometimes appearing in an impressing quantity. Every
small scale on a rhizome can develop into a new plant and if the rhizome breaks,
a new sprout comes from every part.
Why do the plants suddenly wither?
Many species in the Gesneriacea family has a natural resting period in the
winter. Examples are Fool's hoods, Diastema, Smithiantha and Eucodonia, who all
of them form rhizomes and Sinningia, who forms bumps. During the growing period
the plants collect energy that is stored in the bumps or rhizomes. When the days
are getting shorter in Autumn, the plants prepare to go to rest. The same thing
can happen if the plants are attacked by vermins or if they during some time have
got less water than they need. It is a completely natural many plats need to rest
to return the next year.
How do you let the bumps and rhizomes spend the winter?
Fool's hood, Sinningia, Smithiantha, Copperleafs etc. are tropical plants and
should spend the winter in room temperature. A practical and space-saving way to
take care of rhizomes and bumps is to gather them and store them in plastic bags
together with vermiculit in a closet. Look after them sometimes, so they do not
dry or have started to grow. Mini-Sinningias often have no definite resting
period, so they can start to sprout pretty soon. If the soil isn't bad, the bump
could be left in the pot and you are careful with the watering until the bump sprouts
Why don't I find any rhizomes or bumps in the pot when the plant has withered?
The reason could be that the plant does not belong to a rhizome-forming species.
Most gesneriads have ordinary roots and if they wither, they can be considered
dead. There are also species and hybrids of for example Fool's hoods and Sinningia
who never or seldom form rhizomes, despite that they belong to a rhizome-forming
species. It is a matter of getting to know your plants!
When you buy or exchange plants you should ask about this, to avoid an unpleasant
surprise. If a newly planted cutting withers, it might not have had time to form a rhizome.
But you should look carefully in the pot, because gesneriads have an enormous growing force
and with love and care you can sometimes make a rhizome small like a pin head to sprout!
My plants have got vermins. What should I do?
Read the article about vermins that you can find in our article archive.
How do you make the seeds sprout?
Read the article about seed cultivation in pur article archive.
Does Gloxinia form bumps or rhizomes?
It depends on what you mean? The plant having the swedish name Gloxinia is a bump-forming
plant with the latin name Sinningia. But in the Gesneriacea family there is also a species
with the latin name Gloxinia, and it is rhizome-forming species. So there is a confusion of names.
Where can you look at Gloxinia-plants?
Uppsala Botaniska Trädgård has a fine collection of different gloxinia-plants, showing the
multitude of the plant family. Among other things they have a collection of African Violet species,
i.e. wild African Violets. In the Begonia room there are large examples of different hanging flowers
like "Myrranka", "Ampelfackla" och "Eldsranka". Furthermore you can usually find flowering Chiritas,
Gloxinias and Fool's hoods.
Where can I meet you?
We participate in different gardening shows, for example at Älvsjö, Sofiero and Umeå.
Furthermore we try to attend different garndeing events like "Blom-Mors dag" at Uppsala Botaniska
Trädgård and open house at Bergianska Trädgården in Stockholm. Members throughout the country
arrange local meetings and exchange plants with each other. In the calendar and in the
magazine GESNERIASTNYTT you can find where we turn up next.