Habitat: Central and South America, rocky and dry habitats
Curiosity: Their name comes from Wihelm Sinning, (1794-1874) chief gardener at the University of Bonn.
Sinningias are plants belonging to the Gesneriaceae family. This genus groups a series of small plants equipped with a tuber or a caudex, no taller than 20-30 cm, with brightly colored bell-shaped flowers.
The caudex is an enlargement of the root or the basal part of the stem that serves to preserve nutrients and water: a remarkable evolutive device that makes plants much more resistant to adversities! It is usually present in species that live in environments with a pronounced difference between a dry and a rainy season.
The leaves are wide, flat, palmate or serrated and covered with a fluff which, in some species, can also be very thick and give a whitish appearance to the whole leaf. The edges can also be variously faded and dotted in white, pink, red, blue or purple.
The bell-shaped flowers are brightly colored in salmon, red, or yellow. In their natural environment they are pollinated mainly by hummingbirds, but also by bees and bats, depending on the species.
Sinningias are native to Central and South America: a high concentration of different species occurs in southern Brazil, where these plants grow among the rocks.
VARIETY AND TYPES
Here below are a few species of Sinningia: check our online store to find more ones!
- Sinningia bullata
- Sinningia cardinalis
TIPS FOR GROWING
Sinningia are not very difficult to grow: however, they do not adapt well to the warm-dry climate of the apartments. On the contrary, they give very good results when grown in greenhouses.
- They love direct exposure to sunlight but not during the hottest hours of the day.
- Being native to hot tropical climates, they should always be left at temperatures above 10°C.
- They prefer a light and well drained soil: a standard substrate for succulent plants will do well.
- Watering should be regular, but always wait for the soil to dry before each intervention.
- Fertilization, if possible, should be done once a month in spring and summer, using half of the doses recommended on the package and diluting the fertilizer in water.
- Repotting is necessary every 2-3 years; the plant has a rather slow growth rate and does not reach, however, large dimensions.
Propagation of Sinningias is done mainly by sowing. Sometimes it is possible to use stem cuttings.