As promised I will now try and tell you something about the Gloxinia.
But first things first: I want to inform you that the Dahlias are available again in our web shop. And of course, the Gloxinia, the Zantedeschia, the Begonias, and all other types of delicacies for the garden lover are available now as well.
Last week I told you that I do not really like getting on your nerves, but I really want to emphasize it again: the Dahlia is hot business. If you wait until the weather is nice again for you to work in the garden, there is a high probability that you will find the text ‘sold-out’ in a horrible orange text box underneath a lot of products.
‘Isn’t it wat too early for Dahlias?’ you may wonder. Well, that’s a valid question. The reason that we offer the Dahlia so early is because there are a lot of Dahlia lovers that want to grow them early and start them indoors. Yes, some people do that; you know those gardeners that always have their garden on top and where everything seems to grow and work out perfectly? yes exactly, those people.
But it sounds more complicated than it actually is, starting Dahlias indoors is quite easy. What you do is the following. You put a Dahlia tuber in a pot with some potting soil and place her somewhere with a lot of light and a temperature of around 15 degrees Celsius. Somewhat warmer or colder is also fine. Take a pot with some holes in the bottom so the excess water can exit the pot and keep the soil moist. You will see that soon enough the Dahlia will grow some roots and sprouts. In the end of April you place the pot outside, though not directly in the full sun, so your Dahlia can harden off. If there is a chance on night frost, you put the pot inside again because the young sprouts cannot handle those temperatures. When the chances of night frost have passed, you get the tuber out of its pot and plant her in the garden at the spot you prefer.
If you chose to do this, your Dahlia will grow at least a month early and you will be able to enjoy her flowers even longer. Because as we all know: no flower bulb flowers as abundantly as the Dahlia. When fall comes around, she keeps fighting against the bad weather, and even keeps popping out flowers until the frost arrives.
But I lost track again; the Dahlia. When you do not wish to plant the Dahlia yet, keep her in a cool spot with a temperature of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius. Keep her in the plastic bag in which she is wrapped. This is porous plastic which means she can still breathe and will not dehydrate. If you do get her out of the plastic, wrap her in newspapers, sawdust, or dry peat moss so the tuber won’t dry out. When the night frost is over you can plant her in your garden.
Finally, we have arrived to the forgotten tuber amongst the flower bulbs: The Gloxinia. It just cannot get more old-fashioned and frumpy than the Gloxinia. This is a plant of which the older people among us heard their grandmas speak, or maybe some of us even have seen her in a distant past if they’re lucky. Why we offer them then, I will explain. Secretly I think the Gloxinia is beautiful. But don’t tell anyone else about this. And, they are cultivated in a greenhouse nearby by the company of Kolken that also provides us with Begonias.
When I was visiting them last summer, Suzanne (Suzanne is head of sales) took me to the greenhouse where the Begonia ‘On Top’ was standing. There we could also find the Gloxinias, and wow it was a pretty sight to see. ‘This is something for the Fluwel web shop’ Suzanne suggested. Now, Suzanne is not someone that you can say no to that easily, she is way too kind for that, but let’s be honest, I really liked them as well. Beautiful soft plants with a very huggable character and the sparkling colors from the flowers looked like they were made of satin. Super pretty.
Thus, the Gloxinia. I hope you fall in love with her just as much as I have. It is a houseplant, so not suitable for the garden or the terrace, and on our website you can read how to grow her to get to a nice result. Don’t even think about it, just do it, it’s really fun.
With kind regards,
Carlos van der Veek