Window Sill Gardening

Window Sill Gardening with African Violets and Gesneriads

African violets and members of the gesneriad family such as the gloxinias, Streptocarpus, and lipstick plants will thrive in conditions that are easy to achieve in most homes once some basic environmental conditions are addressed. Window sill gardening is not free of challenges, but these are not insurmountable and overcoming them makes the rewards that much nicer. One of these challenges is dealing with light levels that vary depending on the window orientation and time of year. Indoor gardeners may have to use a compromised window for plant growth that is not the ideal situation. Supplemental (artificial) light may be the answer to this problem. Another challenge is the temperature of the growing area. The best light might be up against the window which is also the coldest location. Gesneriads are sensitive to cold and hot temperatures that are beyond a comfortable

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Gesneriads for the Windowsill

More Great Windowsill Plants That are NOT African Violets

The lipstick plant is a trailing gesneriad family member botanically called Aeschynanthus. Most of the flowers in this group are bright red or reddish-orange and tubular in shape. One type, Aeschynanthus lobbianus has a flower structure when in bud that looks like a burgundy lipstick case that is winding open to reveal bright red lipstick inside.

Sinningia (gloxinia) is a large and diverse group of plants that contains the large showy trumpet flowers of the florist gloxinia. Also included are miniature plants that are not much larger than a quarter.

Episcia are a gesneriad group that are grown more for their colourful foliage than for their small, single flowers. Episcia ‘Cleopatra’ is one of the favourites because of its leaves which are pale pink, white, and light green. It is very striking but a challenge to grow because

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