These days are warmer than last December in Taiwan, warm enough to remind me to write something about Pink Episcia in Singapore. As we all know the families of Pink Episcia feature the delicate color of foliage which is second to none in Gesneriads. But on the other hand, they must be handled with care because their foliage is sensitive to the changes of humidity or temperature. Many growers use container to please them and keep stable growing condition all year around.
I had a chance to visit a grower in Singapore and his Pink Episcias are raised in both air-conditioned greenhouse and outdoor garden. OK, the plant in air-conditioned greenhouse thrives with no doubt, but the plant in the outdoor garden looked fine as well. Although I can tell the two are different varieties, but I was still surprised the outdoor one can tolerate the tropical weather in Singapore ... nevertheless they still can't resist the attack of insect. :)
|in air-conditioned house|
|the outdoor one|
Well ... they are late actually if comparing with other growers I guess it's because my late planting experiment. Further, this winter is warmer than last year, the Smithiantha can grow longer time before the growth ends. Although just a few plants give the flowers but the foliage can be appreciated all the time.
|the biggest and smallest Smithiantha hybrids of my own so far|
Not only the flower is charming, the foliage of Smithiantha is also lovely. Benefited by the current cool weather in northern Taiwan, these plants are happy to expedite their growth. I just use liquid fertilizer twice a month, and it seems it's enough.
Doing a F1 hybrid is usually the first step to begin a hybrid work, and sometimes it does get classic result like Sinningia Amizade. F1 hybrid shows the combination of parents in the first place, so ... conservative speaking, if the parents are not poles apart, the result will be within two species. But a experimental trial with poles apart is a must, because a highlight may happen from such collision and that's why the hybridization keep progressing. In short, don't stay at comfort zone for always. :-)
The Kohleria is getting more popular and many growers are interested in the hybridization work because more pollen parents are available after efforts of some local hybridizers over years.
The main stream of developing new Kohleria varieties is to get big and multiple blooms on a compact plant. This is a current that will never fade away. Other than this gorgeous target, properly the idyllic ideas such like foliage variegation and miniature size of Kohleria will enrich the appearance of creating modern Kohleria.
So ... let's wait and see , good luck for everyone.