Gesneriad Culture

It is difficult to provide a quick set of instructions on how to grow gesneriads.  The family is extremely diverse, with plants growing in habitats from the mountains of southern Europe to the deepest equatorial rainforests, from the branches of trees to rocky sea-shores.  Culture indoors must reflect the natural habitat of the plant, if success is to be consistent.

There are a limited number of print resources available which touch on the culture of the gesneriads.  Perhaps the most useful is a book now out of print, The Miracle Houseplants by George and Virginie Elbert.  Copies are still often found in used bookstores, especially those searchable online, and on E-Bay.  Many other books provide information on the culture of indoor plants, and these are often generally applicable to the gesneriads.  Information on African Violets can be especially useful, as many gesneriads (but definitely not all) respond well to similar culture.

The best bet is to connect with the hobbyist organizations, which often have helpful online presences.  The American Gloxinia and Gesneriad Society has a large website at  One of the sections of this website is a question and answer page, where you can post cultural or other questions and have experts provide answers.  

The Gesneriphiles mailing list also provides an active forum for discussion of all things gesneriad, including cultural questions from the most basic to the most advanced.  Anyone is welcome, and you can find out how to join at the Gesneriphiles information page.

Unfortunately, we cannot respond to questions regarding culture.  Maintaining the website itself is sufficiently time-consuming that it just is not possible to respond to cultural queries.






More Reading:

  • Slippery

  • Sock

  • Sometime

  • Sour

  • Sow

  • Spade

  • Spill

  • Spoon

  • Stocking

  • Strap