EPISCIA CULTURE

Episcias or "Peacock Plants", "Flame Violets" or "Carpet of The Queen", are related to the African Violet family and require similar culture. The plants are appreciated for their delicate tubular flowers and textured colorful foliage combinations. The flowers range in color from white, red, yellow, orange, blue and pink. Episcias species can be found from Mexico to Brazil.

Light & Temperature
Episcias grow ideally in temperatures around 80 degrees and no lower than 55 degrees. A window with bright light ( no direct sunlight) is ideal. A window with a northern exposure is recommended. Turn your plants each month so that each leaf will receive sufficient light. Artifical light can also be used with good results. They should be placd 6" to 12" below the light source for 12 to 14 hours a day. If the plant does not receive sufficient light, the plant will not bloom.

Potting Mediums & Water
Episcias like a well drained medium. A good porous soilless mix or long-fiber spaghnum moss are recommended along with shallow pots or bulb pans. The plant should be repotted at least once a year. Episcias require good air circulation, however, a drafty room should be avoided. Moisture and humidity are very important to an Episcia. The plants like moisture around their roots, but they do not like wet feet. Place the plants in a saucer or tray filled with gravel. Water can then be added to the saucer or tray, which will help maintain the humidity. Make sure the roots are not standing in water. Wick watering is also good for growing Episcias.

Fertilizer
Fertilize once a month with a good liquid fertilizer when your plants are actively growing. During the winter months do not fertilize if your plant goes into a semi-dormant stage. Flush your pots periodically in plain water to avoid any residue build up. Slow release fertilizers are also recommended.

Grooming
Remove yellowing or withered leaves, spent blooms and blossom stems. Pinch stems periodically.

The plants produce many stolons which give Episcias their trailing habit. Pinch the tips of the stems to encourage branching asnd flowering. The plants propagate easily from runners to stem cuttings.

Compliments of Palm Hammock Orchid Estate, Inc. - 9995 S.W. 66 St. - Miami, Fl 33173 - 305-274-9813 www.palmhammock.com

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