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Debbie's African Violets
~~Episcias~~
 
Chocolate Velour

How I Grow Episcias
 
Episcias are from the gesneriad family of plants, so they are related to African Violets.  I find them to be very easy to grow right alongside my violets.  Mine are wick-watered and grown under fluorescent lights.  I use 1/4 teaspoon of fertilizer in the water, same as for my African Violets.  Episcias prefer warm temperatures, so I try to keep them on the top shelves of my lighted plant stands where it is warmer.  Also, episcias should not be allowed to dry out to the point of wilting.  They don't always recover very well from being too dry.
 
Episcias do bloom, but many growers don't care for the blooms on some varieties.  The foliage is the prettiest part of episcias.  However, I do like pink blooms, like on Pink Panther.

Pink Panther

Episcias produce stolons which can be rooted to make new plants.  See the re-starting instructions below.
 
When my episcias begin to get leggy or raggedy looking from drying out too much or need repotting, I just re-start them.  It's easy to do, and you'll have a nice full pot in no time.  Here is how I do it.
 
 
 
How I Re-start an Episcia

This is my episcia, KeeWee.  It's full and healthy looking. There are actually 4 or 5 plants in the 5" pan pot.

This is the same plant.  It has gotten leggy and has some dead leaves around the bottom.  There are bare spots where you can see the soil.  This plant needs to be re-started.

Episcias produce stolons like this one which can be used to start new plants.

Using small scissors, cut off several stolons leaving about 1-1/4" stems.

Prepare a new pot with fresh potting mix.  Label it with the plant's name and date potted.  I am using a 5" pan pot.  You can go ahead and add a wick if you plan to wick-water the plant later.
 
If you only want to plant 1 or 2 stolons, you can use a smaller pot.

Insert the stolons, evenly spaced, into the potting mix.  I like to use a chopstick to make small holes in the potting mix for the stolons so they go in easily.  Water lightly.  Just keep it damp, not very wet.

Put the potted stolons in a covered container.  They need to stay in there for a few weeks, until the stolons are rooted and new growth appears.  The covered pot can be put in natural light or under fluorescent lights.  Do not let them dry out.  Just keep them damp.

Eight weeks after re-starting this episcia, it has grown large and full.  It is already producing stolons of it's own, which can be removed to start another plant.

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