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How to Grow Episcia — Flame Violet

Episcia
Flame violet, Episcia

Episcia–commonly called flame violet or carpet plant–is a small evergreen tropical perennial with long slender stems that produce small plantlets at their ends. The leaves are oval and hairy. The flowers are tubular to bell-shaped, flame red or metallic pink, and appear in spring and summer. Episcia stands about 6 inches (15cm) tall.

Episcia are grown for their soft, colorful foliage and salvaform flowers. In tropical regions, Episcia is grown as a ground cover. In temperate, cool-winter regions Episcia is grown indoors in hanging baskets or in terrariums.

Episcia is a genus of 6 species of creeping, mat-forming plants. Episcia spreads via stolons that root as they creep along. Episcia is native to tropical forests and rocky habitats in Mexico and South America.

Get to Know Episcia

  • Plant type: Evergreen perennial
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 14-15
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Height and width: 4 to 6 inches (10-15cm) tall, indefinite width
  • Foliage: Soft, colorful leaves
  • Flowers: 5-lobed flowers borne singly or in small racemes
  • Bloom time: Spring to autumn
  • Uses: Groundcover, hanging basket, terrarium plant
  • Common name: Flame violet, carpet plant
  • Botanical name: Episcia
  • Family name: Gesneriaceae
  • Origin: Rocky habitats from Mexico to South America
Episcia or flame violet
Episcia or flame violet

Where to Plant Episcia

  • Light outdoors: Grow Episcia outdoors in partial shade.
  • Light indoors: Grow Episcia in bright filtered light.
  • Soil outdoors: Plant Episcia in fertile, humus-rich, moist but sharply drained soil.
  • Soil indoors: Grow Episcia in soilless potting mix with added perlite or vermiculite.

When to Plant Episcia

  • Set container-grown Episcia outdoors any time of the year in tropical regions.

Planting and Spacing Episcia

  • Episcia spreads via stolons that root as they creep along. Set plants at least 12 inches (30cm) apart.

How to Water and Fee Episcia

  • During the growing season, water Episcia moderately. Keep Episcia just moist in winter.
  • Fertilize Episcia with quater-strength, balanced fertilizer at each watering during the growing season.

Episcia Care

  • Episcia creeps and roots with stolons. Plants can become invasive if they are ignored.

Growing Episcia as a Houseplant

  • Grow Episcia in a warm, humid room where light is bright.
  • The growing medium should be extra rich and evenly moist.
  • Do not allow cold water to touch the leaves or they may spot.
  • Fertilise monthly during spring and summer.
  • After the plant flowers, cut it back to encourage new growth and pinch the new growth to encourage fullness.

Episcia Pests and Diseases

  • Episcia can be attacked by spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, and botrytis blight.
 Episcia, flame violet
Episcia, flame violet

Episcia Propagation

  • New plants can be propagated by rooting the plantlets that form at the ends of the stems or from stem cuttings.

Episcia Varieties to Grow

  • Episcia cupreata, flame violet. Wrinkled leaves that are green, reddish green, copper or market with silver; flowers are dark red with yellow undersides and red spots. Cultivars include ‘Chocolate Velour’ has heavily textured dark brown to black leaves; ‘Metallica’ has metallic pink margins and bands of pale green in the center; ‘Variegata’ has silver pattern onc hte center.
  • E. dianthiflora, lace flower vine. Soft hairy green leaves that are red veined; white flowers.
  • E. lilacina. Quilted leaves that are green, reddish-green, or bronze often with rosepurple undersides; flowers are lavender with yellow throats.
  • E. reptans, flame violet. Dark green leaes with pale green or siler midribs; flowers are dark red, pink inside the tube and fringed.

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