In addition to brightening up our homes and offices, houseplants allow gardeners to grow a wide range of species which aren’t capable of surviving in the backyard. The ability to cultivate odd or unusual houseplants is intriguing as well as challenging. Growing Episcia plants not only adds eye catching appeal to household décor, but these colorful houseplants can test the hand of the most experienced green thumb.
What are Episcia Plants
Episcia are a genus of brilliantly colored plants which are native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Related to African violets, Episcia are herbaceous perennials which propagate by sending out stolons or runners. Caring for Episcia can be challenging, as these plants are quite particular about their environment.
Episcia Plant Info
- Common name: Flame Violet, Carpet Plant
- Light: Bright, indirect
- Water: Consistently moist
- Temperature: Above 65 degrees F. (10 C.)
- Humidity: High
- Propagation: Stolons (Runners)
Tips for Growing Episcia Plants
A rainforest plant, Episcia thrives in a warm, humid environment. Many varieties grow best in a bubble bowl – the modern day equivalent to the terrarium. Episcia require a moist medium which drains well, yet still is able to retain moisture. Soil mixes formulated for African Violets reportedly work well.
Maintaining a rainforest environment is only half the battle when growing Episcia plants. Providing correct lighting is another challenge. Episcia requires bright light but avoid placing these houseplants where direct sunlight might reach their leaves. Doing so causes the brightly colored Episcia foliage to fade.
The beautifully patterned, variegated leaves would be reason enough to cultivate the plant, yet the delicate trumpet shaped flowers are the crowning touch. The secret to encouraging Episcia into bloom lies in removing and pruning back the runners. As long as Episcia can propagate asexually, these colorful houseplants rarely expend the effort to produce flowers and make seeds.
There are so many beautiful hybrid varieties available, the most challenging aspect to cultivating is deciding which one to choose:
- E. ‘Alyce’s Aussie’- Blushing variegated leaves of burgundy and green.
- E. ‘Checkerboard’- Intriguingly marked dark green leaves with deep silver veins, blooms red.
- E. ‘Black Star’- Dark green leaves with pink veining.
- E. ‘Cleopetra’- Pink and white variegated leaves with green centers.
- E. ‘Costa Rica’- Deeply veined lime green leaves with reddish orange flowers.
- E. ‘Emerald Lace’- Patchy green, white, and pink foliage. Bright pink flowers.
- E. ‘Flamingo’- Deep green leaves with flamingo pink flowers.
- E. ‘Pink Panther’- Dark green leaves with lighter mid-veins. Bright pink flowers.
- E. ‘Silver Skies’- Distinctive whitish silver leaves with green edges.
- E. ‘Unpredictable Valley’ – A lovely silver leaf with magenta edges and green centers.