The pouch-like flowers of this colorful pot plant never cease to be a conversation piece in any greenhouse. Shades of red, yellow, and bronze spotted with brown are available in double-pouch hybrids, or in dwarf 9-inch tall varieties. Seeds, which are extremely fine, should be broadcast on top of the planting medium, covered only with glass shaded with newspaper until germination.
Transplant to 3-inch pots, then to 5 or 6-inch pots at flowering time. Careful watering is necessary at all times to prevent crown rot. Allow plenty of air circulation and shade from direct sunlight to prevent burning flowers. Usually no fertilizer is necessary until plants mature, then weekly applications of dilute fertilizer, or full-strength applications every 3 to 4 weeks.
Plants from seed sown in August or September start to bloom in March if extra light is given from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. starting the middle of December. Normal blooming time is May. Discard plants after flowering.
Duplex Hybrids, bushy, fairly dwarf plants with red, yellow, or bronze flowers; Dwarf Compact, 9-inches tall, easy to handle, flowers in clusters of reds, yellows, and intermediate shades, solid or spotted.