How to Grow Episcia Plants
Episcia is a genus referring to eight species of flowering plants. They are a perennial native to Central and South America known for having small ivy-like leaves and brilliant red, pink, orange, blue, or yellow flowers. They are commonly kept as indoor houseplants in temperate regions for their attractive foliage but can be planted outdoors in tropical and sub-tropical climates as well.
Collect an episcia stolon from a friend's plant or an episcia you might find in a store. For those not familiar with the term, a stolon is a secondary shoot or growth coming from the soil of a plant near the plant's base stalk. Episcias don't really grow from seeds and instead bud off, creating stolons. Simply brace the base of the episcia in one hand and dig into the soil around the stolon with your other, pulling it sharply from the episcia root system.
Soak the stolon in water until you can plant it.
Mix up a batch of your own planting soil by combining 1 part sphagnum peat moss to 2 parts plain loam. Place this in your pot, making sure not to pack it down tightly.
- Collect an episcia stolon from a friend's plant or an episcia you might find in a store.
- Simply brace the base of the episcia in one hand and dig into the soil around the stolon with your other, pulling it sharply from the episcia root system.
Stick the stolon's base into the soil so that it is about the same height it was on the parent episcia. Pour onto it the recommended amount of liquid fertilizer and then douse the soil with water.
Place several paper towels beneath the pot to collect any water that drains out.
Place the pot on or near a window that receives full sunlight for about three hours out of the day. If you live in a climate that is consistently sunny and hot you can also place the pot outdoors if you prefer.
Water the plant liberally every three or four days as you will only need to keep the soil moist, not soaked. The new root system should grow after about two weeks of this.
- Stick the stolon's base into the soil so that it is about the same height it was on the parent episcia.
- Pour onto it the recommended amount of liquid fertilizer and then douse the soil with water.
Repot the episcia as needed. This plant doesn't really increase in size all that much over it's lifespan. You may need to repot once every six months or more. When you do this make sure to use fresh soil and give it another dose of fertilizer each time. That should be all that is required to keep your episcia growing, happy and healthy.
- Many people like to cultivate these plants because of the low maintenance they require. They need no fertilizer except when they're first planted or repotted. They don't take much water and are resistant to most insects and diseases. Don't worry about overwatering an episcia; they are not susceptible to root rot.
- Be careful about leaving your episcia outdoors in winter. They respond poorly to the cold and can die during sudden cold snaps. When watering an episcia, try to pour the water directly onto the soil and not get it on the plant's leaves. Stagnant or unmoving water on the leaves can cause fungal growths and diseases.
John Albers has been a freelance writer since 2007. He's successfully published articles in the "American Psychological Association Journal" and online at Garden Guides, Title Goes Here, Mindflights Magazine and many others. He's currently expanding into creative writing and quickly gaining ground. John holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Central Florida in English literature and psychology.