Salpiglossis is an annual that makes an outstanding pot plant for the greenhouse or sunroom and, although not often seen in the home, it makes a good temporary houseplant.
The beauty of the individual flowers is often lost when it is grown outdoors, and the five-pointed star-shaped blooms, some 2in/5cm wide, should really be examined closely.
They come in a choice of colours, including yellow, orange, red, and lilac, with velvety petals heavily veined and overlaid in contrasting colours.
FACT FILE Of Salpiglossis sinuata Solanaceae PAINTED TONGUE
ORIGIN: Chile; hybrids.
HEIGHT: To 2ft/60cm.
POTTING MIX: Peat-moss-based.
REPOTTING: Move seedlings into larger pots as they grow, until a 5-in/13-cm pot is reached.
PROPAGATION: Sow seed in spring for summer flowering or fall for early spring blooming.
KEEPING PLANTS: Stake stems as they grow, to prevent them from falling over and breaking.
- Bright light with some full sun.
- Cool to normal room conditions.
- Water well, but allow the top of the potting mix to dry out before rewatering.
- Feed every 2 weeks until early fall with a standard liquid fertiliser.