It is a genus that brings together about fifty herbaceous perennials from Central and South America. They produce fleshy rhizomes with numerous dark green ovate leaves covered with thick down, often with small light spots. Towards the end of summer, numerous tubular flowers bloom on long flexible stems, pink, red, orange or yellow in colour, covered with down and with dots in a contrasting colour.
The adult plants of Kohleria digitaliflora reach a height of 20-25 cm, but there are more compact varieties. Rhizomes tend to grow by filling up all the space available, so it is advisable to repot the plant every year, at the beginning of spring.
The plants of Kohleria digitaliflora prefer bright positions, but not too exposed to direct sunlight, especially when the temperatures are quite high, in spring and summer can be placed outside, in the shade, in a sheltered place. In winter it is best to take the plants in the apartment, as they fear the cold.
During the growing season, from March to October, water regularly, but do not exceed. It is advisable to wait for the soil to dry out a little between one watering and the next. During the winter months the plants of Kohleria digitaliflora go into a vegetative rest, it is therefore advisable to drastically reduce the watering, but without letting the plant spend long periods of drought.
In spring and summer, provide fertilizer for flowering plants every 10-15 days, mixed with the water of the watering.
Kohleria digitaliflora prefer deep, loose, rich and well-drained soils; use flower soil mixed with a small amount of sand and peat to increase the draining power of the substrate and avoid harmful waterlogging. Some varieties of kohleria produce bunches of hanging flowers, so it is advisable to grow them in bowls or hanging baskets.
Usually, these plants are repotted annually when proceeding with the division of the rhizomes.
The multiplication may take place by division of the rhizomes and by cutting; 10-15 cm long portions of branch are to be taken at the beginning of autumn, and are to be rooted in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts. Usually, these plants are propagated by division of the tufts, taking well developed portions of rhizomes, with vigorous roots, which are to be immediately buried in a single container.
This operation is to be done in the period from late winter to early spring and the rhizomes are to be placed in a peat and sand compound and placed in a sheltered place with a temperature of around 20 °C.
Kohleria digitaliflora: Parasites and diseases
Pay attention to aphids and red spiders that can cause serious damage to the plant; to counteract red spiders you can simply increase the percentage of moisture in the air, also proceeding with the vaporization of water on the leaves. To eliminate aphids there are special systemic insecticide products that allow you to quickly eradicate the problem.