Sinningia bullata

A fascinating little plant, Sinningia bullata – Emerald Forest gets in common name from the brilliant emerald green foliage. In addition it has bright orange to red flowers and it also forms a woody caudex over time.

Sinningia bullata
Sinningia bullata

This is a plant that once established flowers for much of the year.

Excellent as an indoor plant in a position with good filtered or indirect light. The reverse of the leaves is covered with thick white wooly hairs.

It comes from Brazil however is used to cool temperatures as it grows on cliffs. Two forms are available one a little more compact growing than the other.

The plant is not dormant over winter like related species, so it produces new foliage and flowers through the year in the right conditions. It belongs to a group of plants known as gesneriads that includes African Violets.

Sinningia bullata - Caudex
Sinningia bullata – Caudex

How to grow Sinningia bullata

  • Light
    2 – 3 hours of morning sun and then light afternoon shade seem to produce a better growth habit. With too much shade growth will be leggy.
  • Temperature
    Best at around a minimum of 50F (10C). Daytime 64 – 77F (18-25 C) although this plant will handle lower temperatures.
  • Soil/Potting Mix
    A free draining potting mix such as an African violet potting mix is ideal.
    A mixture of peat moss, perlite and orchid bark will also work well.
  • Watering
    A free draining soil is essential and a wet/dry cycle of watering is also required. Water well, and let the soil dry before watering again.
  • Pruning
    You can prune the plant back to a node after flowering, this will encourage new growth and more flowers.
  • Fertiliser.
    Fertilise every 2 – 3 weeks with a liquid indoor plant fertiliser.