Sunday, July 8, 2012

The double calyx research project!

Sinningia 'Party Dress' by Thad Scaggs showing double calyx flowers
Story # 39,

The double calyx research project!

      I am interested in researching all the information I can find about double calyx Sinningias.  This flower type is different in that the corolla has extra petals growing from the normal location of the calyx.

      I’ve only recently paid any attention to these novelty flowers and their commercial potential.  This will be an academic exercise since I don’t have any answers nor know how this will develop.

      Privately, as I have time, I will be contacting growers in the Sinningia world to ask what they know.

      Publicly, here on the blog, I am asking for help from readers who can contribute what they know about varieties, hybridizing history or current successful hybrids with double calyx flowers.  You may make your knowledge part of the blog comments so others can build on it.

      Or e-mail me directly with leads at

     I’ll do my best to sift through the data to record stories about the intriguing category of double calyx Sinningias.


  1. Gary,

    I am growing "Gabriel's Horn" and "Party Dress."

    Wtih "gabriels" I have noticed that the flowers and the entire plant are quite fussy. A moment of direct sunlight and even the mild heat from my high output T5 lighting seem to wilt the flowers.
    I'm experimenting with growing both plants under 5000K LED lighting, as it is cooler and wont dry out the plants as much, and is also set up in a cooler area of my apt that also gets a bit of late afternoon sunlight.
    As soon as I put "Party Dress" under the bright LED light the plant started growing faster. Now I'm just waiting for blooms!
    As Im not an expert yet on gesneriads (I know more about growing carnivorous plants) I am still experimenting with lighting, watering, and fertilizing. Any suggestions are welcome!

    Also check out my blog at


    Matthew M

    1. Matthew,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment about double calyx Sinningias. I’m trying to collect details about them to see if they are a worthwhile form for commercial production.

      Your two that you mention appear to be good ones. We have ‘Gabriel’s Horn’ in tissue culture production and have been selling finished plants in flower at Longwood Gardens. I have ‘Party Dress’ here under evaluation. I like the big pink whorling flowers and think that it should fit in the Fairy Garden category.

      You mentioned that heat may be a problem. In general, Sinningias can take more heat and light than we previously thought-----many Sinningias species grow in full sun in Brazil. But they must be acclimated to it.

      You get higher bud count by feeding well when the plants are young. And with very bright light, they will be compact and early flowering. Since you don’t want to burn them, this is trial and error.

      Good growing.