Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Mystery of the RED 'Loki' Continues...

Primulina 'Loki' - Red grown by Joan Santino

            This well grown Primulina ‘Loki’ by Joan Santino, shown at the Springfield AVS Show, renews the continuing question:  What causes some ‘Loki’ to show attractive Red hairs while others,  like mine, to be all green.

            There has been much speculation by Gesneriad growers who have helped me try to deduce the environmental answer.

            We think that it is not high light, low temperature or low Phosphorous.
            My bet was that there are two clones.  But I would have lost all of my money.  When I propagated a leaf from Joe’s Red plants, all of the babies came out green.  So no mutation or distinctive clones.  It has to be some other trick.

            When I asked Joan about her Red plant she told me it is grown warm, under lights.  The new clue is that she had used high Phosphorous fertilizer, 5-50-17 for about 8 weeks leading up to the show.

            All of my ‘Loki’s are green.  I use 15-5-15 Ca Mg --- low Phosphorous.

            Is this it?  High Phosphorous = RED

            Why does it matter?  After seeing Joan’s stunning Red ‘Loki’, it’s worth seeking out the Red manipulator.


  1. This is the beauty of primulinas, and why I think they have a lot of potential as commercial house plants: the foliage is so beautiful, even without flowers, and they are just so easy to grow.

  2. John,
    I think that the testing is complete. Primulina can survive as a houseplant. Now it will be the ramp-up stage. Can the distribution gain any traction? Will the supply be able to find any demand?
    Initially it will be friends telling friends to try one.

  3. Trying an experiment. I put my green Loki on a wick reservoir filled with high Phosphorous fertilizer. We'll see what happens...