by Reiko Lee - from a newsletter item in July 2013
Eucodonia is one of the seasonal gesneriads from Mexico.
Growing Eucodonia from Rhizomes (long white tubers) starts with planting in spring, and finishes with flowering in late autumn, forming more Rhizomes under the potting mix.
The one I grow is called Eucodonia "Adele". This plant can be grown under light in a small pot, but I grow it in a 20cm hanging basket in my courtyard, which is covered with shade cloth and opaque plastic sheets. The courtyard is quite hot during summer and the plant gets filtered sunlight most of the day. It starts blooming from the end of summer to autumn, just in time for the African Violet Society Annual Show in May.
Potting Mix: I use the following potting mix:
Half standard African Violet mix and,
half good quality commercial potting mix.
African Violet mix can be used alone but it dries up very quickly outdoors.
Planting: In spring between the end of September and early October, plant a few rhizomes in pots or hanging baskets horizontally, cover them with potting mix 1-2 cm deep. Feed them with African Violet fertiliser (I use Manutec), also a small amount of 'blood and bone' can be added to the potting mix when the mix is made.
Growing: When new shoots form 6-8 leaves, pinch centre 2 leaves to make plants bushy. Repeat pinching until small flower buds form in mid-end summer. Turn the pot around regularly to keep the growth uniform all around (otherwise the plant grows towards the sun and looks lopsided). Be careful not to show bare soil, especially at the centre.
After flowers finish, the plants die down at the end of June to early July. Reduce the water gradually and keep the pot barely moist till spring. Then dig through the potting mix to collect more rhizomes and start all over.
The original rhizomes were given to me when I attended the 1995 Gesneriad Council meeting. A couple of years later, I had enough rhizomes to share with other members of the African Violet Society who wanted to try growing Eucodonia.
When my hanging basket failed to flower one year, there were no rhizomes left, however, luckily I received a few rhizomes back from a member who had kept on growing them!!