the genus chirita belongs to the gesneriaceae family and contains approx. 150 members. they are related to the african violet. the native to china chirita sinensis is probably the most widely cultivated species. there are a lot of cultivars available, some of them with a silver pattern on green leaves, flowering in white, purple or pink.
chirita sinensis care
chirita sinensis does best if located bright but protected from afternoon sun. a bit of morning or evening sun, such as a light shaded place will be tolerated.
it can be grown in a standart potting soil or in a special mix for african violets. i’m using a mix of potting soil, sand and grit (3:1:1).
keep it evenly moist but not wet. sitting in water can cause rotten roots. the drying of the soil’s surface between the waterings is ok. but it shouldn’t dry in complete.
in spring/summer a water soluble fertilizer at half strength can be given monthly and if placed at +/-20 °c/68 °f in fall/winter every six to eight weeks. new bought or recently repotted plants don’t need to be fed for the first six to eight weeks.
chirita sinensis can be cultivated at room temperature the year round and needs a winter minimum of approx. 15 °c/59 °f. at this temperature range, watering can be reduced, a fertilizer must not be given. but the soil should not dry out completely. a somewhat cooler winter location can have a positive impact on blooming in spring.
chirita sinensis care propagation
chirita sinensis can be grown from seeds or leaf cuttings. the procedure is the same as for african violets.