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Incarvillea delavayi (Hardy Gloxinia)

Hardy Gloxinia, Chinese Trumpet Flower, Flowering Fern

Hardy Gloxinia, Gloxinia, Incarvillea delavayi, Chinese trumpet flower, Perennial Flower, Pink Perennial
Hardy Gloxinia, Gloxinia, Incarvillea delavayi, Chinese trumpet flower, Perennial Flower, Pink Perennial
Hardy Gloxinia, Gloxinia, Incarvillea delavayi, Chinese trumpet flower, Perennial Flower, Pink Perennial

Incarvillea delavayi is a versatile and visually striking plant that offers numerous benefits for gardeners looking to add a touch of color and elegance to their landscapes. Its vibrant flowers, attractive foliage, and low maintenance needs make it a standout choice for a variety of garden settings.

Incarvillea delavayi – Hardy Gloxinia: An In-depth Look

Incarvillea delavayi, commonly known as Hardy Gloxinia or Chinese Trumpet Flower, is a herbaceous perennial plant admired for its striking, trumpet-shaped flowers and attractive foliage. The plant features a clump-forming growth habit, with tall, upright stems that bear clusters of vibrant pink to magenta flowers. The blossoms have a tubular shape with flaring lobes, resembling those of the gloxinia, and create a stunning display in gardens. The lush, fern-like foliage adds a delicate, ornamental touch, making Incarvillea delavayi a popular choice for both gardeners and landscape designers.

Native: Hardy Gloxinia is native to the mountainous regions of southwestern China, particularly in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. It belongs to the bignonia or trumpet vine family, Bignoniaceae, along with Tecoma stans (Yellow Bells), Chilopsis linearis (Desert Willow), Jacaranda mimosifolia (Jacaranda Tree) or Campsis radicans (Trumpet Vine).

Plant Type and Habit: Hardy Gloxinia is a perennial herb with a clump-forming habit. It produces a basal rosette of leaves from which tall, upright flower stems emerge. Its overall habit is neat and compact, making it suitable for various garden settings.

Size: Hardy Gloxinia typically reaches a height and spread of 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm). The flower stems can extend well above the foliage, creating a vertical accent in the garden.

Flowers: The flowers are its most striking feature. They are trumpet-shaped, about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) long, and come in vibrant shades of pink, magenta, or occasionally white. Each flower has a flared opening with five rounded lobes and a yellow throat, adding a splash of color and elegance. The flowers are borne in clusters of 5 to 12 blossoms at the top of tall, sturdy stems, making them stand out in any garden. Incarvillea delavayi typically blooms in mid to late summer. The blooming period can last several weeks, providing an extended display of color. After flowering, the plant produces elongated seed capsules that are cylindrical and ribbed. These capsules contain numerous small, winged seeds that are dispersed by the wind. The seeds can be collected and sown to propagate new plants.

Foliage: The foliage is lush and fern-like, with pinnate leaves that are deeply divided into numerous lance-shaped leaflets. The leaves, up to 12 inches long (30 cm), are dark green, creating a beautiful contrast with the bright flowers. The basal rosette of leaves remains attractive throughout the growing season, even when the plant is not in bloom.

Hardiness: Hardy Gloxinia is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 7. In colder regions, a layer of mulch can help protect the rootstock during winter (can be injured by temperatures below 25ºF (2ºC).

Uses: Hardy Gloxinia is primarily used as an ornamental plant in garden beds, borders, and rock gardens. Its vibrant flowers and attractive foliage make it an excellent choice for adding color and texture to perennial beds and mixed borders. It is also suitable for container gardening, where it can be moved to a sheltered location during extreme weather conditions. Additionally, it can be used as a cut flower in floral arrangements, adding a unique and exotic touch.

Pollinators: The flowers are highly attractive to pollinators, including bees and butterflies, and hummingbirds. These pollinators are drawn to the bright colors and tubular shape of the flowers, which provide a rich source of nectar.

Deer and Rabbits: Hardy Gloxinia is generally not favored by deer and rabbits. The plant’s slightly bitter taste and tough foliage deter browsing.

Toxicity: Hardy Gloxinia is not known to be toxic to humans or pets. However, as with any plant, it is advisable to handle it with care and avoid ingestion.

Invasiveness: Hardy Gloxinia is not considered invasive. It tends to stay within its designated planting area and does not spread aggressively. The plant can be easily managed and controlled in garden settings.

Hardy Gloxinia, Gloxinia, Incarvillea delavayi, Chinese trumpet flower, Perennial Flower, Pink Perennial

How to Grow and Care for Hardy Gloxinia

Light: Hardy Gloxinia thrives in full sun to partial shade. For the best flowering, provide at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. While it can tolerate partial shade, too much shade may result in fewer flowers and less vigorous growth.

Soil: Plant Hardy Gloxinia in well-drained soil. It prefers loamy soil enriched with organic matter. The ideal soil pH is neutral to slightly acidic (pH 6.0 to 7.0). Ensure excellent drainage to prevent root rot, especially in areas with heavy rainfall.

Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant regularly during dry periods. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out slightly between waterings to avoid overwatering.

Fertilizing: Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer or a slow-release granular fertilizer. Fertilize once a month during the growing season (spring to early summer) to promote healthy growth and abundant flowering.

Pruning: Remove spent flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming and prevent seed formation. Trim back any damaged or yellowing leaves to maintain a tidy appearance.

Overwintering: In colder regions (zones 5-6), apply a thick layer of mulch in late fall to protect the rootstock from freezing temperatures. In the harshest climates, consider lifting the tubers and storing them in a cool, dry place over winter, then replanting them in spring.

Pests and Diseases: Hardy Gloxinia is generally pest-resistant but may occasionally attract slugs or snails. Watch for crown rot and root rot. Ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases.

Hardy Gloxinia, Gloxinia, Incarvillea delavayi, Chinese trumpet flower, Perennial Flower, Pink Perennial

Hardy Gloxinia – Propagation

Hardy Gloxinia can easily be propagated by seed or division:

Seed Propagation: Sow seeds in late winter or early spring indoors. Transplant seedlings outdoors after the last frost.
Division: Divide clumps in early spring or fall. Carefully dig up the plant and separate the rootstock into smaller sections, each with at least one growing point.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 7
Heat Zones 3 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Bignoniaceae
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Gravel and Rock Garden, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 7
Heat Zones 3 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Bignoniaceae
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Gravel and Rock Garden, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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