What is Salpiglossis? – How to Grow And Care for Salpiglossis?

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What is Salpiglossis? The painted tongue, which is scientifically known as Salpiglossis, is so colourful, like oh gosh! You will get obsessed with the corner of your home wherever you plant it. Yes! We are excited to tell you everything related to Salpiglossis, its care, growing tips if it’s safe, and everything in between. So sit back and keep reading about Salpiglossis and growth and care tips for the same.

What is Salpiglossis? 

In the early 1900s, a gardener described them as having “bewildering combinations.” In cool weather, it performs best. The official botanical name for this member of the nightshade family – Solanaceae is Salpiglossis sinuata. The painted tongue flower is not only beautiful in the garden, but it also makes a wonderful cut flower. The 5-lobed flowers are available in a wide range of colour combinations and patterns.

They are frequently marbled or have veins of a contrasting colour. Flowers have trumpet shapes and many flowers on each stem. The petunia-like blooms, which are native to Chile and Argentina, come in a wide range of colour palettes like red, blue, yellow, scarlet, white, and chocolate. These Plants mature to be 12-15 inches tall and 9-12 inches wide. The foliage is medium green with wavy margins and grows straight up.

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Hardiness- Annual 

Exposure- Full sun

Features- Attracts Pollinators, Cuts flower

Best way to grow Salpiglossis

The best conditions for growing painted tongue flower

  • It is recommended that If you live in one of the warmer growing zones, provide afternoon shade or grow this plant as a spring annual only. If you live in a cooler climate, you can grow painted tongue flowers in full sun all summer, you’ve to keep the plant warm to help it grow.
  • This plant is grown in pots, when the temperature rises in July, the plants’ flower production slows, but if you move the pots into the shade, they begin to bloom again and will continue to do so until the first frost of the season arrives.
  • If you are thinking of sowing outside, take 1-2 weeks before the average last frost. Sow in late summer or fall for cool-season blooms.
  • Seed depth- press into surface
  • Days to emerge out- 12-30 days

Grow and sow Salpiglossis from the seed

Start swing inside, as per the expert sayings due to the reason that this plant is the annual type and can’t beat the frosty weather.

  • Salpiglossis should be sowed indoors 8 weeks before the last frost.
  • Cover and keep the seeds away from light until they germinate, as salpiglossis requires darkness to germinate.
  • Keep the soil moist at low degrees Fahrenheit
  • Provide plenty of light
  • As the plants grow taller, raising the lights like incandescent bulbs will not work because they will become too hot. Most plants require a period of darkness to grow and do not leave lights on for extended periods.
  • Feed them when they’re 3-4 weeks old with a starter solution once they have at least 2 pairs of true leaves and transplant them to the garden to allow them to develop strong roots.
  • When the first true leaves appear, transplant them to another planting dish/flat at 2 inches apart to be transplanted later. Remember not to hold the stem. Plant seedlings in small plant holes, then surround them with compost. Soak the soil. After the young plants have established themselves, they can be transplanted into 13 to 15 cm (5 to 6 inch) pots.
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Caring and growing tips for Salpiglossis 

Grow Salpiglossis

  • During the growing season, keep weeds under control. 
  • Use a mulch to keep their seeds from germinating.
  • During the growing season, plants require about 1 inch of rain per week. Check with a rain gauge to see if you need to add water.
  • Deliver water at low pressure 

Care tips for Painted Tongue Plant

  • Maintain moist but not saturated soil.
  • A light fertilizer can be applied once new growth appears. Use a slow-release fertiliser at low rates, as higher rates may encourage root rot.
  • Remove spent flower spikes to promote flowering and prevent seed formation.
  • To encourage bushiness, pinch the growing tips of plants when they are about 4 inches tall.
  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases.
  • Twice a month, apply 1/2 to 1/4 flower fertiliser to the plants. More blooms will result as a result of this.
  • Salpiglossis is not tolerant of extreme heat. Plants should be disposed of once they have become ragged due to the summer heat.

Pest and problems that are seen

  • Aphids – are sucking insects that are greenish, red, black, or peach in colour and feed on the undersides of leaves. They drop a sticky residue on the foliage, attracting ants.
  • Aphids can be controlled with insecticidal soap as well as by attracting ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and other natural predators.

Diseases of Salpiglossis 

  • To avoid root rots, make sure the planting area is well-drained and free of standing water.
  • Botrytis is a fungal disease that causes fuzzy mold to form on plants and can lead to the collapse of leaves and entire stems. To avoid it, make sure the plants have plenty of air circulation and remove any dead or diseased foliage as soon as possible.
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For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, How to Grow and Care Fern leaf Lavender? – Hardiness of Fern leaf – Is it edible or not?

Is salpiglossis poisonous? Is salpiglossis edible?

It is found that all parts of salpiglossis are poisonous and should not be eaten by human beings and animals too. It is also advised to avoid growing the plant in areas where pets or children can easily access it. You can also come up with a new style of using it. Yes! I’m hinting towards the Salpiglossis stained glass. If you don’t know what it is? 

Salpiglossis Stained Glass is a showy, weather-tolerant variety developed in England.


How do you keep salpiglossis blooming?

In hot climates, a spot with afternoon shade is beneficial. A thin layer of mulch should also be applied to keep the roots cool and moist.      

Are salpiglossis deer resistant?         

Yes! They are deer resistant as they reach 3 feet heights and their stems are super sticky, which deer hate already!

Does salpiglossis need cold stratification?

After sowing indoors, cover sparingly for light, germination will improve by cold stratification for two weeks.

Can you winter sow salpiglossis?

In mild climates, established plants in a sheltered location can sometimes survive the winter.

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