This is Deinostigma tamiana, a truly marvellous plant that thrives inside terrariums and bottle gardens. Deinostigma tamiana is a Gesneriad species from Vietnam. If you’ve not seen it before, yet Deinostigma tamiana looks somewhat familiar, it’s probably because these plants are related to African violets (Saintpaulias).
Growing Deinostigma tamiana
Deinostigma tamiana is an easy going, adaptable plant that’s content growing in a range of terrarium environments. Over the years, I’ve found this wonderful plant grows happily inside hi-tech terrariums blessed with lights, fans, misting units, and automated plant care, as well as in the more shaded conditions found inside glass terrariums and bottle gardens that don’t have these luxuries. I’ve grown Deinostigma tamiana inside my Orchidarium, as well as in traditional glass terrariums and bottle gardens.
Plants will grow successfully inside both closed and open glass bottle gardens. If your preference is to grow Deinostigma tamiana in a closed bottle garden, opt for a lidded jar that allows easy access for occasional deadheading and tidying up.
I find Deinostigma tamiana is a versatile terrarium plant that adapts to a range of light levels, from shade and semi-shaded conditions, to bright, indirect light. However, avoid placing your Deinostigma tamiana plant in view of harsh or intense light, which may scorch your plant’s leaves.
My Deinostigma tamiana plants have been cheerfully growing in a range of peat-free composts. These plants thrive in moist compost and enjoy growing in a humid environment. My Deinostigma tamiana plants have been very happy planted in coir compost, at the base of my Orchidarium.
Deinostigma tamiana is a tender plant that’s killed by frost; these plants are happiest growing in an environment where the temperatures range from 15-27C (59-80F).
Deinostigma tamiana flowers
I love Deinostigma tamiana‘s green, almost heart-shaped leaves, but it’s Deinostigma tamiana’s flowers that attract the most attention. If you’re looking for a flowering plant to bring daily dose of flowers and joy to your terrarium, Deinostigma tamiana won’t let you down! Deinostigma tamiana is an incredibly floriferous plant; my plants flower continually.
Whenever I have dead-headed my plants and removed all of their flowering stems, within a day or two, seemingly out of nowhere, new flowering stems spring up and promptly deliver new flowers! Deinostigma tamiana is an amazingly productive plant.
If your Deinostigma tamiana plant is slow to bloom or reluctant to blossom, try moving your plant to a warmer or brighter position; although take care to avoid exposing your Deinostigma to harsh light, which may damage your plant’s leaves.
Keeping Deinostigma tamiana plants in shape
As Deinostigma tamiana plants age, they spread out and become taller and a little more ragged. The somewhat scruffy and ramshackle appearance of more elderly Deinostigma tamiana plants can be tamed a little, simply by removing old flowering stems and pinching out any tatty leaves. However, new plants are easily raised from seeds or leaf cuttings, making it easy to replace sprawling older plants with a new generation of Deinostigma tamiana plants, as you desire.
Propagating Deinostigma tamiana
Over time, my Deinostigma tamiana plants have formed clumps of multiple plants; these clumps can be divided to create additional plants, if need be. However, Deinostigma tamiana is more effectively propagated by seed or leaf cuttings, where fresher looking, more compact plants are easily raised.
To take a leaf cutting, simply find a healthy leaf and remove it, cutting the base of the stem, using a clean, sharp knife or scissors. Next, take a small pot of peat-free compost and make a hole using a pencil or a dibber. Don’t be tempted to push your leaf into the compost without using a dibber, as you may damage your propagation material.
My Deinostigma tamiana plants have rooted both from their leaf stems and at the base of their leaves, but for best results, ensure that any leaves you pot up for cuttings have both their stems and the base of their leaves, covered and hidden below the compost. It is far better to bury your leaf cuttings too deeply than to place a leaf too shallowly in its pot of compost.
Buying Deinostigma tamiana
Deinostigma tamiana, is a brilliant terrarium plant that’s gone through a number of name changes over the years; consequently Deinostigma tamiana is also known as Chirita tamiana, Primulina tamiana, and Vietnamese Violets. If you’d like to purchase a Deinostigma tamiana plant for your terrarium or bottle garden, you’ll usually find this plant listed as Chirita tamiana. In the UK, the fabulous Dibleys Nurseries grow Chirita tamiana; while EU customers have a wider choice of suppliers.
To see every article I’ve written about Deinostigma tamiana, please click here.
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To see how my Tall Orchidarium was created, please click here.
For a planting list of fabulous plants suited to growing inside terrariums, orchidariums, and bottle gardens, please click here.