Johannes-Ulrich Urban johannes-ulrich-urban@t-online.de
Fri, 11 Nov 2011 13:43:00 PST
Hello Bryan,

Kohleria eriantha in my experience needs a lot of light to grow and
flower well. With us northern gardeners the november light level is just
not enough to satisfy this plant and I think that is why your plant is
aborting the buds it had set. To get good coloured leaves and flowers I
recommend to grow it in almost full sun, maybe with just a little
shading during the hottest time of the day in summer but no shade at all
now. In my experience Kohleria eriantha does not go dormant but is
evergreen but will produce new shoots from the base from previously
formed rhizomes. Are you sure that your plant is the true species? There
are a lot of hybrids around that have K. eriantha as a parent. The more
"hybrid blood" they have the more evergreen they get. maybe the plant I
used to grow under this name also was a hybrid? It came from England and
in fact the plant circulating in England under this name is very
After having seen Gesneriads of various genera in the wild I have become
much more courageous in exposing them to sun, many grow amongst cacti in
burning hot bright conditions and will not perform with low light
levels.  The best example is Sinningia tubiflora.  Or Sinningia bulbosa
which I saw in Brazil on BLACK rocks in full sun. The rock was so hot
that I could not touch it and the huge tubers were sitting on that rock.
I wondered how they prevented from beeing fried. To make it worse there
was a heavy salt spray from the sea but they were flowering happily. I
do not know the habitat of K. eriantha but being so reddish-hairy I
suppose it grows in bright places.
I checked the website of Mauro Peixoto (Brazilplants.com) if you compare
his photo of K. eriantha with your plant you might find that yours looks
different. Mauro also states that the plant needs a lot of light.
Personally, I consider all Gesneriads as summer bloomers and prefer the
ones that go fully dormant in winter. 
I do not use artificial light as many people do in the US.

Greetings from dark and cold and windy Germany....   Uli

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