The genus Kohleria (co-LEER-ee-a) was named by Regel, a German in 1847. The genus was named in honor of Michael Kohler, a Lecturer in Natural History in Zurich. Kohleria is a genus of 85 species ranging from Central to South America. Some Kohlerias are small plants and others are shrub size. Leaves are hairy and opposite in pairs of two or whorls of three to four leaves. The flower shape is uniform having a thick tube with two small and three large lobes. The flowers are brightly colored. The lobes and throat are covered with a pattern of spots in more intense or contrasting colors.
Plant Kohleria rhizomes (underground stems) in the spring in a soilless mix consisting of one part vermiculite, one part peat moss and one part perlite. Kohlerias can also be propagated from tip cuttings or propagules (rhizome like structures that sometimes occur in the axils of the leaves). They do well in a light garden. In the winter Kohlerias like a temperature of 50ºF – 60ºF and a period of real dormancy. In the summer they like a temperature level of 60ºF but not over 80ºF. They are very popular in Europe because they keep their houses cooler. Kohlerias have a tendency to become leggy in warmer conditions. Fertilize Kohlerias with ¼ teaspoon of granular fertilizer to a gallon of water.