Streptocarpus: growing an African "bell" on the windowsill

    Streptocarpuses, the natural species of which were grown by our grandmothers at home, are again at the peak of popularity among collectors. Recently, thousands of chic varieties with varied colors of charming colors have been bred. Streptocarpus blooms for a very long time, delighting its owners. Caring for it is simple, so the plant can become an ornament to the collections of experienced gardeners or settle on the windowsill of those who are just starting to grow flowers in their home.

    Streptocarpus, or Cape primrose

    There are hundreds of varieties of streptocarpus. All of them mainly grow in the southern part of the African continent (as the popular name of the flower - Cape primrose) speaks, as well as in Central and East Africa, including Madagascar and the Comoros. They were imported to Europe about 150 years ago, but the real boom began at the end of the twentieth century, when selection work began on the development of new hybrids and varieties. Currently, gardeners can choose streptocarpuses with large and small flowers, painted in the most incredible shades of white, blue, lilac, yellow, burgundy, they can be fragrant and odorless, with simple flowers and with petals wavy along the edges.

    In nature, streptocarpuses can be found in forests, on shaded rocky slopes, and in rock fissures.

    Streptocarpus is the closest relative of gloxinia and senpole (uzambara violets). The genus belongs to the Gesneriev family, representatives of which usually grow in the wild as epiphytes or lithophytes. Cape primrose is found in wooded areas, grows on moist soil and in light shade. Some species can be found on shaded rocky slopes, on the ground, in rocky cracks and almost everywhere where seeds can germinate.

    Streptocarpus got its name due to the shape of the fruits, twisted in a spiral. Literally, the word "strepto" means "twisted", and "carpus" - the fruit.

    Modern hybrids only remotely resemble natural species

    Plants of the genus Streptocarpus have two main forms: multivalent and univalent. The first, in turn, has a rosette shape. These are perennial plants and they are most often grown indoors. The flowers of modern hybrids usually have a diameter of three to several centimeters and consist of five petals.

    The second form has only one leaf growing from the base. Many species are monocarpics, they bloom only once, and after setting seeds die off, giving life to new plants. Although some are also perennial, that is, after the death of the leaf, the flower releases a new one from the base, and the old leaf blade dies.

    Monocarpics bloom once, giving life to new plants after the death of tied seeds

    Streptocarpus flowers are 2.5–3.5 cm in diameter, and their color scheme is varied, they are painted in different colors from white and pale pink to purple and violet, with all kinds of color combinations. The buds are tubular, outwardly they resemble a bell in some way, can be with even or wavy edges, simple or double, decorated with denticles or scallops. Large leaves have an elongated shape and a velvety surface. Fruits are pods with small seeds.

    "In captivity" streptocarpus grows beautifully, blooms and sets seed. If you create suitable conditions for the flower, it will bloom for a rather long time and very plentifully, as the flower growers say - with a “hat”. Reproduction of the plant at home is also not difficult, streptocarpus can be grown from seeds, leaves and even small fragments of leaf blades.

    Natural species of streptocarpus

    Currently, botanists have identified more than 130 species of streptocarpuses. Some of the most popular are:

    • Streptocarpus King (S. Rexii). The plant is stemless, its distinguishing feature is long pubescent leaves, whose length reaches 25 cm. The flowers of the royal streptocarpus are painted in purple, and inside the pharynx there are purple touches.
    • Stem streptocarpus (S. caulescens). A plant whose stem grows to 50 cm in height. Its flowers tilted down have a pale blue hue.
    • Streptocarpus Kirk (S. kirkii). The leaves and peduncles of the ampel plant reach 15 cm and have a drooping shape. The buds of a light purple hue are collected in umbrella inflorescences.
    • Wendlan Streptocarpus (S. wendlandii). The flower has one large oval-shaped leaf, the length of which reaches 0.9–1 m. The wrinkled and pubescent leaf blade is colored green above, and reddish-lilac below. From the sinuses of the long peduncle, flowers bloom, the diameter of which is 5 cm. The Vendlan streptocarpus propagates exclusively by the seed method, after flowering it dies.
    • Rock streptocarpus (S. saxorum). The plant is perennial. Its distinguishing feature is a woody base. Leaf blades are small, oval in shape. The shoots are twisted at the ends. Medium purple flowers bloom in spring and summer.
    • Streptocarpus primulifolia (S. primulifolius). The plant belongs to the rosette species. The stem grows up to 25 cm in height, up to 4 flowers bloom on it, the petals of which are decorated with all kinds of dots, stains and strokes.
    • Johann Streptocarpus (S. johannis). Rosette view with a straight stalk. The leaves grow to a length of 50 cm, and their width is 10 cm. About 30 lilac-blue flowers bloom on the peduncle.
    • Large streptocarpus (S. grandis). A single-leafed species, its only leaf blade is quite large, grows up to 40 cm in length and 30 cm in width. The stem rises by 0.5 m, flowers of a light purple hue with a darker throat and a white lower lip bloom on its top.
    • Cornflower streptocarpus (S. cyaneus). The stems of the rosette plant reach 15 cm. The flowers are painted in different shades of pink and grow two in a piece on the stem, the middle of the bud is painted in yellow, the pharynx is decorated with different dots and stripes of purple color.
    • Streptocarpus snow-white (S. candidus). The leaf blades of a rosette plant grow up to 45 cm in length and reach 15 cm in width, the texture of the leaf surface is wrinkled and velvety to the touch. Snow-white flowers are decorated with yellow stripes, the pharynx is decorated with purple dots, and the lower lip is decorated with red strokes.
    • Streptocarpus glandulosissimus (S. glandulosissimus). The stem of a plant of this species grows to 15 cm in length. The buds are colored in different shades from purple to dark blue.
    • Streptocarpus primrose (S. polyanthus). The plant is a univalent variety. The leaf blade is densely pubescent and grows to a length of 30 cm. Flowers about 4 cm in size are painted in all kinds of shades of blue with a yellow spot in the middle.
    • Streptocarpus Canvas (S. holstii). The flower has fleshy stems, the size of which reaches 50 cm. The leaf blades have a wrinkled texture, they reach a length of 5 cm. The buds are painted in purple and their base is snow-white.

    Photo Gallery: Types of Streptocarpus

    The flowers of the royal streptocarpus are painted in purple, there are purple touches on the pharynx

    Wendlan's Streptocarpus propagates exclusively by seed

    Medium-sized flowers of a lilac hue of streptocarpus rocky bloom in spring and summer

    The petals of Streptocarpus primulifolia flowers are decorated with all kinds of strokes and dots.

    About 30 lilac-blue flowers bloom on the peduncle of the Johann streptocarpus

    The stem of the large streptocarpus rises by 0.5 m, on its apex flowers of a light purple hue with a darker pharynx bloom

    The flowers of the streptocarpus stem have a pale blue tint

    Streptocarpus Pickaxe is grown as an ampule plant

    Streptocarpus collection varieties and hybrids

    Currently, breeders are doing a great job to create spectacular hybrids and varieties of streptocarpuses. More than a thousand varieties of domestic and foreign breeding are known, of course, it is impossible to describe all of them within the framework of one article, we will only present a few of them.

    • Streptocarpuses with flowers of saturated dark purple hues with a velvety surface of the petals - varieties Dracula's Shadow, Thunderstorm overture.
    • Flowers with a fantasy pattern of strokes of different shades in plants of varieties Himera Pedro, Tarjar's Roger.
    • Incredibly spectacular look flowers with the finest mesh ("venous pattern"). Among the varieties whose buds have a similar color, Victorian Lace, Maja, Lisica, Spring Daydreams can be distinguished.
    • DS-Kai Heart is a variety whose back side of flowers is dull white.
    • DS-Meteorite Rain - with blue-white upper petals and a yellowish-blue border around the edge.

    Varietal variety of streptocarpuses in the photo

    The Dracula's Shadow variety has magnificent flowers with velvety petals.

    Stormy Overture - an excellent variety of domestic selection

    The variety Himera Pedro has delicate flowers of different shades of lilac

    Tarjar's Roger streptocarpus has very spectacular flowers

    Victorian Lace strep flowers look like bright lace

    Maja Streptocarpus Petals Decorated with Magenta Strokes

    Lisica variety has wavy petal edges

    Spring daydreaming - a variety of streptocarpus with incredibly delicate flowers

    DS-Heart of Kai's flower petals are decorated with a dark vein mesh

    DS-Meteor Shower with medium-sized, vibrant colors and dark rays from the throat

    Table: requirements for growing streptocarpus at home

    SeasonTemperatureHumidityLighting
    Spring Summer+ 23–27 ° C. Plants tolerate drafts, but do not like heat.High humidity is required. This requires regular spraying with water at room temperature. However, it should be noted that water should not fall on the leaves and flowers of the plant. Spray the air around the flower and install a humidifier nearby. In the summer you can have a shower (the flower responds well to the procedure), but you cannot immediately put it on the windowsill, first you need to dry the plant in the shade.Lighting is diffuse. It is better to place on the windowsill windows facing the East or West. In summer, you can take it out onto a balcony or loggia, but shade the flower from direct sunlight.
    Autumn winter+18 ° C.Spraying once a week. If streptocarpus is blooming, then droplets should be avoided on the flowers.Requires fluorescent lighting.

    And unpretentiousness and abundant flowering differs Campanula. You can learn more about this flower from the material: rastenija / kampanula-uxod-za-izyashhnymi-kolokolchikami-v-domashnix-usloviyax.html

    Features of landing and transplanting

    Streptocarpus transplantation must be carried out in the spring. This event is usually held in order to rejuvenate the plant, it is also possible to propagate it by dividing the bush.

    We make the soil mixture

    Although streptocarpuses, gloxinia, and violets belong to the same family, the soil for the Cape primrose is different, therefore it is not recommended to use the prepared soil for senpolia for planting and transplanting the plant. But horse peat can be added to it in the ratio of 2 parts of peat and 1 part of substrate for violets.

    However, experienced growers recommend making the soil mixture yourself. It must be poor, air- and moisture-permeable, in order to obtain such a soil, the following ingredients must be mixed:

    • high peat (2 parts);
    • leaf humus (1 part);
    • perlite or vermiculite (0.5 parts);
    • sphagnum moss, cut into small pieces (0.5 parts).

    We select a pot for planting

    Too large a pot for planting streptocarpuses does not need to be used. The capacity is chosen based on the size of the plant, since it begins to grow vegetative mass only after the roots braid the entire earthen lump. For each subsequent transplant, it is necessary to use a flower pot 1-2 cm larger than the previous one.

    There must be drainage holes in the pot for growing streptocarpuses

    How to transplant streptocarpus - step by step instructions

    1. Moisten the soil in an old pot and take out the plant along with a lump of earth.

      The plant is taken out of the old pot with a lump of earth.

    2. Lightly shake off the soil from the roots and rinse them under running water.
    3. If the bush consists of several outlets, then separate them with sterile scissors, sprinkle a place with activated charcoal.
    4. Cut the roots slightly and shorten the large leaves by 2/3 of their length.

      Large leaves are recommended to be shortened before transplanting

    5. Place drainage from expanded clay or foam balls at the bottom of a new pot.
    6. Pour soil into 1/3 of the tank.
    7. In the middle of the pot, position the outlet.
    8. Spread the roots and carefully fill the voids with earth. In this case, do not fall asleep in the heart of the flower.

      With a spring transplant, you can update and propagate the plant by dividing the bush into several parts

    9. Moisten the substrate along the edge of the pot and place it in a shady place.
    10. Once the plant has grown, rearrange it in its usual place.

    If you purchased a flower in a store, then do not rush to transplant it immediately. Peat substrate, in which all plants are usually sold, is suitable for the growth of streptocarpus. Wait until the beginning of spring and transplant the flower by transfer to a larger pot.

    Caring for the “Cape Primrose”

    Streptocarpus is considered a non-capricious plant. All he needs is regular hydration and nutrition.

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    Watering

    Watering the plant should be carried out regularly. Please note that the flower does not tolerate excessive moisture and overdrying of the soil. Water for irrigation is pre-settled during the day and watering is carried out along the edge of the pot. An hour after the procedure, it is recommended to drain excess moisture from the pallet.

    Optimum soil moisture can be found by a simple test. Blot the surface of the peat substrate with a paper towel. If there are small spots of moisture on it, then the substrate is sufficiently moistened. If the surface of the earth in the pot is shiny and has a black tint, then such soil is too wet for streptocarpus, and the red color of peat indicates the need for watering.

    Streptocarpus feeding

    Fertilizing should be done every one and a half to two weeks, using liquid preparations for flowering plants. This will significantly increase the growth of streptocarpus, accelerate the appearance of buds and strengthen the immunity of the flower, which will help protect it from pests and diseases.

    Fertilizers of Kemira Lux and Etisso are perfectly suitable for feeding. The only condition is that the solution should be diluted in a concentration half as much as indicated in the instructions.

    Flowering and dormant period

    As a rule, streptocarpuses bloom in late April - early May. During this period, they need good lighting, but still they must be shaded from direct sunlight, otherwise the leaves may fade or burns will appear on them. Withered flowers and peduncles are recommended to be systematically removed, this will stimulate the appearance of new peduncles.

    To bloom abundantly, you need to remove wilted flowers and peduncles

    As such, the streptocarpus does not have a resting period. But in winter, in order for the plant to gain strength before the new flowering, he needs to arrange special conditions of detention. At this time, the flower is kept at a temperature of +18 ° C and reduce the amount of watering.

    To stimulate flowering, the plant needs to be transplanted in the spring into a fresh substrate, adding horse compost to it. Old and long leaves need to be shortened to 4–5 cm, which stimulates the appearance of new leaf blades. As soon as the flower grows a good green mass, it will be ready for flowering. Please note, in order to obtain more abundant and longer flowering, the first peduncle is recommended to be broken off.

    Table: problems with growing streptocarpuses

    What does the plant look like?What is the reason?How to fix the situation?
    Streptocarpus leaves were claimed.Lack of moistureWater the flower.
    Leaves are yellowed.Nutrient deficiencyFeed your streptocarpus complex fertilizer.
    The tips of the leaves have dried.
    • Too dry air;
    • plant closely in a pot.
    Spray the air around the flower, taking care not to drop water on the leaves.

    Seedle streptocarpus, dividing the outlet into several parts.

    A rusty coating appeared on the leaves.
    • Excessive watering;
    • too high concentration of nutrients in the soil.
    • Stop watering, let the soil dry completely. Keep in mind that streptocarpus is better to undersatisfy, with excessive moisture the plant dies.
    • Transplant the plant into peat based soil. Fertilize once every 2 weeks, while the concentration of the solution should be 2 times less than recommended by the manufacturer.

    If the plant does not bloom with good care, the reason lies in the aging of foliage. Each leaf can give no more than 10 peduncles.

    Table: flower protection from diseases and pests

    Disease / pestSignsWays to get rid
    Gray fungal rotFluffy grayish mold on the leaves caused by the botrytis fungus appears with excessive moisture and when kept in cool conditions.
    1. Remove parts of the plant affected by gray rot.
    2. Spray a sick plant with Topsin, Fundazole or Zuparen.
    3. To avoid re-infection with gray rot, reduce watering and periodically ventilate the room.
    Powdery mildewA whitish coating on leaves, flowers and stems.
    1. Remove the flower from the pot, rinse under a stream of warm water.
    2. Treat with fundazole.
    3. Transplant into fresh and sterilized soil.
    Aphid
    • Small green insects appear.
    • Leaves curl or warp.
    Treat with an insecticide (Fitoverm, Akarin, Actellik). Spend 2-3 treatments (according to the instructions).
    Weevil
    • Black wingless insects appear.
    • The weevil gnaws leaves, so they become gnawed around the edges.
    1. Treat streptocarpus with one of the insecticides (Fitoverm, Akarin, Actellik)
    2. After a week, repeat the treatment.

    Photo gallery: streptocarpous diseases and pests

    White plaque on the plant indicates the appearance of powdery mildew

    With a cool content and with too much moisture, the flower is affected by gray rot

    Weevil nibbles leaflets, harming the plant

    When aphid is damaged, the leaves curl and deform

    Breeding

    The most reliable methods of plant propagation are dividing the bush and propagation by leafy cuttings. Also, flower growers use the method of reproduction in parts of the leaf, which allows you to get a large number of children. In experimental attempts to develop new varieties of streptocarpus, the seed method of reproduction is used.

    Leaf Shank Streptocarpus

    For rooting, you can use any part of the leaf blade. The most effective way that is most suitable for beginners is to grow a new instance from a whole leaf. For this:

    1. Rainwater of room temperature is poured into a cup.
    2. The leaf is cut from the mother plant.
    3. The slice is powdered with powdered activated carbon.
    4. The sheet is placed in water so that it is immersed in it by 1-1.5 cm.
    5. The roots appear very quickly, in a week they will appear, and in a couple of weeks new outlets will begin to grow.

      The roots appear very quickly.

    6. At this point, plant the rooted leaf in a small pot filled with loose substrate.

      Breeding streptocarpus leaf is the most effective method

    You can also grow a large number of new specimens from fragments of leaf blade. For this:

    1. Cut the sheet from the mother liquor.
    2. Remove the central vein.

      When preparing fragments, the central vein is cut

    3. The resulting two halves are planted in a loose substrate, deepening the cut by 0.5 cm.

      When propagated by leaf fragments, a large number of children are obtained

    4. Planted fragments moisturize and cover with a plastic bag. To remove the condensate, ventilate 2 times a day for 20 minutes.

      Planting needs to create greenhouse conditions

    5. After about 2 weeks, roots should appear, and after 2 months, the babies will appear. Each vein grows 1-2 small rosettes.
    6. When the kids are strong enough, carefully separate them from the leaf and transplant them to a permanent place.

    Sowing seeds

    Streptocarpus seeds are small. They are scattered on the surface, moistened with a spray bottle and cover the plantings with glass. Capacity put in a warm place. Planting material grows slowly and unevenly, so you need to be patient. Planting in a greenhouse must be ventilated daily and wipe the condensate from the film so that the black leg does not appear on the seedlings.

    Planting in the greenhouse must be ventilated daily and wipe the condensate from the film so that the black leg does not appear on the seedlings

    Video: Streptocarpus breeding

    Florist reviews

    I just recently, this summer, began to grow streptocarpuses. I bought leaves, now tiny children grow. Some plants I bought are small, children. Some of them stand and bloom on the loggias, they like cool. Part under the lamps on the window (the window is also constantly open on the loggia .Main thing is not to fill, and so very unpretentious!: D If they grow to bloom, then they bloom constantly.

    Olyunya

    Streps are beautiful, I fell in love with them at first sight, but when it came to breeding existing children, I had to suffer. But that’s why I probably love them even more now)) For me it was problematic. In general, there are 3 options: propagation by seeds, dividing the bush and growing children from the leaf.

    Nat31

    So I would not say that their flower is seamless. He is demanding more than many others. Well, with watering, everything is simple, it is better to slightly dry between waterings. Strongly dislikes getting water on the leaves. He loves moist air, but, again, not too much. With transplants, I do not get very painless. Transplanted plants recover for a long time, get sick. Almost always, regardless, I shared a bush or replanted the whole. Here you need to feel them. There were no such problems with transplantation with any of my other pets (oh, no, there is still silver peperomia, which is also very sensitive to transplants - but the rest is always ok) But even on the north window you can achieve flowering, and then it turns out so funny clearing:

    Natlli

    I grew my streps from seeds. (NK seems, if necessary - then I will look more precisely). They germinate well and fairly quickly, but the shoots are very small and weak, grow slowly. Without a greenhouse, they refuse to live categorically. Finally, they were removed from the greenhouse only 6–8 months after sowing. Picking significantly accelerates the growth of young plants. They bloomed in me about one and a half to two years after sowing. I also propagated it with cuttings using the "non-traditional" method - just left them in a moist, hermetically tied bag.

    Natali

    Video: Enchanting Streptocarpus Varieties

    Modern streptocarpus hybrids are true works of art. The color scheme of the new varieties is impressive: purple, snow-white, pink, dark blue, lilac, lavender and almost black flowers, decorated with stains, dots, strokes and a mesh of veins. This plant will certainly become an adornment of any home.

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