Streptocarpus Care and Propagation Tips

Windowsill orchids are a houseplant favourite and I repeat and update some tips given 3 years ago.
Streptocarpus

Plant care tips from Dibleys National Collection

  • Always cut off dead flowers.
  • Excessive or incorrect feed and poor light make the plants produce very large leaves and few flowers.
  • It is quite natural as plants age for the old leaves to die back, and the ends should be trimmed off, especially in winter.
  • In March or April gradually start watering more often and commence feeding.
  • Do not over-pot you will get more flower by keeping on the pot bound side. Using half of three quarter depth pots is a good idea.
  • Given this treatment you will be rewarded by a continuous display of flowers from about May until well into winter.
  • You will also find the flowers are good for cutting.
  • Shallow pots are recommended but I find the roots quickly mat up and become hard to water.
  • I have taken to only using clay pots (Wide Toms)
  • Start with AGM varieties.
  • Dibleys attend a large number of plant & flower shows where plants can be bought.


Streptocarpus

Streptocarpus Propagation

  • Streptocarpus can be propagated quite easily by leaf cuttings like it’s near relative the African Violet. For detailed instructions see pdf.
  • For breeding new Streptocarpus and generating more stock seed propagation is also quite simple. see pdf
  • Some Streptocarpus benefit from being divided when repotting.
  • Grow lots of Streptocarpus to give away to friends

Overwintering Streptocarpus

  • From around November most cape Primroses stop flowering.
  • Keep on the dry side with just enough moisture to avoid wilting.
  • Stop feeding and do not allow plants to stand in water or soggy soil that rots the roots
  • Keep in a light, bright, frost free spot, a south-facing window sill is ideal.
  • Crystal varieties may continue flowering.
  • As the days lengthen brighter green leaves should appear from the centre of the plant and old damaged leaves can be removed.

Cape Primrose known as Streptocarpus now come in a wide range of colours and bi-colours. I like ‘Roulette Cherry’ a maroon with white center. Still my favourite is the pure white ‘Albatross’ AGM with just a hint of yellow in the center. regular readers will know I tip a lot of AGM plants, the RHS award of garden merit, because if it is good enough for the RHS I have to make a real botch of it not to get a decent plant.

A comparatively new range of seven ‘all year around’ flowering Streptocarpus are sold by Dibleys nursery under the banner ‘Crystal Series’. The flowers are smaller but initially more numerous. I have been a bit frustrated by the sparse flowers from Autumn onward and don’t think they are worth growing in preference the main cultivars. Crystal Ice has an AGM and is white with a purple throat.

Update

Dibleys continue to send me their Young Plant Catalogue with new varieties to tempt the windowsill or Cape Primrose grower.

Thompson Morgan are a seed supplier of these flowering houseplants that some find fascinating.

Recent New Varieties

Myfanwy, another girls name to adorn a flower. In this case a white with purple face.
Harriet, what is it about girls names, this is deep purple.
Scarlett, as in O’Hara I don’t think so but it is blood red.
Cappuccino isn’t coffee coloured but deep mauve with indigo.
Harlequin Blue is half yellow, so go figure.

Grow from seeds at Thompson & Morgan

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