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 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
- 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.
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