It is a small evergreen plant native to southern Africa. It consists of a dense rosette of large green, round, thin and wrinkled leaves; in spring and summer from the rosette of leaves rises a stem with some flowers, usually blue or white, but there are many hybrids of different colors, there is also a species consisting of a single large leaf, with blue flower stem, when the plant has produced the seeds the only leaf dies, but often it takes years before it blooms.
The streptocarpus are widely used as indoor plants as they are easy to grow and have a long flowering period. Flower stems can also be used in bouquets. This plant is also known as the head primrose.
For a better development of the primula of the head, place the plant in a bright place, but not directly exposed to sunlight, which cause severe burns to the leaves, fear the cold, so in winter should be kept at home. Generally, the streptocarpus are better developed in cool climates, fear the great heat of the summer months, in July and August it is therefore good to keep them out of the sun in a very windy place.
The ideal temperature for the cultivation of these plants is around 22 °C and, in winter, it is advisable to place it in a place where it does not fall below 16 °C.
- Streptocarpus are perennial herbaceous plants spread mainly in southern Africa and Madagascar, vaguely reminiscent of the former, and are very common in nature in the undergrowth, hence the name…
These small plants need regular watering, but not too abundant: it is good to water them at least once-twice a week, waiting for the soil to dry up a little between one watering and the other as the primula of the head can present serious problems in the presence of waterlogging. In winter the watering decreases, remembering however to moisten the ground quite often.
It is interesting to know that the leaves should not be wet because they risk staining easily and may present the presence of mold.
From March to October provide fertilizer for flowering plants every 10-15 days, mixed with the water of the watering.
To plant these plants, use a universal soil, lightened with expanded clay or pumice stone to increase drainage, in fact the streptocarpus do not like too heavy soils and poorly draining, which can cause the onset of dangerous root rot.
It is good to proceed with an annual repotting in the spring period, using a pot a little larger than the previous one.
The multiplication for obtaining new specimens takes place by seed in spring; in late spring it is also possible to make leaf cuttings, which are to be taken close to the ground level, the petiole is to be immediately inserted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts; it is advisable to choose new and healthy leaves.
Cape Primrose – Streptocarpus: Pests and diseases
Beware of aphids and cochineal; excess water can cause root rot. Aphids, or lice, can be eliminated with one of the many insecticide products on the market, or with the use of natural products, based on nettle or garlic. Macerates are prepared and then sprayed onto the affected leaves. For cochineal, in addition to the usual specific products, if their presence is limited, you can intervene with the help of a cloth with alcohol to remove them manually.
- Streptocarpus are perennial herbaceous plants spread mainly in southern Africa and Madagascar, remembering v
visits : streptocarpus