Houseplants forum: Streptocarpus

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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 28, 2012 11:17 PM CST
Hi all, if you're not familiar with 'streps' you may want to change that! They're related to african violets only larger (blooms on most of my plants are 3-4" across, so lovely!) I think they're easy to care for...water often, and feed lightly with each watering Smiling
Streptocarpus 'Noreen'
Thumb of 2012-11-29/gg5/e0e50f
Streptocarpus 'Kilimanjaro Snow'

Streptocarpus 'Frosty Pattern'

Streptocarpus 'Sassy'
Thumb of 2012-11-29/gg5/9346d7
Misc streps on my windowsill Thumb of 2012-11-29/gg5/4ca582
Hope you enjoy
Greg
Edited...just found out that what I received last year was not 'Jennifer' but accidentally 'Kilimanjaro Snow' (what a wonderful accident!!)
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
[Last edited by gg5 - Nov 30, 2012 3:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Nov 29, 2012 8:47 AM CST
Wow, beautiful Strep's! I love the photo of the ones growing on your windowsill! I've tried growing Strep's in the past but didn't have much luck ... probably too much heat and humidity here in Florida.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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gg5
Nov 29, 2012 12:02 PM CST
I think you're right, since I hardly turn my heat on here, and our summers are much cooler!
Thanks Lin
Greg
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
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sheryl
Dec 8, 2012 9:55 AM CST
I wonder how they'd do here in Phoenix. I currently have about 40% humidity inside my house, with a humidifier. They are certainly lovely plants. Do they propagate like the African Violets?
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Dec 8, 2012 12:41 PM CST
Hi Sheryl, they do like a bit of coolness, and a bright, indirect light. They propagate readily but different from African violets, in that you cut the leaf, if you have the space you cut the leaf along the stem in several places and lay it on the surface of a pot, then wherever its touching soil it will grow babies! (during this process they need almost daily misting, so its a bit of a project but very rewarding!) Then each leaf as it grows sprouts 10 - 20 blooms over its lifetime (so from the plants that I've shown photos of, I've had almost steady blooming for a year!) Very rewarding in that sense, and the blooms are striking, so when people visit they always ask "what is that?" "Are those real?" Its funny how many people have asked if they're fake plants Hilarious!
Cheers
Greg
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Dec 8, 2012 10:58 PM CST
Hurray! Another streptocarpus grower! Greg, for the first time when I was propagating them this fall I decided to take a leaf from one of mine and try starting it like a african violet and see what happened. I took the cutting down by the stem and put it in just like I do the african violets. At the same time I did a leaf the regular way with the cut leaf. They both have made babies but the one I started like an african violet has made bigger babies quicker. Smiling This is the first time I've tried it like that so don't know if it's just an anomally or if that's gonna work out better. I agree They are under rated!
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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gg5
Dec 9, 2012 2:25 AM CST
Hurray! Hi Sue!! Good to meet you, I'm surprised there are more of us on here!! I'm gonna have to try that, I don't really have much space, but doing the leaf that way would be easier, and a grower locally here in Seattle told me that streps "burn out" only lasting a year or so, and that you have to start new plants (some cultivars are good and generating new leaf growth and continuing to live but most don't last more than a few years)
There's a Youtube video showing how to slice the pieces of leaf and put them into a mix in a tupperware container, mine did nothing but rot! Crying
I have seeds but there so tiny that I'm not sure they'll do much but I'm looking forward to trying those too!
Thanks for replying Sue! Hurray!
Greg
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
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4susiesjoy
Dec 9, 2012 9:48 PM CST
Greg, Have you tried separating your plants as they get older and bigger? I've found that's another way to give new life to ones that are too big and root bound. You get a lot of new plants that way also so you have some to share with friends and neighbors. Big Grin

Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Dec 9, 2012 10:40 PM CST
Sue I haven't tried that but was told its a good idea Rolling my eyes. When I do I'll have extra plants Sticking tongue out
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
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sheryl
Dec 14, 2012 12:44 PM CST
4susiesjoy said:Greg, Have you tried separating your plants as they get older and bigger? I've found that's another way to give new life to ones that are too big and root bound. You get a lot of new plants that way also so you have some to share with friends and neighbors. Big Grin



... and of course, you have a lot of new friends now, lol.

So, when you say grow cool, how cool are we talking? Needless to say, in Phoenix we can get awfully hot, and I don't use the A/C to low 70's, more like the low 80's. Can they not take that heat or do they just shut down until it gets cooler?
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Dec 14, 2012 2:58 PM CST
Hi Sheryl, I think they bloom better at lower temps, but personally I've just treated these as houseplants. If you provide them indirect bright light, they'll love that! Also I water mine with 1/4 strength 15/15/15 liquid fertilizer. And every 3 or 4 months they get a bath to rinse out any salty/chemical residue. If you feel like trying something let me know and I can send you a leaf (after the holidays) Growing babies from the leaves is fun if you have the space! There are Youtube videos even! Sticking tongue out
Cheers
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Karen
Fredericksburg, VA (Zone 7b)
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Wild_Rose
Dec 28, 2012 3:51 PM CST
Hi Greg and all... (seeing a familiar name or two here... hi Lin!)

I love Streps and currently have about 20 mature varieties (mostly Polish and Russian), and more than a dozen new varieites that I have leaves down for. I actually love all the gesneriads, and grow episcias, sinningias, and kohlerias too... but the streps are my favorite! It took me a bit of time to figure out what they like and don't like, but I am now able to keep them happy, growing, and blooming for me. Overwatering is the number one killer of these beauties!

Greg, you have some lovely plants there! I am especially fond of 'Noreen'. I had it back in the summer, but it was unifoliate, and I could never get it to produce more leaves. It bloomed beautifully, but I eventually lost it. I am hoping to get it back soon.

Enjoy them! They are addicting, but very rewarding!
Karen
The most intelligent people I know use their eyes and ears more, and their mouths less.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Dec 28, 2012 11:51 PM CST
Hi Karen, thanks I know I like that strep also!! I lost a couple of plants as the winter set in, I think I under watered and then tried to compensate by overwatering once I'd watered again, also they got too cold - they have to be strong to withstand my cycles of over caring and then neglect as I get busy Thumbs down I had an amazing leaf on 'overnight sensation' which grew to about 2 1/2 feet and kept blooming and doing great things, and then this fall (after a bit more than a year, it burnt out) I have several small leaves but can't tell what they're going to do (live or die) Shrug!
I also have a couple of episcia's and sinningia's (one of which is a local hybrid from Seattle and is a very cool plant, if I get brave - in the spring I'll try to take cuttings and start some babies) here is a photo of it Its called Sinningia eumorpha 'Saltao' hybridized by Peter Shallot who lives here in Seattle Big Grin

the leaves on this plant are smoother than other sinningias that I've seen, and it has maroon undersides!
Hurray! There are a few of us gesneriad lovers on this site afterall!! I was starting to feel lonely Rolling on the floor laughing
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Karen
Fredericksburg, VA (Zone 7b)
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Wild_Rose
Dec 29, 2012 12:21 AM CST
Wow! That one is really nice! My hubby found and bought me a plant of Sinn. sp. 'Regina', and a plant of Pearcea abunda for Christmas.... both not very common. I fell in love with Pearcea when I saw a HUGE plant of it (5ft+) in a greenhouse this summer, and I wanted it so bad! It has bright green leaves covered with bright red fuzz! I only hope I can do it justice!

So what is your favorite strep so far? Even as I ask, that's a hard question for me to answer... there are so many beautiful varieties now. I started in gessies six or seven years ago... mainly episcias at that time, but someone introduced me to streps and I had several before too long. Unfortunately, I got a case a mealie bugs that I could not get rid of, and I became so disheartened that I just got rid of everything! Fast forward to this past Spring, and I decided I would order a couple of my old favorites again. I had not even looked at streps in over two years, and I WAS STUNNED by the new varieties! Wow!!! It didn't take long for me to have too many (but you can never have too many, right?) I tend to underwater mine more often now, which also makes them unhappy, but I don't lose them nearly as often. I think I am finally getting the hang of it now, with my mix and my potting method, etc. they don't like it too warm and they did suffer some from our hot summer. I just got my second shelf set up so now I have a whole wall in our dining room for my plants!

Karen
The most intelligent people I know use their eyes and ears more, and their mouths less.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Dec 29, 2012 4:56 PM CST
Karen, that sounds beautiful!! Yes, the streps do pretty well here in Seattle - we don't really get the hot temps Smiling
I love Noreen, and then I have Kilimanjaro snow which I'm not finding my photo of Confused
anyway, it has a large (4 to 5 inch) blossom with a ruffle edge, white with a purple center Smiling I also like the Frosty pattern which is a Russian variety. I just restarted with house plants, I'd lost several and also got discouraged and needed some space (at the time) but of course that doesn't really last for me - you see something you like and someone offers one to you and...well, a new craze begins! For me now its mostly outdoor plants (semps and sedums) that I'm going crazy for Rolling on the floor laughing
Cheers
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Dec 30, 2012 11:34 AM CST
Thank you for the comments on this thread.
I was given a streptocarpus by a neighbour and have no idea on caring for it.
It came with blue flowers, but is just sitting there and not doing anything.
I have it in a south window, but as the sun gets stronger---should move to shade spot?
And larger container?
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Dec 30, 2012 1:00 PM CST
Hi Caroline, my experience is that they are ok being pot bound (small pot - although I planted mine in 5 inch pots - once they were large enough) You're right as the sun gets stronger they'll prefer a east or west facing window, for you in Calgary, that seems like it won't be for a few months. Also it seems they prefer cooler temps (for me I didn't know this, since Seattle stays moderate in summer :biggrin:) and also I keep my house cool (ish) in winter so I guess accidentally I'm providing them with good conditions Hilarious!
One important thing is that I feed lightly with each watering - 1/4 strength of whatever plant food you use (I use liquid Shultz plant food)
Streps do go through a dormant period but if feeding and in the right condition they should be blooming again soon Hurray!
Can't wait to see photos!
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling

Region: Minnesota
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RoKroll
Jan 3, 2013 11:04 AM CST
Gorgeous! I always thought these were difficult to grow.
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
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sheryl
Jan 3, 2013 3:53 PM CST
Sorry for the belated thanks for your offer, Greg. My home can reach the 80's easily in the summer, so I'm pretty hesitant to try these plants. Heck, I'm just thrilled that I've been able to get some African violets going after losing all that I moved last summer.... Sticking tongue out
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Jan 3, 2013 5:58 PM CST
Sheryl, ha I understand! after loosing all my african violets 6 years ago, I'd stopped all but one house plant, until last year, when I went crazy with the succulents and streps :P
Big Grin
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling

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