Plant DetailShow Menu

Streptocarpus

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
strep-toh-KAR-pus
Description

Cape Primrose is a genus with over 150 species. The one most commonly known is the African Violet . If you know how to grow an African Violet successfully, you should have success with other species in the genera. The genus name, Streptocarpus, comes from the Greek. Strepto means 'twisted' and carpus means 'seed'. This refers to the twisted seed capsule which is a common trait of the genus.

The plants in this genus are native to warm, moist areas of the world – central and southern Africa, areas around the Gulf of Guinea, Venezuela, Argentina, islands in the Indian Ocean, southeastern Australia, Laos, and Vietnam. They are usually found in mountainous areas.

These plants vary in height and spread from one to one and a half feet. There are trailing varieties that can grow much longer.

These make very good houseplants. Grow them in bright to moderate light avoiding direct afternoon sunshine. They prefer high humidity so you could place them in a tray of water with pebbles. Do not allow the pot stand in water. Water well, allowing them to dry out between waterings. Some species go dormant over the winter. Reduce watering at this time. If the roots are too wet the plants may get root or crown rot. If the leaf edges turn brown, stop watering and allow the plant to dry out completely. This could be a sign of overwatering. Where the climate is warm enough they can be grown outdoors for the summer. They are not hardy below Zone 6.

The plants in this genus are herbaceous perennials grown for their long-lived, showy flowers. The flowers are made up of five petals with one or two petals sometimes fused into a tube. They range in color from red to purple, sometimes with white markings. To maintain flowering, deadhead regularly. When all of the flowers on a stalk have died, cut the stalk back to the base. This will allow room for more flowering stalks to develop.

Their leaves are arranged in a basal rosette or appear singly or in opposite pairs. The leaves are linear or rounded with some being heart shaped. They are usually deeply veined, wrinkled and sometimes hairy. The underside is often a different color. Remove dead leaves by cutting as close to the crown as possible. Trim too large leaves with scissors.

While the plants are actively growing, fertilize with quarter strength tomato fertilizer each time you water. It is better to under fertilize. Too much will cause browning of the leaves. During the winter, if the plant has gone dormant, reduce watering and stop fertilizing until new growth starts in the spring.

Propagate plants from leaf or stem cuttings. They are susceptible to botrytis gray mold so watch carefully. Remove any cuttings at the first sign of mold.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#houseplant#purple flowers#showy leaves#pet friendly#tropical perennials#long-lasting flowers#dry soils tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel#tropical#container plant#wet soils intolerant#hsc#hsc-fl#container
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#houseplant#purple flowers#showy leaves#pet friendly#tropical perennials#long-lasting flowers#dry soils tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel#tropical#container plant#wet soils intolerant#hsc#hsc-fl#container
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Stretocarpus
    Family:
    Gesneriaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Houseplant
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    central, eastern and southern Africa,S Africa, Maadagascar, SE A
    Distribution:
    Throughout Africa, Indian Ocean, parts of Australia
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Shade
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Habit/Form:
    Cascading
    Erect
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    asymmetrical petals
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The flowers of this plant can appear singly on a stem or on branched stems. They have five petals which can be fused into a tube. They come in all colors except true blue and green - white, rose, pink, lavender, purple. They can also be marked in contrasting colors. Regular deadheading can help to prolong bloom time.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Rough
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Orbicular
    Peltate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves of this genus can be more than five inches long. The arrangement depends on the subgenus- species in Streptocarpella carry their leaves singly or on opposite arrangement along a stem; species in Streptocarpus create a basal rosette. The latter is the most commonly found. The leaves are green in color, linear to rounded with entire edges, wrinkles, hairs, and prominent veining.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil