How to Grow Streptocarpus

Overview

Known commonly as the Cape Primrose, Streptocarpus is a member of the African violet family and thus produces small blooms of pink, purple, and white, with red blooming species as an added bonus. The Cape Primrose is most often grown as a house plant and needs minimal care if given the right conditions.

Step 1

Choose a pot with a drainage hole. Cape Primrose cannot thrive with soggy roots, and good drainage is essential to prevent root rot.

Step 2

Fill pot with a well-aerated potting soil that will aid in drainage. Soils with the addition of perlite or peat moss will have better drainage capacity than others. African violet potting mixes are also a good choice. Do not overcrowd the Streptocarpus, allowing enough room for it to spread out as it grows.

Step 3

Plant the Streptocarpus in the pot and firm the soil around the roots up to the base, but do not tamp too forcefully. Pressing the roots will prevent them from drawing moisture and feeding properly.

Step 4

Provide 14 hours of indirect, bright light per day. Southern-facing windows might allow too much heat or direct light, so opt for sunrise- or sunset-facing windows if possible.

Step 5

Temperatures should not exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the day time or fall below 45 F at night for optimum growth.

Step 6

Avoid over watering, which could seriously dismay your Streptocarpus. Keep the soil moist but not wet, and watch for signs of over watering including wilting and yellow tipped leaves.

Step 7

Fertilizer can be applied in weak doses every seven to 10 days or as needed.

Step 8

Repot the Cape Primrose when it outgrows it's pot to ensure continuing blooms and overall health. When roots become too bound and soil is leached of important nutrients through successive watering, the plant will not flourish.

Things You'll Need

  • Streptocarpus plant
  • Potting soil
  • Pot
  • Balanced fertilizer

References

  • Michigan State University Extension, Streptocarpus--Cape Primrose
  • University of Illinois Extension, Plant Palette: Streptocarpus
  • The Violet Barn, Discovering Streptocarpus
Keywords: growing Streptocarpus, Streptocarpus tips, Streptocarpus care

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.