Streptocarpus is also referred to as Cape Primrose. They are perennial, evergreen flowering plants that are native to Africa. They are related to the Africa violet and are typically grown as houseplants. The flowers of streptocarpus come in vast range of colors, such as pink, white, purple, dark plum, blue, apricot and various shade of red. Grow streptocarpus where they will receive filtered light, provide them soil that is fast draining and keep growing conditions leaning toward the dry side.
Propagating Streptocarpus by Division
Let the soil in the pot containing the streptocarpus dry out slightly. Turn the pot upside down and use two fingers (one alone each side of the stem) to support the plant and gently tap along the rim of the pot to remove the streptocarpus from its pot.
Carefully pull apart the root system, or you can use a knife to cut the root system in half.
Place vermiculite into a 3 or 4 inch wide plastic pot until it is about half-full. Pour water into the pot until you are sure the vermiculite has been well dampened.
Set the divided section of the streptocarpus onto the soil in the plastic pot. Make sure its roots are spread out over the surface of the vermiculite. Hold the streptocarpus level and straight while you scoop in vermiculite around the root system to fill up the pot. Ensure that the streptocarpus is sitting at the same level in the vermiculite as it was in its original pot.
Tamp down the vermiculite gently all around the streptocarpus plant. Pour water slowly into the pot until the vermiculite has been well moistened. Keep the plant in filtered light for 8 to 10 hours a day until new sprouts form and you are sure the plant is growing.
Propagating Streptocarpus by Leaves
Water the streptocarpus thoroughly in order to plump up the leaves and plant. Cut off one of the leaves so that the section is about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long. Then cut the leaf in half.
Use a 2 or 3 inch wide plastic pot and fill it up with vermiculite. Pour water in the pot until the vermiculite is damp to the touch but not soggy wet.
Create a 1/4 inch deep furrow in the center of the vermiculite. The length of the furrow should be the same length as the width of the streptocarpus leaf. Set the leaf into the furrow and hold it firmly up against the vermiculite while you tamp down vermiculite firmly all around the leaf.
Set the pot with the leaf cutting into a plastic bag and seal the bag up. Put the bag in a warm, bright location. Try to provide at least 6 to 8 hours of light a day and try and maintain a temperature of between 60 and 70 degrees F. Make sure to open the plastic bag for about 1 to 2 hours a day, to allow for ventilation.
Keep the growing medium in the pot moist, but don't allow it be become soggy wet. In about 2 to 3 weeks the leaf should show signs for forming new roots. When the newly formed plants are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches tall, you can separate them from their parent leaf and pot them up into individual pots.
Things You Will Need
- Streptocarpus plant
- Sterilized vermiculite
- Plastic bag
- Plastic pots
- A good growing medium for propagating streptocarpus is mixing together equal parts of peat moss, perlite and vermiculite.
- According to the African Violet Society of Canada, streptocarpus grow best when they are kept in a temperature below 85 degrees F. Ideal temperature range for growing streptocarpus is between 60 and 70 degrees F.