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Streptocarpus is an abundantly flowering houseplant, which has compact dimensions and is decorated with voluminous, bright bells. He is undeservedly less popular than his closest relatives - the senpolia and gloxinia, which are not inferior in beauty. Caring for streptocarpus requires the creation of certain conditions, but it will not be difficult even for those who began to get involved in growing house flowers recently.
Streptocarpus (Latin name Streptocarpus) is a whole genus of herbaceous plants that includes approximately 140 species, some of which are excellent for growing at home. He is part of the Gisneriev family. It is related to streptocarpella, senpolia and gloxicia. The flower is home to regions with a warm climate - South Africa, the island of Madagascar and the southern coast of Asia, and the rocky slopes of the mountains are the preferred place of growth.
Streptocarpus flowers are in the form of bells, located on high (20-25 cm) peduncles. The diameter of each of them can be from 2 to 9 cm, depending on the variety. After flowering, seed pods are formed in the form of pods. The color of the petals is very diverse: from snow-white to ink-purple. The stem of the plant is missing. The wrinkled and long leaves of streptocarpus, covered with fluff, form rosettes. Peduncles appear from their sinuses.
Thanks to the painstaking work of gardeners-breeders, decorative hybrids of these plants appeared, differing from each other in the structure of the plant and the color of the petals. All of them are united by one thing - high aesthetic qualities.
Types and varieties of streptocarpus
Compact plant with long leaves. The flowers have a snow-white color and terry edges.
Named after the Swedish Queen. The leaves of this streptocarpus are strongly serrated at the edges. Petals are elongated, have terry edges. A distinctive feature is the color of the flowers: the upper petals are lilac, and the lower are yellow with a purple trim
Has large flowers of deep purple saturated color
Delicate pink-salmon bells of small size with red veins
Compact blue flowers with pronounced purple streaks
Texas Hot Chile
Bright red-yellow petals
Streptocarpuses are plants from the slopes of the mountains, mainly in the tropical zone. Therefore, so that they feel good in the pot and delighted with bright flowering, you need to try to create conditions that are close to natural. Although over the years of selection and indoor breeding, these flowers managed to adapt to growing indoors, they need more care than violets and gloxinia.
First of all, you need to take care of a suitable container for planting and soil. Both healthy development and the decorativeness of home streptocarpus depend on these factors.
An ideal option would be a wide, but shallow pot. If all the forces of the plant and the incoming nutrients are spent on the intensive growth of its root system, then this will negatively affect flowering. In addition, such dishes will provide a more uniform drying of the soil than a high pot, in which moisture accumulates at the bottom, while the earth on the surface is already drying up.
The main requirement for soil is lightness and breathability. In wild conditions, the ancestors of domestic streptocactus grew on rocky slopes and cliffs, so dense and excessively overloaded with nutrients soil will not suit them. For example, you cannot plant this flower in black soil: a plant can simply die. It is better to purchase a ready-made mixture for violets in a flower shop, adding a little (a small handful per pot) of peat to it. After planting and transplanting, the next month, streptocarpus is watered only along the edge of the pot.
When choosing a place for a pot with streptocarpus, western and eastern windows should be preferred. In this case, flowering occurs if the daylight has a duration of more than 14 hours. This information allows you to use a little trick: by increasing the lighting artificially, you can make streptocarpus bloom all year round.
Although the plant is home to warm regions, it does not tolerate heat well. The optimum air temperature for streptocarpus is 23-25 ° C during the active vegetation period. In winter, it should be cooler - approximately 17 ° C if the flower is at rest. When the temperature rises above normal, then air humidity should also be increased. For the maintenance of hybrid varieties, warmer rooms are also suitable.
To maintain the high humidity that streptocarpus needs, you can use room humidifiers, as well as a nearby container filled with water or wet expanded clay. Spraying from a spray this flower is not recommended.
Watering is a very important part of streptocarpus care. It is better to carry out this procedure through a pallet (with the exception of the period after transplantation). So you can avoid rotting the green part of the plant, which provokes moisture in the sinuses of the outlet, the growth point, on the leaves. Watering should be done as the earthen coma dries up, avoiding stagnation of moisture in the pan. Water should be settled and preferably warm, just above room temperature.
To feed streptocarpus, complex mineral fertilizers are used for flowering plants in liquid form, which can be bought at the store. For example, Kemiru Suite. The dosage must be observed, making the solution for application 30% weaker than indicated in the instructions for the tool.
During the period of intensive vegetation (from early spring to autumn), streptocarpus will need such top dressing 2 times a month, and the flowering period - every week. This will increase the flowering time, and the bells will be larger and more brightly colored. Also, to save nutrient resources in a plant, it is necessary to remove peduncles and leaves with the first signs of wilting. Streptocarpus needs strength to form new buds.
Reproduction of streptocarous at home allows you to independently grow a beautiful specimen of interesting varieties. As a rule, cuttings (mainly sheets) and seeds are used for this. You can buy them in flower shops, from other flower growers or in online stores.
Growing streptocarpus from a leaf is a fairly simple and effective way., and sometimes even a small fragment is used, the veins of which will become growth points. The sheet or part of it can be put into water and wait for the roots to appear, or it can be planted in the ground.
To do this, you need a mixture of peat and sand, and if there is no way to make the soil yourself - buy a ready-made mixture for growing senpolia. The tip of the leaf is recommended to be pre-treated with a growth stimulator, which will significantly accelerate its rooting. Then it is deepened into the soil by 1 cm, and to provide the necessary moisture indicator, they create a kind of greenhouse using polyethylene. Sometimes it needs to be ventilated to eliminate excess condensate. The place for the container with sheets and fragments of streptocarpus should be chosen light and warm. In some cases, you will have to be patient, because the rooting of such cuttings can take about 2 months.
When streptocarpus seeds are purchased, the following steps should be taken:
The greenhouse must be regularly ventilated. It is important to ensure that the soil does not dry out. If this happens, then you need to moisten it again by spraying. The first shoots of streptocarpus will appear in about 2 weeks. When the second leaf has developed, picking and transplanting seedlings is carried out.
If the streptocarpus is not properly cared for, then it can be attacked by pests:
To combat them, special insecticides are used. In most cases, it is possible to save the plant. After this, it is important to provide the streptocarpus with the required conditions.
Also, if the irrigation technique is not followed, decay of the root system and outlet can occur. With such a disease, it is necessary to correct the errors of care, treat the plant with Fitosparin and transplant.
Streptocarpus is a flowering plant whose pretty bells are pleasing to the eye for almost a whole year. A large assortment of hybrid varieties allows you to choose an amazing plant with an unusual color. If you properly care for it, you can count on plentiful and prolonged flowering.