If you like the look of African violets but find them too difficult to grow, try a pot or two of their hardier cousins, Streptocarpus or primroses.
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If you like the look of African violets but find them too difficult to grow, try a pot or two of their hardier cousins, Streptocarpus or primroses. Growing Streptocarpus plants is said to be good training for African violets because their requirements are similar, but it is easier because they are not as delicate.
Its flowering is very similar to that of African violets with their purple, pink and white shades, but Streptocarpus also have brightly coloured red varieties. The leaves are crinkled and thick with a fuzzy texture and make an attractive houseplant in their own right.
Information on Streptocarpus is easy to obtain, making these plants a good choice for novice growers. Learning to care for Streptocarpus is a matter of adapting the plant to the environment.
They like the air around them to be relatively cool, around 21 C. during the day and about 10 degrees cooler at night. This plant loves light, but direct sunlight can burn the foliage. A home in an east- or west-facing window is perfect, but if all you have is a southerly view, you can slide a sheer curtain between the plant and the window pane to diffuse the strongest hours of light.
The easiest way to kill your Streptocarpus plant is to overwater it. Pay attention to your Streptocarpus, but be very cautious when it comes to humidity. Make sure the planting medium has good drainage and allow it to dry out between waterings. Propagating Streptocarpus can be a simple and enjoyable hobby.
It is very easy to create dozens of baby plants, adding to your collection and creating new plants to give as gifts. Cut off a large, healthy leaf with a clean razor blade and cut out the central vein, leaving two leaf halves. Plant the halves in rich potting soil by standing them upright with the cut side down. Keep the leaf halves moist until they start to sprout.
After a few weeks, you will see seedlings form along the cut edges of the leaves, sometimes as many as a couple of dozen from each leaf. Separate the seedlings once they have grown and are healthy, and plant each one in an individual pot.
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- Green leaves and lilac flowers
- Spring and autumn
- As a houseplant or greenhouse plant
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- As it is a live plant and depending on the season, the plant may be received, in some cases, not exactly the same as in the photograph, but as close as possible. This does not affect the quality of the plant.