If you love indoor flowers, then you will surely like these exotic beauties. They are unpretentious in care, shade-tolerant, bloom for a long time, rarely get sick. Growing streptocarpus at home is a pleasure. The magnificent shades and patterns on the petals of its flowers amaze even the most sophisticated flower growers. It is not surprising that Streptocarpus is becoming more in demand and popular from year to year among indoor plant lovers and flower growers around the world.
Home care for streptocarpus
In terms of beauty and decorativeness, our handsome man is not inferior to many types of violets, and some of his species look even more advantageous than Saintpaulias. At the same time, it is much easier to grow streptocarpus flowers. They are not capricious for any reason and do not shed their leaves for the winter, they grow both in natural light and in artificial light, both on the windowsill and in the back of the room. And abundant flowering, under appropriate conditions, can continue all year round, without a break for hibernation. In order for your pet to meet this description, we will introduce you to the main points of the rules for raising it in your home.
The flower loves bright diffused light and long daylight hours. From midday sun rays, especially in hot summer weather, you need to create protection. From April to October, plants are placed on the western or eastern window sills, you can take them out to the terrace. In winter, it is better to rearrange the pot to the south window and use the backlight so that the daylight hours lasts at least 14 hours.
Streptocarpus develops best at a temperature of + 20 … + 25 ° C. In winter, cooler (+ 14 ° C) rooms are suitable. On very hot days, it is recommended to spray the plants and ventilate the room more often.
This flower needs high humidity, about 50-70%, although it can adapt to drier air. For spraying, fog machines should be used, because drops on flowers and leaves lead to the development of mold and a decrease in decorativeness. In winter, it is necessary to place the streptocarpus further from the heating devices.
The plant tolerates mild drought better than flooding the soil. Between waterings, the soil should dry out by 2-4 cm, depending on the total depth of the pot. Irrigation should be carried out along the edge of the pot or through the pallet. Long-term contact of leaves and shoots with water is highly undesirable. The liquid should be above room temperature and well cleaned.
To give strength to streptocarpus to bloom for a long time and abundantly, it is necessary to make fertilizing in the ground. This is done during the budding and flowering period 3-4 times a month. A solution of a mineral complex for flowering plants or violets is added to the soil. The dosage recommended on the package is reduced by 20%.
A plastic pot is suitable, wide, but shallow. The ratio of the height of the pot to the diameter is 1 to 1.5. The root system grows superficially and quickly takes up all the space allotted to it. Each next pot will be a couple – three cm deeper and wider than the previous one. At the bottom, be sure to lay a drainage layer in the form of expanded clay or clean river pebbles, 2-3 cm will be enough. Well, do not forget about the drainage holes – after all, the flower prefers bottom watering, just through the holes in the bottom of the pot
The most common disease of streptocarpus is root rot. The disease arises from excessive watering of the plant, aggravated by low air temperature and stagnation of water in the sump. The symptoms are as follows: the tips of the leaves dry, the petioles become weak and wither, brown spots appear in various places of the plant – on the leaves and buds.
Only a complete replacement of the soil in the pot will help to stop the process. Remove the diseased plant from the pot, inspect the root system. If rotting has just begun, cut the decayed areas to healthy roots, treat the cuts with fungicides and sprinkle with crushed coal. Disinfect the pot, only then use it as directed. Plant the treated plant in new soil and continue to avoid watering mistakes.
Other fungal diseases that can appear on the leaves of streptocarpus are gray rot and powdery mildew. The plant gets sick when it stands in a cold draft, in constantly wet ground, and there is a swamp in the pan. The same deplorable effect occurs from creating a greenhouse effect for a plant – heat, humidity, musty air. For treatment, fungicides (Topaz) are used.
With proper plant care, insect pests rarely pay attention to this indoor flower. But, if the room is too dry and stagnant air at an elevated temperature, expect trouble. More often than others, under these conditions, thrips and spider mites appear on streptocarpuses, less often – aphids. Isolate the affected plant urgently. Carry out preventive treatment of all healthy plants – they may contain insect larvae.
Wash off the parasites from the affected bush in the bathroom under the shower, and after it dries, treat with any modern insecticide (Fitoverm, Aktara, Aktellik). Place the treated plant in a large bag and seal it there for a few hours. Carry out this treatment a couple more times with an interval of a week, until the insects are completely destroyed. Further,
Streptocarpus can be propagated by seeds and vegetative methods. Seed propagation is usually used for selective work, because babies do not look like a mother plant, but they can have their own unique characteristics worthy of a new variety. Seeds without preliminary preparation are sown in a shallow container with a mixture of vermiculite, peat and perlite. It is convenient to mix fine planting material with river sand. It is distributed on the surface, then the soil is sprayed from a spray bottle and covered with a transparent material. The greenhouse should be kept in diffused light and at a temperature of + 21 … + 25 ° C. It is important to regularly ventilate it and remove condensation.
Seedlings appear together in 1.5-2 weeks. As the plants grow, they are taught to lack shelter, but they maintain high humidity. With the appearance of two true leaves, the seedlings dive at a greater distance into a soil mixture of peat, sphagnum moss, leafy earth and vermiculite.
To propagate an ornamental variety while preserving the maternal traits, the following vegetative propagation methods are used:
- Division of the bush. The plant, 2-3 years old, is freed from the soil during spring transplantation and carefully divided into parts. Usually babies (smaller sockets) are separated by hands, it is enough just to untangle the roots. If necessary, the mustache is cut with a sterile blade. Places of cuts are treated with activated carbon. The children are immediately planted in new soil and covered with a transparent cap for several days to increase humidity.
- Rooting cuttings. Almost any part of the plant can be used as a cutting. A baby without roots, a whole leaf or a single piece of it at the cut point is treated with charcoal, and then slightly buried in wet moss. The planting is covered with a transparent cap. It is necessary to remove condensate in a timely manner and spray the soil. With the appearance of roots, young plants, along with a lump of old moss, are transplanted into a new pot with soil for adult plants.