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Care of the plant Streptocarpus x hybridus or Cape Primrose.

Care of the indoor plant Streptocarpus x hybridus or Cape Primrose

The genus Streptocarpus, family Gesneriaceae, comprises 150 species of herbaceous plants native to Madagascar and southern Africa. Some species are: Streptocarpus gardenii, Streptocarpus liliputana, Streptocarpus eylsii, Streptocarpus kentaniensis, Streptocarpus rexii.

Common name: Cape Primrose.

They are small tropical herbaceous plants that reach 35 cm (13.7") in height. They have long leaves (25-35 cm/8-10") arranged in a rosette, hairy, rough and of a dull green color. The beautiful flowers of very varied colors appear on long peduncles, they last a long time on the plant and are trumpet-shaped. They can bloom from spring to early fall.

They are not easy to grow plants; They are used as indoor plants and are ideal, due to their need for humidity, for well-lit bathrooms.

Streptocarpus x hybridus needs a light exposure but without direct sun. It is not advisable for the temperature to drop below 7 ºC (44.6 ºF), but a certain period of rest in winter at about 15 ºC (59 ºF). They do not like the heating too close or the smoke in the room.

The soil must be light; use a mixture of peat, leaf mulch, coarse sand and bark; or a mixture, in equal parts, of peat and leaf mulch with a little sand and charcoal.

Water by immersing the pot for 15 minutes in lime-free water at a rate of 2 times a week in summer, avoiding wetting the leaves; reduce watering in spring and autumn; in winter water every 10 days. You have to be careful when handling the plant because the leaves are quite brittle. So that the humidity is high (if they are not located in the bathroom) damp stones can be placed in a tray under the pot.

Fertilize once a month during the summer with mineral fertilizer.

Prune the faded flowers and renew the plants at most every 3 years because they will begin to bloom much less than usual.

They are attacked by aphids if the environmental humidity is low. If the leaves get too wet they can suffer attacks from Powdery mildew.

It's recommended to buy these plants in garden centers or nurseries because propagation is a very complicated process.

Images of the indoor plant Streptocarpus x hybridus or Cape Primrose

Streptocarpus x hybridus
Streptocarpus x hybridus
Streptocarpus x hybridus