Streptocarpus Dimetris

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:50 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:09 pm
Posts: 341
As you might know in 2014 Pavel Enikeev (Dimetris founder) published “Стрепоткарпус” (“Streptocarpus”) – a 176 page (Russian language), heavily colored illustrated, hard cover book.

The book covers all aspects of growing streps, such as soils, water, potting, lights, temperature, watering, fertilizers, rejuvenation, propagation, pests (ticks, insects, fungi, and bacteria), etc. Also all imaginable problems with Streptocarpus including, root rot, different types of burning, edge necrosis, lack of different nutrients etc.

This book was very well received in the Russian-speaking world and there have been many requests for an English translation. Pavel and I decided to create an English language book about Streptocarpus based primarily on Russian original book, but updated and adapted to the English speaking audience.

We (Pavel and I) are in process of translating/editing/writing the new book "Streptocarpus" (English edition) . We are intended to serialize it in Gesneriads.

I am selling off the majority of my collection because of the time demand of the book.



Streptocarpus originated in South Africa and Madagascar. Unlike their distant kin, the African violet, they have been discovered and cultivated relatively recently. We could say that only a few hundred different hybrids exist, but many are underway, since more and more people have gotten interested in these amazing flowers.
It is important to note that, unlike African Violets, Streptocarpus can give more than a dozen flower stalks on one leaf. Streptocarpus also has long standing blooms (up to two months). They are more tolerant of cold and drafts and need more light to reach their highest flowering potential. Although different hybrids may have slightly different growing conditions a few main rules could apply to all Streptocarpus hybrids.


These plants love bright light, but not the direct sun, especially on hot summer days. Plants like east- or west-facing windows and also shaded South windows. A North window in the summer would be OK, too, but too dull in the winter. A bright light in winter is important if you want your Streptocarpus to continue flowering. Streptocarpus also grows well under fluorescent light. There are many GRO- light bulbs and structures available. Fluorescent light could be added to prolong short winter daylight. To summarize – LIGHT IS ESSENTIAL for prolific year-around blooming.


In spite of African origin, Streptocarpus does not like prolonged (days) of high temperature (usually more than 85F). After long exposure to high temperature, plants may stop growing, leaves may become deformed, and the whole plant could become infected with bacteria or fungus due to the weakened immune system. The ideal temperature is 65-80F for your plants. Plants can tolerate cold very well (up to 40F), and will become dormant and not require frequent watering or fertilizer.


The biggest mistake people make when they first start to grow Streptocarpus is overwatering. This quickly kills the root systems and provides breeding ground for fungus and other plant infection. If leaves are wilted and the soil is still wet on the surface or even beneath the surface, your plant will never recover. However, if you forget to water your plant and it becomes wilted, do not worry, because it will perk up again in a few hours after watering. Even if your plant completely recovers, it is still in mild shock, so it is better to water before the plant starts to wilt. It takes some practice. You can tell when the plant needs water by the weight of the pot or by looking at the surface, which usually looks much lighter when it is dry.
Frequency of watering depends on many conditions, such as humidity, temperature, and the stage of plant growth. In the summer you may need to water every day, while in winter it would be less frequently. However, if you use artificial light, your plant will continue to grow and flower vigorously and may need more water. Another important factor about watering is the quality of your water. If your water is hard, the minerals create a yellow or orange film on the surface that is harmful for the plant. You need to scrape it periodically, or re-pot your plant more frequently. Some people flush the plant with pure distilled water periodically to get rid of the excess salt. It is much better to use rain, distilled or reverse osmosis water. You can easily buy 2-gallon containers that you can refill with distilled or reverse osmosis water for around 60 cents at a number of grocery stores. Finally, water sparingly after re-potting to allow new roots to grow.


Streptocarpus likes poor soil or a soil-less mix. If you have never grown Streptocarpus or African violets, we think the easiest way to start is to buy Miracle-Gro African violet potting mix (or your favorite comparable mix and then add approximately 25-30% perlite. Plant or re-pot your plant when the soil is not soggy but has enough water so that, when you squeeze your mix in your fist, you see the water oozing from the soil.


There are many ways to feed your plants. Plants especially need fertilizer during the period of intensive growth and flowering, usually in the spring and summer and fall. We use Peat-Lite Special 20-10-20 1/8 tbs/G with each watering. ... 43_120_121

If in winter you don't add additional light most likely your plants will stop blooming. In November it is better to re-pot your streps. They will grow leaves. You don't need to fertilize for at least 2-3 month. Start to fertilizer in February or March.


Streptocarpus loves to be re-potted. In general Streptocarpus likes much smaller pots than other plants. If you see that your plant has overgrown its pot, then transplant it to a slightly larger pot. If your plant does not show significant growth, repot it to the same pot. Before re-potting try to remove the old substrate as much as possible. It is easy to do it when the soil is relatively dry. During the fast growing period it is desirable to re-pot every three months.


Streptocarpus likes to be groomed. Old yellow leaves could be removed. Brown leaf ends could be trimmed to desired shapes with scissors. This will not affect the blooming.


Streps are easily propagated from leaf cuttings.

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