Streptocarpus (Streptocarpus) or Streptocarpa is a beautiful indoor flower from the Gesneriaceae family. Homeland of the plant is the island of Madagascar, in the wild it can be found in South Africa and Asia. In total, there are about 130 species of flower, it gets along perfectly at home and can serve as decoration for any greenhouse or garden. Streptocarpus got its name due to the unusual shape of seed pods.
After the streptocarpus flower fades and the seeds ripen, the box twists into a bizarre shape. Translated from the Greek "streptus" - twisted coil, "karpos" - the fruit, seed. For the first time in Europe, the flower became known in 1818 thanks to botanist James Bowie. It was then called “Didimocarpus rexii”, but very soon it was renamed “Streptocarpus rexii”. Under this name, the plant is known today. If in the wild one can meet more than a hundred of its varieties, then more than a thousand of cultivated hybrids are known.
Streptokarpus "Jana" in the flowering period.
Streptocarpus are shaped like a rosette of large, fleshy oblong leaves of dark green color. The length of one leaf can reach 25 cm, and the width - 7-8 cm, while the plant stems are very short and covered with fluffy nap. In the center of the outlet are beautiful, bright flowers in the form of a bell with curved petals.
The plant has abundant flowering - one copy can throw up to hundreds of buds. The color of the flower at the same time is very diverse - from white and blue, to purple and dark lilac.
Streptokarpella is loved by gardeners, both professionals and beginners. If you are lucky to get to the exhibition of these indoor plants, the impressions will be the brightest. The most popular varieties that combine two or three colors.
You can see specimens with two or three petals striped or dotted, with a fringed or pleated edge. One of the most common types of streptocarpus "Jana". The size of the flowers and their number on one bush can be different.
Growing at home
This indoor culture, although belonging to the Gesneriaceae family, breeding and reproduction of streptocarpus is not the same as in violets. They need a completely different care at home.
A guest from Madagascar needs a lot of light. He needs to provide a 14-hour daylight hours, even in winter.
In summer, streptocarpus will feel great on a windowsill or near a window on the rack. But in the winter they will have to finish them. Experts recommend alternating daylight lamps and phytolamps.
Bright multi-colored buds of streptocarpus of different varieties.
Streptokarpella loves not only heat, but also light. In order for the plant to feel comfortable and delight in violent flowering, it is necessary to maintain the temperature not lower than 23 degrees Celsius in summer, and not lower than 15 degrees in the winter months.
In the summer you need to protect the flowers from direct sunlight and overheating, they will start to wither. And in the winter day light can be reduced to 8 hours and stop introducing top dressing - the plant begins a period of rest.
Excess moisture to this flower will only be harmful, it tolerates drought normally. Watering should be regular, but only when the top layer of soil in the pot is completely dry. If you water the plant too often, its roots will begin to rot.
In the summer, streptokarpella may be a little to attach. In this case, it should be moderately watered every 2 hours three times a day. Such an event will be enough for the plant to fully recover. Streptokarpus will enjoy spraying much more than frequent and abundant watering even in hot weather.
Transplant streptokarpusa in a new substrate.
For growing streptokarpus you will need a loose and light soil. Experienced gardeners recommend loosening too much soil with peat, sphagnum moss, perlite and vermiculite. If you use a substrate of peat and vermiculite and properly care for the plant, you can grow a decent, beautiful specimen.
Top dressing of streptocarpus should be carried out regularly; mineral fertilizers containing phosphorus and nitrogen are recommended. The solution must be diluted with water first in equal proportions, then the concentration gradually decreases. Introduce fertilizer once a week - then the plant will delight with bright greens and abundant flowering.
Rooting of leaf fragments takes about two weeks.. The appearance of babies at the leaf vein can be seen in 1.5–2 months. On each vein formed one or two children. After the kids grow up to at least 2 cm, they can be transplanted into a separate container.
As a dish for transplanting babies, you can use stogrammovye disposable cups. Children should also be kept in a greenhouse, gradually accustomed to room conditions by airing. The separation of children from the sheet causes some difficulties, because their “thin” legs are very fragile and can be easily damaged. All babies need to be treated with a root and plant, without deepening the root collar.
- Lighting. Streptokarpus is a photophilous plant, so it should be grown in a well-lit place. But it is necessary to avoid hit of direct sunshine that the flower did not wilt.
- The room. Grow streptokarpus better in a room where there are no drafts. They can not stand this plant, they can cause diseases of the flower and its death.
- Features of seed care at home:
- Watering is carried out using a pallet. It is impossible to water from above, otherwise you can wash out all the seeds.
- After the formation of the first leaflets seedlings should be aired.
- When the real leaves begin to grow, you can make the first pick. To do this, plant the plants in a larger pot so that they do not interfere with each other.
- Put the dishes with the planted parts of the sheet in a plastic bag.
- It is not necessary to do openings for airing.
- It is desirable to avoid contact between the leaves and the package, you can build special props.
- To put a greenhouse in a warm and well-lit place.
Diseases and their treatment
Reproduction of streptocarpus takes place in the greenhouse, which is necessary to create optimal conditions for germination. But this can provoke the reproduction of harmful bacteria that destroy the plant already at the cutting stage. Streptocarpus is susceptible to fungal diseases with inadequate care - powdery mildew, gray mold. You should also protect the plant from spider mites, whiteflies and thrips.
- Thrips. The first sign that the plant is sick - its leaves begin to dry quickly. Stop this process is very difficult. Treatment: the use of an insecticide. For faster treatment should increase the humidity and reduce the temperature in the room.
- Spider mite. The name speaks for itself, when the disease appears on the leaves of a spider web and flower stalks dry out. The method of struggle is the same as with thrips.
- Late blight or virus. Symptoms of the disease - the presence of dark mosaic spots. This disease cannot be cured, so the only thing that can be done is to throw away the diseased plant.
- Mealy dew. The disease manifests itself by the formation of white dust or flour on the plant. Control measures:
- removal of affected parts
- replacement of topsoil,
- processing plants and soil antifungal agents.
Reproduction streptokarpusa - a long and complex process. It is necessary to choose the right breeding method. Cutting is a more reliable method of reproduction, and with the seed method you can get unpredictable colors. Observing all the rules and conditions of cultivation, you can achieve the appearance in the house of this beautiful flowering plants.