Specialist growers of Streptocarpus
and other fine houseplants

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How to Take Care of Your Streptocarpus Plants 
(
Taken from the introduction to our Catalogue)

Knowing their geographical distribution helps in understanding their care. Remember, they come from the wooded areas in mountains, so they do not want full sunshine, but they do want a bright position. Too much sun burns the leaves and fades the flowers. Keep them in a shaded greenhouse or indoors in an East or West window.

When you receive your plants, pot them into 3 1/2" pots as soon as possible using a good peat or fibre based potting compost. Shading is especially important for the first few days. Within a few weeks the plants should begin flowering. Water regularly from either above or below only when the plant requires it. It is important not to overwater Streptocarpus, wait until the compost feels dry to the touch. Overwatering, in particular regular overwatering, will cause harm to the root system. The first symptom of overwatering is exactly the same as underwatering i.e., the plant will wilt. So make sure the compost is actually dry in between watering. A month after potting up commence feeding with a high potash fertiliser. The most convenient way is to insert a Dibleys Streptocarpus fertiliser tablet each month. Please remember every lant is a separate individual and should be treated as such.

Always cut off dead flowers. Excessive or incorrect feed and poor light make the plants produce very large leaves and few flowers. It is quite natural as plants age for the old leaves to die back, and the ends should be trimmed off, especially in winter. In winter, water less often, do not feed and keep the plants in a place free from frost. In March or April gradually start watering more often and commence feeding. Plants should be potted into a slightly larger pot each spring. Do not over-pot you will get more flower by keeping on the pot bound side. Using half of three quarter depth pots is a good idea.

Given this treatment you will be rewarded by a continuous display of flowers from about May until well into winter. You will also find the flowers are good for cutting.

Streptocarpus are easily grown plants which are remarkably free from pests and diseases. Greenfly occasionally attack plants and can be spotted from their white discarded skins on the flower stalks and leaf bases. A spray with a proprietary insecticide either as an aerosol or mixed with water will soon cure the problem.

We largely use biological control of pests on our nursery and have found the method very successful. It must be noted however that biological methods alone may only control pests but not eradicate them. Biological control can be done on an amateur scale in a glasshouse or conservatory. Supplies are available in the UK from from: Green Gardener, 41 Stumpshaw Road, Brundall, Norfolk, NR13 5PG.

Rot can occur at the base of the leaves causing the leaves to wilt. Remove the damaged leaf and check that the growing conditions are correct, taking special care to see that overwatering is not occurring.

Please do not send diseased material to us, we do not want to run the risk of introducing pests or diseases into our nursery.