How to Grow Streptocarpus - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Herbaceous Category   /   2023

Streptocarpus, also known as Cape primrose, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae. They are native to Africa, with a few species in Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. The genus includes about 150 species, which are divided into six sections.

How to Grow Streptocarpus - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Streptocarpus plant? Because of their small size, Streptocarpus are often grown in pots and dish gardens. They are easily cultivated and make good houseplants. They have few problems with pests and diseases, although they may be susceptible to fungal diseases if overwatered.

Plant Size

How big can it be? Unless stated otherwise, most Streptocarpus are usually from 20 to 35 cm in height and width. This makes them ideal for placement on shelves, windowsills, or as part of a larger arrangement. The leaves are often variegated and the flowers can be blue, violet, pink, or white and are borne singly on long stalks.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? The Streptocarpus will flower in the same year it is planted in the spring.

Streptocarpus Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Herbaceous
Family Gesneriaceae
Origin South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? Although individual plants vary, in general, a Streptocarpus plant will last 2-3 years before it starts to look “tired”. At this point, it’s best to replace the plant with a young one.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? While the ideal temperature for Streptocarpus plants is 64.4-75.2 degrees Fahrenheit, in the winter the temperature should not drop below 59 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature does drop lower than this, the plant will need to be watered less often in order to enter a state of rest.


What about the humidity? The reason why you want to maintain high humidity for your Streptocarpus plant is because they are native to Africa. They grow on the forest floor where there is little to no direct sunlight but plenty of humidity in the air. If the air around your Streptocarpus plant is too dry, the leaves will start to curl up and the flowers will bloom less.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Eventually, I would like to add a Streptocarpus plant to my collection. They are notoriously difficult to grow from seed. I have been doing some research and have found that Streptocarpus is suitable for diffuse light. It is best to keep it on the east and west window and shade from the direct midday rays.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Streptocarpus? Eventually, you will need to repot your Streptocarpus. A light breathable primer is suitable. For the soil of your own preparation, you can take 2 pieces of leaf land, 1 part of coarse-grained sand or perlite, 1 part peat, 1 part humus. It is mandatory to use drainage.

Watering Time

How much I must water Streptocarpus? Since it's a flowering plant, it needs more water during that time, about every 3 days. But you never want the pot to sit in water, as too much moisture can make the plant rot. Use only soft water. Once autumn arrives, reduce the amount of water, and in winter, water only every 8-10 days. If the temperature is below 59 degrees Fahrenheit, then water even less. It's best to water the plant from a pan so the water doesn't fall on the leaves or flowers.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Unless you're growing Streptocarpus hybrids for exhibition, there's no need to be too precise about feeding. A general-purpose fertilizer, such as a balanced 10-10-10, given once a month from spring until autumn, will suffice. However, it's best to dilute the fertilizer to half-strength to avoid burning the plant's leaves.


How to reproduce Streptocarpus? Since it is a easy-to-grow plant, Streptocarpus can be propagated by leaf cuttings in summer at a temperature of 69,8 ° F. To do this, it is possible to germinate a fragment of a leaf in water, having powdered a cut of a sheet with coal and having placed a cut on 0,5-1 sm in water. On the whole sheet, it is possible to make incisions with a knife along the central vein and place the sheet “face” down on the surface of the ground, pinning with wire. Cover with a glass or a film and wait until new plants appear, regularly watering. You can pre-treat the sections with hormonal powder. The sheet can not be cut, but it is traditionally placed in the substratum. Germs will appear about a month later. Streptocarpus can also be propagated by dividing the bush during transplantation in spring. It also reproduces seeds that are planted in January-February (for summer flowering of the plant, for the streptocarpus to bloom the next year, the seeds can be sown in June-July) and do not sprinkle with earth. Cover the container with glass and germinate the seeds at a temperature above 68 ° F. Shoots usually appear on the 10th-12th day. After about 2-3 weeks they are dived. Plants bloom after about 7 months at spring sowing and after 9 in summer.


Why Streptocarpus won't bloom? Sometimes, the flowers of Streptocarpus are called Cape primroses, but they are not related to the primrose family. They are native to tropical areas in Africa and Madagascar. The flowers of Streptocarpus plants can be blue, pink, purple, or white. Some have stripes or spots. The plants bloom from May to September. The flowers are tubular and grow in clusters.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Streptocarpus? So, the general rule of thumb for transferring your Streptocarpus is to do so every year in the spring. You don't necessarily need to increase the size of the pot, but if you do, make sure it's not more than about 2 inches in diameter.

Caring The Streptocarpus

How to care the plant? The plant likes airing, but does not tolerate drafts, gas combustion products and tobacco smoke. The leaves of the plant are fragile and easily damaged, so you should be careful when cleaning them with a dry brush. Sometimes, after flowering, boxes with seeds are formed, but usually, in order not to weaken the plant, the fading flowers are removed in time at the base.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Streptocarpus plant? The reason is that it is capricious. It is very important to know how to properly care for this plant, so that it pleases us with its blooming. Many beginners make the same mistakes. They are listed below. One of the most common mistakes is incorrect wintering. In winter, the plant needs a cool temperature and high humidity. The leaves of the plant can rot at a very low temperature and strong watering. Another common mistake is incorrect watering. The plant does not need much water. Leaves curl if the plant does not water properly. Another mistake is the lack of fertilizing. Leaves turn pale when fertilizing is needed; on the flowers may occur stains from water.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Streptocarpus poisonous? The Streptocarpus plant is a common houseplant that is toxic to humans and animals if ingested. The plant contains saponins, which are toxic to the liver and kidneys. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you think your pet has ingested the plant, please contact your veterinarian immediately.