Streptocarpus problem

snappyguyMarch 29, 2010

I've had this starter strep plant for about 3 weeks and it's my first strep. Recently, it developed a black spot on the largest of the baby leaves, and the leaf went limp beyond that point. Any ideas as to what could have caused this and how to keep it from happening again? The soil stays moist, neither dry nor wet, as I wick water.

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irina_co(z5 CO)

You overwatered it. Do not water until the soil is dry. Streps do better with bottom watering, than on wicks.
When it gets bigger - and you are ready to repot it - add a good amount of coarse perlite to you AV soil, and put a half inch layer of a perlite on the bottom of the pot. The crown should be on the top of the "hill" to increase air access.

Good luck


    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:01PM
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Thanks Irina! It's my wife's plant and I'd feel really bad if I killed it. I already removed the wick and will bottom water.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:26PM
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Irina said,

The crown should be on the top of the "hill" to increase air access.

That's the first thing I noticed when I saw the photo. If a strep is buried too deep, crown rot can become an issue. I lost more streps that way until someone told me to have the crown of a strep on a mound. I would try to raise the plant up a bit.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 2:03PM
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Thanks Larry. I'll try that too.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 4:14PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Snappy - do not remove a wick. Just let it sit in a saucer.
If violets prefer to have a humid soil all the time - the streps want to have dry periods - I guess it is the climate difference between high jungle in Tanzania and South Afrika hills.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 5:28PM
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Snappy, here how I have started and grown Streps and have not lost one in over a year plus of growing and starting them from leaves.

I agree with Larry, the crown should be slightly above the soil to prevent crown rot. I only water from the bottom and with a small paring knive punch 4 holes along the bottom rim of the cup for extra air flow to the roots. Give the knive a small twist to create a small hole.
B This is a soil mix I have been using with great success. You will need a 12 oz solo cup to measure. You can get the ingredients at Lowes, Home Depot, etc.

6 cups perlite
4 cups Miracle-gro African Violet soil mix
3 cups vermiculite
1/8 cup activated charcoal ( used in fish tanks) pet shop

mix together well and use. Wish you luck with your plant.

Note: I do not use wicks with this mix. I only bottom water.

In the event your plant does not survive for some reason, contact me as I usually have extras and would be willing to share so you can enjoy these beautiful plants. They grow quickly and most bloom freely.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 12:51AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone! Got the plant repotted and at the top of the hill. A little less water and hopefully it'll take off and bloom in no time.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 12:39PM
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i got new ones in today and i read this and they are still small but i went and made sure the t was up a bit from the top of the solo cup and thanks for the mix for he soil davioletman i never know what to use that is correct.

when is the best time to pot these babies up?
thanks for any help

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 8:53PM
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I always bottom water and let dry between waterings.

LOVE Streps!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 9:32AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

JB's -

your plantlets are still small - you can keep them in their original solo cups or small pots until they start to tip the pots. And then i would just slip pot them in a bigger pot with "davioletman's mix" - it is a very good recipe. I usually put a half inch of coarse perlite on the bottom - the more air the better.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 2:13PM
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thanks Irina i repotted some of mine in davioletmans (Dave i call him )receipe and they are doing great, i dont have many mostly because i lost so much money on others in the past so i thought i would try again this year with some help from my nail guy who is from Asia and they grow for his mom the way he told me she done hers...oh i wish i had more strepts. i love them i just have lost my wallet over them in the past and i am afraid it will happen again but so far with this knowledge i am doing 110% better. i also try to help newbees and ppl with strept problems because I been there.
dave has 2 to die for and when i try to order and get mine they have been out of them all summer.

bye for now
talk soon i hope.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 8:30PM
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Question...I know this is an older thread but it has several references to growing on a "hill" or "mound." I can only imagine what that looks like - do any of you who do this have a picture? I haven't ever done anything like this to my knowledge - I just pot them but I suppose not too deep but not on a mound either.

I haven't lost any and I have quite a few but wondering what this looks like and want to know more about it. I've not seen this advice elsewhere - though I don't read a lot of boards so maybe I've just missed it.

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 7:34AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Imagine - the center of the soil is 1/2" above the edges. At least to start with - eventually the soil settles anyway,


    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 6:50PM
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Thank you, Irina.

So, literally on the top of a mound, such as a watermelon in a garden.


How does that help them? I suppose it makes sure the crown dries out relatively quickly and never stays wet. I wonder how many people do this? I would hazard a guess that the soil mix a person uses is part of the issue - a slower heavier mix would benefit most (my guess) from this whereas a faster lighter mix might not need it as much (again, my guess).

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 6:05PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Some people water from the bottom, some wick. In my experience it will benefit wicked plants the most- because soil is permanently moist. If you bottom water and let them dry between the watering, it wouldn't be such an issue.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 3:06PM
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