relative light needs for Cape Primrose and AVs to bloom?

woodsworm(7a NC)April 27, 2007

I have a vigorous gesneriad. I think it is a 'Cape Primrose,' Streptocarpus caulescens Streptocarpella. (The friend who gave it to me knew only that it was "kin to an AV," and my own "identification" is from comparing photos and descriptions on gesneriad sites, so I'm not certain but I do want to let you know as closely as I can in order to get accurate responses. It grows from stems, not a rosette.

It has thrived mightily from a 1" cutting last fall to a 15" or so heavy bloomer as the days have lengthened. I am about to take some cuttings, repot the base plant and select a summer location. I am well accustomed to the exposure needs of my African violets and have managed them indoors and outdoors in central NC.

Can someone tell me whether the Steptocarpus needs stronger light than the AVs to keep blooming? I know it will have a dormant period at some time, but I don't want to hasten that as leaves come to shade the south window where it has been thriving this spring. My inclination is to keep some of it in the house and some outside. Outdoor shade is available, ranging from partial to deep shade. My main question is light exposure for what I keep indoors.

By the way, can someone tell me how long a non-blooming period to expect from the streptocarpus, assuming "best" conditions? This is such a beauty I don't want to miss a bit of it. My husband thinks I have some kind of magic, and I sure want to keep him deceived. thanks.

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irina_co(z5 CO)

Woodsworm,

in my experience streptocarpella can take a lot more light and it loves it. Not direct midday sun outside though. I would guess that if AV would like to have 600-800 footcandles - streptocarpella possibly 1500 and more. So - start in dappled shade and move towards the light. The second thing - looks like it does better from the cuttings than from the old plant, so rejuvenate it at least once a year.

The best place I had for it in my house was a western window behind the windowscreen, looks like enough sun stimulates blooming. I kept in Oyama pot and kept refilling it with an AV fertilizer solution 1/8 of a teaspoon per gallon.

Good luck

Irina

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 4:58PM
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woodsworm(7a NC)

Thanks, Irina! that's most welcome info.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 1:35PM
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