I had 5 streptocarpus, lost one last winter. It started wilting, it lingered on and died. Now same thing is happening to another one. Don't quite know what to do to save it. Please advise. Thank you
After posting my message and asking for help, I spent some time reading other's questions regarding Streptocarpus and found out most people had same problem. Learned quite a bit about culture and soil requirement. As soon as I finished reading I took the plant in question out of the pot and put it on a layer of newspapers to absorb the moisture and later on after it has dried out, plant it in porous mixture and keep the crown above soil level, and hope for the best. I will add that the flowers on these plants are adorable, the frills and curls and colour really nice to see.
I think you figured out already - that Streptocarpus requires getting the rootball quite dry before watering - it mimics the natural conditions in South Africa - where it originates. Keeping it constantly wet causes root rot. Sometimes if you see it starting to wilt - you can save it - on early stages just keeping it drier, and if wilting progressed - you can take the plant off the roots, trim the crown to the 1/4 of the size and root it again.
I was wondering about just this situation yesterday morning as I unpacked an order of 4 streps. They all had wicks hanging out of the pot bottoms; wouldn't wicking keep them too wet? Or, (and I'm completely guessing here) would the wick be used to water...and then they are taken off of the reservoir to dry out? but then the wick would be all dry when it was time to water again and how would you re-start it? I'm confused!
in my experience - you can start your Streps on wicks and mats - but as they grow you need to move them to bottom watering. You can leave the wicks - they help rewet the dry plant when you fill the saucer - or in my case - I have them in an empty trays - 6 a tray- and when they are dry - I just add half inch of water in this tray. And they all have wicks even if I do not wick them.
A friend of mine keeps them on wicks and individual reservoirs - but she lets them dry before refilling the reservors. i think you need to have an acrylic yarn wick to do it - mason twine salts itself and stops passing water.
Irina, you are such a wealth of knowledge and always explain things so clearly. That is interesting about the type of material used for the wick making intermittent wicking possible. Thanks for helping me to understand and to care for these small plants properly. I would hate to have put them on reservoirs, assuming that was what they were used to, and then killed them with too much water!
I try, thank you for your kind words.
You got these new babies - you need to let them adjust and give them a quarantine time. I would put them on a separate tray for a month - if possible in a different room - and bottom water the tray when necessary. They do well on a natural light - so if your tray will be close to a good window - it will be sufficient.
Done. Thank you for the reminder to quarantine - which I did without even thinking that I should! They are in my bedroom where I have a long and high west window over the bed. The only other plants in the room are a peace lily and two Schlumbergera, so they'll be fine. I was just looking for a safe place to put them, but the isolation factor makes it perfect.