Streptocarpus help

jeremy39July 6, 2014

Hi everyone im hoping someone can help me.
I've been a Gesneriad grower for some time now and lately I've noticed something strange happening to my Streptocarpus plants. Its even starting to happen to my seedlings that are under dome's as well. im not sure what is going on.The symptoms are that the younger leaves start turning brown and leathery killing the leaves entirely can someone identify what this is? I grow under lights in the basement I water once a week, I use a very well drained soil lots of vermiculite. I'm not sure if this is root rot, fungus ..etc. Please any advice would be helpful. Im scared im going to lose my babies.

This post was edited by jeremy39 on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 20:00

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 7:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can only say I saw the same indoors during the winter with unfavorable environmental conditions (like too hot and too low humid). When conditions changed (aka turned house heating off), my plants became lovely again.
I also had a problem with the plants not growing actively so had to decrease my watering at the time as I was getting waterlogged roots.

This post was edited by dbarron on Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 21:51

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jeremy, a few observations and questions.

From the picture of your plants in the first photo I can see salt build up around the rim of the pot. I do not believe this the only cause but it will not help.

You say you use a well drained soil with lots of vermiculite. Do you add perlite to your soil?

What is the ratio of soil, perlite, vermiculite?

My biggest concern with your soil is a lot of vermiculite. Vermiculite does help with drainage but also helps retain water in the mix. My best guess here without knowing humidity levels and temps is your plants are too wet and the conditions are creating a perfect environment for fungus and rot. It appears your soil is retaining salts which maybe building up and causing dieback.

Do you have air movement? A small fan in the growing area?

How often do you repot?


    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Dave,

Thank you for replying to my post.

To answer your questions..

I use 2 parts Perlite to 1 part African violet mix then I add a half cup of vermiculite just for extra drainage.

I grow in the basement under lights and I have a very dry basement, however for air movement I use an air purifier on the high setting so it gives the plants some air movement. I water once a week with plan water and once every 2 months with food.

I repot every year but most of my plants are still babies. I have over 2 hundred different Streps and im afraid this will get worse. I also grow hundreds of African violets in the same basement and they do wonderfully.

I don't see the salt build up you see in the pictures. What am I dong wrong?

This post was edited by jeremy39 on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 0:57

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jeremy, the brown crust around the edge of the pot is the salt build up. Over time it is normal. Could it be you have aphids or worse thrips? They are usually under leaves and in crowns so check there.

From what you are telling me everything sounds right. Vermiculite is not too much and should have no affect on the plants.

This has me leaning more to a pest problem. The only other advice I can give if not pests are present is try the same potting mix ratio without the vermiculite and see if there is a difference. Try only on a few plants and watch carefully. My email is If you have any other questions.

One other thought, how long are your lights on for? What type T--12, T-8, etc. how far are the plants from the lights and for how long?


    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:58PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Tempted to troll on the AV forums, with my streps
But I guess I'll be nice...the streps are really loving...
Hey guys, I have a Sinningia Darth Vader plant. I have...
Has anybody seen this problem with streptocarpus cuttings?
A friend gave me a leaf from her streptocarpus plant...
Problems with a strep
Hi Folks, Thought I'd post this here. Of five streps...
ID? Episcias?
Any thoughts? On I looked it up and...
Sponsored Products
Izmir Purple Cleo 16" Wide Pendant Chandelier
Lamps Plus
Darlee Elisabeth Corner Sectional Patio Chair
$609.99 | Hayneedle
Sterling Intrigue 72040106 39W x 79.125H in. Shower Module with Age in Place Bac
$705.65 | Hayneedle
Olive Green Cleo 24" Wide Pendant Chandelier
Lamps Plus
Sunnydaze Easy Access Fire Pit Spark Screen, 24 Inch Diameter
Polaris 18 Ga Sink 2 Strainers 2 Grids
Impressions Wool Area Rug
Ceiling Installation Tools: Ceilume Flooring Soniguard 24 in. x 24 in. Drop
$1.79 | Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™