Streps won't grow in my house..

Winnie12August 23, 2006

I have no problem with violets, they do well. But give me a strep and it dies every time. Frustrating! I tried streps because I understood they have the same culture habits as violets. I did notice they did not like the heat in my violet room. So I moved them downstairs where it is cooler. But they still wilt and die. I don't overwater, etc..so I am wondering if I should provide more humidity? Perhaps grow them over a pebble tray..

Do streps like humidity? I gave a friend of mine my one of my streps and it is doing really well in her house. Maybe its our methods of heating..her house is really cool. We heat with wood. I did read somewhere that streps planted in clay pots do really well...has anyone tried this? Any help would be appreciated. Streps are so beautiful and I want to be able to grow them!!

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irina_co(z5 CO)

Winnie -

I can commiserate - my violets are dying in a new house - while streps are doing good.

Streps do not have the same culture requirements as AV. They require less watering, even lighter soil and they should be planted on a hill - never bury their stem down like AVs. Yes - you got it right - they like it cool. And they prefer a bit more alkaline soil.At least never acid.

If you grow them with bottom watering - do not water until they start to wilt a bit. If you grow them on wicks - cut the standard 1:1:1 soil with a generous amount of perlite - 1:1 or 1 : 0.5. Put a layer of perlite on the bottom of the pot. You can make additional holes in pots or use orchid pots for more air to the roots.

They like Oyama self watering pots - but again do not add water until they dry out.

Good luck

Irina

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 11:23AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Winnie,

by the way - I had the pleasure of attending the Gesneriad convention in Rochester this year and I met a lot of really nice people from Ontario. And they are such good growers.

I am absolutely sure you will have tons of fun if you join one of the clubs in your area. We all start with African Violets and then get interested in their cousins as well - you are already trying streps. And again - usually people belonging to the violet or gesneriad club already used all their available space and some more to put shelves, stands and fill them to the brim with plants. They are very generous with sharing both plans and know-how.

Good luck

Irina

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 12:47PM
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Winnie12

Hello Irina. Thanks for all your info. I am going to try wicking these streps following your instructions. I have "one" strep that is doing well on wicking and is in the african violet plant stand. Go figure! It is Heaven Scents and I bought it from Nancy in Montreal Quebec. And yes I am joining an african violet group. The first meeting is in September and I can hardly wait. It is a two hour drive from my house, but that doesn't matter!! I am sure I will really enjoy the club.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 2:26PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

2 hours drive - you are a hero. We had a lady in our club that drove that far - but she worked on finding old members of the AVSA and AGGS who moved in her area and just launched her own club of 4 members.

So - share all your babies with your friends and neighbors - they are the future members of your new club.

Good Luck

Irina

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 2:11PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

I have been slowly converting all my streps, chiritas and AV trailers to Oyama Planters. They are doing extremely well.

I wait until my streps start to wilt before I refill the reservoir.

The only really bad, "I-know-better-than-that" thing I did was put three streps too close to the lights. Grrrr! Now those three have tight centers (not mites!). Don't know why I did that. Several senior moments in a row, I guess :-)

Will they eventually straighten out or will these stay tight and the new leaves be normal? Does anyone know?

Linda

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 12:31AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I think they will keep growing but these leaves won't be perfect, kinda distorted. Otherwise they will produce blooming stalks and live their lives as normal.

But - you will be first to know.

I.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 11:14PM
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maureen_ottawa(z4)

Hi Winnie,

Streps can be grown cool or hot. Some varieties are more tolerant than others to a wide range of conditions. I have also found that who I buy them from matters as well. Some streps don't like big changes whether their soil or growing conditions.

But I have found that all of them do well when wicked, although others say there are some varieties that do not like to be wicked. My soil mix is 3:2:2 of Schultz potting mix, vermiculite, perlite. Before wicking I found that they wilted and browned easily. So as soon as they can be potted into a 3inch pot, I wick them. Self watering pots from Zellers or Walmart work well too. But these are only available in larger sizes, so I grow the larger streps in them.

I grow in a cool basement (never warmer than 70F and as low as 60F) with a few in the living room (72-78F). I have found only a few varieties that won't grow/bloom in my basement.

Whereabouts are you located? There is a Toronto Gesneriad Society.

Linda, warped leaves will stay warped. The new growth should be fine.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 3:40PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

Thanks, Irina and Maureen. I've moved those Streps further from light and I'll see if the new growth comes in okay. I'll keep you posted.

I've been growing my Streps both in regular pots and top watering and in the Oyama Planters (which is just like wicking as they feed from the bottom). All are doing well. I don't refill the reservoirs on the planters until the top of the soil looks dry or the Streps start to wilt a bit.

As I can afford it, I am going to convert my whole collection of Streps, Chiritas and trailing AVs over to the OPs. Believe it or not, one reason is I have to lift the plants to fill the reservoirs which makes me inspect them more closely, more often.

I am using 2-1-1 perlite, peat, vermiculite with a bit of horicultural charcoal mixed in.

Good growing and thanks, again.

Linda

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 12:47AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Linda -

Beautiful Friday morning to you,

And I am moving my Streps out of OPs. The reason - I cannot have them on natural light any more - too dark in a new house. So I got another shelving unit for the basement - but it is way too uncomfortable to reach to the back row of plants for watering. So I am putting them on wicks, kinda Texas style - lots of perlite in the soil, good layer for drainage and will be just adding the water to the tray when they start wilting. If they won't be happy - I'll move them back - it was long overdue to repotting in any case.

irina

PS If you reduce the light - they will respond by increasing the square footage of their leaves. Oops..

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 10:18AM
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kal2002

I can relate to some of the problems that you guys had. I live in northern California and my streps do not survive inside the house. I grow them outside on the front porch that happens to face west, more north west. They are shaded in the summer and protected from extreme cold in the winter but I do not bring them inside. I find that they like it much cooler than the AV's.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 11:38PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Kal -

You should see how streps grow in England - like weeds - and basically they grow them the same way you do. They overwinter them in unheated greenhouses.

You got it absolutely right. Cooler - is the recipe. People cannot grow them in southern states. And the basement lower shelf - is for the rest of us, not blessed with California climate.

Cheers

irina

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 3:01PM
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