Why are streps not as popular as AVs?

judyj(Z5 CO)August 15, 2014

It occurred to me a couple months ago-when searching for new strep varieties-that there are not nearly as many commercial strep growers as there are African Violet (AVs) growers. Perhaps I'm mistaken-but not, I think, about growers in the US! Now I have both and am just about as equally fascinated with both. At some point when I retire, I plan on selling plants to local areas.

Is it the leaves of the streps that folk don't regard as highly as the AVs? Truly they're longer, not normally fuzzy and they're not symmetrical at all! But they put forth such tall and lovely blossoms-and some are even scented! You can make far more babies with their leaves at one time also!

Just wondering at folks' opinions. Streps seem much hardier than AVs and require far less fuss.

Thanks for any opinions or insight! I'd love to hear folks' thoughts on it!

Best,
Judy

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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Just throwing in my agreement, I can't grow an AV to flower to save my life. Streps grow like weeds (maybe that's the problem?) and so much faster to flower....

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 6:49AM
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terrilou

This is an excellent question for which I have no ready answer. Perhaps growers like the rosette form and the fact AV's come in all sizes and fit neatly into a growing space. They may see Streps as pretty, but not fitting the program as to light and temps.

The African Violet is ingrained into our society. Folks who don't know a petunia when they see one could probably connect to or have seen an African Violet. Violets can be purchased in so many places and when found, people gain an interest that doesn't always spread to other gesneraids. In all my years of growing, I have never seen a strep sold in a big box store, florist shop, or nursery. Initial exposure just isn't happening.

From reading various forums, I think many growers are content with just AV's; some will venture into Streps, others will have no interest. So, no answers here.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:49AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Perhaps we should post a 'Recruitment post' on the AV forums (lol). I really think there's no reason that AV folks wouldn't enjoy Streps, given that we have large plants, miniatures, variegated foliage, flowers larger and more interesting (my opinion) than AVs (which remind me of wax flowers), scented flowers (I don't think AVs have those).

For me, a large part of the draw is the rapidity of change...I like plants to grow and flower (and even go out of flower)..whereas AVs just seem to perpetually stay the same once they reach maturity.
I ordered 2 starters off Ebay (talking Streps of course) for arrival about first of the month. Since they arrived, both plants have put out a couple of new leaves, and both have produced their first flower stalks (will be in bloom in 2-3 weeks) with more coming. Could I have got a small AV (except for a miniature) in the mail and got it to flowering so fast ? (lol)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 7:36AM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Whilst pondering this-I brought two very nice streps to work. Before I got streps, I usually had an array of AVs under lights that folk would stop and look at. Also have a really nice Ivy there and some one once stopped by and thought they were all fake! I laughed at that! I'm wondering if folk just don't come up to them closely enough to look-thinking they're some kind of annual? Tomorrow I"m going to put my streps on the outer bookcase for a while and see what happens! :-)

However- I do think terrilou hit upon one of the issues. There's just not much awareness of them-you can't just buy them in stores.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 7:55PM
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davioletman

My belief is streps are on the rise and will soon be as popular as AV's. In recent years many people are now growing streps, many are AV converts!

For sometime people did not know what streps were. However, there are many websites created over the past two or so years have been a great help in educating people about streps. Also, there are groups on Facebook which have been a great help exposing people who never have grown a plant to try streps. The future is looking very bright for streps.

Commercial growers are becoming scarce, period. It is becoming harder and harder for commercial growers to make money with the rising costs of electricity and heat. The Violet Barn and Lyndon Lyon are two notable growers who carry streps. After them it becomes harder to name any that do. Fortunately, there are many growers on EBay who sell streps. Most notably David Thompson. If anyone who wishes to use EBay to purchase, feel free to pm me and I can give you a list of sellers I have bought from and recommend. Also the some groups on Facebook and forums which may interest anyone who is growing streps.

Dave G.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:10PM
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davioletman

One more thought which dbarron touched on. Streps in general will bloom much quicker than AV's. There are exceptions as in everything but you can expect a strep to bloom on avg. in 4-6 months. Usually the 4 month range. They grow faster and bloom over a longer period of time.

AV growers can/will argue. I have grown both over the years and personally will take a strep over an AV hands down. I was in fact growing AV's when I tried my first strep. Shortly after, I was convinced how much quicker and easier streps were and tossed every AV. Have not grown one since! 6+ years now...

Dave G.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:18PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Yes, I think that's the crux of the matter. I wouldn't have known about them except we lived in Germany for several years. The local Dehner's (R) carried them regularly and I bought several while over there.

Also, I recall coming back stateside and seeing the annual primroses for sale in garden centers-which mimic streps-but aren't the same thing. Even I was confused at that time. Perhaps some general confusion lies there as well.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:20PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Wouldn't mind your thoughts on this-
My plan is take streps in bloom to the local small garden stores and see if they'll either take them on consignment or buy them outright to resell. Most of them carry AVs, but none (but one) carry Streps. The one just kind of relegated the two they had to a "junk" shelf as if they really didn't know what to do with them, while they have an entire setup for AVs. Maybe it would be worth the while as well to educate the owners of the stores? After going through the responses here again, it seems like education is in order, with the addition of beautifully blooming streps.

Thoughts?

Thanks so much for your input! :-)

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:50PM
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davioletman

Judy, that is a great idea! More exposure will definitely help create interest. Stores may carry them but if they have no clue how to care for them then it is really a shame as well as a discouragement to buy one. What sells any plant is if it looks healthy and in bloom! Especially for those who are new to streps.

Dave G.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:22PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Could there be anything in streps being hard to ship when larger ? The leaves and flower stems snap easily (it seems to me) if jostled around.
But yes, I *never* see them around here...and to the general public if you can't buy it in a store (or nursery), it doesn't exist.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:35PM
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davioletman

If packed correctly there will very little to no damage even when the USPS plays "football" with the package. The key is knowing who you are buying from. There are very few stores or greenhouses who carry them.

Dave G.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:29PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

I'm a terrible packer (of clothes)...I doubt I'd be much better with plants (which is probably why I assumed shipping might be an issue...it would be for me).
Hmm, well, I can only hope it changes, Streps are really changing...the scented (which I don't have any yet), variegation, mini to large, yellow, the netted patterns from Russia and the Ukraine, etc.
I am hoping that you're right Dave, they gotta get more popular. It'd be nice to see other people growing them.

.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:40PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Currently I have two strep leaves planted. I would plant more but I want to ensure my "nursery" mix is right. So it will likely be spring before I get to go to the local places with newly blooming plants. Though I might take a couple of my large blooming plants there to generate some interest.

Dbarron, I haven't actually found that the strep leaves are any more fragile than the AV's leaves. In fact, I'm far more apt to break an AV leaf than a strep leaf, really. Unfortunately I tend to do that too often with the AVs, sigh!

Hey and great plugs for Streps and gesnariads on the AV page! :-))

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:04PM
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Taxonomist3

Streps will remain less popular than AV's until we've gotten decent mini-streps. People in the US are all about mini indoor plants. When AV's started producing mini and semini plants they could better fit in people's homes, and the stores could sell them at the same price while having more of them on the shelf! (This covers the first problems of why people wouldn't bring them home). The next issue for those who've tried growing them at home is that they aren't always happy being water-logged. They can be wicked but it can also be a trick getting the soil/perlite ratio just right. Repotting these guys also is problematic because we all have a tendency to repot too deeply, which often will prove fetal to a strep. Lastly streps just don't seem to be as happy in warmer parts of the US. This often leads to the plants putting on good shows in the winter and limping along during the summer compared to an AV which will put on a good show all year round if properly cared for.

That said, streps come in a much wider variety of colors and shapes, and for those of us who don't mind growing a larger plant these are nice plants to have around. We're also working hard to hybridize smaller and smaller streps. There's many more wild species of streps out there to help in this process. With more time we'll also eventually overcome the cool-weather issues as well. It's up to the hybridizers to stay at it and keep these goals in mind. It may be another 10 or 20 years, but it can happen (look at what Dibley's has done in the UK or what Piotr Kleszczynski has done in Poland).

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:11AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Actually many US strep breeders are working on it...and you'll notice the fully mature strep on the right (in my quick snapshot just now), is about 1/2 size of the just starting to send up first flowering stems, newer Russian selections to the left of it.
How mini do you want ? this is easily smaller than a std AV.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:28AM
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lucille(Houston)

"Lastly streps just don't seem to be as happy in warmer parts of the US. "

How cool do they have to be?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:31AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

As far as I can tell, 70-80 is fine. IE, they're fine in your AC'd house. I wouldn't want to leave my dog outside in the summer here...let alone my strep (lol).

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:58AM
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davioletman

Taxonomist, there are many compact streps available today. Mini streps are available thanks to the hybridizing efforts of Dale Martens, Wendy DeLorme and Linda Rowe. It takes a lot of time and effort to bring forth mini streps. However, there is many out there with more on the way. Dale's Polar series is the latest of her mini to compact streps and are the most available to date. Sister Susie is probably the most recognized of Linda Rowe's though she does have few others that I can not think of at this moment. A few new compact streps from Wendy DeLorme which has recently been bred are; Yesterday's Morning, 4th of July and Little Polly Finders.

Wendy has been breeding for compact to mini streps over the past few years. Dale has been working on them for quite sometime now and she breeds for variegated leaves. So there are many possibilities on the horizon. Some of Dale's other compact plants; Texas Red Hot and the Heartland series.

The biggest problem seems to be heat. However, I am not convinced this as a big a problem as many believe it is. I used to grow streps in the summer in my greenhouse where temps were commonly 95-105 degrees. I kept a fan running, and the humidity was 80% with no ill effects as long as the plants did not dry out. I believe where many strep growers run into trouble with the heat is the night temps must be a minimum of 10 degrees cooler. The greenhouse would drop at least 15 degrees from the day temp. The only other thing I did different is run a fan during the summer 24/7.

I currently grow in a basement. However, between June and mid-Sept. I run into problems. The day temps stay around 80 degrees but I have a cement retaining wall which is attached to the foundation. It is 16 feet high and 50 feet long so it holds and transfers the heat to the basement. I only get a 3-5 degree drop in night temps which over time exhausts the plants. But that is true with any plant over a period of time.

Once the weather cools, the plants are fine. Every year I go thru many plants, some burn from drying too much, some from rot as the humidity is too high even with a fan running.

Do not fret, there are many amateur hybridizers out there trying to bring down the size of streps. It's a matter of time before they are even more plentiful!

Dave G.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 3:26PM
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lucille(Houston)

I was really looking forward to buying a few streps but for months out of the year there is not a 10 degree drop for them at night.
Are y'all saying that the AVs and all houseplants need this drop to stay healthy?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 5:44PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Not in my experience. I have grown streps in our mini indoor greenhouse when it's been quite warm and we haven't seen a 10 degree drop, and no easy way to create one! No problems, all is well, and they bloom like crazy anyway. It's not quite the same need as some bulbs, for example, that have to have that chilled cycle to bloom.

To me, these guys are so adaptable that it makes them the perfect flowering houseplant.

They do prefer cooler temps and if you get them in a situation where they're too close in (think mini greenhouse) and it gets much higher than 80 degrees, they're going to be unhappy.

However, if it's 90 degrees in your house and there's good airflow around them, it won't bother them so much (just like humans!). Breezes always make hot temperatures less problematic-air exchange is pretty critical.

A post on the AVs forum talked about ice cube therapy. It was a brilliant idea to me! If the temps get too high, put some ice cubes in a plastic cup around it and it will cool it right off. You should only need to do this if it's REALLY hot though, LOL!

This post dealt with plants under a somewhat sealed dome. However, it will work in other hot situations.

Really though-Streps are incredibly hardy. You should just try one, Lucille!

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 7:49PM
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Taxonomist3

Please please please read a full post before assuming I'm against streps!!! I was merely pointing out issues people feel they've had that play into these plants not being as popular as their AV cousins. That said I also know a fair number of people who feel AV's are too fussy and die at the drop of a hat. LOL Thanks for the follows about breeders. I'm aware of the work Dale and Wendy are doing. Both are fantastic hybridizers!!! I've also recently started attempting to hybridize myself. I hope to be having some unique (compact) things coming out over the next few years. I'm also a member of the Gesneriad Society and the Gesneriad Hybridizers Association. They have a nice, wide selection of hybrid and species seeds to help get the compact streps that would be so widely desired.

Chris Nagy

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 8:11AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

I wasn't aware...so I'm glad to read the info :)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 8:13AM
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davioletman

Chris, I too belong to the Gesneriad Society. I have heard many of the arguments that you have stated. My post was in no way meant that you don't like streps. Sorry if my response sounded that way. Trying to educate people on streps can be a challenge at times but once most people hear the total picture they tend to better understand these plants. I am very aware of the AV argument as well. Many times it's just matter of trial and error before they get it right. It's the same with streps, sometimes people just need to be pointed in the right direction.

Dave G.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 9:30AM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Chris-no worries from me-and hope you didn't take offense! I actually read the entire post but was just letting Lucille know how hardy they are. I'd love to see what come's up with your hybridizing-given that we seem to have little to chose from right now, more are always welcome! And when I get to that point myself -perhaps starting next year, I hope to add to it! You're doing a great job! :-)

Little bit of an update from my previous post! I took both of my streps at work and put them on the book case outside my office last Friday. Today I had two people stop (one an AV enthusiast) and just stare at them-and remark that they had thought the streps were fake-then took a double take! They'd never heard of them before and wondered if they were some different AV strain! One may even be a convert!

So perhaps that's working, LOL! :-) I'll just have to take more to work I guess!

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 7:31PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Judy, I guess it's reflective of how much exposure Streps have got. Interesting to get proof ;)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 7:36PM
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lucille(Houston)

Judy I appreciate your help. I think I'll get a few and see how they do. They are beautiful plants.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 4:41AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Personally, I find AVs rather challenging to grow (which places me in a minority, I know) unless I do so in a terrarium. (Orchids are far, far easier, IME.) Largely as a result of that, I don't do much with AVs.

I have seen some lovely streps on the internet, but have no great desire to hunt for them -- many get larger than I'd like (available space is a big issue). Now if I could find some mini's/micro-mini's inexpensively or in trade (to say I'm on a "shoestring budget" would be generous) that could grow happily in a terrarium, I'd be on that in a flash. The only strep I have currently is S. saxorum. It's growing happily in a terrarium but I'll have to remove it soon -- it's getting too large/growing too aggressively. Pity, as I do like the flowers.

And to answer the question "How mini do you want it?" that was asked earlier ... For my part, the answer is as follows -- you see the two mounted plants in the above photo? Those are mature blooming-size orchids ... ideally, that's how mini.

As has been mentioned, I suspect the more compact growth habit may be a large part of the AV appeal as well as ease (for most folks) of growth. Then, too, from a store's standpoint, AV's would require less room on a shelf -- and space is money.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 2:06PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Several of the American breeders breed compactness, resulting in a plant that's smaller than a std African violet. I haven't seen any that are as small as a tillsandsia yet or tiny species orchids...and I'm not sure I want to.
I've grown micro sinningias before..they're too tiny, though they bloom prolifically.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 2:10PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

dbarron,
I was looking at the mini sinningias after you posted on the AV forum. Not sure about them-never had one. They seem to vary in their tininess as much as the micro AVs, however, I may look into it. Getting ready to order 4 or 5 of Rob's "Micros." One article I read said the mini and micro sinningias are very fragile and need a very controlled climate. Did you find that to be the case?

Paul,those look a lot like Streptocarpella! What kind of orchids are they? I wouldn't mind some for my terrarium. Currently I have a streptocarpella in there but it's not blooming anymore.

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 5:10PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Yes, I think I could agree with that...they're tougher than you expect when well established..but anything in that small a pot is delicate.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 6:51PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Judy,

Nope, it's a Streptocarpus.

The orchid on the left is Dinemia (aka Epidendrum, aka Encyclia) polybulbon. The one on the right is Ascocentrum pusillum (Don't know if that one has been moved to the genus Vanda ... taxonomists have been causing havoc with plant name changes/reclassification last number of years.)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:24AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

I hate gene splitting (hair splitting?) taxonomists, it's hard enough to learn the latin names once...let alone every 5-10 years :(

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:27AM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

:-)

Paul, on another post, you had a twinkle blue growing in your terrarium. You've listed it as a trailer, but according to Rob at the VB, they're just minis. However, since I cut three suckers off my 1.5 inch TB, maybe they are!

However, when I posted there-the post went to a gal I've never posted with, so something weird with that one!

Today I took the streptocarpella out of the terrarium. It was just an experiment anyway. However, in the void (and another void I created), I'm thinking of putting some mini trailers in there.

You've had some success with that-could you please describe your conditions? Mine is not an aquarium, it's a very large hand blown apple, about 12 inches in diameter, all the way around, with an opening about 4.25 inches in diameter in the front. There's also a "Stem" of blown glass at the top which provides a little airflow through. The streptocarpella was growing through it!

All the wet-loving ferns and mosses are towards the back, with a strawberry begonia (not really a begonia) on the left side of the opening (and it's extremely happy-blooming and it's got babies hanging out the opening).

It sits in a northern window (most of our windows are northern).

The soil, is however, primarily soil.

Thoughts anyone?

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 6:45PM
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snappyguy

I agree with much that has been said here. I find Streptocarpus subgenus streptocarpus (the long-leafed ones people usually think of) much more finicky than any other genus of gesneriad I've grown, and that's about 30 genera. They just don't seem to be able to tolerate an instance of overwatering. Their roots rot quickly and the plant dies. They are, however, much more tolerant of underwatering. This inability to tolerate being overwatered will severely limit their marketability in a typical big box store that drowns everything. AVs don't like being soaked either, but I've found them much more tolerant of it. Streptocarpus subgenus streptocarpella is a different matter altogether. I've kept 2 species of those wicked to much success.

Mark

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:28PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

You're right snappyguy. Though it's not more so than with cactus and/or lithops (which continue to show up in box stores). Maybe the key is..don't order too many and hope they sell before you need to water ;)
I KNOW the solution isn't education (I've worked in retail before).

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 3:59PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

That's a really good perspective, Mark. In retrospect, the AVs I've rescued from stores have often been over-watered, which as you mention, is not something a strep is generally able to cope with.

Though nothing usually can be done to educate the big box stores, the local, specialized garden stores will likely to be happy add to their specialized knowledge, and this is where I'll focus.

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 7:56PM
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lucille(Houston)

Could growers of big box bound streps just send them off to market with a high percent of perlite in the mix? It might make it more difficult to overwater.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 5:56AM
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philpet

Hi everyone, so I am a bit late to the conversation.i live in Jamaica a small island in the Caribbean. I love streps and all its family members but my love for it is from pictures only. I have only seen one on display all a flower show.here most people don't even know it. After doing some digging around I found that they prefer to be on the cool side.Here we have a tropical climate so it hot most of the time . That being said I tried getting a few to at least try my hand with and it proved impossible. No one does them here, a friend of mine tried to send me some and that proved impossible too.my point is most people might now grow them because they are not readily available also climate issues as in my case. I was a cuts with A.Vs they take one look on me and just die, but thanks to the help of everyone on the forum I not only grow them but get them to bloom also.it was just patient along with trial and error. I am sure it's the same with Streps.but not have the availability plays a big part in more people not growing them, at least here in Jamaica. And it's such a pity because they are really beautiful plants.and up unto this moment I only know of one person who does A.Vs for sale so here its a 1-0 ratio.Velleta

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 11:33AM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Oh I don't think you're late to this discussion Velleta! It's probably going to go on for a while! :-)

Availability isn't wide in the US either-we pretty much all have to mail-order them (off the web etc).

That's actually what prompted the conversation!

Your predicament is more acute, though. A post of yours on the AV group-on a Gloxinia problem if I remember correctly-prompted me to look at Jamaica's shipping restrictions and they're quite severe.

Have you thought about ordering seeds? Perhaps the restrictions wouldn't apply there.

And for heat, well, they don't like it a lot, but if you look at a more recent post on this forum, it may be easier for you as they'll grow up much more acclimated!

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 7:35PM
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philpet

Hi Judy,yes my country is pretty strict concerning plants imports and it seeems theirs no way getting around it. Even with some of the more exotic orchids same problm. I never really thought about getting seeds, I will look into that alternitive, thanks for the sugession. I just accepted us being remote and way behind time.LOL. It would rally be awesome. If that workd. Thanks again, VELLETA

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 9:22PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

And you can get the same in-depth help on planting seeds as you have on the African Violets you have been able to grow!

If it's possible, and you are able to get the seeds, please let us know! We'll all pitch in!

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 9:36PM
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philpet

Aww that's so sweet.thanks judyðÂÂÂ.Velleta

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 10:21PM
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lucille(Houston)

Velleta
It does seem that Jamaica is pretty serious about its import rules. My suggestion? Call the plant ministry and just ask them if you can import seeds/plants and if so, how it is done.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jamaica

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 6:50AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

â¢Posted by judyj Z5 CO
Paul, on another post, you had a twinkle blue growing in your terrarium.

You've had some success with that-could you please describe your conditions? Mine is not an aquarium, it's a very large hand blown apple, about 12 inches in diameter, all the way around, with an opening about 4.25 inches in diameter in the front. There's also a "Stem" of blown glass at the top which provides a little airflow through.!

Judy, in a terrarium is the only way I can grow AVs successfully, They always die on me otherwise. (Orchids are SO much easier!)

In my terrs, they grow in 100% sphag. Lighting is provided by 100-200W equivalent cfl's. Only RO water is used. No supplemental heat -- temp in the terrs is typically a bit above room temp as the cfls do provide some waste heat. Do have several PC fans which run 24/7 in my large terr to facilitate airflow.

As the flora fills in your apple, a lack of good airflow may lead to fungal problems.

Beware of those ferns! IME, ferns quickly become thugs in terrs once they get their "feet" under them. I removed all my ferns from my tanks when they tried to stage a coup. Because most types send out runners, they were popping up all over the place. I did reintroduce one fern but it is potted and the pot is planted in the terr. This helps to restrain it HOWEVER I still have to remove it every so often to remove any runners that try to escape.

Your northern windows might not provide sufficient light to keep the AVs from etiolating or to bloom.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:21AM
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philpet

Hi Lucille, by the way we shear the same surname (Houston)âº.Thanks for the suggestion as well as the link. I honestly don't see why seeds would be a problem because the don't come in soil, but I am not the government .ðÂÂÂ.i am gonna try to call them and see.i am not gonna get my hopes up though.Velleta.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:31AM
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philpet

Lucille, I just realized Houston is not your name but where you live.sorry I guess this warrent a glasses change.ðÂÂÂðÂÂÂðÂÂÂðÂÂÂ.velleta

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:40AM
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lucille(Houston)

Velleta,

Seeds can harbor microorganisms, some seeds are genetically altered and some governments (and people) have issues with that, and of course a country should be careful of the seeds it permits in (think of plants like kudzu). So I totally get why they are being careful.

If you have read through, they have serious responses like $100,000 fines and even jail time.
I love AVs but not gonna pay $100,000 for one.

But I am hoping that there is a way for you, will keep my fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 11:53AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

I'm pretty sure the whole island won't be contaminated by streptocarpus displacing the native flora :)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 12:07PM
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philpet

Oh, I am sure an island being contaminated by streps is not bad, in fact it would be even more attractive and beautifulðÂÂÂ.i guess I will just have to be content with AVs (which are truly awesome), until I can find a way to get a few streps���". Ah well I started trying gloxinia's which I love too so hopefully by the time I am good at them then streps might be within my reach.thanks guys.Velleta

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 12:54PM
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lucille(Houston)

"I'm pretty sure the whole island won't be contaminated by streptocarpus displacing the native flora"

Probably true. But 'the system' may possibly still apply fines and so on as a deterrent for any plants/plant matter that do not come in as recommended.

We don't have the facts though, it may be that there are programs and/or steps to request permissions and reviews, contacting the government is a good first step.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 5:04PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Lucille does raise a very valid point-those microorganisms.

Still, it may just be that streps are so relatively new to the general populace that whatever government act allowed in the Gloxinias and AVs, didn't consider the Streps. Likely because no one asked for them!

It may help for Velleta to petition her local garden centers to order them. Maybe even get a couple-20 friends ( :-) )to do the same! If there's enough interest, the plant stores may decide to push the government button (whatever that may be) the same way they pushed it for AVs and Gloxinias.

Gloxies grow from rhizomes too (I think!), so any prescribed treatment prior to import may be able to be used for streps also.

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 7:01PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

As I was looking online for scented cultivars, I am finding that unless one finds a smaller breeder, the selection is even more limited than I'd originally thought.

Was looking on Ebay, and placed bids on a couple of streps.

It seems there's tons of room for smaller breeders and hybridizers in the market place than I would have expected.

Noticed that at least one of the sellers on Ebay said he has a state-inspected greenhouse. I wonder what it would take to accomplish that.... :-)

By the way (if anyone's interested!), one of this guy's own hybrids is now at $35.00-with an entire day+ left to go on the auction! Wow! It is a stunning plant though. If anyone's brave (and rich!), just look up Midnight Thunder Streptocarpus on Ebay. The link was way too long to post!

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 6:36PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

â¢Posted by judyj Z5 CO
"The link was way too long to post! "

That's what "copy" and "paste" is for.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2014 at 9:09AM
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philpet

Hi guys, so a friend of my used his ebay account to order me some seeds now it took him awhile but he finally found some. According to plan I will have them in another two-three wks. So am waiting to see what the outcome will be, wish me luck:).Velleta

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 8:46AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

We want to see seedling progress once you get the babies germinated :)

Who knows, you may end up developing a variety that everyone wants!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 8:49AM
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philpet

Ok Dbarron, I will do my best.fingers crossðÂÂÂ.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 11:16AM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Yay Velleta!
You probably don't have to plant them all at once-you may wish to wait on some, so you can experiment with your growing!

Great, can't wait to see how they come out!

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 5:54PM
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philpet

Thanks judy, I am all excited about trying my hand at themðÂÂÂ.velleta

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 8:00PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

Velleta,
Have you planted any seeds yet? How do they grow?

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   October 13, 2014 at 7:09PM
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philpet

Sorry judyi still have not received them as yet still waiting patiently for them to arrive.Velleta

    Bookmark   October 14, 2014 at 11:57PM
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