Thursday, January 31, 2013

Streptocarpus 'Galaxy'

This is Streptocarpus 'Galaxy'. The genus Streptocarpus  is native to Africa and Madagascar, but the one pictured here is a hybrid. In fact, the genus has many beautiful hybrids and more come on line every year. Streptocarpus means twisted seed. It is a member of the Gesneriads whose other famous members include African violets. These are great houseplants, blooming almost all the time unless they become pot bound, a condition easily remedied. I like them because they bloom in winter . They do best with a little more light than African violets, but a little less warmth. Full sun will scorch the leaves and our hot summers make them struggle. That's why I keep mine inside in air conditioning. They are easily propagated from leaf segments and in 3 or 4 months it will produce a nice flowering plant. They should be watered only when they are dry as sitting in water will spell certain death. I seldom see them for sale in the stores, but occasionally I have gotten them from Southern Homes in Wetumpka. They are easy to find online and won't break the bank to get a nice selection. Their name is frequently shortened to "Strep".

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