How to grow a flower streptokarpus?
In the house, where the windowsills are decorated with beautiful flowering plants, it is always cozy and pleasant, these small beauties skillfully create a special atmosphere. Streptokarpusy are suitable for these purposes, as well as possible: they have been pleasing their masters with bright flowers for almost half a year, without demanding special attention and difficult care.
I must say that according to external data and beauty they are often compared with their closest relatives - gloxinia and saintpaulias, however, they will bring much less trouble. To some extent, they are even called "tenacious", because streptokarpus much easier and faster forgive care errors, recover and again pleasing with new blossoms and brisk leaves.
The native land of this plant is considered to be tropical Africa, and the name is easily deciphered: “streptos”, that is, “swirling”, and “karpos” - the fruit. The fruits of this plant have just such a look - small twisted pods.
From the end of spring and almost until the very end of autumn, streptokarpus is covered with bright and tender bells, which can be from 15 to 30 pieces on one peduncle!
There are many non-hybrid and hybrid forms that literally conquer with their variety of shapes and colors: from pink, white, lilac, ending with velvet, cherry, burgundy, and also practically black, with specks and without, in general, that only the soul does not want !
As we have already mentioned, growing streptocarpus at home is an interesting and very simple matter, especially if you have already had experience with such plants. First you need to choose where to "settle", for this you need to determine the brightest room, because the light day for such a plant should be about 12-14 hours.
Despite the love of good light, this flower does not tolerate direct sunlight. If you place the pots on racks or shelves that are remote from the window, it is important to arrange artificial lighting with fluorescent lamps.
As for the temperature, in the daytime the optimal framework is 20 ° -25 °, and in the winter - 16 ° -18 °, in principle, this is approximately the case in our apartments. You need to water the plant with soft separated water; this is how it works correctly: it is better not to pour than to pour.
In the sense that a short period with dry ground the streptocarpus will survive much easier than the constantly flooded soil, because of which the rhizome can begin to rot. Water on the leaves and the outlet itself with the stalks is undesirable, so you need to add water carefully, under the leaves, or in the pan.
Care for such a plant includes maintaining the proper level of humidity: it should be high enough, nevertheless, spraying or wiping the leaves with a sponge - it is impossible. The ideal option is to leave wet pebbles or moss nearby.
A pot for streptocarpus will fit a small one, in diameter - 9-10 cm. The soil for it should be chosen as light as possible, at the bottom - a narrow drainage, which will provide the maximum necessary level of aeration. During the rest period (from the end of November to February), the amount of irrigation should be reduced, stop feeding and try to adhere to the necessary air temperature.
If we organize additional lighting and temperature support at the summer level, the flower does not need a rest period at all. During the active growth and flowering, so that the plant pleased you with its beautiful flowers and fresh leaves, one should not forget about regular feeding: 1 every few weeks.
This procedure is best done every year before the start of active growth, that is, in February. The root system of streptocarpus strongly resembles a violet, although it is more powerful, but it remains all the same superficial. Therefore, the pots should, with each passing year, grow more in breadth than in depth. First, the drainage layer is laid out with a thickness of about 2 cm, after it is the substrate, which needs to be tamped slightly so that there are no voids left in the pot.
Another amazing property of this plant is its simplicity of reproduction - it is possible to grow a new streptocarpus from almost any part of it. Most often resort to the simplest option - this is the division of the bush. To do this, it is enough during the transplantation to separate the daughter outlets, which usually appear during the period of active growth. Taking a flower from the pot.
You need to gently straighten its roots, remove excess lumps of earth, and then with a sharp blade to cut off the baby from the mother side. It is better to sprinkle the cut with charcoal. It will be necessary only to plant two outlets in their pots, and to cover the young bush for 4 days after transplantation with a plastic bag to create the greenhouse effect.
In principle, it is possible to propagate a plant and by grafting - it is enough to break off a leaf or its fragment, and then lower it into a container with distilled water 1 cm deep. From above, it is also better to close the sheet with cellophane. Sometimes it is necessary to ventilate the greenhouse, and when the roots appear, the cuttings immediately land in the ground.
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