Streptocarpella saxorum has wonderful cultivars and is one of my favorite plants. It has cute, velvety, deep-green leaves, and dainty flowers that hang from long stems and almost look like a cloud of butterflies flocking around the plant. There are may cultivars, one of the most common of which is Concord Blue. The different varieties available vary in the size of the flowers and the shade of blue from violet to deeper blue, light and darker blue. There are also white cultivars. Some are purely white, others are very pale blue or are white with fringes of blue. There are also variegated forms, though I don’t know how well those bloom. The wild form is somewhat smaller leaved, more of a lavender flower color, and I am still waiting to see how well it blooms (it’s almost blooming size). So far it seems to me to be a shy bloomer. The commonly sold cultivars are heavy bloomers and put on a wonderful display.
Streptocarpella saxorum originates from Tanzania and Kenya. It a tropical plant though it seem to enjoy cooler environment around the low 70ies Fahrenheit. This plant is very frost sensitive. It belongs to the Gesneariad family and is an African violet relative, even called false African violet. The growing conditions are almost the same as for African violets. This plant grows to about 12 inches in height and makes a wonderful hanging basket plant. Once it reaches a decent size this plant is ever blooming.
This plant likes to dry out a bit between watering and likes to be occasionally soaked. Be careful of over-watering. The plant has juicy stems that tend to easily rot if the soil is soggy. If your plant is young and tiny you can be more generous with the watering, but a well established plant benefits from having its soil dry up between watering, especially in the winter months.
Bright indirect light is perfect for this plant. It likes part shade to shade. A large unobstructed north facing window , or an east/west window will be ideal for this plant. Direct midday light will burn the leaves.
This plant enjoys higher humidity levels, but do not spray the leaves as it will result in wilt spots. On another note this plant also seems to enjoy cooler environment, so lower temperatures and plenty of moisture in the air will help making your plant thrive.
Soil Type and Fertilizer:
I use a mix of general potting soil and African violet soil with plenty of per-lite to make the soil well drained and light. This plant like basic to slightly acidic soil, well drained and light. I use African violet fertilizer during the warmer months, at a lower concentration than the recommended. Overall this isn’t a very fussy plant.
Streptocarpellas ca be propagated by cuttings, from offshoots or seeds. You can even propagate them from a leaf. Cuttings root well in both water and moist soil. Generally speaking this is a very easy to propagate plant. When propagating from cuttings it helps to keep the humidity high, but keep the leafy part of your cutting from any water droplets as it will rot.
Other Care Tips and Personal Observations:
Streptocarpellas seems to do better kept in a cooler place. From my personal observations it seems to flower better when the temperatures are a bit on the low side. Pruning disrupts the flowering, but sometimes its needed. Cleaning the old leaves / spent flowers and occasionally pinching off a leggy stem will keep your plant looking good. It can suffer from mealy bugs, and aphids (those seem to only go for the flowers). Spraying with insecticide will make the leaves get spotted and eventually dry off, so my advice would be to remove as much of the infected plant, simply cut off as much as you can back, remove overly infested leaves and then spray out plant.