Streptocarpus thompsonii is a lovely little streptocarpus, that resembles a streptocarpella more so than a streptocarpus.
One of the most striking features of this plant is the transparent purple-spotted stem. Its swollen base makes this little plant look like an alien bonsai.
Streptocarpus thompsonii originates form Madagascar. It has tiny bell flowers, and though I could not find explicit information on the web, mine flowers yearround and constantly produces little seed pots. I sporadically find seedlings of this plant growing in my other plant’s pots. Some cultivars have white flowers, mine is pale blue.
The flowers are extremely tiny, and might be unnoticeable at first, but they are numerous and cute. It’s this plants unique and bizarre stem that makes it so attractive.
Streptocarpus thompsonii has average watering needs. This plant likes a well drained medium and moderate watering. It can tolerate drying out.
Part shade is ideal for this plant. I have grown in on north/east/west windows. The plant pictured on the right is growing on a north window. This little jem is very easy to keep. It tolerated quite a range in conditions.
Streptocarpus thompsonii doesn’t seem to mind lower humidity levels. Higher humidity will make it more resistant to infestations though. I’ve had some mealybug problems in the past, when it was kept in dryer conditions.
Soil Type and Fertilizer:
I use a well draining mix. African violet soil with extra perlite, or regular potting mix with perlite/vermiculite and peat moss will do the trick. I apply mild fertilizer during the growing season, usually a diluted african violet fertilizer.
This plant is very easy to propagate. I’ve propagated it from cuttings in the past, both in water and in moist soil. The plant also self pollinates. It quickly forms seed pots and self seeds in random places. I’ve found it growing in random pots. Even the seedlings have that interesting purple spotted, translucent stem.
Other Care Tips and Personal Observations:
Though this plant spreads though seed like a weed, it doesn’t have an aggressive growth habit. I’ve drown it with different gesneriads in the same pot, and they get along just fine. Streptocarpus thompsonii has a gentle root system. It will occasionally get leggy and tall, but it takes on pruning quite well. You can shape it however you want, and show off it’s unique stem.