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Streptocarpus’ Blooms Are Cheerful

Cape primrose is a wonderful houseplant because it blooms for a long period of time.

Streptocarpus: Bristol’s Cotton Candy (John Robinson, Flickr).

Cape primrose is a South African native with the botanical name of Streptocarpus. They make popular houseplants for two reasons. They flower for a long period of time, and new plants can be grown from cuttings.

While there are many new varieties on the market, some of the older varieties such as the hybrid ‘Constant Nymph’ are still favorites because of the attractive blue flowers that many of us are drawn to.

Grown as a houseplant, Cape primroses need good light and cool conditions to do well. A porch that is enclosed and stays at about 50 ⁰F is ideal, but a room with good windows in fine too. If your house is very dark, you can always use grow lights.

I have some grow lights over a table in my basement, and it works well for me. I grow flowering houseplants downstairs and take them upstairs to enjoy when they’re in bloom.

Always pot up cape primroses in a loamy soil mixture and water them only when the top of the soil feels dry. Avoid excessive fertilizer, as these plants prefer lean conditions, and they will rot if given too much water or a pot without drainage holes.

Their pretty flowers cheer us on grey winter days.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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