Virtues: We love easy-to-maintain houseplant cape primrose for their clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in stunning purples, pinks, lavenders, whites and blues, frequently with veins in contrasting colors.
Common name: Cape primrose
Botanical name: Streptocarpus
Flowers: Tall stems with clusters of trumpet-shaped, vibrant flowers bloom periodically, throughout most of the year in luminous colors. These close relatives to African violets can produce spiral seedpods that should be removed to encourage more blooms.
Foliage: Streptocarpus have long, velvety, deep green leaves that grow in rosettes beneath the tall stems of the flowers.
Habit: These houseplants can grow up to 12 to 15 inches tall and wide.
Season: If properly maintained, cape primrose can thrive and bloom through any season.
Origin: Originally discovered in South Africa; also grows naturally in Madagascar.
How to grow streptocarpus as a houseplant: Cape primrose love well-drained, fertile soil and bright, indirect sunlight. Be careful not to leave in direct sun due to risk of withering. These houseplants thrive in warm, dry areas with ideal temperatures ranging from 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry and water less during winter; too much water can cause rot. Feed with a liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer seasons. These plants are most successful when repotted each spring. Propagate cape primrose by leaf cuttings.
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