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Growing Streptocarpus from Seed

28 comments


I will say at the outset, I am no expert at this, but have been growing Streptocarpus for many years. I normally grow them from cuttings of leaves, but have tried growing from seed, and have been asked how I do it. So thought it might be useful to put it in a blog. Streptocarpus do like a bit of peat in the compost, but as this is not readily available now, and we are being told not to use it, I have started to grow mine in ordinary multi purpose, but trying to get all the large lumps out of it first.
The seed is so fine it is like dust, so best to have it on something white before sowing, so you can see it.
I fill a small pot with compost, and scatter the seed on the surface. Do not cover with compost, but cover with a plastic bag, or as I do now, which is use a clear plastic yoghurt cup over the top

Next I just put it in the corner of the living room window and basically ’forget about it for two or three weeks, but if you think the compost is getting too dry then use a fine spray to keep a moist atmosphere. Then you just have to wait until the seedlings are large enough to handle before pricking out. If you take seed from your own plants they will not all come true to colour, but you will get some interesting ones, and it is a fairly long process. These are the ones I am growing at the moment

This is Blue Leyla, that I am hoping the seed will turn out like, but not expecting them all to be like the parent plant.
I hope you find this useful if you are considering giving it a try.

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Comments

 

Thanks for that Cinders. How interesting, I love streptocarpus plants and have only ever tried propagating them from leaf cuttings as you mentioned. That takes a fairly long time too. I may have a go at seed sowing - once I get a bit of room in the greenhouse. I would be interested to see how your seedlings turn out and if you get some interesting colours.

26 May, 2012

 

thank you cinderella, thats very interesting, i have put it in my favourites, i just might have a go one day!!
the fact that they turn out a bit different from the parent plant intrigues me!!

26 May, 2012

 

Brill Cinders, interesting blog, I adore the little babies that are grown from the leaf cutting but these look to be even smaller. Cant wait to see what colour they turn out to be.
Sticki, I reckon its like a mother having children, the babies are different in some ways and the same in others!

26 May, 2012

 

thats exactly what i thought as i was writing it GM!!!

26 May, 2012

 

If you think about, its true! Lol

26 May, 2012

 

:-)

26 May, 2012

 

Thank you all for your comments. It is not easy doing it from seed, but if you like a challenge, and most of us do, then it can be fun. It does take a long time though and I have had many failures. Will let you know as mine progress.

26 May, 2012

 

very good Cinders, i like growing from seed it's more challenging and the rewards when they flower i think are better.. well done :-)

26 May, 2012

 

Thanks Surreylad. Appreciate your comments

26 May, 2012

 

Thank you Cinders for such an informative blog, I will look forward to seeing the sdeeds as thery grow;0)

26 May, 2012

 

Thanks PP. I have been asked several times about it, so thought the best thing was to put it in a blog.

26 May, 2012

 

Thanks Cinders, very informative.

I understand the ' very fine seed' thing.

I plan on mixing the seed with silver sand as I do with ' dust' like seed.

I have just bought a collection of plants and thought I would try a packet seed as well,( I am one of those type who just loves a challenge)

I have bought a packet of 'Dragon' seeds from Dibley's just to dabble with!

While I am writing may I make another query and ask your opinion?

Most of the plants (rooted cuttings) I have purchased have one prominent leaf and a secondary leaf for want of a better description and my question is;

What do you think to me cutting the tip off the prominent leaf and trying to root it?

What I don't want to do is weaken the rooted cutting to the point that in my haste to increase my stock, I kill off the parent plant?

As I have said I like a challenge and I like to experiment and as I see it, I can transform an ungainly looking plant into a more attractive plant and increase my stock to boot!

For example; I have just bought a collection of Fuchsia and they looked a bit untidy, so I tidied them up by pruning them, but rather than throwing the prunings away, I have rooted them, now I have increased my purchase four fold!

This is typical me, always experimenting!

I have got to the stage now that when something turns out as it says on the tin( sorry I meant packet) I have achieved nothing, as this is what it was supposed to do so I "dabble"!

Boring or even sad isn't it? that I do these things?

But as I said ......that is me.........I love a challenge..Tg

26 May, 2012

 

fuchsias are great for cuttings, they root so easily dont they? i take quite a lot from mine too

26 May, 2012

 

That was a brilliant blog. I might try it if I ever get flowers on mine. It would be interesting ....

26 May, 2012

 

Good morning TG. Where to start, so many questions. The mixing of fine seed with sand - I haven't tried it with this, its so fine you can hardly see it. I usually fold a piece of white paper and have the seed in the fold so you can see it and guide it where you want it. Worth a try though.

Taking more cuttings from your new ones - you could try that, but personally I think I would wait till you have one or two more decent leaves. I can't see that it would do much harm really though. I know what you are saying about doing it with fuchsias, as I think that is the normal practice anyway. But thats what makes gardening fun isnt it. Trying new things and see if it works.

You are not sad at all. Nice to have someone else on here that is so interested in propogating streps. I wish you luck. Please contact me if I can help. Maybe I can send you some seed at some point.

27 May, 2012

 

Sticki I think we all take cuttings don't we. How can we resist the challenge.

Thanks for the comment Hywel, I appreciate it. Why don't you have a go. You could let one of your flowers go to seed, just one, and when it dries a bit put it in a white envelope before it opens up too much or you will lose the seed.

27 May, 2012

 

I'll definately try it. I can't get them to flower though :o(

27 May, 2012

 

I have sown my seeds today!

I have changed my plan slightly in so far as; I mixed my seed with vermiculite dust instead of silver sand to make sowing easier.

The pots are now in a plastic bag to maintain humidity and this has been covered with plastic propagator lid ( half tray size)

I have them in semi shade on my hotbed in the greenhouse, but the power is off during this hot spell,but if needs be, and the weather turns cool I can just flick the switch and I can up the heat.

So it's fingers crossed now and i just hope I have some success, i will keep you informed of progress....Tg

27 May, 2012

 

Thats great Tg. I don't think you will need any extra heat, I never use any and I think it is more likely to dry out if you do, I shall be interested to see how it works. Did you sow them all, or did you keep some back in case the first lot fails (?)! Good luck.

Hywel, just a thought, do you have them in large pots, as they flower better if they are a little bit pot bound. You should soon see buds coming along now.

27 May, 2012

 

Well yes, I did put them in large pots. I thought they might like a but more room lol :D
I shall pot them down a size I think. There are no buds atall. I fed them with tomato feed last week.

28 May, 2012

 

I made that mistake a few years ago Hywel, they made lots of leaves but never really produced a good show of flowers. When I feed them I use quarter strength tomato food and not every time I water. Also don't overwater as they don't like standing in water, that will kill them. Hope that helps.

28 May, 2012

 

Thank you :o)

28 May, 2012

 

Its interesting to read the various ways we tackle growing seed, or taking cuttings. There is a set of instructions on the Streptocarpus page that I posted some time ago; these were given to me by the British Streptocarpus Society, of which I am a member. Is anyone else a member?...its certainly worth joining as you can get free seed and advice from the top growers .

16 Jul, 2012

 

Yes Amblealice, I am a member of the British Streptocarpus, and after growing Streps for many years, I wrote my blog as this is the way it works for me and I was asked to do it by a member. I agree there are several schools of thought on this, and I hope you are not offended by my input.

16 Jul, 2012

 

Hi Cinders, Ive just read your blog again and must say, I'm feeling really inspired to have a go at growing some streps from seed. I find all your comments very helpful and insightful because you speak from personal experience. For me this is much better than reading anything in a book. As with alot of things to do with gardening its all trial and error, but fun trying!! Thanks for your lovely blogs. Ill have a look at the the British Streptocarpus Society. I googled Streps the other day, I was amazed at just how many different varieties exist.

16 Jul, 2012

 

Thank you Poppy for your lovely comments, you are quite right, it is all gained from trial and error and personal experience, and what is right for you. I do hope you have a go at it, no babies yet on the leaves you sent - a bit too early yet I expect.

16 Jul, 2012

 

Good heavens Cinders......I'm not offended at all !!...its very useful to have explanatory pics as well......If you would like to nominate your blog , I will add it to the Streptocarpus page :-)

17 Jul, 2012

 

Thank you Alice, I am pleased about that, as I know some people found it useful, so will nominate it later.

17 Jul, 2012

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