Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why does my Streptocarpus wilt?

Streptocarpus from Polish hybridizer
Story # 120,

Why does my Streptocarpus wilt?

            There are three possibilities for Streptocarpus to show wilt.

Case 1,  Dry

            The plant is in good health and has dry soil that is causing the wilt down.  When the pot is watered enough to saturate the soil, the plant will recover without harm.

Case 2,   Heat

            The plant is in good health and watered but it is wilted.  If the temperature is above 85 degrees F, Streptocarpus will naturally wilt as a survival mechanism.  Watering does not help.  The plant needs cool and will recover once the temp goes below 85 degrees.

Case 3,  Rot

            The soil is watered and the temperature is below 85, but the plant is still wilted continuously.  This is usually a sign that the plant has root rot and, to the extreme, will rot off and dies.  This can be the result of overwatering or continuously sitting in water.  You can attempt to reestablish roots by carefully monitoring watering.  Run on the dry side until new roots form.  If the clone is important to you, propagate immediately from leaf cuttings, in case the root rot kills your plant.

            Streptocarpus grow better in smaller pots and less soil volume.  Being dry occasionally is better than too wet all the time.

            Heat tolerance in Streptocarpus may be improved someday, but for now, wilt is normal in high temperatures.

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