Flowers of Petrocosmea nervosa

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Streptocarpus and the making of more beauties

Good morning everyone and I hope you are having a happy June!!!

Lots happening here, Streptocarpus in bloom, African Violets in bloom and lots of hybridizing attempts occuring. I have some nice crosses coming along and it is one of the most enjoyable pastimes anyone who loves plants could take up. Having lots of Streptocarpus in bloom at the same time means, apart from all the watering and dead heading, you can choose the parents of your future beauties more easily. Once the seeds of the crosses are planted it seems an age before you can see your results. I am sure the buds on Streptocarpus tease me in the length of time they seems to take to open. Even when they are nearly open you cannot really tell what the flower will look like. I have been fooled many a time by what I thought was going to be a two toned flower and it turns out to be a solid colour. I have been known to peek inside the bud by forcing it open. I should not do this really and must learn to be more patient. I will post some photographs of some of my crosses so you can have a look. I hope it might tempt others to have a try. It was years of growing Streptocarpus before I tried to hybridize. This was mainly as I bought some seeds once a long time ago from a well known auction site. These seeds were of 'Crystal Beauty'. Well on growing the seeds out, I think I planted them all at the time, when the plantlets finally bloomed I was so disappointed to say the least. All the flower heads were split. I threw them all away into the compost bin and didn't think of ever trying to 'make my own'.

My passion in Streptocapus came from my dear old Mum, she grew them on her windowsills, propagated by inserting leaf into a coontainer of water, quite successfully I may add. By her love of these plants I am where I am today, I expect she is looking down on me now saying 'Oh not more!' I can thiink of lots of other hobbies though that would cost me a lot more money.

Well thats enough of my rambling, I will find some nice photos to show you all.

Happy growing, if you are attending the Gesneriad Society Convention in Toronto I will see you there. I would like to say at this point a personal thank you to the society for their organisation of this event. It has taken the worry of planning the trip over to Canada away from us. I am looking forward to seeing all the Gesneriads, meeting friends in person for the first time, and of course seeing Niagra Falls!!!!!!

Warm wishes and green fingers

                                                                Isle of Avalon
Streptocarpella Eyewell

Friday 13 July 2012


Anyone wanting any Streptocarpus cross seeds or Petrocosmea leaves or bits of Streptocarpus leaves or African Violet leaves please let me know on

Friday 6 January 2012

New Year and High hopes

Happy New Year to all friends of Gesneriads out there, I sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful growing year.

I cannot believe it has be so long since my last post on here, where does the time go!

I have lots of projects on the go with help my friends both in the UK and those in distant lands. I hope one day to be able to meet up with these friends so there will be Gesneriad talk 24/7.

I have been trying my hand at hybidizing with a few glimmers of hope in the form of seed pods maturing. I have had success in crossing Streps, Petrocosmea, Sinningia and Streptocarpella. I have fingers and toes crossed that something exciting will come from these crosses. My only wish is that I started this quest years ago which would have given me a lot more time to experiment. I find Sinningia the easiest to cross and the quickest along with Streptocarpella, Streptocarpus and finally Petrocosmea which seem to take an age for the pods to mature. I have had no luck with African Violets as yet but have been sent some seeds from a cross a friend in Scotland managed so excited waiting for those to germinate. I have obtained by purchase and by being given a lot of micro miniature Sinningias for which I will surely need a new pair of specs before attempting crosses on them. A host of Streptocarpus leaves that I obtained last summer are now blooming their little heads off in my conservatory. The beauty of each and every one that comes into bloom is awesome. My particular favourite in this batch is Feathered Silk which I will add a photo later. I find that Petrocosmea HT-2 makes a wonderful pollen parent in that the pollen sacs act like powder puffs when squeezed with tweezers. Anything that makes the whole process easier is a bonus!!

I will continue to post more photos as and when I get them and I promise not to leave it so long in between posts,

Best wishes to you all

                                             Streptocarpus Feathered Silk
                                                   Streptocarpus Justa
                                                 Petrocosmea Keystone's Angora
                                                Petrocosmea Keystone's Angora
                                                 Petrocosmea Fluffer Nutter
                               Streptocarpus Indigo Dream

Monday 20 June 2011

Everything in Bloom except the Petrocosmea

     Well everything Gesneriad wise is in full swing except for the Petrocosmea. I have so many Streptocarpus in bloom I cannot keep up with the dead heading. I have some lovely Russian ones coming along and they are certainly very different. The DS-Mirage and DS- Mysticism and Sashenka are stunning and I have attempted a couple of crosses with their pollen. I am not that brilliant with the seeds once they are produced so fingers crossed I can get something worth while with these. I have sown some seeds of a cross of Streptocarpus Very Nearly and Harlequin Blue but as yet nothing is appearing. I sent some seeds to a good friend in the States in the hope he can get something out of them. Only once have I ever got any Streptocarpus seeds I have sown to germinate and then they were very dissapointing and ended up on the compost. The seeds were bought from an auction site and were from Crystal Beauty x Self. When the plants produced flowers they were very weird and split open. It did put me off a bit but now with my friends all producing such wonderful crosses I must try and get to grips with it.
I made a terrarium on the 8th March this year and planted it with Sinningias and Petrocosmea. I made it from an aquarium which I bought especially for the project. It is now crammed full of flowering Sinningias and is a lovely feature of my lounge. It is a dark part of the room so the lights are on for 12 hours a day. The lights were in the aquarium when I bught it and one is blue and one is white and they certainly seem to make the plants grow.
Weather in the UK today has been very wet, after we had months of no rain it is really welcome. I do hope though it does stop at some point and we get back to some sunshine.
Happy Growing everyone and Happy Summer Solstice...XXXX

Sunday 27 March 2011

Pricking out Petrocosmea seedlings

Well the time has come to try and get some of the minute Petrocosmea nervosa seedlings into a bigger home. I have not been looking forward to this task as they are still so small. I thought the best way to do this is with a toothpick. I put some Perlite into a plastic container and on the top put some soil mix made up of Perlite, Vermiculite and houseplant compost. I used more Houseplant compost in this mix as the Perlite is much bigger than the seedlings and didn't want to over shadow them. They came apart quite easily surprisingly and they seemed to stuck onto the toothpick. I have left some of the mass of seedlings in the side of the new container in case the others don't make it and I can try again. I have covered with cling film and left them in the conservatory where the seeds have been in their little specimen jar since sowing. Good luck little ones, grow well!

Friday 4 March 2011

Petrocosmea seedlings at last

At last! I looked at my third attempt on getting my Petrocosmea nervosa seeds to germinate this morning and they are! These seeds were planted in a specimin pot in ordinary houseplant compost. Well there they were, as you can see from the photo they are just beginning their lives. These were planted on the 11th February so it hasn't taken long at all really. The other two specimin bottles also containing another batch of nervosa seeds are still doing nothing, these were sown on the 4th January in Sphagnum moss, and the other in normal sowing mix i.e. 1 part houseplant compost,1 part Vermiculite and one part Perlite. The latter in the Perlite I am not too sure whether there are stirrings or not as the Perlite is turning green as it does. The latter two pots have been kept in cooler conditions in a North facing window, the one that has germination taking place is in my light stand with a lot of other Gesneriads.
Spring is coming here in the UK at last, although we have frosts at night it has been sunny during the daytime. Streptocarpus are showing lots of new growth, African Violets are looking pleased for themselves also.
I will keep posting the progress of the babies and hopefully I can keep them alive!!!

Sunday 9 January 2011

Making more Petrocosmea and Streptocarpus

Well it is the 9th January 2011, the sun is shining here in the West Country UK and I felt like working on my plants. I have had a Petrocosmea forrestii leaf with babies on for some time now and to tell you the truth it isn't a job I relish taking them off. The problem is that they seem very delicate and when I take them off I usually manage to break a lot of leaves off too. I have been told to let them dry out so they are not so brittle but when I usually feel like doing the job they are always quite damp. I have taken photographs so you can see how I did it and the finished results. I have also taken photos of some Streptocarpus Mother leaves with her babies and some more Petrocosmea leaves that are just starting to produce babies. To divide the Petrocosmea babies off of the Mother I used a craft knife, a blunt one! I managed to get 5 or 6 babies some really small and they probably wont come to much. I transplanted them into a plastic trifle dish in 1 part houseplant compost (Homebase) 1 part vermiculite and one part perlite, there is a half inch layer of perlite in the bottom. The Mother leaf was in a plastic flowerpot in this container when she produced the babies, so I thought I would put them back in the same humidity. The lid is another trifle dish upside down. I have added a photo of some of Daniel's Sinningia seeds after transplanting too :). The last photo is of seeds of Sinningia muscicola they are very small and I just watered them....All in all an enjoyable hour or two!