Streptocarpus Sun Damaged Leaves

Primroses have specific light requirements.

Flag this photo

Cape primrose (Streptocarpus spp. and cv.) is a member of the Gesneriaceae family, which includes violets, gloxinia and other herbaceous perennials. Sometimes called false violet, streptocarpus is easy to grow, although its growing requirements seem strict. The plant needs bright, indirect sunlight and warmth, but not heat. It also needs moist, but not wet, soil. With proper care, Cape primrose produces masses of petite flowers all year long. Too much water, too much heat or too much sun causes leaf damage from sunburn, leaf scorch or heat stress.

Related Searches: Leaf Scorch

Leaf scorch can happen to virtually any plant, especially those that cannot tolerate direct sunlight, like Cape primrose. Leaf scorch generally occurs when the plant transpires moisture from its leaves faster than the roots can supply more. Direct sunlight, heat, insects or disease, or a combination of dry soil and high heat or sunlight levels damages Cape primrose foliage. Leaf scorch causes the leaf margins to turn brown, and the middle of the leaves between the veins to turn yellow. The side of the Cape primrose most exposed to sunlight shows more damage than the rest of the plant. Leaf scorch normally does not kill the plant, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.


Keep the growing medium for Cape primrose moist while it recovers from the damage. Spritz the plant with a fine water mist to keep the atmosphere around it humid. Move the pot out of direct sunlight. If heat rather than sunlight caused the damage, check the ambient temperature around plant. Cape primrose prefers temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit but below 90 F. The plant may drop some leaves, but should recover on its own.


Give the plant filtered light exposure near an east-facing window, or use fluorescent grow lights in place of natural sunlight. Place the plant beside the window rather than directly in front of it, or use sheers or shades to filter the light. Fertilize Cape primrose weekly. Mix half the amount of fertilizer recommended on the product label with an equal part of water. Stop fertilizing it in winter and begin again in the spring. Keeping water off the leaves prevents rots and fungi from invading the plant. Maintain the proper temperature and keep the plant humidified. When you repot Cape primrose, leave an inch or so of the top of the roots above the soil to prevent rot.

Symptoms Similar to Sun Damage

Foliar symptoms of rot and disease mimic leaf scorch or sunburn. Check the roots and stem for signs of infection. Many infections produce watery-looking lesions on stems and roots, or may cause roots to discolor and darken. If the Cape primrose appears infected, take a sample of the diseased area to your local cooperative extension service to find out which disease it is and the proper way to treat the infection. Overfertilizing Cape primrose may cause fertilizer burn, which has symptoms similar to leaf scorch.

ReferencesMissouri Botanical Garden: Streptocarpus GroupMissouri Botanical Garden: Scorch, Sunburn, and Heat StressUniversity of Oklahoma; Plant of the Week - Streptocarpus; 2000"Fine Gardening"; Abundant Indoor Blooms; Steve Frowine;Missouri Botanical Garden: Fungal Spots, Blights and BlotchesResourcesUSDA Plants Profile: Streptocarpus Lindl.University of Minnesota Extension; Streptocarpus - Cape Primrose - the False Violet; Jesica ConradUniversity of Vermont; Streptocarpus; Leonard Perry, Ph.DPhoto Credit George Doyle/Valueline/Getty ImagesRead Next:

Print this articleCommentsFollow eHowFollow

View the Original article

No comments:

Post a Comment