The New In Streptocarpus

By Dave G. (Strepbystrep) on January 31, 2014

You've seen them on eBay, they are different, elusive and the bidding is a frenzy if not insane. But you you want one, it's the latest and greatest and in most cases will be your pride and joy when you win that auction. Sounds familiar?

The New of Streptocarpus


You've seen them on eBay, they are different, elusive and the bidding is a frenzy if not insane. But you you want one, it's the latest and greatest and in most cases will be your pride and joy when you win that auction. Sounds familiar? 

It's the new and exciting generation of Streps. The envy of many of the older generations of not so long ago. Where are they coming from? Two of the most popular hybridizers Piotr Kleszcynski of Poland and Pavel Enikeev (ye nick KAY yev) of the Ukraine. There are other hybridizes producing some wonderful, new hybrids which rival these hybrids as well in Russia and the good old U.S.A.

By no means am I trying to slight or diminish any hybridizer who may read this blog. There are many in the Strep world who are working tirelessly on miniature, fantasy blooms, specific colors, etc. I will mention a few here who have recently I have come to know and produce more along the line of standard and compact Streps. 

Here in the U.S. we have Wendy DeLorme who has produced in my opinion spectacular Streps. Wendy's Wickedly Awesome and soon to be released Kermit's Kiss are absolutely a must if you want a U.S. hybridized Strep that rivals the Polish and Ukrainian varieties. Wendy is not a commercial grower, but is very talented hybridizer.

Nancy Braun is another non-commercial  and very talented hybridizer. Another lady who produces spectacular hybrids, recently bred Exotic Lady, Tutti Fruity, Cherry Bombe along with a few others that slip my mind at this time.

Betty Cessna, another non-commercial, very talented lady. She hybridizes some of the most beautiful fantasy Streps as well as Kolerias and Episcias. Some of her fantasy hybrids include, Nightwinds, Summer Storm, Daybreak and Liberty Belle.

A few observations on the Polish hybrids by Piotr Kleszczynski. From my experience and this applies only to my collection of plants and conditions. Currently I have 30 or so of Piotr's hybrids and personally I love every one of them.

I have been fortunate enough to buy a few from Poland when I first started acquiring his varieties. Those which came from Poland take quite awhile to adjust to their new growing conditions. They tend to start out growing very slowly for the first 4-6 months. However, once they acclimate, boy do they put on a show! I find every one is a very good bloomer with the average mature plant putting forth 3-5 blooms per stem. In fact Wow has produced on a 8 month old plant 6 flowers per stem.

Another observation is the leaves end to be thicker than most varieties and grow easily to 12-16" long. They are tough plants, a plus for someone just starting out. The plants tend to send multiple crowns nicely, not overcrowding the center crown. The only exception I have is Cynamon. Cynamon seems to send too many crowns out around the same time. After trial and error, I have found to treat this one like a violet and pluck off the excessive crowns, leaving one or two to develop.

Propagating by leaf I have always used the AV method of propagating. I do not need more than 2-3 plants so this works well for me. I also find the babies see to get a stronger start. The only drawback I find with the Polish hybrids is the babies tend to develop as a bunch next to each other further a little further up the stem than the cut. On average, expect 4-6 plants however, because they are so close to one another, they do not in many cases have enough roots to support themselves once severed from the mother leaf. Thus requiring to be bagged until sufficiently rooted.

Last the Dimetris hybrids. Many are just plain fascinating in that many are color changers, some are frilly and some with unusual fantasy colors. They all seem to have one thing in common, they love to bloom and bloom they will!

These plants grow on the large side but there are a few exceptions. The leaves are more in line with most other hybrid streps, not quite as thick as the Polish from my experience. This variety tends to grow rather quickly, so potting may need to be done more  frequently. They also send up multiple crowns, however certain varieties like DS-Beloved and DS-L'epatage d'Alchimie tends to produce many at one time and need to be managed or will crowd out the center growth of the plant.

The Dimetris varieties do not exhibit the same challenges producing babies as Piotr's. The leaves tend to develop babies a little more spread out and when dividing, each baby has the necessary roots to send them on their way to adulthood.

This sums up today's topic. My hope is you may have found some useful information. Though the Polish, Ukrainian and Russian varieties are the flavor of the day, much like Silvia was when first introduced in the USA. There are just as many beautiful hybrids on the horizon thanks to the many efforts of hybridizers here in the good old USA! So eBay watchers keep on the lookout!

Dave

Related articles:
New, Polish, Streptocarpus, Ukrainian

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
streps mrsbonnie Feb 3, 2014 10:41 AM 1

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