Cape primrose is an attractive winter houseplant. It’s especially well-suited to Maine, where winter sunlight is limited, as it will blossom in indirect light – bright shade or light sun. Also, it likes temperatures from 60 degrees to the high 70s, and many of us heat our homes somewhere in that range come winter.

The plant, with the botanical name Streptocarpus, is related to the African violet and can produce blossoms – including red, pink, violet and white – almost all year long.

The strap-like, textured leaves can grow a foot or more and, if you are not careful, they can get damaged by nearby plants or other contact.

The Cape primrose is drought tolerant, so water it only when the potting soil is dry. If it wilts a bit, don’t worry; it won’t cause lasting damage. Fertilize only occasionally, with a weaker than normal solution.

Remove the flower stems when the blossoms have gone by. In addition, cut out older leaves close to their bases when they begin to turn yellow.

If you find roots coming out of the drainage hole, you may need to repot in spring. All easy – for the most part, these are low-maintenance and beautiful flowering plants.

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