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Tips to Grow Cape Primrose Indoors [Updated 2023]

Cape Primrose is a close cousin to domestic African Violets. But, to grow Cape Primrose indoors, you must manage their cultural care entails more cautiously. 

Generally, to grow Cape Primrose indoors, offer daily filtered sunlight, 55-80°F temperature, watering when 1-2 inches of topsoil dries up, porous soil amended with fertilizer every 2-3 weeks in spring and summer, 50% indoor humidity, repotting every 1-4 years, and occasional pruning in early spring.  

The article below explains the basic care tricks to keep your Cape Primrose healthy!

Are Cape Primrose Indoor or Outdoor Plant?

Cape Primrose (scientifically Streptocarpus species) is a tropical to subtropical perennial plant naturally thriving in Africa’s lush habitats.

So, technically Cape Primrose is an outdoor plant, opting for bright indirect lighting conditions and tropical to subtropical cultural care.
Image represents a leggy Cape Primrose
Low light conditions cause Cape Primrose plants to stretch their stems and leaf stalks.

But they rarely prosper entirely indoors in a dark spot and discard flowering.

So, choose a bright indoor area with filtered sunlight (dappled east-facing or near a north-facing window) for quick blooming while growing Primrose in pots or containers.

Cape Primroses last only 6 months without adequate light before slacking and halting flower production indoors.

But with pruning and feeding, Cape Primrose will rejuvenate with the same vigor in the next growing seasons.

How to Care for Cape Primrose Indoors?

Stick to the following requirements to care for your Cape Primrose plant.

1. Light & Temperature

  • Curtained-filtered light (all seasons) with 8 hours of daily darkness
  • About 55-80°F surrounding temperature (avoid temperature drops below 55°F)
  • Optional Artificial Lighting: About 8 inches beneath grow lights for 12-15 hours daily

2. Watering & Humidity

  • Regular watering in spring and summer to moisten the top 1-2 inches of soil
  • Avoid or decrease watering in fall and winter by checking the upper layer of potting mix
  • Indoor Humidity: Around 50% (using a humidifier or humidity trays)
Image represents yellow leaves in Cape Primrose
Cape Primrose’s leaf tips become yellow and brown due to underwatering during heat spells.

3. Soil & Fertilizer

4. Pruning & Repotting

  • Repotting: Every 1-4 years during early spring in a 0.5-1 inch wider and deeper terracotta pot when the plant doubles in size or becomes root bound
  • Pruning: Occasional or early spring trimming to remove yellow, brown, or pest or disease-infested leaves using sterilized pruners

Problems of Indoor Cape Primroses [With Solutions]

Some common issues while growing Cape Primroses and their solutions are as follows.

1. Leggy Appearance & Slow Growth


  • Low light
  • Low fertilizer application


  • Place your Cape Primrose near an indirect light source or below grow lights.
  • You can also prune the lumbering stems or leaves and manage the light needs. 
  • However, situating the plant in direct sunlight for 1-2 hours a day can also solve this issue.
  • Use nitrogen-based fertilizer to speed up their vegetative growth.

2. Less Flowering Tendencies


  • Lack of pollinators
  • Low light


  • Pollinate indoor Cape Primrose flowers using Q-tips manually during their flowering spell (spring-summer).
Image represents self-watering pot for Cape Primrose
Self-watering pots allow Cape Primrose to uptake water according to its needs and avoid the conditions of overwatering.

3. Root Rot & Yellow or Brown Leaves


  • Soggy soil
  • Sunburns
  • Underwatering


Learn the process of pruning Cape Primrose from the following video.

4. Ant Infestation


  • Sweet flower nectar
  • Unruly stem and leaf growth


  • Keep your Cape Primrose in shape by periodically pruning successive old and damaged leaves.
  • Deadhead to discourage spent flowers post-blooming stretch.

Taking Care of Indoors Cape Primrose in Winter

The following steps may help your dormant Cape Primrose endure harsh winter conditions.

  • Prune the dead leaves and unruly stems before winter to preserve plant energy.
  • Keep them away from drafty windows and situate them near an open south-facing window for a few hours in the afternoon.
Image represents root bound Cape Primrose plant
Root bound causes Cape Primrose roots to cuddle up within the container and rot if the plant is not repotted timely.
  • Clean the dust from the leaves so that the plant traps maximum sunlight.
  • Keep your plant from heating or cooling vents that drastically fluctuate the surrounding temperature.
  • Do not repot or prune Cape Primrose during winter. Instead, aim for early spring.

Cape Primrose for Sale

Consider the following sites to buy Cape Primrose indoors.

Shops/ SitesExpected Shipping Date
LogeesWithin 1-2 days after placing an order
Little Prince PlantsWithin 3 days after placing an order
Mountain Crest GardensWithin 3 days after placing an order
Ferri SeedsWithin 7-25 days after placing an order

From Editorial Team

Frost protection during winter

If winter or sudden chills in climate is expected, use frost blankets to keep your Cape Primrose warm.

Although Cape Primrose can go dormant during winter, keeping a warm environment will protect them from frost injuries.

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