African Violets (Saintpaulia; Gesneriaceae)
Light: African violets require regular indirect sunlight. They do well indoors by windows and under lamps. It is best to rotate the plant periodically to allow the rosette shape of the plant to grow evenly.
Soil Requirements: Proper nutrients can be added by a regular house fertilizer mix every six months or so. The soil needs to be well-aerated, which can be done by making a loamy mix or adding perlite to the soil.
Leaf cuttings are the easiest way to propagate African Violets. Simply cut off a leaf with a razor blade and dip the tip of the cut leaf in rooting hormones. Place the leaf in soil and wait for new growth.
African Violets are herbaceous perennials whose flowers bloom freely throughout the year. Their thick, dark green leaves and variety of colored flowers are appealing in the home.
They are naturally found in tropical Africa, Tanzania, and southeastern Kenya. African violets grow well outside in zone 11 or 12.
These flowers are particular when it comes to watering. Over watering is the easiest way to kill these plants. To prevent overwatering it is best to water from the bottom. This can be done by placing the pot in a separate container without holes on the bottom with a small layer of water. Once the water is gone replenish water.
If the flowers or leaves start beginning to die, it is best to remove rotting pieces. This keeps the plant looking healthy and helps prevent disease.
These plants are nontoxic to pets.
Page and photos by Erica Awalt