The African Violet

Whenever I think of African Violets, I think of my grandma. My grandma grew them, my friends grandmas grew them, and your grandma probably did too! Search back through pictures of birthdays and special  dinners and your sure to spot them hiding in the background somewhere! African Violets are not just for our older generations, they are unique and very rewarding plants for every generation…

African Violets are considered an old-fashioned plant, simply meaning that not much has changed with them and they have been grown by generations.

African Violets are not a violet at all. They actually do originate from Africa, but belong to the family of plants called Gesneriaceae (Not the violet family, Violaceae).  They actually got their named from the color of their flower, which is most commonly violet. They got their botanical name ‘Saintpaulia’ from the man who “discovered them” and brought them back to Europe in the late 1800’s. He was Baron Walter Von Saint Paul.

African Violets come in a wide variety of colors and both single and double blossoms.

African Violets are relatively easy to care for, but they do have some special requirements. One of the major concerns you should have when care for African Violets is that they  have very sensitive leaves. Always avoid splashing water on them. If you do, your are bound to get brown or white spots on them. Instead place them in pebble trays. The tray should have at least on inch of pebbles in it. Fill with water to just under the pebble line, and set the African violets on them so they are slightly submerged. The plants will slowly take up the water through osmosis. Check water levels weekly and refill when the soil  gets dry to the touch. This will also help with their need for high humidity.

African Violet leaves are covered in tiny hairs. These aid in the absorbtion of humidity and leave protection. They will increase in numbers with stress and cool temperatures. Avoid touching the leaves as much as possible.

African violets prefer temperatures between 70-75 degrees. Never let temperatures drop below 60 degrees, and never place them in hot direct sunlight-they will burn within an hour! Instead place them in an east or west window. In the summer they will even grow well in a north facing window.

African violets prefer a rich soil. We have custom blends of soil that have been made specifically for them. When transplanting, choose a pot slightly smaller then the outermost leaves and don’t pack the soil in too tight because they need air in the soil to thrive. Fertilize on a regular basis to keep them happy and blooming!

Feed your African Violets every time you water (as directed) to keep them happy and blooming! Never get water or fertilizer on the leaves.

Happy Flowering!