African violet, the most grown flower on the planet!

African violet

African violet is one of the most sold indoor plants the world over.

Key African Violet facts, a list

NameSaintpaulia ionantha
Family – Gesneriaceae
Type – indoor plant

 – 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm)
Exposure – veiled

– evergreen – Flowering – all year round

Its blooming can last for most of the year, sometimes even all year round for some violets!

Planting, repotting African violet

African violet likes a tight fit in its pot and thus doesn’t need to be repotted immediately.

After that, every 2 or 3 years and preferably in spring, repot your African violet in a pot of a very slightly larger size.

Repotting African violet

  • Planting, repotting African violetSurrounding temperatures must be lower than 60°F (16°C) to ensure proper settling in.
  • African violet roots hate having too much water. Double-check that the new pot has a hole in the bottom.
    Increase drainage with a layer of gravel or clay pebbles along the bottom of the pot, to make water flow through more easily.
  • Good soil mix is needed.
    The plant, when it lives indoors, needs soil mix because that is the only source for the nutrients it needs.
  • Low but constant moisture levels must be maintained, without wetting the leaves.
    You must rest the pot on a bed of gravel, rocks or clay marbles doused in water.

Propagation is possible in spring with cuttings.

Where to place your African violet

The best location for your African violet is in a spot where there isn’t any direct sun on the plant, ever.

  • African violetAfrican violet can’t stand the sun’s rays when they touch its leaves directly.
    So the plant rejoices in adequate light but not direct sun.
  • Absolutely avoid setting it near heat sources such as radiators, because moisture is what this tropical plant needs most.

African violet requires temperatures that oscillate between 65 and 74°F (18 to 24°C) and which never drops below 57°F (-13°C). Ideally, the daily cycle is 4 to 5 degrees cooler at night.

You can put gloxinia in the immediate vicinity of this plant because they both share the same growing conditions.

Watering and fertilizer to provide African violet with

Regular but moderate watering is called for. African violet requires little water.

In spring and summer

Keep the soil mix a bit moist and check that water drains properly.

Provide flower plant liquid fertilizer more or less once a month to extend the blooming to the max.

  • Water from above, ideally with water that is already at room temperature.
  • Never wet the leaves and flowers of your African violet.

To retain a certain moisture level, it is best to put the pot on a bed of clay pebbles with water at the bottom.

In fall and winter

Reduce watering and wait for the soil to be thoroughly dry in the surface before watering again.
Stop adding fertilizer.

Common diseases for African violet

Most diseases targeted are the typical indoor plant diseases, red spider mite, scale insects, aphids and also powdery mildew.

  • If the color of the leaves turns pale, it is probably due to a lack of fertilizer.
  • Leaves that grow smaller and smaller in size show that you need to consider repotting your African violet.

All there is to know about African violet

African violet or Cape violet was discovered in 1892 by Baron Walter Von Saint-Paul in the mountain ranges of Tanzania.

The name “Violet” was given to it because it is very similar to the viola violet, but there is otherwise nothing in common between the two plants.

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Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
Kosobu, Pavlo/AdobeStock
Pixabay: Gini George