Monday, 24 January 2011

African Violets

African violets is a common name for popular and much loved house plant Saitpaulia ionantha. My violets happily flower almost constantly on the western window sill. They really need not much care. If you provide the necessary growing conditions for them, they will last for years.

African violet is a herbaceous perennial from the family Gesneriaceae.  As it comes from Africa, it cannot  survive outside in my climate and is grown as house plant. It needs neutral to slightly acid soil, moderate watering and warmth. The leaves are shiny and hairy and don't like to be wet. Plants also don't like standing in the water. There are cultivars with ruffled petals and leaves. Flower colours range from blue, pink, and white. There are cultivars with double coloured or variegated flowers. 
Some of my African violets needed transplanting so I did it.

Well, this is NOT a representative specimen!

Actually, there are tree plants in this pot produced from a leaf cutting but I neglected them. The central part was keeping rather well whereas side plants suffered. I discarded the weakest plant and re-potted the two into new pots. Division of the plants must be done with care because the leaves are somewhat brittle (tough it doesn't look so).

African violets are easily propagated from leaf cuttings. Simply insert the leaf into regular planting soil. The ending of the leaf should touch the ground. The first leaves appear after six to eight weeks.

The leaves are hairy and shiny.

African violets on my window sill.


  1. Obožavam ih,tvoje su prekrasne!!!
    Lijep pozdrav.

  2. I love african violets. I do not have window sill in my house that seems to make them happy. I had a whole collection at my last home. I miss them.

  3. hello Vesna, my wife loves African violets,thanks for this post....

  4. Your African violets are lovely! I especially like the type with the ruffled petals.

  5. Jako volim ljubičice,ali me nekako neće...zato sam sa uživanjem pogledala tvoje. Na mom blogu te čeka nagradica....srdačan pozdrav:)

  6. I had no idea violets were so easy to propagate! I have a pot on my windowsill that usually blooms all year. Your violets are really pretty! :o)

  7. When I was a new gardener I almost obsessively kept and propagated African violets. Your post brings back fun nostalgia. I have to wonder what a plant that likes moist soil but hates damp leaves does to survive in the wild. They must have an odd habitat somewhere.


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