Family: Gesneriaceae

Scientific Name: Saintpaulia ionatha hybrids

Common Name: African Violet

DescriptionAfrican Violets are one of the easiest to grow and most popular of the flowering indoor plants. There are hundreds if not thousands of cultivars to choose from.
Plant TypeIndoor Flowering Plants
SunlightLikes bright light but never direct and blooms during long days. Easy to grow under a fluorescent light set up.
MoistureAllow the surface of the media to get slightly dry between watering. Since the leaves of this plant will become spotted from cold water, this is a good candidate for bottom watering. When top watering try not to get water on the leaves and use tepid water. Over watering will cause the plants to rot at the stems. They prefer high humidity, which can be provided for by placing the plants on pebble-lined trays.
Growing MediaThere are special commercial mixes that can be purchased for African Violets. Mixes should be well drained and high in organic matter.
TemperatureNeeds to be kept warm around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit is preferred. Cool to cold temperate will drastically cut down on the production of flowers.
FlowersThe flowers occur in clusters held above the foliage by a flower stalk (peduncle). They are star or violet shaped and come in a wide array of colors. Single, double, semi-double and multicolored flowers can be found.
LeavesThe plant forms a low-growing rosette of rounded hairy leaves with scalloped edges. The petioles of the leaves are fleshy. Leaves are green but many variegated cultivars are available along with pendulous trailing types.
DimensionsThey are small plants growing in 4-5 inch pots. Plus there are many miniatures available.
Propagationleaf-petiole cuttings
Native SiteNative to Tanzania
Cultivar OriginThere are many cultivars and series of this plant.
Misc FactsAlthough these plants need some exacting culture conditions, they are well worth the effort.
Notes & Reference#70-Indoor Plants (Courtuer and Clark), #72-The New House Plant Survival Manual
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