African Violet (Saintpaulia) Guide | Our House Plants

In regards to the African Violet

The Saintpaulia houseplant is extra generally often called the African Violet as a result of it originates from Africa and the flowers seem like violets (though they’re unrelated). This plant is a newish addition to our houses, solely showing in massive numbers beginning in America within the 1930’s however has been liked ever since.

African Violet plant with blue flowers on a purple seat by kaboompics

The plant was found by Baron von Saint Paul in 1892 at which level it was despatched to Hermann Wendland at Berlin’s Royal Botanic Gardens, who named it Saintpaulia ionantha after Baron’s household identify.

The unique Saintpaulia was fairly tough to develop in houses and consequently did not change into common. Nevertheless round 1925 Armacost and Royston, a Los Angeles nursery, recognised the potential of the plant and began growing new cultivars.

It wasn’t lengthy earlier than they launched their first creation named “blue boy“, it was fairly totally different to the older Saintpaulia as a result of this selection was straightforward to propagate, might deal fairly fortunately with common residence situations and had an extended and extra strong flowering interval.

The Individuals liked it and from 1930 onwards it turned more and more desired.

Steadily extra cultivars have been created and cross-bred, because the years handed new colors and vegetation with totally different leaf shapes got here to the market. African Violet’s did not change into highly regarded in Europe till after the tip of the Second World Battle at which level nations like United Kingdom turned gripped all through the 1960s and 1970s by, what was dubbed, African Violet fever.

African Violet plant with purple flowers

The plant is steeped in a wealthy current historical past however that does not make it quaint

This was partially on account of Dr David Hessayon and his finest promoting gardening books, that opened a door to indicate folks that taking care of houseplants just like the African Violet was truly extremely straightforward.

Many vegetation have their devoted followers, you simply do not find out about it as a result of the bulk aren’t that vocal about it. The Saintpaulia followers although are a distinct kettle of fish, they adore this plant.

Having a passionate want to come back collectively and share their experiences in addition to assist new newbie house owners discover their approach. African Violet Societies have existed in lots of nations all over the world because the finish of the Second World Battle.

The plant is clearly steeped in a wealthy historical past and though you might assume subsequently that it is routinely quaint, the recognition continues to be prevalent right now. African Violets will be readily present in retailers at very low-cost costs.

African Violet plant with pink flowers

Being compact and low rising they will go well with a number of places. Propagation is simple and quick, with the blooms having no particular flowering season, which implies it may be in flower any time of the 12 months and for lengthy intervals.

African Violet Care Information

The primary cause African Violet’s fail to re-bloom is all the way down to inadequate gentle


By no means place your African Violet in direct daylight. In case you are attempting to attain flowers it is going to want vibrant gentle. The plant will take a shadier spot however on the expense of an extended interval between flowering cycles.


Hold compost moist, permitting the compost to dry out barely between watering’s.

Though many individuals advise to solely water by utilizing the underside watering methodology you can water from the highest if you’re cautious. Go slowly so you do not splash the leaves which may break the look of the velvety leaves and drastically enhance the probabilities of numerous fungal infections.


The plant enjoys excessive humidity, however you should keep away from misting the plant as a approach of accelerating humidity if it is too low to keep away from wetting the leaves an excessive amount of. Strive a few of our different suggestions as a substitute which can forestall adverse points from the leaves being too moist.


Attempt to use a feed which is excessive in potash, of if not possible, an all objective houseplant selection can even work.

Must you be a eager African Violet flower fan, then you will want to feed frivolously each couple of weeks. In case you are not offering the brilliant (however oblique) gentle that’s wanted, cut back your feeding routine just because the plant will not use it.


Common heat at 15°C – 21°C / 60°F – 72°F. Attempt to maintain the temperature above 15°C / 60°F in Winter.


Mature African Violet vegetation will not want very frequent repotting. The truth is by doing it usually you’ll cut back the flowering potential as a barely pot-bound pot is useful in getting the blooms. Very younger vegetation or very pot-bound mature vegetation will want repotting, ideally in Spring or early Summer season.


It is very straightforward (or virtually not possible for some) to get the cuttings to “take” when you find yourself attempting to propagate African Violets. To extend your possibilities use a normal all objective or particular slicing compost and a rooting hormone. This does not assure success, nor does it imply African Violet propagation with leaf cuttingsshould you do not do this stuff the cuttings will fail, it simply means your chances are high larger.

To get began you merely minimize off one of many leaves with a pointy pair of scissors near the centre of the plant. You’ll then have a leaf with a stem hooked up to the underside.

Trim the stem so you’ve gotten a sloping edge (see image on the fitting). Make a small gap for the stem within the compost. In case you are utilizing a rooting hormone, at this stage dip the stem into the hormone.

Then gently push the stem into the compost combine earlier than watering in and firming the soil across the stem, which can maintain the slicing regular and in place.

Hold heat, out of direct daylight and all being effectively in a couple of weeks the African Violet leaf will nonetheless be alive. This can be a actually optimistic signal that the slicing is taking, the choice is the leaf dies during which case you’ll know the slicing has failed early on (not like the ZZ Plant which does not present you what is taking place for months).

Some weeks (or for some probably months) later and you must begin to discover new tiny leaves forming across the base of the stem. At this level we are able to say congratulations you’ve gotten a brand new plant! Handled effectively from this stage on, you could possibly moderately get flowers effectively inside a 12 months.

Velocity of Development

Development slows within the colder months, and in addition when the plant turns into “mature” as a result of its time and energies are then spent producing flowers with the odd leaf each every so often.

Younger vegetation or not too long ago repotted mature vegetation will develop in a short time.

Peak / Unfold

Nearly all African Violets houseplants are fairly small and compact, you do get the odd selection which is kind of unfold, nevertheless the standard peak is round 12.5cm / 5in, spreading to round 25cm / 10in Blue African Violet flowersthroughout.


Sure there are flowers on African Violets! It is usually the principle cause for purchasing the plant in spite of everything. Colors embody pinks, purples, blues and reds, coming in singles and doubles. Within the case of recent vegetation created from cuttings they may take not less than 6 months earlier than the flowers begin.

Often you purchase the plant in bloom already, so to ensure that them to re bloom you solely have to observe these easy steps and the plant will do the remainder.

  • Gentle – It wants good gentle for round 12 hours a day however shaded from direct solar.
  • Heat – A very good heat fixed temperature is required.
  • Pot-bound – It’s essential to maintain their root progress restricted barely, and that is performed by preserving the plant pot-bound or root-bound. i.e. do not maintain repotting into bigger containers when the present one has been crammed.
  • Water – Common watering that retains the soil moist (not moist).
  • Feeding – Common feeding.

Is the African Violet Toxic?

The African Violet isn’t poisonous to canine, cats or individuals.

The rest?

In keeping with Wikipedia, African Violets have lengthy been related to motherhood and the plant is subsequently a standard reward for moms in lots of cultures all over the world. So if you’re caught on what to purchase your personal mom as a gift this might be the very plant you’ve got been in search of!

African Violet Issues

The information listed above must be met (not less than partly) all 12 months spherical. It’s arduous to fulfill the sunshine necessities in Winter as a result of there is not a lot of it round and that is the same old cause for lack of blooms in months when the times are brief. If you cannot look forward to the longer days then you could possibly look into synthetic plant lighting.

Different frequent causes embody the plant not too long ago being repot, being too chilly or wild swings in temperature.

Whenever you water, keep away from wetting the center of the plant and the leaves themselves. Don’t mist the plant regularly as all of this can encourage fungus like botrytis or powdery mildew.

Overwatering or Underwatering. You’ll have to decide which is almost definitely when evaluating the plant and alter accordingly. If overwatered fairly severely the plant might have developed the infectious crown rot illness which additionally causes limp leaves, search for a mushy plant centre.

Separate it from another African Violets you will have to keep away from spreading the an infection to the wholesome vegetation. Though it could get better it is unlikely so you might select to easily discard it as a substitute.

The water you might be utilizing to water the plant is admittedly chilly. Strive utilizing water that has stood at room temperature for an hour or so.

A number of causes, from almost definitely to least: An excessive amount of gentle (i.e. publicity to direct daylight). Very low humidity. Incorrect watering. Overfeeding.

In regards to the Writer

Tom Knight

Tom Knight

Over the past 20 years Tom has efficiently owned lots of of houseplants and is at all times glad to share data and lend his horticulture expertise to these in want. He’s the principle content material author for the Ourhouseplants Group.

Additionally on

Credit score for the primary African Violet image within the article – Kaboompics
Credit score for the second image in article and gallery (African Violet with blue flowers) – Wildfeuer
Credit score for the third image in article and gallery (African Violet with pink flowers) – Bff
Credit score for the shut up of the African Violet leaf image in gallery – GrapeAce
Credit score for the final image in article and gallery (African Violet with blue flowers) – Wildfeuer
Credit score for the shut up of the African Violet flower buds – Bff

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