Name: African Violet (Saintpaulia)
Growth habit: Compact, upright (some varieties somewhat trailing) fuzzy-leafed plant with colorful blossoms. Most often seen in homes and offices as a decorative plant.
Light Level: Prefers bright indirect light and even will even grow in environments with entirely florescent lighting.
Water: Generously, but allow soil to dry out between waterings. Water from below or avoid getting leaves wet for best results.
Fertilization: Water-soluble fertilizer formulated for African Violets recommended.
Planting Medium: Light, slightly acidic soil (or soil-less mix) rich in peat moss.
Common afflictions: Aphids, cyclamen mites, thrips, blight, crown rot, powdery mildew, leaf scorch, salt damage,
Pruning: Most African violets need little pruning other than to remove spent blossoms and dying leaves, but some trailing varieties can be pruned to promote branching.
African Violet Facts: African Violets are most often grown in temperate zones as a houseplant, but can be grown outside in some warmer climates. Their ability to grow in situations with entirely artificial lighting makes them a great flower for office buildings. African violet plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most are small plants with leaves growing out from the crown in a radial pattern. Their flowers come in all shades of colors (true orange being the only color I have not seen). Their foliage can be various shades of green and sometimes variegated with cream, pink or white flecks and can come in a variety of shapes, from round to lance-like. Despite their name, they are more closely to the Cape Primrose than they are to any of the other plants that we call “violets.”
African Violet Resources:
Mystery and history
African Violet care
Where to buy African Violets