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African violet

Saintpaulia spp.

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African violets, are a genus of 6–20 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants native to eastern tropical Africa. Typically the African violet is a common household indoor plant but can also be an outdoor plant in moist shady areas. Some indoor gardeners shy away from growing them because they are intimidated by African violet care. The plants do have a few quirks, but learning about them and the proper care of African violets can make growing the plants very rewarding.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

Harvesting

Generally not harvested

Propagation

Cuttings
Root leaf cuttings in summer when temperatures are in the high twenties, use healthy leaves with 5cm stem, place stem 1.3cm into the soil and cover pot with plastic to create a cloche.
Seed
Sow seed as soon as ripe in early spring.

Special features

Indoor plant
Place in filtered light, bright to medium intensity, turning pots often to maintain the shape and prevent flowers from leaning to the light.
Pot plant
Pot the plant into the right soil special mixes are available or use equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. Water with tepid water at the base of the plant, do not wet the leaves.

Geography

Origin
East Africa, Tanzania, Kenya
Natural climate
Moist tropical forests

Environment

Light
Partial Sun, Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Acid, Alkaline
Frost hardiness
Tender

Personality

Family
Gesneriaceae
Flower colour
Violet, purple, pale blue, pink, white and combinations, Multi coloured
Scent
None

Problems

Susceptible to aphids, mealy bugs, thrips, botrytis, crown rot and powdery mildew. It is important to keep the leaves dry, but the soil moist.

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