How to Grow & Care for African Violets

African violets are probably the most popular flowering indoor plants in the world. They are popular because they bloom all year long, come in different colors, shapes, and sizes, and are easy to grow at home. These compact and low-growing flowering plants are native to high-altitude regions in tropical Eastern Africa. Read on to learn more about African violets and how to grow them indoors.

African Violet Varieties

There are hundreds of hybrids and varieties of African violets with various colors, different flower forms, and sizes. Here are the best for your indoors;

African Violet ‘Milky Way Trail’ (Saintpaulia Ionantha)

Image source: Flickr

This variety has a semi-miniature trailer featuring heart-shaped leaves. It produces semi-double white pansy flowers with short and notable bright yellow stamens. Saintpaulia Ionantha can grow as high as about 4 inches and spread to about 8 inches wide. Their blooms appear from early spring to late winter.

African Violet Optimara ‘Rose Quartz’ 

Image source: Flickr

It is a small African violet flower species with glossy and hairy green leaves. This type of Africa violet bears semi-double blooms that come in pink. Under the right conditions, this variety can shower you with flowers during different seasons. It can attain a height of about 6 inches.

African Violet’ Persian Prince’

Image source: Flickr

Any African violets measuring less than 6 inches in diameter are considered miniatures. The Persian prince variety falls in this category; it’s a miniature African violet. It produces semi-double dark-blue flowers with scalloped leaves, or so-called girl leaves. Persian prince can grow to around 6 inches tall. Their semi-double pansy leaves and dark-blue color flowers make them a perfect attraction in your indoor space.

African Violet ‘Aroma of Summer’

If you love fragrant and pink flowers in your indoor setup, this variety should be on top of your list. Its pink flowers have a white tint and a touch of yellow at the center with quilted green leaves. They are perfect when grown in flower vessels or pots. Such containers allow you to place the flowers on top of a table or shelf to display the eye-catching florets.

African Violet Summer Twilight

This is one of the most popular African violet varieties. It produces beautiful lilac-purple flowers adorned in a white outline with a bright yellow at the center. Besides the flowers, summer twilight has well-variegated green foliage. This variety of African violet makes a beautiful addition to any indoor setup.

African Violets Care and Maintenance

African violets require little experience to keep them. They thrive in warm, bright, and humid environments. You should also expose them to a fresh breeze to avoid getting them stuffy.

African violets demand regular grooming to display their showy flowers and beautiful foliage. Remove damaged or faded florets and leaves to encourage a healthier plant. 

Propagating African Violets

The most popular method of propagating African violets is by leaf cuttings. The method is favored because it is easy and has a high succession rate. You can also propagate it from offsets or its seeds.

You can choose to root the leaf cuttings in water or the soil.   

African Violets Growth Conditions

For your African violets to thrive, they need:

Light

African violets require light but not direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn their delicate leaves. You can extend their lighting hours during winter by placing them under a grow light

Water

African violets thrive in moist soil and humid conditions. Most varieties above are sensitive to cold water. You should therefore water them using lukewarm water. Work on watering your African violets from the base. Avoid splashing the leaves with water directly.

Soil

African violets love well-draining soils. Avoid planting them in poorly draining soil as it can cause root rot. Falling leaves are a sign of the plant being waterlogged.

African Violets Pests and Diseases

African violets are reasonably tough flowers; they are not prone to diseases. However, it is not immune to diseases. The common diseases and pests are:

  • Bacterial blight
  • Powdery mildew
  • Crown & root rot
  • Mealybugs

Some of the above diseases and pests like mealybugs are controllable.

Conclusion

African violets are beautiful flowers to plant indoors. You now know how to grow different types in your indoor space. Decide which type you like the most and try growing it. How about learning more about gardening? Subscribe to our blog today!

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