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African Violet       


  • 235 plantings
  • 3 for swap
  • 14 wanted
  • 12 stashed

Belonging to the Saintpaulia genus, African Violet has a botanical name of Saintpaulia.

A fuzzy leafed plant native to Africa bearing flowers purple, pink, white or a combination of those.

African Violets are Day Neutral, meaning that the start of flowering is not dependent on the onset of either longer or shorter days. African Violets will flower at any time of year provided the right combination of light, nutrients and water. Some varieties seem to be in continuous bloom, while other varieties will often take a small rest period between flowerings. Nonetheless, African Violets are durable plants and can often withstand some amount of neglect or lack of care as a routine.

Current Classifications of Species of Genus Saintpaulia7

1. S. inconspicua

2. S. pusilla

3. S. shumensis
shumensis Mather EE
shumensis Uppsala 3048

4. S. teitensis

5. S. ionantha
5a. subspecies grandifolia
grandifolia No 237
grandifolia No 299
grandifolia Uppsala 3486
5b. subspecies grotei
confusa Mather Brother Paddy
confusa Mather E
confusa Uppsala 3395
difficilis Mather No 2
difficilis Uppsala 3396
grotei Amazon
grotei Cornell G149
grotei Mather No 7
grotei Mather No 21
grotei Mather V
grotei Protzen or Uppsala 3091
grotei Silvert
grotei sport
magungensis Uppsala 3082
magungensis Uppsala 3086
magungensis var. minima
5c. subspecies ionantha
1. variety ionantha
ionantha Amazon
ionantha 930919
Pangani Falls
Sigi Falls
tongwensis Uppsala 3097
white ionantha ou Mather No 20
2. variety diplotricha
diplotricha Parker
diplotricha Punter No 0
diplotricha Punter No 6
diplotricha Punter No 7
diplotricha Uppsala 3084
diplotricha Uppsala 3085
5d. subspecies mafiensis
5e. subspecies occidentalis
magungensis var. occidentalis
magungensis var. occidentalis Mather No 12
5f. subspecies orbicularis
orbicularis var. purpurea
5g. subspecies pendula
pendula Cornell G304
pendula Uppsala 3087
pendula Uppsala 3089
pendula Uppsala 3090
pendula var. kizarae
5h. subspecies velutina
velutina Amazon
velutina lite
velutina Uppsala 3166

6. S. brevipilosa
brevipilosa Mather No 10
brevipilosa Uppsala 3044
brevipilosa Grussel or Nguru Mountain

7. S. nitida

8. S. rupicola
rupicola Mather No 5
rupicola Uppsala 3167
Cha Simba
Kacharoni or Robertson

9. S. goetzeana

Old name vs. current name8

Saintpaulia amaniensis = S. ionantha ssp. grotei
Saintpaulia brevipilosa = S. ionantha ssp. velutina
Saintpaulia confusa = S. ionantha ssp. grotei
Saintpaulia difficilis = S. ionantha ssp. grotei
Saintpaulia diplotricha = S. ionantha ssp. ionantha var. diplotricha
Saintpaulia grandifolia = S. ionantha ssp. grandifolia
Saintpaulia grotei = S. ionantha ssp. grotei
Saintpaulia intermedia = S. ionantha ssp. pendula
Saintpaulia magungensis = S. ionantha ssp. grotei
Saintpaulia magungensis var. minima = S. ionantha ssp. grotei
Saintpaulia magungensis var. occidentalis = S. ionantha ssp. occidentalis
Saintpaulia nitida = S. ionantha ssp. nitida
Saintpaulia orbicularis = S. ionantha ssp. orbicularis
Saintpaulia pendula = S. ionantha ssp. pendula
Saintpaulia pendula var. kizarae = S. ionantha ssp. pendula
Saintpaulia rupicola = S. ionantha ssp. rupicola
Saintpaulia tongwensis = S. ionantha ssp. ionantha var. ionantha
Saintpaulia velutina = S. ionantha ssp. velutina

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Dark pastel purple and   Light pink and   Han purple. When fully grown, they tend to grow to a diameter of 2.5 cm (that's 0.97 inches in imperial). The mature flowers take a single form, with an approximate petal count of 5. When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Light green. Leaves appear approximately as a   La Salle Green and   Ao green

It is a flowering non-edible houseplant / ornamental and is treated mainly as a perennial, so it grows best over a period of time (3 years and greater).

Normally growing to a mature height of 10.0 cm (3.9 inches), African Violet grows with a clump-forming habit. This plant tends to be in bloom all year round.

Tanzania is believed to be where African Violet originates from.

African Violet needs a moderate amount of maintenance, so some level of previous experience comes in handy when growing this plant. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about African Violet have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow African Violet

  • Dappled Sun

  • Indoor

  • Medium

For best blooming, African Violets need from 10 to 12 hours of indirect sunlight or florescent light. Strong direct sunlight for any length of time may cause the leaves to burn. In their native surroundings (South Africa), these plants live in the shade of larger trees and plants.1

Many growers fertilize their African Violets at every watering and will usually compensate by using a weaker formula, frequently half to quarter strength of what is recommended by the manufacturer.

African Violets prefer consistently damp, moist potting medium. Watering methods vary by preference, but may include: wick watering, mat watering, use of a two part pot where the plant is in the top part which fits inside a bottom well that holds the water. These methods depend on capillary action where the water is drawn into the potting medium by contact. Plants can also be top or bottom watered.

Although African Violets prefer damp potting medium, many commercial potting mixes can be too heavy, and not allow adequate drainage of water. This can cause crown rot and the plant will die. The most frequently recommended basic potting medium is a combination of peat, perlite and vermiculite in equal measures. Growers usually will adjust the ratio these ingredients to fit their own conditions and preference.For cool dry regions, soil medium high in organic matter is recommended for water retention in soil.this will ensure turgidity of plant leaves even in cool dry conditions.While in cool moist, fine river sand mixed with fine organic matters is recommended potting medium.The loose particles of fine sand provide well drainage system and cooling effects on plant roots.the moist conditions encourage growth of fungi(common disease of african violet)but in sandy soils water escapes easily providing conditions that inhibit any fungi growth around the plant base.

Position in a dappled sun / indoor lighting location and remember to water moderately. Planting African Violet in potting mix, sandy and loamy soil with a ph of between 6.1 and 6.5 is ideal for as it does best in weakly acidic soil. Keep in mind when planting that African Violet is thought of as tender, so remember to ensure that temperatures are mild before moving outdoors.

See our list of companion Plants for African Violet to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing African Violet from seed

It takes about 4 months after pollination for seeds to be ready to harvest. Most African Violets are propagated from cuttings.6 Leaf cuttings are the most popular, but bloom stalk cuttings will also provide relatively easy propagation. Many African Violet plants will grow suckers, or additional crowns. These should be removed from the main plant, and can be easily rooted as well.

Try to ensure a gap of at least 5.94 inches (15.24 cm) when sowing to prevent overcrowding your seedlings. Soil temperature should be kept higher than 15°C / 59°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting African Violet

The African Violet Society of America, Inc. reccomends repotting african violets regularly.2 In most cases this means every 3 to 6 months. African violets are succulent plant that require partial shade conditions or well lighted side of house but not direct sunlight.The usual planting material is leaf with stalk that is usually inserted (45 degrees,in fine sand soil with mixture of loam .Once leaves appear in leaf stalk,it is ready to transplant in hanging pot or container with light texture soil type(mostly fine river sand with loam).make sure that the pots will be positioned in indirect sunlight with ideal temperature 18C.Fine river sand act as air humidifier if kept moist and it won’t clog or stick together for it is a loose type of medium with very fine particles.decayed organic matters when applied in the surface of this potting medium will gradually precipitate or penetrate the loose particles that act as slow release fertilizer.The application of fertilizers will be efficiently absorbed by plants.

As African Violet is tender, ensure temperatures are mild enough to plant out (around 16°C / 61°F as a guideline) - wait until after your last frost date to be on the safe side.

Harvesting African Violet


Seed Saving African Violet

African Violets can be grown from seed. Seed pods will develop from pollinated flowers, and should be left on the plant to dry completely before attempting to sow. The structure of African Violets is such that the stamen and pistol are separated to prevent random self-pollination. However, the flowers are easily hand-pollinated.

How long does African Violet take to grow?

These estimates for how long African Violet takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take African Violet to germinate?
100 days

Average 100 days | Min 10 days | Max 268 days (123)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out African Violet?
+ days

Average days | Min days | Max days (0)

Days to Maturity How long until African Violet is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 63 days

Average 63 days | Min 63 days | Max 63 days (1)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow African Violet?
= days

African Violet Etymology

The plant was discovered by Europeans in 1892 by Baron Walter von Saint Paul, for whom the genus was named.1

The common name African Violet was given to the plant because of where it was discovered along with the fact that the bloom looked very much like a violet. However, it has no botanical relationship to the real violet

African Violet Folklore & Trivia

Original studies identified 20-30 species in the genus Saintpaulia. More modern DNA studies have found that not all of these were unique species and many have been combined. At present, there are 9 recognized species under the genus Saintpaulia, with some species having numerous subspecies.5African Violets need protection in freezing climate.In warm areas, it needs shades and moist soil while in dormant stage(30-35C temp.)

Other names for African Violet

Saintpaulia, daplisan (means indirect)

Saintpaulia Wendl, Saintpaulia ionantha

Misspellings: st paulia

Latest African Violet Reviews

  • In the 4 years I have had this I have tried a few other violets and they died, this one has grown so much it needed to be divided. As long as it gets enough light it is in bloom.

    5 stars

    tash about growing African Violet-Louisiana
  • My African Violet is doing very good. I fertilize it with African Violet fertilizer and it is by a south facing window in my dinning room. It is a pearly white color w/light pink ruffled edges.

    4 stars

    Kevalsha about growing African Violet Optimara

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