Where Are African Violets Native To

African violets, also known as Saintpaulias, are a genus of six flowering plants in the Gesneriaceae family that are indigenous to higher altitudes in tropical eastern Africa. Common indoor plants like Saintpaulia ionantha, which can survive in low light and flower all year round, are african violets. Numerous horticultural variations, including half-sized miniatures, have been created for their diverse flower colors and shapes.

Small perennial herbs called Saintpaulia have ovate-shaped leaves that are densely hairy and thick. These lengthy petioles (leaf stalks), which are dark green in color, are organized in a basal cluster near the base of the plant. The five-petalled, violet, white, or pink flowers resemble violets and are bilaterally symmetrical. A capsule is used to create the small seeds. Leaf cuttings make it simple to grow more plants.

Did African violets come from there?

Originating in Tanzania and Kenya in eastern tropical Africa, the African Violet belongs to the genus Saintpaulia. The number of species in the genus Saintpaulia was formerly 60, but subsequent research found that this was due to inadequate differentiation, and the number was reduced to six, with numerous sub-species.

The greatest places to cultivate an African violet?

Because they require dry leaves, African violets are only grown indoors in North America. If you want the finest color and flowers, grow your plants in bright, indirect light. The optimal location for a plant stand is three feet away from a window that faces west or south. When placed directly next to north or east-facing windows, plants will still grow, but their leaves will be thin and spindly, and they will be less likely to flower. African violets can be grown indoors, 12 to 15 inches above the ground, under 40-watt fluorescent lights (also known as grow lights), if you don’t have a nice location near a window.

How invasive are African violets?

Even the most seasoned gardener can be intimidated by African violets for some reason.

Stephen Orr, editor of House & Garden magazine, provided some advice on The Saturday Early Show about how to keep exotic flowers alive for a very long period.

The African violet is a resilient small plant that frequently thrives and lives comfortably for decades. It is also reasonably priced, makes a wonderful present, and is durable.

Stephen Orr was questioned by the Saturday Early Show about how to care for African violets and some frequent misconceptions about the plant:

African violets are said to be challenging to grow. Is that a fact, though?

They are not difficult to cultivate, no. They are actually challenging to kill. Making them content enough to blossom again frequently is the secret.

How many different varieties of African violets are currently available? There are hundreds of different types, and every year, new ones are developed. Standard (variegated, ruffled, etc.), Miniature, Trailing, and Chimeras are a few of the various varieties (with unique color patterns and combinations).

Do African violets resemble common violets? Not at all, no. Tropical plants native to East Africa include African violets. They therefore make suitable indoor plants. In most American climes, they could never thrive outdoors the way a typical violet might.

Almost anywhere, including grocery stores and garden centers, sells these plants. Where can I get African violets the easiest? Yes, they are generally available, but make sure they appear wholesome and well-kept. Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses is a reliable mail-order company that has been specializing in African violets for 50 years.

What interior conditions are necessary for African violets? Simply put, they require both some humidity in the air and strong, filtered sunshine. Any prolonged period of time below 60 degrees F will inhibit their growth. If the temperature is too high, plants will become spindly and sappy, produce an insufficient number of blooms, and drop before maturing. A little coolness is preferable than extreme heat. Best range for humidity is between 40% and 60%. Using a humidifier is an excellent idea if your home is unusually dry. Putting your plants on trays filled with wet stones would be a straightforward fix.

Can you use a grow light if there isn’t enough natural light? Use fluorescent lights continuously if there is poor natural light in your space. You can use cool white, daylight, or tubes made specifically for plant growth alone or in combination. The plant’s variety, light intensity, and tube type all influence how far it should be from the lights. Adjustable light fixtures allow you to raise or lower them to the desired height.

How frequently should an African violet be watered? Depending on the season and how dry your home is, water just when the top of the soil feels just a little bit dry to the touch and every week or so.

Which method of watering is best for them? One of the main causes of African violet failure is improper watering. Use only water that is room temperature. You can water from the top or the bottom. After the earth has absorbed all the water it can contain, never let plants stand in water. Pour out any remaining water in the saucer after 15 to 20 minutes. Wet feet are not good for violets!

When should an African violet be repotted? What is your method? Before switching to the next size pot, a reasonable rule of thumb is that the plant’s diameter should be three times that of the pot. They should be repotted in the same manner as any other plant, however you shouldn’t mix up the pot sizes. Plants should not be jumped from a 2-foot pot into a 4-foot pot. They enjoy being somewhat pot-bound.

What sort of soil is required? They need soil that drains well. If not, they develop root rot.

Do these plants need to be fertilized? One of the causes of the absence of blossoms, the small size of the blooms, and the pale or light-green foliage is the lack of fertilizer or occasional fertilization. Every time you water, use a well-balanced fertilizer, such as 15-30-15, at a rate of 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water. Do not assume that just because they are blooming well with a little fertilizer, more will make them much better! Inadequate fertilizer can scorch the roots and result in brittle, harsh leaves.

What is the most common error individuals make when growing African violets? Since plants prefer moisture and humidity, most people overwater their plants. In their native East African region, the plants frequently flourish next to rivers in rocky nooks. They enjoy this kind of muggy, humid, but well-draining environment.

What is the lifespan of an African violet? Given the right care and repotting, they can live for many years.

Here is a summary of Orr’s advice on strengthening African violets:

Light: In harsh western or eastern exposures, sheer curtains should be used since strong, filtered light or intense shadow produces the highest bloom. Artificial grow lights work great with the plants as well.

When watering, use tepid, never cold water. You can water from the top or the bottom. The plant will rot if the pot is left in water for too long. After 15 or 20 minutes, drain any extra water that the plant hasn’t absorbed.

An African violet will suffer in any temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant thrives best at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not draft. By setting the plants on moist stones, you may create humidity for the plants. A bright window in the kitchen or bathroom can work well because African violets prefer humid environments.

African violets, when grown properly, can bloom all year. Every time you irrigate, use a balanced fertilizer diluted to one-quarter teaspoon per gallon of water.

Repot: They enjoy being somewhat root-bound. They develop naturally in rocky locations that have little pockets of dirt nearby. Repotting should be done when the plant’s width is three times the pot’s diameter. Take out any dead flowers and foliage.