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Saintpaulia – African Violet


DESCRIPTION: These compact, delicate plants are from central Africa. They form clusters of ovate leaves close to the soil. The leaves and stems are dark green on top, greenish-white underneath, succulent and fuzzy. The pretty flowers resemble large Violets in their shape and color, some are blue, purple, white, pink or magenta and they have little yellow centers. They bloom at any time of the year. They are known as African Violets. These are great as greenhouse plants and are very popular houseplants.

POTTING: When planting in a warm greenhouse these plants need a minimum winter temperature of 55-60 degrees. The soil should be a mixture of equal parts of loam, leaf mold and peat moss, with an addition of sand. As house plants they should be provided with good light, but shaded from harsh sunlight and a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees. The soil should be moist and always avoid getting the leaves wet. They should be set away from dry heat such as radiators. The humidity level can be increased for these plants by setting the pots on shallow trays of sand, cinders, gravel or moss that is always kept moist.

PROPAGATION: Mature leaves can be detached with the leafstalks and inserted in a well-drained pan of sand or sand and peat moss, or vermiculite. Water them and place in a propagating case in a warm greenhouse, in a terrarium, or under a bell jar or an inverted Mason jar. Shade them from direct sunshine and keep them moist and closed, only enough ventilation to keep moisture from collecting on the inside of the glass. When they form roots and shoots peek out of the soil, they can be potted in small pots and later, in 4-inch pots. Seeds that are sown in February will produce plants that bloom in late summer.

Sow them in a well-drained pot filled with finely sifted compost. Don’t cover the seeds with soil because they are so small. Just sprinkle with a little bit of sand. Lay a pane of glass over them and place in a warm propagating case that has a temperature of 60-70 degrees. Shade them from direct sunlight.

As soon as they are large enough to handle, transplant them to a pan of finely sifted soil at an inch apart. They need to be watered very carefully to prevent them from damping off (a diseased condition). As soon as they start to get crowded, pot them separately and treat them as advised for those grown from leaf cuttings.

In the spring, these plants can also be divided. Take them out of their pots and pull them apart so each piece has some roots attached and pot them in separate small pots. Water the plants in moderation and when they are established, keep the soil evenly moist and apply a liquid fertilizer weekly until the flowers open. After the flowers have faded, let them rest by keeping the soil a bit drier than usual. Only water when the soil is nearly dry. From spring through early fall, they need shade from bright sunshine. No shading is required the rest of the year.

Wet the greenhouse floor and benches to add humidity, but never the foliage.

VARIETIES: S. ionantha; S. amaniensis; S. diplotricha; S. kewensis; S. grotei; S. magungensis; S. tongwensis; S. pusilla.




24 responses

  1. love these but i don’t have any longer, they require tlc πŸ™‚
    when i did have i bottom watered in dish of pebbles i set plants on, they love humidity

    May 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    • still have some but they cant survive wintertime in a northern porch. Pity. Love them πŸ™‚

      May 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm

  2. love them too, and i think i screwed up this post, omg am sorry, all i did was add pic and change font but the whole body is different i think

    i should have saved original

    May 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    • its ok we can fix that πŸ™‚ no worries!

      May 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      • i am really sorry, am so having so much issues with word press and posting, and apparently my english is not good enough for them to comprehend either … posts go missing, reblogs misdirected, reblogs never appear, one of my drafts was even reblogged figure that one out

        i am using the two step sign in so is not my end here

        May 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      • experimenting here with an olive tree and a cherry tree in containers,lets see if they will make it ..if they do i ll post pics πŸ˜€

        May 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    • looks fine on my end,will remove the 2 pics at bottom.thank you for adding the pic

      May 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      • ok i thought the propagation got jumbled together and was not sure how since i didn’t change any text, weird

        most welcome, if they are over 950 wide the first one will get sent to slideshow, managed to figure that out πŸ™‚

        May 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    • just do not worry about this post:) had a bad twitter week myself,as if people dont understand what i am saying. Or they dont want to.. Signs of the times? maybe.My broken english? maybe.. thats why i took distance from dogma,so many misunderstandings.

      May 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      • yes sometimes i think they do not want to so they act like we don’t know how to speak or convey message, and then they wonder why we switch languages in their presence eh …

        May 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      • so so so damn true. at least you understand me.i was engaged in an ARG-UK debate all of the sudden as soon as i mentioned my origin.

        May 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      • sorry … they are just like that, i always get well Italy sucks too lol, like wtf i am the PM there or what πŸ˜›

        May 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      • we had frost here last night and freeze coming tonight, i knew it and very glad not much is transplanted to garden yet, go throw covers on few things that need it and will be ok. might go plant the rest of my spiderwort in frig, they need the cold to sprout.

        making rhubarb chicken today, let you know if its good πŸ˜‰

        Happy Mother’s Day! xo

        May 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      • ty happy mom’s day to you too πŸ™‚ here its q warm,like 30oC so no need to cover anything,mostly humid than cold. we are expecting thundies at night plants wont be needing any watering

        May 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      • lightning is great for growth, puts that energy into the earth along with fresh rain … good stuff πŸ™‚

        May 12, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      • how do i say sweet cream bougatsa in english? lol πŸ˜€ thats what i cooked for today.. in addition to stuffed red peppers.

        May 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm

  3. sorry … they are just like that, i always get well Italy sucks too lol, like wtf i am the PM there or what πŸ˜›

    May 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

  4. sounds good πŸ™‚ i am not making stuffed peppers till have some home grown, omg they are outrageous price

    May 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    • i grow mine πŸ™‚ proud of my agri-stats πŸ˜› idk if you have this sweet red pepper variety over there you must have it,its so so delicious,i usually stuff them with trimmed cheese 1 egg,spices and all. 20 mins in grill just one turn over.

      May 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm

  5. one day will be able to afford upgrade so we can choose our fonts without me changing the codes on every post, also upload our own vids … i use the georgia font for being easy on the eyes, i can’t take that tiny font all day and i know it bothers others as well …

    May 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    • cant do that bcs i cancelled my prepaid card & paypal.I always choose Georgia for same reason,Arial is too hard on eye sight ,

      May 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      • well i have prepaid and paypal so as soon as planting expenses are out of way think will do that, we’re especially going to need it here for storage with all photos as well

        May 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

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