In fact, I was a regular visitor to his African Violet Centre in Norfolk, and learned a thing or two from him about caring and propagating African Violets. African violets are a species of herbaceous (no persistent woody stem above ground) perennial flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae and the species Saintpaulia. Nitrogen-rich fertilisers that are used for feeding foliage houseplants will encourage lush leaves at the expense of flowers. Violets (Viola)—though unrelated to African violets—are one of the February birth flowers, so a potted African violet can make a bright gift for a February birthday. Shamahanskaya Queen. To resolve this problem, it is often enough to let the soil dry out and then water less frequently. The yellow lower lobes, of this striking flower, contrast beautifully with the baby blue upper lobes. Blossoms come in waves during much of the year. Saintpaulias, which grow from 6–15 cm tall, can be anywhere from 6–30 cm wide. African violet is the common name for Saintpaulia, a genus of herbaceous flowering plants from the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania and Kenya. Omissions? Along with the rest of the students in my year we landscaped the display houses, one of which was to house the vast collection of Gesneriads. Remove spent flowers and leaves as soon as you notice them, pulling them cleanly from the base of the crown, as any snags left behind will encourage rots. Find the perfect african violet stock photo. I prefer to use the Rev. This plant is a newish addition to our homes, only appearing in large numbers starting in America in the 1930's but has been loved ever since. The fleshy leaves of African Violets or Saintpaulia are slightly heart-shaped, hairy and attached to 5-10cm stalks that sprout from soil level, forming a neat rosette. Corrections? You’ll know some of them are the popular houseplants, African Violets, Cape Primroses or Streptocarpus and Gloxinia plus maybe the Flame Violet (Episcia), Goldfish plants (Columnea and Nematanthus), Hot Water plant (Achimenes), and Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthes), which are availble from specialist growers. This method of propagation is very rare among flowers and is one of the more unique aspects of growing this particular flower. They are one of the most popular cultivated houseplants in the world today and are particularly well suited to the home environment. During my time on the magazine, I also visited Dibleys in North Wales (www.dibleys.com) who are specialist growers of Streptocarpus, Begonias, Saintpaulias and other Gesneriads. Newer hybrids offer flowers in different shades from deep purple, soft mauve to white and there are also pink and red varieties plus ones that have attractive darker throat stripes and even spots. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Pressing a piece of newspaper onto the surface is a good indicator – if it remains clean and dry then you can safely bet that your plant is getting thirsty. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/plant/Gesneriaceae. Tony Clement’s approach and take a couple of healthy leaves with 2.5cm of stalk attached and dip the cut ends in hormone rooting powder then place them either back to back so that they support each other above the soil, or simply insert them singly into cell trays, pushing them to a depth of about 13mm into a pot of well draining compost. Wild species can have violet, purple, pale blue, or white flowers. It’s best to root them in a heated propagator set at 21C and they will produce tiny plants, that when weaned and potted up individually will flower within six months. Key Words: Slightly irregular pansy-like flowers. The number of species expanded to 20 at one time but has now been reduced to approximately 6. About the African Violet The Saintpaulia houseplant is more commonly known as the African Violet because it originates from Africa and the flowers look like violets (although they're unrelated). Native to higher elevations in tropical eastern Africa, African violets are widely grown horticulturally, especially S. ionantha. Native to Eastern Africa, these popular houseplants are in the same family (Gesneriaceae) as gloxinia and primrose. Water 2-3 times a week in summer, but do not let the plant stand in water otherwise the base of the leaves may rot. Updates? Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. The regular African violets you see in the supermarket have been hybridized largely from Saintpaulia ionantha.Trailing AVs get their habit from Saintpaulia pendula, a plant that clings to hillsides and rocky outcrops in Tanzania. That is unless it is mushy or discolored from getting too much water. African Violet Care: Basic Summary Light: Moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light. You’ll know some of them are the popular houseplants, African Violets, Cape Primroses or Streptocarpus and Gloxinia plus maybe the Flame Violet (Episcia), Goldfish plants (Columnea and Nematanthus), Hot Water plant (Achimenes), and Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthes), which are availble from specialist growers. If you find white woolly-coated pests, these are mealy bugs, which are sap-sucking pests. African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) are low maintenance, easy to grow houseplants. Trailing African violet (AV) varieties originate from a different species than the single rosette forms we're more familiar with. Stressed plants have droopy leaves, which can be caused by dry soil, cold temperatures and overwatering. Many are of economic importance as horticultural ornamentals. No need to register, buy now! Alternatively, you can wait until plants are overcrowded and divide the clumps into individual rosettes and with trailing plants take small rosettes from the ends of the stems. Worldwide, there are 16 genera and 850 species. Gesneriaceae, one of 23 families in the flowering plant order Lamiales, consisting of 147 genera and about 3,200 species of mostly tropical and subtropical herbaceous or slightly woody plants. If they’ve already begun to spin their fine webs then get rid of plants. The members of Saintpaulia are small perennial herbs with thick, hairy, ovate leaves. Great Savings & Free Delivery / Collection on many items If you want to please your favorite family members or friends who love African Violets, give them the Vencer Self-Watering Hanging Flower Pot. The wooded ravines and valleys of Africa and Madagascar are home to Cape primroses. However, one of the most outstanding Streptocarpus varieties launched in recent years is Harlequin Blue, which has short flower stems and compact leaves. Knowing the geographical distribution of a plant species helps in understanding their care. Overwatering is a common misstep for many houseplant gardeners. Don’t limit yourself to African violets, as there are many other species in this easy-going family including Cape primroses and gloxinias. False African violet(Streptocarpella)is from East Africa. While it requires some effort, you can get your African violets to bloom by providing them with the right amount of light and humidity, and by regulating the temperature. Among these are the African violets (Saintpaulia) and gloxinias (Sinningia speciosa). When buying African Violets, always choose plants with firm, non-drooping leaves, few open flowers and plenty of unopened buds. They need to receive more than 12 hours light daily to initiate new flower buds, although existing buds will open with less. I’ve also been successful with mini-Sinningias, S. pusilla, which, because they need very high humidity, I’ve grown in a terrarium. GESNERIACEAE - The African Violet Family This is a family of around 2000 species in 125 genera, most of them tropical herbs and shrubs, rarely trees, with a few occuring in temperate areas of the world. If you decide to buy a ready-grown plant from the garden centre, my advice is to make sure that it has plenty of buds still to open and that the leaves are not torn or damaged. The African Violet Society of America warns that the potting mix most commercially sold violets are grown in, which consists primarily of peat moss, can easily drown your plant in water. Watering is always best done from the bottom using tepid rainwater. African violets are one of the most beautiful ornamental plants. Re-pot in spring but only when necessary, which is probably every other year. These prepared mixes have been sprayed with a chemical that causes the peat moss to absorb water, and then release it slowly to the plant. Required fields are marked *, Adrienne Wild Some hybrid varieties have trailing stems with smaller flowers and are ideal for growing in hanging baskets and there are also miniature types, which produce rosettes less that 7.5cm across with tiny star-shaped flowers that are suitable for growing in terrariums. Harlequin Blue was named RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year in 2010 and RHS Chelsea plant of the decade in May 2013. Plants require just enough water to keep the soil moist and the leaves will develop brown spots if they get too wet and if they are allowed to dry out, they go dormant! African violet, (genus Saintpaulia ), any of the six species of flowering plants in the genus Saintpaulia (family Gesneriaceae ). From the centre of the crown short fleshy stems topped with clusters of 2.5-5cm flowers with five petals or more emerge in shades of intense purple, mauve, pink and white – with yellow centres. African Violets, which originally come from East Africa where they grow in wind-swept, rocky crevices have many admirers around the world and through extensive breeding now come in an impressive range of varieties that have plain or variegated leaves, which sometimes have attractive serrated, crinkled or rolled edges. This plant forms a shrubby, spreading mound to six inches high and two feet wide and performs well in a hanging basket. The deep purple lines on the throat and between the two colours define the colour contrast. Touch the compost – if it feels dry in the top few centimetres then it’s time to water. Gloxinias are now bred to quickly produce a large number of blooms with brightly coloured trumpet-shaped flowers in rich crimson, deep red, violet and white to various colour combinations. African Violet is one of the most beautiful houseplants that you can keep in your home. Dispose of affected plants in the dustbin. These hybrid Gloxinias reliably produce an outstanding display continuously for about two months, but once the flowers fade, the plant rarely comes back because it invests all its energy into flowers rather than sturdy roots. Increase the humidity by standing the plants on a tray of damp pebbles; do not over-pot, as too large a pot encourages rampant leaf growth at the expense of flowers; deadhead, by cutting the flower stalks off at the base, to prevent seedpods forming; encourage plants to have a short winter rest by reducing watering. As good light is essential for African Violets to flower, they can be induced to bloom at any time under artificial light. The leaves should be deep green and pale plants will have been underfed. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Back when I was a kid, sinningias (then called gloxinias) were basically an enormous version of the African violet, with dinnerplate-wide rosettes of … The leaves are saucer-shaped and velvety, borne in short stems (3-4 inches). The family is characterized by bilaterally symmetrical, bisexual flowers, each of which has a two-lipped corolla of five fused petals; five-lobed calyx (sepals); two or four, rarely five, anthers that are joined lightly together or in pairs; and a superior or partly inferior ovary (i.e., positioned above the attachment point of the other flower parts, or slightly below them) with a single chamber in which numerous small seeds are produced on the walls of the ovary (parietal placentation). Plants look best and flower best when grown in relatively small pots and 10cm-size pots are normally the maximum needed, even for very large plants. If for example, like Cape Primroses, your houseplants come from the wooded areas, they will not thrive in full sunshine, but may still want a bright position. They are relatively easy to care for, liking bright light but not direct sunlight and the same living room temperatures as yourself. If the plant looks like it is shrinking under the glare, then it is getting too much light. The members of Saintpaulia are small perennial herbs with thick, hairy, ovate leaves. Discovered in 1892 by Baron von St Paul (hence the botanical name), many species can still be found growing in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Kenya. Your email address will not be published. Years later when I became technical writer on Practical Gardening magazine, I was given role of houseplant expert, by the then editor Geoff Hamilton, which he said, was also due to the fact that I’d also looked after tropical and temperature collections when I was a propagator at the Rochdale parks department and not because I was the only girl on the team! It is easy to overdo it when you are trying to care for your plant. Plants that are kept too hot will drop their flower buds and when conditions are too cold or draughty the leaves will droop. If all your sills are sunny, you can just add a sheer net curtain between the glass and your plants but they will perform better if moved to a warm, north-facing windowsill. African violets originally come from Tanzania, in East Africa. If a plant suddenly wilts, check out the roots for soil pests such as vine weevil larvae – a creamy-white, C-shaped grub with a brown head, as they will chomp through roots and cut off plants’ access to water. Chempak Fertiliser Feed African Violet High Phosphate Water Soluble House Plant Food with Trace Elements 12 x 200g Packs by Thompson and Morgan £49.99 £ 49 . African violets are one of the easiest plants to propagate. Native to higher elevations in tropical eastern Africa, African violets are widely grown horticulturally, especially S. ionantha. Some experts recommend surrounding them with moist peat but I think that this can lead to a problem with fungus gnats. African violets thrive best where a constant temperature of around 16C is maintained. Amazon.co.uk Today's Deals Warehouse Deals Outlet Subscribe & Save Vouchers Amazon Family Amazon Prime Prime Video Prime Student Mobile Apps Amazon Pickup Locations Amazon Assistant 1-16 of 39 results for "african violet compost" ‘Lovestruck’ has single lavender flowers with a violet ruffled edge African violets (or Saintpaulia) are a genus of plants within the Gesneriad family. Cape primroses are tolerant to most conditions but thrive in a well-lit room with a temperature of about 15F where it will flower for long periods throughout the spring and summer and possibly twice a year. Good humidity is essential for African Violets to thrive, but as they have hairy leaves, it isn’t a good idea to mist the plants but to stand them on trays of moist pebbles but not so the compost gets wet. In order to effectively reproduce more African violets for your home, garden, or for sale, you must take a leaf from the plant. I always water them sparingly at first, increasing the amounts gradually as the growth improves. I used to propagate African Violets and was interested to see this specialist garden center; also we were desperate for a coffee and noticed it advertised a cafe. I’ve also grown them from seed in a heated propagator, however in this case, I would probably have been better off buying tubers as they took a long time to get going. I’ve grown Gloixinias from tubers, which I have planted individually into a 10-15 cm pot, making sure that the upper surface of each tuber is level with the surface of the compost. Cape Primrose or Streptocarpus prefers slightly cooler temperatures than most Gesneriads and will even thrive in a south-facing porch provided they are kept frost free and not allowed to bake on hot summer days. The leaves are rounded to oval, 2.5–8.5 cm long with a 2–10 cm petiole, finely hairy, and have a fleshy texture. They are grown for ornament, most of them as houseplants in temperate regions. 3,540 species in the Old World (most Cyrtandroideae) and New World (Gesnerioideae) tropics and subtropics, with a very small number extending to temperate areas.Many species have colorful and showy flowers and are cultivated as ornamental plants. Plants require very little feeding – a half strength dose of a high potash liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season is plenty. African violet, (genus Saintpaulia), any of the six species of flowering plants in the genus Saintpaulia (family Gesneriaceae). The African violet belongs to the family Saintpaulia and is native to Africa. The fuzzy, fleshy green leaves are 1½ inches long. Obscure glass will magnify bright sunlight and can cause scorching, so putting up net curtains would be a good safety bet in bathrooms. Avoid those with torn or blemished foliage and any that are being sold from outdoor market stalls, as they may have got a chill. Dec 17, 2016 - Explore Zola Chitwood's board "African Violet Family & Begonias", followed by 120 people on Pinterest. Get to know your houseplants – observe and feel them regularly…even talk to them! During the growing and flowering season give the plants a high potash liquid feed, such as Phostrogen or Chempak African Violet Fertiliser, every two weeks. African Violets are perfect for both modern and period interiors and one of the most effective ways to display them is to mass plants of one colour, or in various shades of the same colour, in a shallow bowl on a low table. The variety Constant Nymph is a long-established hybrid that produces a profusion of delicate blue-mauve flowers throughout the spring and summer months. With foliage houseplants, you can remove them with a cotton bud soaked in methylated spirits but as African Violets are sensitive to this treatment, it’s best to always throw away affected plants. There are now thousands of varieties in existence, … Diamond Tiffany This large family consists of tropical herbs and shrubs comprising around 150 genera and over 3400 species. However, having parked and walked up to the building, still following signs, we discovered it was closed-down and in a state of some dereliction. Immediately after flowering allow the plants to rest for about 4-6 weeks by giving them only enough water to prevent the leaves from sulking, after which normal watering should be resumed. These blooms are relatively small. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. As with all houseplants it’s a good idea to remove them from the windowsill at night when the curtains are drawn otherwise they may catch a chill causing the leaves to sulk. The violet-like flowers may be single, petal-packed or fully double, frilled, bi- and multi-coloured and with petal edging piped with white or with flowers that start one colour and fade to another – the choice is endless and there are hundreds of named varieties, making them very collectable. That way, the stems should dangle in the water, while the leaves themselves remain above it. 99 FREE Delivery Buy Plant African Violet House Plants and get the best deals at the lowest prices on eBay! Use a timer to manage the light levels and take note of how the plant responds in case you need to adjust the height of the lights. The blooms, which are about 5cm across, are nearly always arranged in pairs and followed by twisted seedpods. Simply stand the pots in about 5cm of water for half an hour or so and after removing the pots from the water allow any excess to drain before replacing the pots on their saucers. Always try to avoid wetting the ‘hairy’ leaves as they will become spotted and stained and may even rot if temperatures are cool. Happy, healthy houseplants are less vulnerable to pests and diseases but it’s always worth keeping your eyes peeled for symptoms, as they’re easy to ‘import’ when you buy new varieties to add to your collection. … I wrote a regular monthly column on the subject in the magazine and during that time interviewed many experts including the Reverend Tony Clements, who was a renowned expert of African Violets and had won many medals for his plants at the Chelsea Flower Show. They hate draughts too! Take great care when transporting them home too, for the fleshy leaves are delicate and can easily rip. Their feeding causes leaves to pale and pucker. The hairy leaves tend to gather dust, so it’s a good idea and especially for bathroom plants that get coated with talcum powder, to regularly sweep them clean using a dry, soft-bristle paintbrush. African Violet Family Aloe Family Alstroemeria Family Amaryllis Family Arums Asparagus Family Begonia Family Borage Family Brazil-nut Family Bromeliads Buttercups Cacti Calceolariaceae Coffee Family Costus Family Daisy Family Dogbane Family Evening Primrose Family Flame Lily Family Geraniums Heath Family Honeysuckle Family Hydrangea Family Iceplants Iris Family Legume Family Lily Family Magnolias Mallow Family Mints Morning Glory Family Orchids Pink Family Plantain Family … It was at the same time that the gardens constructed new ‘back-up’ greenhouses, which gave space for propagation, quarantine of new arrivals collected in the field and research by botanists into the evolution and plant classification of the different plant families. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. This leaf should be taken from the middle ranks, as the flowers far from the center are too ol… African Violet Family - Plant information, facts and uses, photos, growing tips, where to buy, and more. Your email address will not be published. They will surely love this flower container set, which is ideal for holding start plants, African Violets, herbs, succulents, flowers, and other types of houseplants. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The violet symbolizes loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness. Watering: Keep soil moist to dry, and allow soil around roots to dry out before watering to encourage blooming.Water from the bottom with room temperature water by placing the plastic grower's pot in water, and allowing the plant to absorb the water ( not more than 30 minutes ). Though their geography is tropical, most species reside in the mountains, at altitude, and under the cover of other plants. If it has to reach for it, then it isn’t getting enough! The first commercial yellow Streptocarpus ever seen at Chelsea, which they names Alissa after Lynne Dibley’s niece and in 2015 excited visitors to the Show with the lovely white and purple veined flowers of the variety Polka-Dot Purple. Cape primroses produce funnel-shaped flowers on 15-23cm wiry flower stalks from a central rosette of stem-less strap-like coarse leaves, which are similar to those of the common primrose in texture. It belongs to the family Gesneriaceae. Note that the African violet is nota member of this family. See more ideas about african violets, african, saintpaulia. Pale, red-speckled leaves are sure signs that red spider mites are present. Get used to knowing the difference in the weight of pots when they’re wet and dry. They tend to congregate in the crotches of the crown of African Violets. adrienne@wildaboutgardening.co.uk, Problem displaying Facebook posts.Click to show errorfunction cffShowError() { document.getElementById("cff-error-reason").style.display = "block"; document.getElementById("cff-show-error").style.display = "none"; }. From spring through to mid-autumn, it’s important to keep the compost moderately moist at all times, but never sodden. This is a lovely variation that has a bright pinkish, purple petal that is edged with what looks like white lace. They reliably bloom several times a year when cared for properly. Find out more about these dainty flowers here. The flowers are 2–3 cm in diameter, with a five-lobed velvety corolla ("petals"), and grow in clusters of 3–10 or more on slender stalks called peduncles. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Leaf Propagation The most common way for African Violets to be propagated is via the leaf. When I was a student at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (RBGE) during the late 70s, one of my responsibilities was to look after the Gesneriad collection, which are plants belonging to the African Violet or Saintpaulia family. Some forms, called the Tigrina Gloxinias, have flowers heavily spotted or delicately veined in these colours on a white background, and others have frilled edges, touched with white. They are small and compact which makes them perfect as potted houseplants. This is a variation of the African violet that has white blooms, but to make them stand out, the edges of each petal is violet. Their closeness and moisture rising from the pebbles, or peat around them, will provide a microclimate of humidity to keep plants in tip-top condition. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). If you can squeeze moisture between your fingers, then don’t water. Use ‘open’, well-draining compost and maybe add a pinch of charcoal to absorb impurities. With steady warmth and high humidity, careful watering, good light and regular feeding it’s possible to have plants in flower two or three times a year. Simply put a plant in a glazed pot to colour-match the lamp base, and give them “extra light” per day to encourage flowering during the winter months or plant up a glass jar and get a professional electrician to add a light fitting to create an illuminated bottle garden. Fungus gnats or Springtails will sometimes appear in the soil and also annoyingly fluttering around the plant if it is kept too damp or contains too much organic matter. Have a magnifying glass handy, as pests such as red spider mite are so tiny that they’re difficult to see with the naked eye. If they ’ ve already begun to spin their fine webs then get rid plants! 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