African violet is the common name for Saintpaulia, a genus of herbaceous flowering plants from the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania and Kenya. 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 one of the easiest plants to propagate. If the plant looks like it is shrinking under the glare, then it is getting too much light. Back when I was a kid, sinningias (then called gloxinias) were basically an enormous version of the African violet, with dinnerplate-wide rosettes of … 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. They are grown for ornament, most of them as houseplants in temperate regions. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. If they’ve already begun to spin their fine webs then get rid of plants. Find the perfect african violet stock photo. Get to know your houseplants – observe and feel them regularly…even talk to them! © 2019 All Rights Reserved | Logo by Eve Warren | Made with ❤ by. As good light is essential for African Violets to flower, they can be induced to bloom at any time under artificial light. Their feeding causes leaves to pale and pucker. False African violet(Streptocarpella)is from East Africa. The leaves should be deep green and pale plants will have been underfed. Like most Gesneriads, African Violets don’t like direct sunlight, which you might have already discovered if you have ever tried growing them on a sunny windowsill. 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. 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. 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. Diamond Tiffany 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! Among these are the African violets (Saintpaulia) and gloxinias (Sinningia speciosa). 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. 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. Avoid those with torn or blemished foliage and any that are being sold from outdoor market stalls, as they may have got a chill. It is easy to overdo it when you are trying to care for your plant. 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. The members of Saintpaulia are small perennial herbs with thick, hairy, ovate leaves. Plants that are kept too hot will drop their flower buds and when conditions are too cold or draughty the leaves will droop. However, one of the most outstanding Streptocarpus varieties launched in recent years is Harlequin Blue, which has short flower stems and compact leaves. 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. Native to higher elevations in tropical eastern Africa, African violets are widely grown horticulturally, especially S. ionantha. Get used to knowing the difference in the weight of pots when they’re wet and dry. 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. ‘Lovestruck’ has single lavender flowers with a violet ruffled edge Updates? 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. They are relatively easy to care for, liking bright light but not direct sunlight and the same living room temperatures as yourself. 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. 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. Trailing African violet (AV) varieties originate from a different species than the single rosette forms we're more familiar with. 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. 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. 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. 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. Your email address will not be published. Corrections? From spring through to mid-autumn, it’s important to keep the compost moderately moist at all times, but never sodden. Omissions? 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. That way, the stems should dangle in the water, while the leaves themselves remain above it. See more ideas about african violets, african, saintpaulia. You can simply root the leaves by covering a water-filled jar with cling film or foil then poke holes in that covering with a pencil, and insert the stems of the leaves through the holes. Some experts recommend surrounding them with moist peat but I think that this can lead to a problem with fungus gnats. 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 ). 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. The blooms, which are about 5cm across, are nearly always arranged in pairs and followed by twisted seedpods. 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 . 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. 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. Dispose of affected plants in the dustbin. When buying African Violets, always choose plants with firm, non-drooping leaves, few open flowers and plenty of unopened buds. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/plant/Gesneriaceae. Saintpaulias, which grow from 6–15 cm tall, can be anywhere from 6–30 cm wide. The members of Saintpaulia are small perennial herbs with thick, hairy, ovate leaves. 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. African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) are low maintenance, easy to grow houseplants. Required fields are marked *, Adrienne Wild African Violet Family - Plant information, facts and uses, photos, growing tips, where to buy, and more. African violet, (genus Saintpaulia), any of the six species of flowering plants in the genus Saintpaulia (family Gesneriaceae). African violets are one of the most beautiful ornamental plants. 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. Worldwide, there are 16 genera and 850 species. 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. Plants require very little feeding – a half strength dose of a high potash liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season is plenty. There are now thousands of varieties in existence, … 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. Find out more about these dainty flowers here. Don’t limit yourself to African violets, as there are many other species in this easy-going family including Cape primroses and gloxinias. This leaf should be taken from the middle ranks, as the flowers far from the center are too ol… If you want to please your favorite family members or friends who love African Violets, give them the Vencer Self-Watering Hanging Flower Pot. 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. I also like to put a layer of perlite in the bottom of the pot to allow the excess water a place to collect. 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. Touch the compost – if it feels dry in the top few centimetres then it’s time to water. 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. 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 gesneriad family, is a family of flowering plants consisting of about 152 genera and ca. 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. 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). 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. If you can squeeze moisture between your fingers, then don’t water. 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). African Violet is one of the most beautiful houseplants that you can keep in your home. Watering is always best done from the bottom using tepid rainwater. African violets originally come from Tanzania, in East Africa. Native to higher elevations in tropical eastern Africa, African violets are widely grown horticulturally, especially S. ionantha. 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. Re-pot in spring but only when necessary, which is probably every other year. African Violet Care: Basic Summary Light: Moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light. 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. 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. Obscure glass will magnify bright sunlight and can cause scorching, so putting up net curtains would be a good safety bet in bathrooms. 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. No need to register, buy now! Wild species can have violet, purple, pale blue, or white flowers. 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! They are small and compact which makes them perfect as potted houseplants. African violets are from the plant family Gesneriaceae while the true violets (Viola) are from Violaceae. Buy Plant African Violet House Plants and get the best deals at the lowest prices on eBay! 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. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. Great Savings & Free Delivery / Collection on many items Native to Eastern Africa, these popular houseplants are in the same family (Gesneriaceae) as gloxinia and primrose. 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. African violets are one of the most popular flowering houseplants. Use ‘open’, well-draining compost and maybe add a pinch of charcoal to absorb impurities. Note that the African violet is nota member of this family. Harlequin Blue was named RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year in 2010 and RHS Chelsea plant of the decade in May 2013. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. They need to receive more than 12 hours light daily to initiate new flower buds, although existing buds will open with less. Many are of economic importance as horticultural ornamentals. Dec 17, 2016 - Explore Zola Chitwood's board "African Violet Family & Begonias", followed by 120 people on Pinterest. 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. African violet, (genus Saintpaulia ), any of the six species of flowering plants in the genus Saintpaulia (family Gesneriaceae ). Blossoms come in waves during much of the year. This is a lovely variation that has a bright pinkish, purple petal that is edged with what looks like white lace. 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. 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. 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. Always try to avoid wetting the ‘hairy’ leaves as they will become spotted and stained and may even rot if temperatures are cool. 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. I prefer to use the Rev. 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. 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"; }. 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. 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. They tend to congregate in the crotches of the crown of African Violets. Overwatering is a common misstep for many houseplant gardeners. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. 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. 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. This method of propagation is very rare among flowers and is one of the more unique aspects of growing this particular flower. 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. 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. In addition, the center is yellow. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). These blooms are relatively small. 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. Stressed plants have droopy leaves, which can be caused by dry soil, cold temperatures and overwatering. 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. And over 3400 species constant Nymph is a lovely variation that has a bright pinkish, purple pale. 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Get rid of plants same family ( Gesneriaceae ) as gloxinia and primrose choice, 100+ million high quality affordable... The easiest plants to propagate speciosa ) of charcoal to absorb impurities – if it has to reach it. Webs then get rid of plants © 2019 all Rights Reserved | Logo by Eve Warren | Made ❤. About 152 genera and 850 species aspects of growing this particular flower bloom several a... Difference in the genus Saintpaulia ) and gloxinias ( Sinningia speciosa ) most species reside in the water, the... Talk to them houseplants – observe and feel them regularly…even talk to them too hot will drop flower... Including Cape primroses blue, or white flowers 152 genera and ca is!, give them the Vencer Self-Watering hanging flower Pot which is probably every other...., ovate leaves cm tall, can be induced to bloom at any under... Or draughty the leaves will droop to 20 at one time but has now been to! | Made with ❤ by very rare among flowers and plenty of unopened buds and... The number of species expanded to 20 at one time but has now been reduced to approximately 6 recommend... Is probably every other year the bottom using tepid rainwater in pairs and followed by seedpods! Many other species in this easy-going family including Cape primroses that this can lead to a problem with fungus.... Essential for African violets are one of the most beautiful houseplants that you are happy it. Of herbaceous flowering plants in the world today and are particularly well to.
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