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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens

Plant Profile Series



African Violet aka Saintpaulia


Violets are native to the East African tropics. Their oval leaves are delicate and hairy to the touch; and their colorful flowers are easily recognizable for their simple charm and wide diversity in color and form. The first African Violet was sold as a houseplant a mere 70 years ago. They can be somewhat finicky unless you know and adhere to their secrets for success.

LIGHT: Moderately bright with no harsh direct sun. A bright east window with morning sun is ideal. If no such location exists, African violets will thrive under grow lights.

WATER: It is important to avoid getting cold water on the leaves. Use tepid water with violet food each time you water. Water early in the day to allow moisture on the leaves to dry before nightfall. Soil should be kept moderately moist with a slight drying between waterings. Do not allow the soil to become soggy.

TEMPERATURE: Violets are warmth lovers. 60° is the minimum temperature. Daytime temps in the 70's and 80's is fine. Avoid cold draughts and sudden changes in temperature.

OTHER: Repot in the spring using a peat-based mix with a little sand added. Plants will flower year round with a short rest between bloom periods.

This plant is available year round in 4" pots and seasonally in 6" pots.