African Violet

The African Violet (Saintpaulia) is one of the most grateful houseplants known. As the name suggests its origin is Africa. The additional name “violet” is somewhat peculiar as the plant is not in the least family of violets.  The name Saintpaulia refers to the name baron Von SaintPaul- Illaire who discovered this lovely plant.

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With the proper care the African Violet blooms on and off all year around. Avoid direct sunlight; it may damage the leaves or they may turn yellow. Is the plant in a too dark spot the leaves will look like as if they are wilted. Turn the plant at regular intervals so that the plant keeps its beautiful round shape.

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The leaves feel soft and yet they are sturdy.

Water the plant regularly with luke warm water when the upper layer of the soil feels dry. Too much water makes the root and the crown rot. Add plant food to the water from time to time. As the leaves are velvet like do not spray the leaves of the plant  with water.

The African Violet should not be planted in a too big a pot. As matter of fact it does not  hurt when the roots are somewhat crowded together. The same pot can be used a couple of years in a row after the plant is re-potted in fresh soil.

The African Violet is not difficult to multiply. Cut off a leaf  including its stem and put the cutting in soil. Keep it warm. A see thru plastic bag covering the cutting or a glass jar around it will do just fine. After  several weeks new leaves will appear and the big leaf can be removed.

The ideal temperature is between  60-75 degrees Fahrenheit, or 16-24 degrees Celsius.

The African Violet comes in a variety of colors. Also in pink, white and bi-colored. However my preference goes out to the purple and the deep red color variety.


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Fall Cactus in Full Bloom

This year the fall cactus had exceptionally lots of buds.  As we can see even two or three buds on one segment.

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To take a picture of the whole plant sometimes doesn’t  look so nice as we can see here.

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So I took the part of the plants where the blossoms are and close ups.

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Fall Cactus

Christmas cactus, also known as fall cactus. The usual blossom time of this plant is in November. In the middle of September tiny buds as small as a pinhead start to show up to come to full bloom this month. The lower the temperature in the home of course the longer the blossoms remain. When blossoms are withered I take them off while holding on gently to top of the segment and by turning them slightly so that new blossoms can come to full bloom.

These two small white cacti put together after they blossomed the first time three years ago.





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Scarlet and pink cactus put together







Close up of  scarlet blossom








The best time to give the plant fresh soil and/or a bigger pot when necessary is February/March. Until September let the plant rest and do not give it too much water.

How to care for



This plant is known as Youth-on-Age. So cute, new leaves are growing at the base of the old leaves. It looks as if a new plant is growing on the mother plant. Buds develop on the leaf blades. The leaves have five  to seven shallow lobes. This plant grows in gardens as foliage, however I have this young plant inside.

The plant had just a few leaves when I got it about six weeks ago. Giving it some plant food at regular times but not too often really makes it grow.


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White Fall Cactus

My white fall cactus was blooming about two months too early.  Spontaneously. September actually is the month to give the cactus plant rest, in a cool environment  and not too much water. The buds can propagate and these plants usually are blooming in November. Then the cactus is given sufficient water and plant food is given about once a week or ten days.