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.
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.
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.