Growing and caring the African Violet

Possibly one of the most grateful indoor plants . Although it needs some specific care, it may be one of the plants that give us the most in relation to its care. In addition, its showy flowers dress any corner, table, piece of furniture or countertop that we have empty.



Coming from the mountains of East Africa, it is currently one of the best-selling and famous winter plants for home interiors. Even being winter, the interesting thing about this plant is that it can have more than one flowering per year. Hence, it is a decorative element of great durability and beauty. Hairy leaves, almost velvety, green on the upper side and purple on the underside. Its scientific name: Saintpaulia ionantha . It belongs to the Gesneriaceae family, which consists of several dozen genera and thousands of species, but this in particular is the one that has been present in most homes since its popularization in the wealthiest houses and gardens of South Europe. .XIX.


We have commented that the African Violet is a grateful plant but it requires some specific care as an endemic tropical plant that it is. So there you go a series of recommendations and cares that if you follow them properly you will have violet for a while.

Substrate: For the substrate we have spoken for other plants of peat, sand and other components either to maintain humidity or to drain. Well, the African Violet needs a little of everything. Let’s say your substrate type acceptance range is a tad specific. It needs to retain moisture . In turn, it cannot be flooded so it needs drainage . So we will mix sand, peat, mulch and universal garden substrate in equal parts to achieve a substrate with medium properties.

Light: Like many other plants, indoors it needs high luminosity but always being indirect. In any case, it is a plant that does not tolerate shady areas badly.

Temperature: You need high temperatures . The temperature range oscillates between 18 and 22ºC so it is considered ideal considering that the average temperature of a house is 21ºC. Nothing, absolutely no cold. We talked the other day about the Poinsettia or the Kentia whose minimum cold tolerance temperatures were around 10ºC. The African Violet is somewhat more delicate. 13-14 ºC is considered the minimum temperature threshold for its correct development.

Irrigation:  The same type as the Poinsettia. Never on the leaves . If it is by immersion better, but it is not absolutely necessary. Not wetting the leaves will be enough. The temperature of the irrigation water is better to be at room temperature. If you live in cold areas where the water comes out of the tap between 10-15ºC, let it rest until the temperature of the house and water. Speaking of irrigation frequencies, there are those who say that high irrigation, others moderate. I think it is best to experiment and see, but in theory moderate watering will be adequate. Of course, after flowering, reduce the watering frequency by half to favor the buds’ emergence. For better development, fertilize every 15 days throughout the year.


We list a series of symptoms and their corresponding causes so that you can correct and identify the problem:

  • The African Violet is normally short. If the petioles are longer than normal, it may be too short of light.
  • Insufficient light can also cause loss of color intensity in the leaves.
  • Yellow spots: viral problem .
  • If the flowers do not grow, remember to reduce the frequency of watering.
  • A characteristic problem of excess humidity is usually a whitish coloration in the flowers. Reduce the frequency of watering.
  • For better development we can remove the leaves from the center of the rosette. It is a kind of pruning. We will have a better development.


The simplest is the cutting of the leaf, cutting it with a section of the petiole. It is advisable not to take a leaf that is too young. Put in water for a month and transplant. The water to be used in the transplant should be at room temperature-warm. If the temperature of the house is around 21-22ºC it will be perfect. It can also be cut directly into the substrate, but this must be less draining than the one we use for the plant. Peat will be suitable.

In the photo you can see the example of a new violet from the cuttings on the substrate.

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