Saintpaulia is the botanical name for African violets. The name came when Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire discovered the plant in Tanzania and brought seeds from it back to his father in Germany in 1892. The plant is part of a genus of 6–20 species that has been hybridized into thousands of varieties. Here are some tips on how to care for these lovely plants.
How To Care For African Violets
African violets do best in east or west facing windows. They typically like moderate, bright indoor light. Normally, they do not like direct sunlight, but you could move them to a south facing window for the winter months. To bloom best, they will require bright, indirect light for most of the day. Also, don’t forget to rotate the plant so that it gets even light.
Water thoroughly once the soil is dry to the touch. Be sure not to get water on the velvety leaves as this will cause them to rot. The pots I prefer most come in two parts having an outside ceramic pot with an unglazed pottery insert. This allows for water placed in the base of the glazed outside bowl to be slowly absorbed through the unglazed pot holding the plant and the soil.
African violets like a light, well draining soil. You can buy retail African Violet potting soil, or can make your own with equal parts of vermiculite, peat moss and perlite.
African violet prefers warm environment with temperatures at least 65 degrees F or even warmer. If the temperature drops below 50 F, the plant will probably die. Keep humidity on the same level. The ideal for African violets would be between 40 and 60 percent.
When you will be buying new African violet, check carefully because the plant is prone to some common insects and diseases. There are numerous forms of rot and blight. There is also a threat of Powdery Mildew or Cyclamen.