Botanically known as hybrids of Saintpaulia species and native to East Africa, African violets are very likely the most popular of all flowering houseplants, blooming almost continuously if given proper care.
This small-scale orchard replica will delight for many years to come. Use the general guidelines below as a point of reference.
In order to promote flowering, the African violet needs to be given very bright indirect light or filtered sunlight throughout the year. If natural light is inadequate, it may be supplemented with fluorescent light by placing the plant within 18” of the lights. Do not expose the plant to full direct mid-day sun or leaf scorching may result.
Ideal temperatures are 60ºF to 75ºF for prolonging the blooming period. Average house temperatures tolerated are 55°F minimum and 85ºF maximum. African violets need higher humidity than is normally found indoors, so increase humidity by placing the plant on a tray or saucer of moist pebbles.
Prune to shape as you desire, keeping in mind the small- scale size of the plant and its container. Flowers will appear from small shoots that originate where the leaves meet the stem and the shoot tips in the spring.
Flowers in the spring, harvest in the autumn. If too much new growth is produced at the branch tips, don’t be shy about cutting it back to a lower position to shorten the trees height as it begins to re-grow. Planting in a larger container is the easiest way to keep the plant healthy.
Remove the tree from its pot, during winter, every 2-3 years and remove about 1/3 of the roots. Re-pot with a blended potting soil. This will encourage new roots and keep it growing happily.