Saintpaulia ionatha

Gesneriaceae

African Violet

Evergreen, rosette-forming, herbaceous perennial to 10cm high by 25cm wide. The fleshy, hairy, scalloped, rounded leaves are up to 8cm long and are green on the upperside and usually red-green underneath. The flowers are 2-3cm wide and tubular with five petals, occurring on upright stems all year round. Thousands of varieties are available and feature flowers ranging from white to purple.

Uses

Ornamantal indoor plant suitable for a position near a well-lit window.

Culture

Originating from East Africa, Saintpaulia are usually grown as indoor plants. They prefer bright, but indirect light, stable temperatures and moderate humidity. For best results use specialist African Violet growing media that is sterile, fertile and well-drained. Propagate by seed in spring or from leaf cuttings in summer. Susceptible to two-spotted mite, mealy bugs, nematodes and powdery mildew.

Propagation

No information available at this time...

Cultivars

No information available at this time...

Plant Health

Mostly fungal; too much moisture can lead to root rots, water on leaves (particularly with direct sunlight), can damage or at least mark leaves.

Lack of water can cause dehydration and death, inwarm conditions; however, plants can survive extended periods at low temperatures if dry. Doesn't tolerate extreme cold though.

More info

Courses on growing Tropical and Indoor Plants are available through Australian Correspondence Schools, see http://www.acs.edu.au/hort Books: ‘Growing Tropical Plants’ by John Mason and ‘Tropical and Warm Climate Gardening’ are available through http://www.acsgarden.com/shop/ Video: ‘Identifying Tropical Plants’ produced by Australian Correspondence Schools is available through http://www.acsgarden.com/shop/ CDROM: ‘Trees and Shrubs for Warm Places’ by John Mason is available through http://www.acsgarden.com/shop/