Hello Plant Fam and happy September! I want to introduce you to the African Violet this month. The African Violets scientific name is Saintpaulia and there are over 16,000 cultivars ( a type of plant that people have bred for desired traits). This is a tropical flowering indoor plant that comes all the way from Tanzania, East Africa. When I say indoors, I mean it! This little cutie will not be able to survive most of the US climates.
The African Violet can be a little picky when it comes to its drinking water. Never on ice and never too hot, this plant loves a nice luke warm bottom watering. I highly recommend bottom watering due to the sensitivity of its leaves. Any drop of water on the foliage can cause damage and foliage spots. You would want to water this plant when the soil feels dry to the touch, but never let it dry out completely. Due to not wanting it to dry out to quickly, terracotta pots are not recommended to use for these plants. On the flip side, over watering can leave the plant susceptible to deadly pathogens like pythium, root rot, and crown rot. Now there is mixed reviews on the letting it dry out completely before watering and not too, so you will have to create that special bond with your African Violet to know it best!
African Violets differentiate on the light exposure it needs due to its color of foliage. Darker foliage will need more light than those with medium or lighter foliage. All plants will need an indirect light; as direct light can burn the plant and once again cause damage. The right amount of light will also help encourage the plant to bloom and flower.
African violets can flower up to 9 months and sometimes even more a year. In order to bloom, these plants like to be crowded in their pots and fertilized monthly. You can make an at home fertilizer using equal amounts of coffee grounds mixed with egg shells and sprinkling it on the top layer of soil. If your plant has blooms that are already spent; pinching those blooms off will also encourage new growth. Want to know a fun fact? These flowers have a lovely scent, but after one sniff the scent goes away! The flowers of a African Violet contain a chemical called ionine which desensitizes the nose and sense of smell temporarily. How wild is that? On top of that fun fact, African Violets are non toxic to both humans and animals. These plants are actually edible and are used in to make syrups, teas and are in baked goods due to their high amounts of vitamin a & c.
Spiritually, the African Violets represent loyalty, devotion and faithfulness. They carry a feminine energy, are connected to the planet Venus, the moon and water. These plants can fill a house with pure love and joy. Not only can they heighten the love within a space, African Violets help protect you from EMF frequencies, absorb benzene and rid the air of most indoor pollutants. According to Feng Shui practices, the best place to keep your African Violet is anywhere in the home, bedroom and/or office. Due to the shape of the leafs, the Chinese see this plant as a symbol of wealth, prosperity and good fortune.
Overall, If you manage to keep this plant healthy and blooming it can offer you protection and beauty for about 50 years. A quick break down is a pot with lots of drainage, a warm environment (do not need humidifiers), perfect your watering routine, plenty of indirect sunlight and fertilize monthly!
Thank you for taking the time to read about the African Violets this month. I hope this encourages you to get one or allows you to learn a new thing or two for the day! If you would like to stay in touch make sure to follow me on Instagram @happyplantmamashop ! I will see you all next month for the new plant of the month.