African vi­o­let

Saint­pau­lia io­nan­tha

Ontario Gardener Magazine - - GARDEN FEATURES -

Once a very pop­u­lar plant, African vi­o­lets were found on al­most ev­ery kitchen win­dow sill. They are mak­ing a come­back and right­fully should. Given the right win­dow (they pre­fer east or west fac­ing win­dows), and wa­tered prop­erly (from un­der­neath, they don’t like to get their leaves wet), they will thrive and flower for al­most any­one.

Saint­pau­lia io­nan are one of the hardier va­ri­eties for brown thumbs want­ing to try their hand at a flow­er­ing plant. If you are hav­ing trou­ble get­ting them to bloom, they may need more light. How­ever, if the leaves look bleached out they are get­ting too much di­rect light.

African vi­o­lets pre­fer to be kept slightly moist but will for­give a dry pot from time to time, over wa­ter­ing though can prove deadly. When wa­ter­ing, wa­ter below the leaves to pre­vent leaf spot.

This plant’s leaves are slightly hairy, which helps it to re­tain mois­ture but it does not like cold tem­per­a­tures and the leaves will wrin­kle in protest.

There are a va­ri­ety of colour­ful and lacy look­ing va­ri­eties to choose from that will suit your mood or decor.

Saint­pau­lia io­nan­tha 'Ballerina Fully'. Saint­pau­lia io­nan­tha 'Bells'. Saint­pau­lia io­nan­tha 'Wendy'.

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