African violet has a great range of colors and forms. It is very easy to grow and they will flower continuously over a long period and new plants can be grown from leaves. African violet is known botanically as saintpaulia was first discovered in the hills of Tanzania in East Africa. The leaves are hairy and fleshy, with long, brittle stalks. They grow to form a rosette-like mound. The flowers grow in loose clusters from the rosette.
Size and Growth of African violet
The African violet can be 10 to 15 cm high and up to 38 cm or more across. Miniature varieties are about 15 cm in diameter. Although it can bloom at any time of the year, there are generally fewer flowers between November and March.
Color and Varieties
These days there are many African violet hybrids. The flower color ranges from white to all pink, red, blue, mauve, and purple shades. The flowers may be single five petals semi-double or fully double.
Much in demand are plants with two colored petals. Frilly-edged flowers and plants with strongly variegated or crinkle-edged foliage are also very popular. Also, it is available are miniature, semi-miniature and trailing stemmed forms.
Is African violet Toxic to Cats?
Many pet lovers have questions in their minds, “is African violet Safe for Cats?” The good news is that African violet is not toxic. Normally cats like to chew the plant leaves. Maybe a cat’s stomach is not good for digesting plant material for nutritional cravings. So, African violet is not poisonous to cats and dogs.
The African violet enjoys the company of other plants so it is an ideal subject for setting in containers with other house plants.
Making New Plants
The easiest way to start a new plant is to take leaf cutting.
Leaf-cutting: Well, you need to propagate African violets by taking leaf cuttings. This way you know the kind of plant and the flower color that you will have in the end and it will be identical to the parent plant. It will take about 8 to 10 months from taking cutting to a fully blooming adult plant.
Take the leaf from the parent plant together with its stalk.
Plant it so that half the stem is covered with a rooting mixture. Keeping the cutting at a temperature of 18 °C to 21°C. For about one month and roots will form.
Moreover, after 8 to 14 days at this temperature new plantlets will appear. Once they have reached a diameter of about 5 cm then they can be split up and transferred to small pots of their own.
Also, water with a liquid plant food every fortnight once the plants are well-established. Maintain high humidity by growing plants on pebbles trays.
Brown spots on scorched leaves can appear if the strong sun has been shining directly on the leaves, or if cold water has been spilled on them. Make sure not to expose the plant to strong sunlight between March and October. Hence you need to give water carefully.
Crown rot fungus is a major problem with African violets. Discard the plant and clean the area where it was growing thoroughly.
Mildew can appear particularly in winter if the surrounding air is too moist and stagnant. Also, allow humidity trays to dry out
Sunken brown spots on the undersides of leaves. This is due to thrips or cyclamen mites. Also, discard plants under severe attack.