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Nurturing African Violets

Updated on February 4, 2017

the # 1 American house plant

I would say the African Violet is the # 1 house plant in America! It was at my home while growing up and still seems to be, some seventy years later... Everyone just makes over my wife's flowers, and yet her violets receive the least attention of all our houseplants it seems. I know everyone cannot grow them, they say or maybe they're not willing to sacrifice their time -- while others tend to grow them from a single leaf.

Sometime back (that's just 'country talk') I read an article in Country magazine where this gentleman wrote that his mother's sister grew the most fabulous African Violets in Northern Michigan and went on to say she raised them in the Northern part of the home, with a florescent light as a light source "and they seemed to bloom forever..." Yada, yada, yada. My mom always placed hers in the West facing windows using natural filtered (by sheer drapes) sunlight. Presently, my wife uses the East side catching the early morning light (filtered also). My sister grows them in both the East & West windows of her home, I'd say some ladies grow them in the South facing windows also so it must be something other that just which side of the house they're on.

Maybe the source of light is not the most important factor though important none the less. The trick to proper care I believe is to water from the bottom of the flower pot and not from the top where you might accidentally get water on the stems or leaves. I hear this is a No, No with African Violets since the leaves and stems are somewhat fragile and prone to disease and or infection. My mom used to use a good liquid fertilizer also every other time she watered. My wife uses a Miracle-Gro plant spike every six months or so, but still always waters from the bottom. She says, "why change when it's proven to work so well in the past".

All kinds...

My wife plays nurse...

Ever so often I'll notice my wife coming in with a seemingly dead plant; tossed aside because someone didn't have a green thumb or time to nurse a sick plant back to health and more often than not the plant would recover under my wife's 'nursing' and she would just add it to our 'jungle.'

This article only covers some inside plants, namely the African Violet, maybe next time I'll write about the outside plants...


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  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks so much megni, for your visit and your kind remarks. I agree the seed catalogs can 'rip' you off if your not careful. I would find a friend that has violets and just ask for a leaf. You could probable start a half dozen or more from one leaf.

    I'm unfamiliar with the variety you mentioned.

    Please come back again and read to your heart's desire...

  • megni profile image

    megni 6 years ago

    African Violets are great. I used to raise fabulous ones and even started the teacup variety from seeds.Gave them all to a neighbor because I was moving. I've wondered about them ever since.

    Park's seed catalog has these listed but I didn't buy because I thought it robbery to charge 6 dollars to cover postage. Anyone know about this miniature variety? variety?

    Your site is excellent and is a needed one.

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

    I agree Mulberry. I think flowers say so much about the people that raise them. Thanks for the comment, now that you're here, why not join the family of friends.

  • mulberry1 profile image

    Christine Mulberry 7 years ago

    I used to have violets but when I moved I lost all of my houseplants. (Gave many of them away to save the hassle) Anyway, I think starting small, with some violets, might be a good way to get back into the whole thing!

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

    Thanks GH, I really appreciate you kind words. I'm humbled that you would visit my hub. You were my first friend on HPs. Blessings to you & yours.

  • GeneralHowitzer profile image

    Gener Geminiano 7 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

    They look like not real awesome hub sam and very lovely writing too... Keep it up my friend!

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

    Hi elayne001, thanks for the comment

  • elayne001 profile image

    Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    My favorite flowers - those and pansies. Thanks for some great info and beautiful photos.

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

    Hi hubbling, and thanks for the comment. Yes, I thank God daily for my wife. She is truly a miracle in the making, and enjoys working in her flowers. Our home is surrounded with beautiful flowers, inside and out.

  • profile image

    hubbling 7 years ago

    Very good page! I really enjoy looking at beautiful plants and it is cool the way your wife treats unwnated plants she sounds like a really nice person. You are very lucky to have her in your life.

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

    Hi crazybeanrider, and thanks for the comment. It seems like water on the stems or leaves is death to the violets. Don't know if it's a virus or why, just remember my mom said, "watering from the bottom causes the roots to reach deeper for the water..."

  • crazybeanrider profile image

    Boo McCourt 7 years ago from Washington MI

    Watering from the bottom, I am going to try that. I can never keep an African Violet no matter where I keep it. Always believing the light source being the problem. Or to much water, or not enough. Thanks for the tip. Enjoyed your hub!