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African Violets with Grandma

Updated on July 6, 2011

Exploring The World Of African Violets

I enjoy gardening and I love flowers. Taking care of African Violets is a lovely way to have both. With all the varieties of African Violets available, it didn't take long to find ones I wanted. Some African Violets are prized for their gorgeous blossoms and some for their striking variegated leaves. I like the African Violet plants with the two- and three- colors in their leaves. We had one lovely African Violet plant. It was given to my husband Steve when he was in the hospital in December of 2000. I really didn't think it would live, but put it next to a lamp in the living room. Now, almost seven years later, This beautiful African Violet is still alive---thriving and making beautiful little blue flowers. Now I'll tell you what happened last week.

  • NOTE: That was in 2007. Now, in 2011, I am sad to say now the little one has finally succumbed to age. She was given a proper send off. I hope to find a replacement soon. That was a special African Violet, but we can always have another special one.

2011/06/30 18:36

The Ancestor Files: African Violets

African violets come in so many varieties--and eBay is my favorite place to find them.

Authentic Asian Furniture & Décor

8.5" Diameter Chinese Fish Bowl Jardiniere Planter Pot 5 Leg Base / Stand

For several years during my life, gardening was necessary for the extra food. I really enjoyed playing in the dirt and seeing the plants grow. Now I've gone from veggies to bonsai (which I still love and grow) to African violets.

Growing these little flowers takes special skills and equipment---wrong. When Steve brought his plant home from the hospital, we sat it under a lamp and wished it luck. Well, that little baby has given more than I ever imagined. Flowering after flowering, month after month, year after year--with nothing more than some water now and then. She's a blooming wonder. (Now "it's" a "she" because there've been a few propagated babies.)

Asian Gifts & Home Décor

6"Diameter Fancy Round Vase / Spice Jar Display Stand / Base

(#10)

Jane's African Violets

So I'm sitting at the computer, looking through eBay(my favorite place to shop). I know I have way too many bonsai to warrant buying any more---so what to do? A lightbulb clicks on! Check out the African violets! Oh, my!!! Have you seen how many varieties and types and I don't know what all. They're all beautiful. How do I choose!?!? Do I buy a leaf, or a plug or a plant?

Since we already have a blue one, I start by looking at the other colors, there's only about 500 shades of pinks and purples and reds and whites and... So then I start noticing the leaves. Some are hairy, some are shiny. Some are quilted, some are wavy, some have ruffles. (Starting to sound a bit like Dr. Seuss.) Anyway, I finally pick one(I forgot to mention they come in large, medium, small and extra-small). Then another. There are also some called trailers.

Make Some Room

African Violet Plants coming through!

Toad Sucker Farm

Once I got started looking at the pictures, it was hard to stop buying. I'll tell you what I got in a minute. Right now I've got to stop and make room for all of them. By moving the computer lamp to the corner table I can make room for plants under that lamp. If I clear off my bedtable and leave that lamp on all day, a few plants can be set there. I'm trying to save the kitchen table for this fall and winter when some of the bonsai have to come inside. The movie cabinet can hold a couple more plants. Okay, that's it---we're just going to have to add on another room to the house!

About Garden.com

Choosing just the perfect pot for your plant is just as important as choosing the perfect dress for Saturday night. :-)

First I choose a white flowered 'Snow Leopard'. It's a semidouble white ruffled pansy. The leaves are a dark green and the plant is a semiminiature.

Well, then I see a fantastic-looking 'Boogie Nights', a single-semidouble fuchsia with a large frilled star and lighter blue-purple edge flower with variegated dark green and white, wavy leaves. Large.

Now I also have a 'Rob's Boolaroo', a semidouble light pink sticktite pansy/bright blue fantasy. Medium green, quilted trailer (I can guess what a "trailer" is, but what is a "fantasy", in regards to African violets? I thought 'sticktite' was that weed in the pasture that stuck all over your socks).

Then I saw the 'Tomahawk', and suddenly had to have a red one. It is a semidouble-double bright red with dark green leaves, plain, large.

African Violet Brat Pack

Dominique is next. I have a grandson named Dominic so of course I had to have this one. A double pink flower, frilled with some green edge. The leaves are variegated and ruffled. Large. I love the ruffled leaves.

Ruffles 'n' Lace is a double pink with white frilled edge, some green. Medium green, ruffled leaves. Large.

Rob's Neat Nellie, number ten, is a semidouble white sticktite with a pink-red eye. Variegated medium green and white, quilted, glossy leaves. Semiminiature.

Better Homes and Gardens

This list is getting crazy. I can't seem to just get 2 or 3 and quit. They are all to beautiful. Since I don't have enough already, the seller sends me a free leaf---'Misty Cloud', a semidouble dark blue/wide white edge.

Next is 'Rob's Smarty Pants'. It's a miniature with a semidouble white ruffled star and blue-speckled pink edge. The leaves are medium green, glossy, wavy, serrated.

For number seven I bought two leaves from 'Black Congo'. Single dark plum flower with gold frilled edges. The foliage is holly shaped and ruffled. Standard size.

Vintage Posh African Violets

And, last but certainly not least, our Number One Momma plant. I don't know her name but I think 'Blue Momma' sounds good. Pretty blue single-semidouble blossoms with yellow eyes. The leaves are hairy, medium green, quilted, with red-veined backs. I can almost talk the African violet lingo now.

There's an auction going for a lot of five African violet plants which I crazily entered. I kind of hope to win and kind of hope not to win. Just in case, I'm buying 5 more self-watering pots. But that's another story for another day (or maybe another lens).

Waterloo GardensSo much to learn---so little time.

Round black carved wooden stand 5"D

We weren't born knowing this stuff. - I learned by reading. You can, too.

African Violet Photographs

SquiDirectory - A categorized Squidoo directory featuring an interesting variety of different subjects ranging from arts and literature, shopping, and eco friendly tips, to vehicles for sale, travel, and everything in between.

Tucson African Violet Society

How are your African violets today? - Come, have some coffee/soda/tea/water, and say hello.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm adding this lens to my new lens for Mother's Day called Violets for Mother. This is a beautiful lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Beautiful photos! African Violets were a favorite of my mother.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      My mom grows African violets and they thrive under her care. I've always been afraid to try my hand at growing these charming plants.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      There is an amazing true story by Milton Erickson, who was a wonderful therapist. Erickson had been in a wheelchair all his life, and he had become an observer of people and later a therapist. A concerned son took him to meet his mother, who had become bitter, constricted and depressed in her old age. The therapist looked around for a way to reach her and he noticed that she raised African violets, which he thought took a lot of care. He knew she was a devout Catholic, so he convinced her to take a violet to each new family (birth or adoption) death, or ill person in the parish. Somehow he was able to reach her and she did, and it helped her as much as those she served. Several years later she died, and the obituary read like this "African violet queen dies, loved by all." Angel Blessed.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      When I was working I always had an African violet on my desk. You are so right about their care. As long as I watered her and gave her some fertilizer every few months she flowered continuoulsy. So beautiful. Great job.

    • grandma deal profile image
      Author

      grandma deal 6 years ago

      @anonymous: It would be awesome to have a sunroom.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love your violets! I discovered by accident (buying starts for a Christmas cactus) the unending varieties of African violets plants or leaves that can be bought on ebay. The only bad part about that is...too many beautiful ones to choose from. I don't have any at the moment but will be getting started soon. We recently bought a house with a sun room so I want to fill it up with pretties. Again, your violets are BEAUTIFUL!

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 6 years ago

      I enjoyed the personal story of your first African violet. Lovely flowers for indoor cheerfulness.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      African Violet is such a beauty. A woman would surely be delighted with such beautiful flower.

      ficus ginseng bonsai

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      I have no violets plants now - but I do have a lens about them

    • profile image

      tienlove 6 years ago

      Great lens!! I think African Violets are beautiful, although I never knew there were so many kinds. I love the way you write about gardening, it's easy to see how much you enjoy it. :) Thank you for sharing this.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      African violets are one of my favorite house plants also. The one I love more than all the others has a plain white flower that resembles a strawberry blossom. The original one was one mum gave to me when she was living and I have kept its babies living for many years. I have given plants made from leaf cuttings to many of my friends and relatives and they too like the white one. Of course, I like all the other colors too.

      I enjoyed reading through this lens .. thank you for sharing.

    • grandma deal profile image
      Author

      grandma deal 6 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: So glad you stopped in. Plants that can go from one generation to the next are very special.

    • grandma deal profile image
      Author

      grandma deal 6 years ago

      @MonsterJack LM: I never thought about checking the clearance racks. Thanks for mentioning that. I love it when I can get new babies to grow. As long as it's just baby AV's. ;o) I appreciate your visit.

    • MonsterJack LM profile image

      MonsterJack LM 6 years ago

      Love your lens... fun to read about another AV addict! I am always on the look out for a new plant (different color, new leaf shape, texture, frills, doubles, ect)... I also consider myself an AV rescuer; I have 3-4 AV's that I found on the clearance rack for only $.50-$1 each just beacuse they had lost their flowers... now they are all thriving and have had babies (from leaf cuttings).

    • grandma deal profile image
      Author

      grandma deal 6 years ago

      @Ellen Mitchell: It is sad to lose a plant, but it's good to know there are many more. Let us know which ones you decide to get.

    • grandma deal profile image
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      grandma deal 6 years ago

      @anonymous: You are right, and thank you.

    • grandma deal profile image
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      grandma deal 6 years ago

      @hlkljgk: Well, "Violets" are violet in color. African Violets are a different plant from Africa and Tanzania. They are called African "Violets" because of the resemblance to Violets. They were discovered by a British man who was visiting Africa. He brought some seeds back for his father. If a woman had found them, they probably would have had a more unique name. ;o)

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      i don't know where i've been, but i thought violets were, well... violet! :)

    • Ellen Mitchell profile image

      Ellen Mitchell 6 years ago

      I've had African violets in the past that were given to me as gifts. They died but you have reminded me that I loved them and want to get some more. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'd say you have become an African Violet addict and why try for a cure! What a fun story you tell.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Having my coffee with you- enjoyed your story, glad your dh is well, and you know, I've always had good luck with African violets as well... just might have to get into house plants again. -:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful flowers! Nice lens you have here.

    • grandma deal profile image
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      grandma deal 6 years ago

      @anonymous: That's so nice to hear. Thanks.

    • grandma deal profile image
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      grandma deal 6 years ago

      @anonymous: lampica, thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very nice lens

    • grandma deal profile image
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      grandma deal 6 years ago

      @poutine: Definitely do give it another try. I think the violets are so beautiful. So many varieties it's hard to pick. I think mine did better when I got the pots made for African violets. Good luck with your next one.

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Beautifully said and done.

      I had one African violet "once" and it died on me.

      I think it's time to try again.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      My Mum used to grow these when I was young. They always look so pretty. Nice story.

    • profile image

      Tarra99 6 years ago

      One of my fav plants/flowers to grow...so hardy and such pretty colors.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 7 years ago from Canada

      This is a beautiful article and one that is a pure pleasure to visit.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I enjoyed reading your lens. Great job

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I enjoyed reading your lens. Great job

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Another wonderful lens! I have an African Violet that is 45 years old. Well, the current plant isn't that old but I have kept it's "babies" living all of these years. My mum gave it to me just before she died. The blossoms are pure white and look very much like the strawberry plant blossom. I have passed on a slip to my daughter and she is having great success with her's too. I call it my "forever" plant. Like yours it blooms pretty much all year only taking short rests once in a while. I love it! 5*'s Come see me again when you have time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      My grandmother always had a windowsill on the north side of her kitchen filled with these lovely flowers. Thank you for your lens, it gave me a very happy memory!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      Ah, I love African Violets and find your lens amazing. Please show me more flowers -- polaroids would be cool! 5*****

    • robnzak profile image

      robnzak 9 years ago

      Great lens and thanks for the comments on mine.

      5 Stars and I've lensrolled you to my African violet pot lens.

      http://violetpots.robnzak.com

    • grandma deal profile image
      Author

      grandma deal 9 years ago

      Hi, Cathy. This is a photo of "Rob's Smarty Pants." Mine hasn't developed blossoms yet, but when it does I hope they look like this one. Thanks for visiting.

    • profile image

      cathyh54321 9 years ago

      What is the name of the pink and white afican violet

      shown under "Must Haves?

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      hi