African Violets for Everyone

For those who love and grow African violets : all the secrets revealed

by Ruth Coulson



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Over the years African violets have acquired a bad reputation – hard to grow, hard to flower and so on. The good news is that with the proper care they are really quite easy. They are just plants, after all and respond to normal care that reflects the background of their species ancestors.

What care and attention is that, you may ask?

  • Well, since they originated in tropical Africa they need warmth.
  • Many of the species come from elevated areas so they don’t like really high temperatures.
  • Mostly they came from sheltered areas where there is shade, so keep them away from too much direct sun.
  • Despite that, it was an outdoor environment so they won’t do very well indoors unless they get a reasonable amount of light. Remember, there are no natural “indoor” plants.
  • Their natural habitat is quite humid, so consider trying to provide some humidity.
  • Often their native home was nothing more than a small pocket of decayed leaves and grit between rocks, so keep the pots small enough to reflect their small root system.
  • In view of the previous point, use a potting mix that is light, open and well drained and they will thank you for it.
  • The decaying leaves in which they may have been growing provide a natural fertiliser. Living things generally require nutrients so be sure you provide them.
  • Yes! You can get water on the leaves! It rains in Africa! This natural cleaning of the leaves is much better than allowing them to accumulate dust and dirt. Either brush the leaves to keep them clean or wash with luke-warm water. Just don’t use cold water and don’t leave cold water on the leaves overnight, especially in cold weather.


This is just a summary of what works best as a way of growing African violets. There is more detail in the articles listed at:

African Violet How-To

If you like to be amazed and delighted by the beautiful flowers see:

Photo Galleries.

In the photo galleries you will also find a gallery of New Photographs of African violets (photos taken in 2013 & 2014)

Or download "The African Violet Way" as shown to the right.

Also new on this site:

An article on creating dish gardens

A revised and expanded photo gallery of Sinningia hybrids



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Available now: the July 2016 issue of "The African Violet Way"

Click on the image below to go to the download page.

The African Violet Way




This photograph is Cirelda, a semiminiature trailer. For a larger image and more information click on the thumbnail.




Remember, to really learn about African violet growing, you can purchase

'African Violets for Everyone' - the book