African violet

Saintpaulia ionantha | Rating: 2 votes | Print / Pdf

A tender evergreen perennial, saintpaulia ionantha is more suited to life indoors as a houseplant than outdoors, especially in temperate climates. Known best as the African violet, it has a low tolerance for cold and frost, but with lush, clump-growing foliage, it is an excellent choice for conservatories, greenhouses or other indoor areas. Its dark green leaves are thick, soft and very hairy, growing in dense rosettes. Its small, saucer-shaped, lightly scented flowers are an extraordinary violet colour, with a bright yellow centre. The African violet can rot if its foliage gets wet. Plant in loam-based compost and bright filtered light, and re-pot to allow fresh roots to develop.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Height [m]
  • 0.1
Spread [m]
  • 0.3
Dominant flower colour
  • Blue
Flower Fragrance
  • Yes, let it smell
Flowering seasons
  • Mid winter
  • Late winter
  • Early spring
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
  • Early autumn
  • Mid autumn
  • Late autumn
  • Early winter
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Green
Foliage in winter
  • Green
Propagation methods
  • seed
  • runners
  • leaf cuttings
Growth habit
  • Rosette
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
Hardiness zone
  • unknown
Heat zone
  • H11-12
  • well-drained
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Partial shade
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Exotic, house plants & other
  • House plants
Grown for
  • Attractive Flowers
Creative category
  • Fine fragrants
  • For Beginners
  • Colours
  • For birds & bees
Garden type
  • Indoor or winter garden
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • 2 to 5 years