'Lonestar Snowstorm' is a standard African violet (R. Nicholas, hybridizer). Its white blooms are called "sticktite", which means that they don't drop from the bloom stem when they fade. African violets need good air circulation to help prevent disease, but don't put them in a drafty spot.
Try ‘Candy Fountain’ (I. Fredette, hybridizer) in a shallow container or hanging basket. This trailing African violet produces double, rose-pink flowers on long runners and has more than one crown. Be careful not to overwater these plants. An African violet’s soil should be moist, but never soggy.
Semi-miniature trailing African violets, like ‘Linda Darnel’ (P. Tracey, hybridizer), grow about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Use room temperature water when you’re watering your plants, and avoid using soft water. African violets actually need some chlorination, but if you can smell the chemical in your chlorinated water, it’s too much.
‘Lyon’s Lavender Magic’ (Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses/Sorano, hybridizer) is a large standard African violet; large standards can reach over 16 inches in diameter. The plants have quilted, medium green foliage. Some gardeners put their African violets under grow lights, but they also thrive in natural light. Winston J. Goretsky, president of the African Violet Society of America, says, “African violets like to have bright, indirect light. Even a south-facing window with sheers is good, as long as it doesn't become too hot or the plant is allowed to dry out to the point of wilting.”
This semi-miniature African violet, ‘Mac’s Strawberry Sundae’ (G. McDonald, hybridizer), has coral-red blooms. African violet blooms have many different flower shapes, including singles, stars (5 petals in a star shape), doubles, semidoubles, ruffled doubles, ruffled stars, and wasps (5 petals, with the upper two slightly curled back). Winston J. Goretsky, president of the African Violet Society of America, says the plants will bloom when they get sufficient light. “No amount of care or feeding will encourage them to bloom if they are not receiving enough light. Available light diminishes drastically, the further distance away from a window the plant is grown. A plant grown on a coffee table in the middle of a room will grow, but may not bloom.”
‘Milky Way Trail’ (J. Stahl, hybridizer) is a semi-miniature trailer with quilted, heart-shaped leaves. African violets need regular grooming; brush away any dust or dirt with a soft brush, and remove faded flowers and damaged leaves.
African violets come in a spectacular variety of leaf types, flower shapes, colors and sizes. Learn more about their care at the African Violet Society of America. This plant, ‘Pixie Blue’ (L. Lyon, hybridizer), is a miniature trailer with single flowers.
African violets are considered miniatures if they are 6" to 8" or less in diameter, and large if they're over 16" in diameter. Semi-minis are 6" to 8", while standards are 8" to 16". Trailing types have long runners that branch and spread; they can grow in hanging baskets or shallow pots. 'Persian Prince’ (S. Sorano, hybridizer), is a miniature with so-called girl, or scalloped, leaves. Girl leaves are usually fleshier than boy leaves, which are solid green.
This semi-miniature trailer, ‘Rob’s Boolaroo’ (R. Robinson, hybridizer), has light pink blossoms with what is known as “blue fantasy”. Fantasy flowers are multi-colored, with one color appearing dotted, streaked or swirled over another color.
The botanical name for African violets is Saintpaulia; the plants are native to eastern Africa. This miniature, Optimara ‘Rose Quartz’ (Holtkamp, hybridizer), has glossy, hairy, medium green leaves and pink blooms. African violets are often called "America's favorite houseplants".
Cajun’s Simply Elegant (B. Thibodeaux, hybridizer) has bright pink flowers and variegated leaves. This is a standard, or an African violet that grows 8 to 16 inches in diameter. African violets make wonderful houseplants; they usually thrive in average home temperatures and humidity. Kurt Jablonski)
Semi-miniature Optimara ‘Little Maya’ (Holtkamp, hybridizer) has heart-shaped, quilted leaves with red backs. These plants need adequate light to bloom, but also require 8 hours of darkness each day. If you’re using grow lights,try a timer to regulate their schedule.
This Russian variety's name translates to 'Thumbelina' (Nadezhda Berdnikova, hybridizer). It's a miniature with dark green leaves with red backs. If your African violet leaves and stems become long and leggy, that's a signal to give the plant more light. Other signs include yellow leaves and few, if any, flowers.
Place the plant, still in its pot, on top of the foam. For this terrarium, Rose used a cyclamen, shown here (Hypoestes phyllostachya ‘Pink’) and Phyllitis scolopendrium (not shown). Janit Calvo, author of Gardening in Miniature and owner of Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, says mosses, miniature African violets, Needlepoint English Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Needlepoint’) and dwarf or miniature ferns can grow well in open terrariums with bright, indirect light.
Streptocarpuses like the same basic growing conditions as their relatives, African violets. We’re luckier than early British gardeners, who first grew the species after a collector brought the plants back from South Africa. Today's varieties bloom more abundantly, and in a wider range of colors. Streps, as they're known, like an eastern-facing exposure when grown as houseplants. Let them dry between waterings and keep them in a room that stays around 70 degrees F. during the day, with a 10-degree drop at night. Never let them sit in water, and fertilize regularly. This variety is 'Galaxy Blue.'