Saintpaulia is a beautiful plant of African origin, also known as the African violet, grown in our latitudes as a houseplant. Growing these plants is not complicated and saintpaulia is a species that can guarantee us a good flowering throughout the year if we keep some precautions in cultivation. First of all, the saintpaulie must never stay in places with temperatures below 12-15 ° C, they must receive a lot of light and need regular watering that keeps the growing medium always moist, while avoiding water stagnation facilitating the onset of fungal diseases. These plants do not need large pots because their root development is limited and therefore they do not need to be repotted very frequently. Much more important than repotting is the fertilization of the saintpaulie which must be performed at regular intervals of two weeks by releasing the fertilizer for flowering plants in the water that we use to irrigate the saintpaulias. In spring the saintpaulia blooms and once the flowering has finished from the mother plant, small lateral plants are born, composed of several rosettes of leaves, which must be removed from the pot of the mother plant and repotted in a separate container both to give rise to a new individual that not to grow too many plants in a single pot.
African violet, Saintpaulia ionantha
The African violet whose scientific name is Saintpaulia ionantha sometimes also referred to as S. jonantha it is a herbaceous plant with African origins in particular from Tanzania, it belongs to the Gesneriaceae family.
It is a perennial species that forms basal rosettes of leaves from which numerous stems with flowers branch off.
The genus includes various species but among the many this is one of the most widespread, appreciated and cultivated by gardeners.
The plant has a great ornamental level, both the foliage and the flowers have a particular appearance that stands out very much in the eyes of the observer. The leaves are small, maximum 5cm long, velvety covered with thin white hairs, they are ovate or oblong-ovate with a crenate margin and dark green, on the underside they have a lighter shade. They arise at the apex of 6 cm long petioles.
The flowers are simple or double purple in color with stamens composed of yellow anthers, they have small dimensions and are present in large numbers on the plant, they develop on more or less long stems of a coppery red color. When they are born in groups they are placed in tops in number of 8-10. There are variants of the plant that are distinguished by the color of the flowers, these cultivars have flowers with red or pink petals.
However, the entire plant is small enough in size to allow easy cultivation in pots, in fact S. ionantha is also grown as a houseplant. Its dimensions are 10-15cm in height and 15-20cm in width.
Cut the saintpaulia
Saintpaulia, or Cape violet, is a graceful flowering plant that is easily propagated with cuttings. Preferably choose adult leaves that offer better chances.
To help release the roots at the base of the leaf, soak the stem in hormonal powder. Water with water at room temperature and place the cuttings preferably in a dimly lit place.
Good to know:
Wait until the young shoots have developed well at the base of the "mother" leaf before cutting it, rooting is complete.
Climate and exposure for cyclamen
Cyclamen is a predominantly winter flowering plant that does not like sun exposure and prefers shade. Therefore, as regards garden cultivation, we recommend that you plant cyclamen in the shade of the trees. Cyclamen grow very well under pine trees. For cyclamen grown in pots, remember to place them in the shaded part of your balcony. The ideal climate for cyclamen is cold with temperatures between 6 and 18 ° C. They tolerate temperatures close to freezing better than heat. For this reason, you may have seen cyclamen spontaneously growing in mountain meadows and woods.
Cultivation of the African violet
The flowering of the African violet is often in the shades of purple even if, thanks to hybridization processes, you can find on the market different variants with shades ranging from pink to blue.
The flowering of this species is almost perennial, i.e. it occurs throughout the course of the year even if the best and richest period is from the month of March to October.
On the leaves front, the African violet stands out for the intense green which becomes pink on the lower page. The foliage is covered with a light down that invades the entire surface of the page, which as a rule is of frounded footprint.
African violet presents heart-shaped leaves, as mentioned before dark green while the root system is underdeveloped, thus favoring the transplant also in jars and small bowls, ideal for indoors.
In terms of size, the African violet never reaches heights greater than 15-20 cm.
Furthermore, even if small, it prefers a rather high degree of humidity, without major risks root or foliage rot.
African violet is a species that does not need special care when grown indoors in an apartment.
The ideal temperature for the cultivation of this species must be between 18 and 25 degrees, with a'exposure in bright light.
In this sense, in fact, it is the typical plant for the internal side of a window, taking care of to avoid direct exposure to sunlight, which instead would lead to rapid deterioration.
The water requirement of the African violet is very limited and particular attention must be paid to its administration, as it is necessary wet the ground around, so that the plant absorbs what it needs.
Furthermore, on the water front, the plant likes low-calcareous waters.
Irrigation from below, generally carried out thanks to a saucer, also has the advantage of not wetting the leaves which tend to rot with a certain ease in prolonged contact with water.
How much and how to fertilize the African violet
African violet goes fertilized starting in May, using del liquid fertilizer, with a frequency of 15 days, possibly choosing solutions soluble containing large amounts of potassium and phosphorus.
As for the maintenance during growth, the African violet it should not be pruned in large quantities.
They just go deleted little by little Dry leaves, or those parts that deteriorate with the passage of time and which could unfortunately lead to the onset of parasitic diseases.
With these few treatments you will be able to enjoy one practically perennial flowering of our African violet, with a remarkable range of colors able to make the environment a real show.
The African violet therefore presents itself as a valid alternative to the classic evergreen, but with, in addition, the spectacle of a luxuriant, beautiful and constant flowering, perhaps to be placed in unusual vases, such as tea cups.