With showy blossoms ranging from blue to burgundy and white to green, it’s no wonder African violets (Saintpaulia Ionantha) are among the most popular houseplants across the world.
When gazing upon these vibrant, vivacious “violets” with their pinwheel stripes or “fantasy speckles,” one can’t help but wonder, “How the hell did we get here?”
The answer lies in almost a century of hybridization, accented and accelerated by a few decades of chemical mutagens and radiation, according to a 2017 Folia Horticulturae review.
As you may recall, we released an African Violet care guide along with a tutorial on propagating African Violets for the March issue of The Burgundy Zine.
Given that it’s been half a year since those guides were published, we figured it was time for a little update on how both plants are doing today.
Hiking and gardening are two hobbies of mine that are separate, but deeply intertwined. The way soil slides through the spaces between my fingers, the pride I feel when the first blooms on a new plant appears, and the joy to be had hiking through the woods on a cool, summer afternoon has given me a newfound appreciation for all life on our planet.
African Violets are one of the most common houseplants and a breeder’s dream come true. They are renowned for their beauty, elegance, and are incredibly easy to propagate.
African Violets are one of the most common, delicate, colorful houseplants that have been coveted by casual gardeners and botanists alike for over 50 years.
While new gardeners are generally cautioned against experimenting with African Violets until they’re a bit more experienced, they are not as difficult to care for as some may assume.