african violets

no. this is not a post on how to grow them.

this is more of a confessional.

i am not much of a house plant sortofagal.  i don’t think it is lack of skill as much as it is the fact that most of my energy is directed outside.  when i come inside, i prefer to rest and just do with silk flower arrangements. from time to time though i like to give houseplants a try.

some years ago when we were in our other home i had a very nice north-facing window sill.  having been told that this is the perfect situation for growing african violets, i bought a small pot.  it flourished and when we moved, i bought another. i had them in lovely green and white toile pots sitting on our large kitchen table in (once again) a north facing window.  i wouldn’t say that they flourished but i did have blooms and they did alright.

then we got a smaller table and i had no room for potted plants.

then we started the kitchen remodel.

i have to confess that for months they sat in the dining room accumulating dust with all the rest of the rubble.  they were severely neglected.  it has been so long since they have bloomed i have forgotten what color the blooms are.

i have to confess that some of that neglect was done on purpose.  i just didn’t know what to do with these violets anymore.  however, when the kitchen was put back together, there they were.  struggling to survive but surviving nevertheless.

i felt they needed a chance. so i put them under my grow lights.

then yesterday, who should be our speaker at the garden club, but a member of the national violet society.  she has insipred me to *really* give these babies another chance.  much of what she said and demonstrated was a bit over my head but i know this: they need to be repotted in  a looser soil.  and they need to be fertilized.

ok i knew that bit about the fertilizer its just that i’m not sure where the bottle is… i am motivated to find it.

i also came home with these new additions:


i would tell you the names but the label are on the pots inside the foggy bag.  i can tell you this though: one is a pink semi-miniature, one has variegated leaves, and one is  standard size traditional blue.

they are happily percolating under my growlights and hopefully they will produce some baby leaves here in a few weeks.  we’ll also get to see how gifted i am at propagating violets which is supposed to be one of the easiest things in the world.  hahaha.

i can’t help but think that the semi-miniature would look darling potted in a tea-cup.


2 Comments to “african violets”

  1. African violets remind me of our home back in Michigan.


  2. I’m inspired! I had them a lot as a teenager. Can’t wait to have house plants again in our new home (currently they would just be extra clutter in our small space). I would love a dark pink one for my bathroom, fun!

    Do your grow lights have a special kind of bulb? I’ve used regular fluorescent lights in the past, lowered down from the ceiling by a chain (in the basement). We now have some that we took out of the kitchen at the house, so I was going to have John save them and put them in the basement for me. Mostly for starting seeds, but what a great idea to give house plants a boost!

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