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African Violets

Fact sheet: African Violets

The African violet (Saintpaulia species) is a popular houseplant that grows and flowers under light conditions found in the average home or under artificial light. Many different varieties, types, and flower colors exist.

For best growth and flowering, African violets require bright light (~1000 foot candles), but no direct sunlight (Figure 2). This is the amount of light within 3 feet of a southeast- or west-facing window. Lower light levels for longer periods of time are also adequate. The appearance of a plant will indicate whether light levels are too high, too low, or just right. If light is too low, leaves are usually thin and deep green, and appear to reach up for light. The plants may grow, but will flower poorly or not at all. In such instances, supplemental artificial light will help promote flowering.

Excessive light causes leaves to be pale or greenish-yellow. Some leaves may show dark green areas where they have been shaded by upper leaves. Growth slows when light is too high and plants become very compact. Flowering will also begin to decrease.

Fact sheet: African Violets

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