Monday, June 16, 2014

Saintpaulia - Cruel Beauty

          Saintpaulia or the African Violets started to be used as indoor plants around 70 years ago, and right now they are a global favorite. Winning lots of people with their compact size, and blooming all the time advantage. The African Violet had been really hard and complicated to grow at home, but the new varieties , which are really fashionable these days are totally different. Тhey are more durable with plentiful blooming. The beginners won't be able to make the saintpaulia bloom 10 months through the year, but without many difficulties will make it bloom 2-3  times in a calendar year.
There are five main requirements - constant warmth, careful watering, appropriate sunlight, constant warm air and reqular alimentation.  Some extra advices I can give are  that: leaves should not touch the window, the overblown petals and leaves should be strictly removed, all the time (don't leave handles ). The plant should be in a small pot. When it's time to be moved in a bigger pot, use a plastic one.

                                          SECRETS OF SUCCESS:
Temperature: Mild warmth, minimal through the winter 15 degrees. Avoid cold streams and sudden temperature differences.
Light:  Bright - the perfect place in the winter is the window, east or west exposure; in summer - east.  Always protect of strong sunlight. If you want violets to bloom during the winter, you should ensure them with artificial light in the nights ( if you are going to take care of them only in "false light" use 2 fluorescent tubes - 40 w and put it 30 cm above the plant, use it 14 hours per day ).
Water: Soil must be wet, use cool water, don't water the leaves. You can also float it in a bucket from time to time, but very carefully.
Humidity: High humidity is very important.You can water the whole plant without blooming. Do a drainage with stones, under the soil. When it's watered, should not be to strong sunlight, so you better do it early in the morning or after sunset.


 SPECIAL PROBLEMS:
  •  Straw colored spots: Too much direct light, the ending of the leaves will become yellow and little gaps may appear.
  • Brown spots on the leaves: You may use too cold water. 
  • Yellow leaves: Maybe dry air, too much sunlight, wrong watering. Follow careful the instruction.
  • Pale-green Leaves, with long handles and bended endings: The plant has frozen. As we said minimum is 15 degrees. 
  • Hanging leaves. The tip is carious. Too much water and changing place. It's hard to recover.
  • Not blooming: Most probably not enough light, especially in winter. Other possible reason is dry or cold air. 
      They are thousands of genuses with great variety of shapes and shades. The origins of the hybrids is pretty complicated. But the main genus are found in East Africa in 1892. They are shown in Germany for first time in 1893 and in Great Britain (1894). In the United States became popular through the 20's of last century. The first hybrid was showed in 1927 - Blue Boy. 



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