African Violet Care & Related Links Fun to Grow and Share

Northern California, CA(Zone 9a)

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This message was edited Jul 14, 2006 5:33 PM

Northern California, CA(Zone 9a)

Reserved for our FAQ section



If you have a FAQ that isn't addressed below and want it added to this thread, please DMail me at to have it posted here.

In this post, you will find links to Vendors, Outside sources of information and Plenty of AV tips and ‘How-To’s’

BUT remember, There is plenty of information right here on Dave’s Garden. You can find it by doing a Search. Click this link to begin your search

Here you will find a list of member contributed and compiled information and internet links pertaining to African Violets, their care, culture and much more. This thread is for everyone who whishes to know more about African Violets. Please feel free to contribute to this work in progress.

One of the best parts about growing African Violets is the ability to share them with others. It’s fun and simple and so many can get such joy in simple act of passing on a leaf or two with another AV enthusiast.

African Violets; Grow, Share and Show!

If you would like to know more about Gesneriads in general, please go to the Gesneriad FAQ & Links thread here.

African Violets - FAQs:

Q. All this different AV terminology! Where can I find a glossary of terms?

A. Optimara has an extensive list of AV nomenclature. You can visit them here.

Q: Why do my AV's look wilted?

A: It could be under-watering or over-watering. AV's are a little tricky in that, when they're parched, they droop (like most plants). And when they're over-watered, they also droop! In exactly the same way! So it's important to check the soil of a drooping plant before deciding it needs a good watering. AV's like warm water, and they hate to have any water on their leaves, so watering from the bottom is often recommended.
links to thread about wick watering:
link to thread about self watering pots:
link to thread about top watering:

Q: Should I clean the leaves of my AV's?

A: Yes! Dirt on the leaves can block light and encourage mites. You can use a very soft brush to remove dirt & debris from the leaves. AV's also appreciate being rinsed with a gentle shower of warm water from time, but be certain to thoroughly dry the leaves afterwards, especially the crown. Water droplets on the leaves can produce lighter discolored spots, especially if there is a draft, and water on the crown can lead to crown rot. You can find more here

Q: What's the best way to pack plants and leaves for shipping?

A: Here’s a packing primer
or look to Rachel’s Reflections site for more on shipping leaves or plants

Q: Why aren't my AV's blooming?

A: Light, fertilizer, and repotting can all encourage blooming. Refer to these threads:
From the AVSA site:
Why Wont My African Violet Bloom

Q: What in the world is a ‘Girl Leaf’? Are African Violets girls and boys?

A: In a word, no. Girl Leaf refers to a type of leaf. Types of leaves are described on the AVSA web site.

Q: What's a chimera?

A: A Chimera is a special breed of African Violet. It is a spontaneous mutation resulting in an AV with a bloom which has a bi-colored 'Pinwheel' appearance. Chimera AV's cannot be propagated by leaf, but rather must be reproduced from a crown or peduncle cutting. More on the subject here and here

Q. What is a NOID?

A. NOID stands for No Identification (NO ID) generally speaking, it means that the plant may be a cultivar but it doesn’t carry a tag with the actual name. Very hard to identify a violet without a tag due to the fact that there are so many cultivars out there. But NOID or not, they are still beautiful and often favorites even without a name tag.

Q: How can I identify my NOID AV?

A: You can't. It is not possible to make a firm identification from photographs or descriptions. There are over 20,000 registered varieties, the colors in photos can be inaccurate, and descriptions of colors (especially "blue" or "red") are pretty subjective. Many "supermarket" AV's are grown from seed rather than propagated vegetatively, so they won't have a name. While it can be fun to try to see which variety your AV "looks like," it's a good idea to use terms such as "look-alike" or "noid" on your plant labels when you didn't purchase a plant with a name tag.

Q. What is a “Sport”

A. A “sport' is what we call and African violet which has had a spontaneous mutation. You'll notice that it has physical characteristics that are markedly different from the parent plant.

Q: What's this about trailing African Violets??

A: Many of us first "met" trailing AV's on this forum and became fascinated with them. They are no harder to grown than standard AV's, but there are some useful tips about training and shaping them.
"Advice on trailers from The Violet Gallery"

Q: Can I really grow a new African violet from a leaf?

A: Yes! It's fun, and it's easy! Rob has a step by step lesson with photos here,

Q: What are all these different types of AV foliage and blooms?

A: Leaves and blooms come in many forms. Refer to the next thread with “Links” below for Leaf Types and Flower Types. Scroll down to Leaf Types

Q: I still need more info where can I read more!

A. Gary Beck from San Francisco answers many of your questions and more!
Click the link to his Q & A page.

I need some advise and info on growing a trailing AV, is there a good link?

A. Yes! more by Gary Beck on growing and judging AV trailers can be found at this link.

Still want more? Take a look at the FAQ from Rob’s Violet Barn. It’s very comprehensive and a worthwhile read! and look at their illustrated ‘How To Lessons’

This message was edited Apr 17, 2007 8:16 AM

Northern California, CA(Zone 9a)




In this post, you will find links to Vendors, Outside sources of information and Plenty of AV tips and ‘How-To’s’

BUT remember, There is plenty of information right here on Dave’s Garden. You can find it by doing a Search. Click this link to begin your search

If you have a Link that you would like added to the list, please DMail me at to have it posted here.

If any links are no longer valid, broken OR if you have additional links to add, please DMail them to me along with the category you think they should fall under.

New Links ADDED Sept 30 2007 From Rob’s Violets; Culture Corner – Chimera Propagation. (more Great info in his Culture corner

AV Forum Member Photos

African Violet Culture & Care

A Quick Guide to Nomenclature (PDF file from AVSA)

Pests or Problems (AVSA FAQ page. This is an excellent starting point) (Dr. Optimara list of plant problems) (Photo Gallery of AV pests and problems) (Excellent info on Mites & the problems they cause) (Soil Mealies) (Colorado State Univ. Coop Ext. Pest Management – Excellent photos!)
What to do with new plants.

Starting AV's from Seed (Rachel’s Reflections seed page) (After you harvest seed, here’s a way to make your own seed packets) (Another version of seed packets)

Starting African Violets in Gel2Root

Hybridizing African Violets (LAVG site) (Metro Garden Site)

Growing the Mini and Micro Mini (Growing the Micro Mini by Fran Taylor)

Tips for Growing Trailers, and info about what makes a ‘Trailing Violet a trailer’

Potting Violets in the ‘Texas Method or Texas Style’ (this is a PDF file, AVSA file on Texas Style Potting, you will need Adobe Acrobat to view this) (Violet Reflection’s newsletter on Texas Style)

Propagation via ‘Bloom Basket’

Chimera's and Chimera Propagation (Texas A&M hort web site) (From Plants on Purpose) (Keiki Grow Propagation) (Chimera Propagation with Nice detailed Photos) (Excellent Photo How-To Propagation of Lucky Penny -Crown cutting) (More on Chimera Violet Propagation) (LAVG chimera propagation) (Bloom Stalk Chimera propagation) (Another file on BLOOMSTALK propagation – PDF file) List of Chimera AV’s with descriptions and images. Teaz Violets - Catalogue of Chimera AV’s From Rob’s Violets; Culture Corner – Chimera Propagation. (more Great info in his Culture corner

Leaf Types (AVSA photos of leaf type) (AVSA drawings of leaf type with descriptions) (Photo gallery of leaf types) (All you ever wanted to know about leaves) (Reed’s Greenhouse leaf type Photos) (Samples of leaf or flower types) (LAVG Blossom & Leaf photos once at this site, click the link on the left for Petal and Leaf type)

Leaf Problems (Reed’s GHSE leaf photos) (PictureTrail photos of leaf types & problems for ID)

Flower types (LAVG Blossom & Leaf photos once at this site, click the link on the left for Petal and Leaf type) (AVSC Blossom Photo Gallery) (AVSA drawings of blossom types with descriptions) (Samples of leaf or flower types) (Reed’s Greenhouse petal type .gig images
#1) (Reed’s Greenhouse petal type .gig images

Flower Problems


Propagation & Seed Planting (Good propagation photos – Worth a look!) (Propagating a Chimera) (starting a leaf) (micro propagation of AV’s)

Sports (A list of Registered AV Sports, If you have discovered a sport, look up the name of the original plant in the left column,
to see if the sport has been discovered and named by someone else.)

FAQ & General Care Information

Basic Care and Info (Basic Care via AVSA) (FAQ via AVSA site) (Rachel’s Site, you name it, she’s got it! Excellent launching point) (Metro-Garden’s AV growing tips of all kinds) (Rob’s violets -Culture Corner) (Optimara web site) (Lyndon Lyon AV Hints) (Lakes Area’s FAQ page) (General info) (Univ. of Nebraska’s General Info) (GardenGuide’s General Info) (Univ. of Florida General info) (Jimmie’s Painted Ladies Hints/Tips etc) (Nice site with a lot of general info) (Violet Showcase’s article on Rejuvenating Your African Violet, This is a PDF file, great step by step photos on ‘how to’ ) (Dave’s thread on Fertilizing your AV’s & NOT over fertilizing)

The Importance of Isolation (How NOT to infect your collection with new potentially sick plants)

Lighting Tips and Tricks This is a PDF file and requires Adobe software.

African Violet Tool Box – What tools and tricks do you use?

Software (First Class AV Software / PC only at this time)

Database of Violets not in First Class

Database of Canadian Hybrids/Hybridizers (PDF file)

Database of Mac’s Violet Hybrids

AVSA List of Russian African Violets, their hybridizer and photo links

African Violet Search Page (Search for AV's by name) (Search for an African Violet by name, where to find it for sale)

History and Taxonomy

Sources & Supplies –In no particular order;

Plants & or Supplies (Please Refer to Garden Watchdog for vendor information)

Pat’s Patch (Pat Hancock’s site, Hybridizer of the Buckeye Series)

Bloomlovers (primarily leaves, occasional plants, nice selection, located in Canada, ships to USA too)

Blue Fox Farm

Dave's Violets

Cedar Creek Violets

RainbowViolets Greenhouse

Bluebird Greenhouse

Lyndon Lyon Grenhouses

The Violet Barn

Cape Cod Violetry

Fay Wagman's AV List

Jo's Violets

Sells Optimara & EverfFloris Violets

Also Sells Optimara & EverfFloris Violets

Harborcrest Gardens

Violet Gallery


Belisle's Violet House

Pat's Pets

Kartuz Greenhouses (No violets, but sells Gesneriads)

Travis’ Violets

Bloomin’ Jungle

The Velvet Leaf

Cape Cod Violetry (Catalog order only)

Ruth Bann’s ‘Rebel’ violet web site.

Violets And Such (Specifically sells Chimera Violets via their site and eBay)

Web Sites with list of supplier links

** Gone out of business but still have their web site up Good source for plant info.


Blue Fox Farm (ships to both Canada and USA)

Violets O Ley (List of Canadian AV sources)

Mariela’s African Violets (Sells Humidity domes and supplies)


Dibleys of England (Good Source Of Photos-Info, Streptocarpus, Xachicodonia, Xachimenantha, Achimene, Aeschynanthus, Alsobia (Episcia),Chirita, Xcodonathanthus, Columnea, Kohleria, Nematanthus, Sinningia, Smithiantha )

England AV Nursery

Growing supplies; Pots, Soil, Fertilizers, Labels & Tags, Wicking material, etc…

Violet Showcase

Reed’s Greenhouse (online and Ebay sales)

Tea’s Nursery of Houston, Texas

Goose Gardens (presently NOT doing business via their web site)

Eleanor’s VF-11 Plant Food

Indoor Garden Supply

Secret Garden Rare Plants (Plastic Pots – all sizes, from thumb to 6” pan pots)

Novosel Enterprises (Pots)

Bluebird Greenhouse (Plants and Supplies)

Sir Amicks Self Watering African Violet Pots

Charley’s Greenhouse & Supply

Home Harvest

A.M. Leonard (via Amazon Store)
and their home site

Directories of links from other sites (Web site with multiple AV links and sources – Launching points for AV misc. info) (List of PDF and HTML files regarding AV’s – worth a look) (A nice list of AV/Gessie related links)

Plant Stand Gallery & Info (good step by step photos for a PVC type of light stand)

Trades - Packaging & Shipping Tips

Shipping tips Plant Packing primer (Daves Link to a packing Thread) (Rachel’s Reflection’s Packing Tips) (Rachel’s Reflection’s Shipping Tips) (Preparing LEAVES for shipping)

Trade Etiquette (Dave’s Garden Trading Primer – A must read!)

Clubs, Organizations and Forums (African Violet Society of America) (Dave’s Garden AV forum) (American Gloxinia & Gesneriad Society) (African Violet Society of Canada) (A List of Canadian AVS Clubs) (Swedish African Violet Society) (Wanganui New Zealand AV & Gessie Club) (The Violet Voice forum) (AV Brats forum) (International Yahoo AV & Gessie Forum) (AV Connection Yahoo Group) (African Violet Lovers Forum)
Photos and Galleries

Photos and Galleries (Some sites are Russian)
You may be able to translate some of these sites to English by using (Photo albums of AV’s & gessies from numerous AVSA shows) (Type the name of the Violet or gesneriad into the search feature for some Super photos!) (Reed’s Greenhouse Gallery of Photos) (Various Gessie Photos including AV’s) (Gallery of Japanese Chimera AV’s) (2006 Pinellas AVSA show)

PictureTrail private photo galleries of AV and some Gessies (someone named avjanet’s Photo Album of AV’s) (PictureTrail AV photo Gallery) (PictureTrail AV photo Gallery) (PictureTrail AV photo Gallery) (PictureTrail AV photo Gallery) (Amazing Photos & lots of them, Site is Asian/English) (2002 AVSA show Photos) (More 2002 show photos - different web site) (someone name MarjBcrp Online Photo Albums, Nice photos) (someone named Denise’s Photo Album of AV’s) (flower gallery of Silverglades) (Vancouver African Violet and Gesneriad Society 2005 Show Photos) (Japanese AV site with great photos)

Russian Gallery Sites – some look to be commercial, and some photos are superior for identification!) (Russian site with good photos) (Russian site with good photos) (Russian site with good photos) (Russian site with good photos) (Russian site with good photos) (Russian site with good photos) (Russian site) (Russian Site, Hundreds of photos with descriptions. looks to be a catalog, be sure to click all the links at the very bottom) and (Russian SiteHome page and catalog of mini violets) (Takes a bit to load but nice photos –Kazakistani site) (Russian Site, not a gallery, but a List of Links to Violet sites all over the world) (Russian AV forum with photos) (Belarus site, in English or French) (Swedish AV Society photos)


This message was edited Sep 30, 2007 10:46 AM

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