Saintpaulia Species, African Violet

Saintpaulia ionantha

Family: Gesneriaceae (ges-ner-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Saintpaulia (saint-PAWL-ee-a) (Info)
Species: ionantha (eye-oh-NAN-tha) (Info)
» View all varieties of African Violets
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Large Standard


under 6 in. (15 cm)

Bloom Color:


Flower Characteristics:


Leaf Shape/Type:





Leaf Texture:


Leaf Color:

Red Back (or red reverse)


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:



May be propagated by seed

May be propagated by cuttings (leaf, sucker, or bloom stalk)

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Foliage Color:

Medium Green

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Huntsville, Alabama

Jones, Alabama

Lanett, Alabama

Scottsboro, Alabama

Ketchikan, Alaska

Phoenix, Arizona

Anaheim, California

Brea, California

Capistrano Beach, California

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

Monrovia, California

Morgan Hill, California

Oak View, California

Ontario, California

Temecula, California

Bartow, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Winter Garden, Florida

Athens, Georgia

West Des Moines, Iowa

Gonzales, Louisiana

Youngsville, Louisiana

Alden, New York

Deposit, New York

Newburgh, New York

Columbus, Ohio

Roff, Oklahoma

Simpsonville, South Carolina

Wolsey, South Dakota

Arlington, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Marble Falls, Texas

Plano, Texas

Roanoke, Texas

Taft, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 14, 2016, rossbynum from Houston, TX wrote:

I have almost 20 African Violets at my house. There's a secret to keeping them. First, plant them in a pot one size smaller than you think they'll need, and make sure it doesn't have a drain hole. Place in a window where it will get bright light, but not necessarily direct. Morning sun typically works best. Water only once a week when completely dry. Sometimes I wait until it looks slightly wilted (the leaves droop a little), and then water...but do NOT over water. Violets do NOT like to be overwatered. I feed mine about once a month or so. Follow my steps and they'll bloom continuously all year!


On Jul 17, 2015, charmaineTest from Lakewood, CA wrote:

love that plant


On Aug 20, 2013, foxhead128 from New York, NY wrote:

From my experience, at least, it's hard to keep an African Violet looking good. I bought mine a few months ago, and its outer leaves have become progressively paler and yellower over time. I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing wrong. Other than that, it seems to be doing okay, I guess.


On Jun 21, 2013, lori_k from Tulare, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I started with three African Violets a couple years ago (don't know the varieties), now, after dividing some and starting some from leaf cuttings, they are taking over my house! My violets do very well and bloom throughout the year with continual feeding with VF-11 liquid plant food. That's all I do is feed and water them and give them good light and they bloom nicely.


On May 11, 2010, armenia from LA, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

A great plant that can bloom year round indoors. If you can just get the amount of water right (not too much, not too little) it will live for years.


On Apr 9, 2009, riddler from Saint Petersburg, FL wrote:

My neighbor divided her African Violet last year and gave half to me. During the first year, the plant bloomed occasionally but only a few flowers at a time. Now the plant is suddenly blooming profusely and looking very happy, as you can see in the photo. I think it's because I recently moved it to a spot where it gets the perfect amount of sunlight (in an east-facing window) and also because I've been trying hard not to give it too much attention. I water it from the bottom only when the soil is very dry or when the leaves start looking a little droopy. The flowers are so beautiful. I love to take cuttings and put them in bud vases.


On May 31, 2008, moma4faith from Huntsville, AL wrote:

This has been such an easy and rewarding plant to grow. Very easy to propagate and I have started several plants from my original plant to give as gifts. Can be started in water, or by clipping a stem, wetting it and adding a little root compound, and potting. Pretty soon, baby leaves start to appear. I always water from the bottom and keep my leaves dry. For new plants, I mound the dirt in the middle of the pot to plant the first stem and water around it to get the plant started.


On Feb 8, 2008, meg_e from Dallas, TX wrote:

I personally like the white and pink flowers best because they look glittery if you look at the up close. The leaves are wonderful to feel but hate to be watered so water the saucer and let the roots soak it up.

Plant is also easy to propegate. Simley take off one of the leaves at the base and place it in a little water. Be sure only the stem of the leaf is in the water, not the broad part. It will soon enough sprout roots followed by baby leaves surrounding the roots. Once this happens its time to pot your new baby! The african violet mix they sell at home depot is good for potting. Bury the roots and leave the leaves out. Once the plant grows big enough you can clip of the mama leaf and re-clone it if you wish!

Happy planting!


On Aug 22, 2007, Snowrose from Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

Saintpaulia ionantha is a natural species Saintpaulia. Seed sown from this species will produce true as this is not a hybrid.

The official description from the African Violet Society database is as follows:

"S. ionantha (S 5) 1893 (H. Wendland) Single blue-violet, 4-5 per peduncle, very floriferous. Dark green, pointed, heart-shaped, tends to spoon, thick, quilted, glossy, slightly serrated, long red-brown petiole/red back. Large. Saintpaulia species"


On Aug 8, 2001, tiredwabbit from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Loves Humidity. Don't get the leaves wet, then put them back into the sun, you will burn them. The burn mark will almost look as if a part of the plant has melted.