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African Violets

African Violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) are small flowering plants found on rocky, mountainous terrain in Africa. Most of them are relatively easy to grow and constant flowering under right conditions, make them the most suitable plant to grow in offices and homes.

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Their leaves are are rounded to oval, and some are heart-shaped, are fleshy and hairy. They grow in a rosette from long petioles with cluster of flowers emerging on top. There are over 2500 cultivars to choose from and they are classified into major categories, based on size and flowers. There are the smallest, Micro African Violets spanning over 5cm and there are Large African Violets which can be 30cm across!

They  require cool environment and high humidity in order to flower. I have little success with them at home, where growing conditions are windy and warm. However they started growing vigorously and flowering well when I shifted them into my office.

African Violets are not fussy plants and do not need much maintenance. Water them when the media is dry and trimming suckers and leaves are all you need to do. Therefore, they are good candidate of office plants!

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