Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Saintpaulia, African Violet


This may be the first time I've had an African violet rebloom. I'm sure I've never had one repeat so luxuriantly. 

What I did this time that I probably didn't do so well in the past is keep it evenly moist, but barely moist. I set the pot on some wet gravel (above the water, not in it) to keep the humidity higher. It sat in a west window all winter, but I kept it out of direct sun for the most part.

But I think the most important thing I did differently was to keep it (not on purpose, just serendipity) underneath a lamp for several hours each evening.  Although I hadn't thought about it in years, I believe I read something once about African violets liking the warm end of the light spectrum that incandescent light bulbs provide.

Whatever has made it happy, I'm grateful for it. Houseplants always make me think of my grandmother -- I know she would be excited with me about the pretty blooms on this one.

Besides the rebloom, look what rooted! (It's a leaf from the same plant.) I watched this homely thing for literally months with no signs of anything happening. But it didn't rot, so I kept it. A few days ago, the reward! Two tiny leaves coming up from the base of the leaf stem!  Granny would be so proud of me.