Scientific name: Saintpaulia
Saintpaulia are from Africa as their common name suggests. They are nice and small flowering plants with vibrant multiple colors, that brightens up offices and small areas. It is propagated by dividing the cluster of plants into two. Saintpaulias are indoor plants and will not survive on your balcony. Once the flowers die, leaves start turning yellow, then most people discard the plant. These plants are moderately difficult to maintain.
These plants do not enjoy direct sunlight. Put them 1 to 2m away from a window.
It is very important that Saintpaulia be kept in a cool room. If the plant is kept in a hot and dry environment, leaves turn yellow.
These plants are peculiar in the sense that they are irrigated from the bottom rather than from the top. Fill a shallow plate of water under the pot, letting the plant stand freely. After 10-15 minutes the plant would have taken the amount of water needed. Throw out the rest of the water if still not absorbed. Repeat whenever you find the surface of the compost dry. Overwatering will kill the plant.
Be very careful when watering these plants, because any drop of water that accidentally falls on the foliage, will be caught in the hairy leaves causing bacteria invasion and botrytis, which is the decaying of the leaf.
Feed fortnightly when in flower. Never spray the leaves with plant food.
Varieties of African Violet available in store