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Ideas for African Violet Growers

Become A Species Habitat   
One day the only wild african violets remaining will be in kitchens, offices or homes.  African Violets in the wild have becomee endangered due to habitat loss in their native region, the Usambara mountains in East Africa.

The first two African violet species were discovered in 1892, and named Saintpaulia ionantha (blue flowers), & Saintpaulia tongwensis (lilac flowers). All present day varieties are descendants of these two plants. We maintain a small stock of the original violets, and have arranged to make them available year-round through our friends at

Left: Species plants, photographed & grown by Ricky Haag.  Center & right: Saintpaulia ionantha & tongwensis close-up.
Love Violets? Try growing a species and help preserve their legacy! 

No Sunny Windows? Try Compact Fluorescents Lights (CFL)   
Would you like to have colorful blooms any time of year? It's easy.
Growing violets in artificial light is rewarding and inexpensive - no special set-up or gear is needed. All the items can be found easily at a regular store like Kroger or Walgreens.

Two basic desk lamps (clamp-lights work fine too) with Spiral Compact Fluorescent bulbs will keep a group of 3 to 5 violets blooming. These bulbs use 1/5 the energy and provide more light than traditional incandescents.

Keep violets 20 to 30 inches from bulbs, and rotate the plants twice a week so they don't bend toward the light source. If the leaves curl downward or the flower-stems are short then move the plants back a bit, these can be signs of too much light.

You can leave the light on 24/7 or on a day/night schedule. If you have a violet that won't bloom in your window, we suggest supplementing its light with a lamp. New flower stalks usually emerge in as little as 2 weeks!   



Nerd Out! Join The AVSA & Start A Local Club   

AVSA is the International Cultivar Registration Authority for the genus Saintpaulia and its cultivars. 
It’s the original “Plant Nerd” club which was organized in 1946, and incorporated on June 30, 1947. Since then it has grown to be the largest fandom devoted to a single indoor plant in the world.  The AVSA is also a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
It hosts the annual African Violet convention and publishes a bi-monthly full-color 64-page magazine, the African Violet Magazine. The AVSA convention offers workshops, lectures, and tutorials for members. Presentations range from tips on photography, growing show plants, gesneriads and more. Visitors can expect to see a showroom of award-winning plants, flaunting the endless diversity and eye-catching beauty of the African Violet. The vendor area gives local flower enthusiasts a chance to buy many rare varieties. 


Optimara African Violets
have been developed to be very easy to grow and enjoy. We encourage you to spend some time looking around this website for features and tools which you can use to get great results, everytime. You will find that by following our care instructions, you can get your violets to bloom repeatedly, year round.

Violets for Home or Office     

Buy Optimara at Retail

ID Your NOID African Violets

Additional Resources from OPTIMARA: 
Optimara African Violet CARE GUIDE 
• The Story of Optimara "EverFloris" Space Violets  
• Optimara Plant Resources, including Episcia, Begonia and Poinsettia