Saintpaulia goetzeana (African Violet)

Scientific Name

Saintpaulia goetzeana Engl.

Common Names

African Violet

Scientific Classification

Family: Gesneriaceae
Genus: Saintpaulia


Color: Violet and white
Bloom Time: Flowers freely


Saintpaulia goetzeana is a small flowering plant that is used widely in home horticulture. It has up to 16 inches (40 cm) long stems with leaves that up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide. The unique flower is with five petals, where the top 2 are violet, and the bottom 3 are white.

Saintpaulia goetzeana - African Violet
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USDA hardiness zone 12a to 12b: from 50 °F (+10 °C) to 60 °F (15.6 °C).

How to Grow and Care

African Violets will thrive in bright, warm, and humid conditions. Keep water from touching their leaves, or it will leave brown spots. Remove dead flowers and leaves as soon as you see them to encourage a healthier plant. Regularly check the soil and plant to make sure there is no accumulation of dead leaves. This will encourage rot. Growing these houseplants is really a matter of balance; you have to make sure that the different factors that go into their cultivation all are weighted against each other. They should be kept in moist enough conditions that they don't dry out, yet still exposed to a fresh breeze to avoid letting them get too stuffy, and exposed to sunlight without damaging their leaf tips. Don't be discouraged if your African Violets suffer some damage — it's all part of the process.

African Violets do better when they are slightly underpotted. Repot only when necessary into a pot that is one size up. To repot these plants, simply grab the plant as a whole, lift it, and replace it into a larger container, making sure not to damage their root systems in the process. See more at How to Grow and Care for African Violets.


Native to eastern tropical Africa. There is a concentration of species in the Nguru mountains of Tanzania.


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