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Episode 84: African Violets 101 with Lisa from Houseplant Guru


african violets 101



African Violets are having a comeback, plant friends! You heard it here first. I know a lot of people feel like African Violets are their “grandma's houseplants”, but this flowering gesneriad brings cute fuzzy leaves and bright, multi-colored blooms to the tropical landscape of our urban jungles. What's not to love! They can sometimes be thought of as finicky, so Lisa the “Houseplant Guru” joins me to walk me through every step to African Violet success! Lisa is the author of Grow in the Dark: How to Choose and Care for Low Light Houseplants and Houseplants: The Complete Guide. I love her books (and the episode we did previously on Low Light Plants) and I love her!

Have you checked out the new Bloom and Grow Radio Youtube Channel? If you like this content, you’ll love the fun videos I’m making- this week I released a moss pole tutorial video that pairs with episode 42 of the podcast with Tylor from Arium Botanicals. You can also find planty home makeovers, behind the scenes tours of cannabis growers, Airplant 101, my hacks for traveling with plants  and more. Click here to watch and subscribe!


In this episode we learn:

  • Where African Violets Originate
  • How they grow outdoors
  • What is a gesneriad
  • Care: watering, light, soil
  • Best watering practices for African Violets
  • When to repot
  • How to Fertilize
  • Bloom Cycles- how to have your violet stay in bloom
  • Troubleshooting listeners from our Patreon Supporters!

Links mentioned in the episode:

AVSA or African Violet Society of America.

The national convention is in Little Rock, Arkansas this year, Sunday May 24-Sunday May 31.

It moves every year so if it isn’t close to you this year, next year, it may be. It is a huge event including a judged show (where you will see African violets like you’ve never seen) as well as a marketplace to buy all things violets, and educational presentations, too.

Self-watering pots:

Oyama pots- the wicking material is perlite. Here is an article about how to use them. There were only sites I’m not sure about to order them from. On the AVSA website there is a supplies button and it takes you to all the vendors for plants and supplies. That includes the Oyama and Dandy pot.

Plants: Two very reputable companies.




African Violet Photos of the topics discussed provided by Lisa!

Thank you Plants by Post for sponsoring today's episode! Plants by Post is a family-owned nursery located in Northern California cutting out the middleman and delivering beautiful and healthy  indoor and outdoor annuals and perennials directly to your doorstep, nationwide. I have used them several times and have been blown away by the quality of their plants, intention behind their shipping and love how environmentally friendly they are! Spring is here, Plant Friends! Time to stock up! Head to and use code BLOOM20 for 20% off your order!


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