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Mini AFs in kitchen window


By balcony


Mini AFs in kitchen window

At the beginning of April 2013 I received some tiny pots of mini African Violets from a man on another gardening forum I post on. I had previously sent him an Amaryllis bulb with a bud just out of the neck of the bulb with which he was very pleased, never having grown them before.

Here is the first photo I ever took of them the same day they arrived:

The rest of the photos show them at different moments during the summer this year. As they are in the kitchen window it is only feasible to take photos from the outside as the contrast between the outside light coming in makes the plants far too dark to be able to see properly.

I’m going to include a photo from each month, that way we can all appreciate how they have developed over the course of the year (It will also serve me as a record!)

The first photo shows them recently put on the new shelf in the kitchen window …


… which my wife promptly “dressed up”!

Much nicer looking I must say! We men are often lacking in this “department”!


These mini African Violets have done themselves proud flowering most of the summer.



Unfortunately I’ve lost about 3 of the original plants I received back in April this year. But the survivors are still looking good! I’m very pleased with them because this is the first time I’ve ever grown these little beauties!


Up until this year I’ve only ever grown the ones you can find very frequently in the supermarkets, nothing wrong in that of course, but the minis have a charm of their own that their bigger cousins don’t share.


I hope they will survive the winter where they are. All the bigger ones on the windowsill itself have survived for years without my losing them, except to overwatering on occasions. Even though I know they hate to stand in water I sometimes forget them after watering. So far I haven’t done that with these little “babies”.


Here is the very last photo of them that I took at the end of November this year:


More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Lettuce 'Winter Gem' sown today

Next post: Amaryllis,"Red", has begun showing its 1st bud!



Nice selection you've got there....

3 Dec, 2013


Interesting to see all the different ones. It's nice that you have such success with them :o)

3 Dec, 2013


I wasn't aware there were different kinds of African Violets. You've got yourself a nice collection there!

3 Dec, 2013


Well done you, have not had a great deal of success with these, I am not very good with house plants....hope they make it through the winter ok......

4 Dec, 2013


Aren't you clever to grow them so well? I've never been able to keep African Violets for any length of time, I'm ashamed to say. Yours all look wonderful.

4 Dec, 2013


Thank you everyone for your comments I always enjoy reading them! :-))

Thank you, Holly, I'm glad you think so!

@Hywel: Sorry to read (on another post of yours) you don't have any success with them. I know some people just can't grow some plants - for whatever reason. For example I can't keep Lavenders at all on my balcony for more than a few months at least! My wife & daughter have both bought me some lovely plants over the years & I've even bought one or two myself - they all die after a few months! ;-(( Perhaps I overwater them - at least that seems to me to be the only reason why they die on me. I grew some from seed on the allotment a few years ago & brought home 3 or 4 nice looking plants - they died as well! Yet the plants on the allotment that have survived are growing & flowering still!

Hi Scottish, I knew there were miniatures but had never seen them in the shops. These, as I mention above in my blog, were sent to me by a man in Scotland who, like me, posts on a different gardening forum. I had commented on a photo of his & he offered me some plants! I offered him one of my Amaryllis in exchange. Neither of us had grown the other's plants before. Though I've actually had AFs growing for me practically the 12 years we've been back in the UK. They were all the ones you can buy in your local supermarket. (See the 4th photo from the end.)

Thanks DD. Sorry you can't grow them either. They grow well for me but when I look at the care experts recommend for them ALL mine should have died years ago - in actual fact they shouldn't ever survive for more than a few weeks after being bought! I was rather worried at first but seeing they did survive my treatment I was able to propagate them. I've got them to root in water as well as in compost. Just a few weeks ago I potted up some leaves that had formed a nice root system & had baby plants. They look to be growing strong still. They are in the small south-east facing window in our living room.

@Waddy: As I've said above I'm no good at looking after Lavenders, for instance, they always seem to die on me after a few months at most. I don't think you need to be ashamed of it. Just go with what will grow for you. Don't try & grow something that you don't seem to be able to maintain.

5 Dec, 2013


Thanks Balcony, I appreciate that :)

8 Dec, 2013


You're welcome! :-))

10 Dec, 2013


Thank you. I've had another look :o) I can't make out which one it is but I do like them. I think they are more attractive than the big ones :o)

11 Dec, 2013


Hywel, in most of the photos it's the biggest plant with very dark green leaves & very dark blue flowers. The leaves are also a little twisted & not straight/smooth like other AVs. Generally it's the2nd or 3rd from the right. They used to get moved around when I was watering them so they are not always in the same position in every photo.

Even so you commented on a photo that only shows this particular one when I put up photos of each mini AV individually in my photos.

15 Dec, 2013


Nice, I love them and have had some success. They seem to do for me a spotty performance. Neglect is one way to get them going. let them get really dry and then a spec of fertilizer and warmish water. They love that. I saw a great collection sitting on a radiator!

22 Jan, 2014


They grow well for me even if at times they are neglected. I'm talking about the shop bought ones though. This is my first year growing these minis. I've lost about 3-4 plants but the others are still alive & seem to be doing fine.

24 Jan, 2014


great blog, Balcony. great selection of plants. love the kitchen window shelf- gives me ideas!

I boguht one of the "supermarket" AVs when I first moved into my prevous flat - in fact I bought two, one to give to the council person who'd been so helpful during the move. It died the week before I moved out (maybe cause and effect), so it lasted three years.

Definitely going to think seriuosly about the mini AVs - and some shelves to put them on!

15 Dec, 2014


Thanks, Fran! :-))

Glad to hear you've bought some "supermarket" AVs! :-)) The large flowered hybrids always look fantastic & I get my plants to flower for several years. I propagate them as well & these also grow on to flowering!

I'm glad also that my blog has inspired you to put up a shelf in a window to put some on. :-)) Be careful what direction the window looks out on as a West/North West direction seems to suit them to a tee! Their leaves get sunburnt very easily which turns them white/yellow/brown before they curl up & finally die. It's happened to me in a South-East facing window as well as in a South-West window! Avoid South at all costs as well as South-West, these directions will spell death for your plants! As I don't have North facing windows I don't know how they fair in that aspect.

Just yesterday, (18th December), I knocked over one of my mini AVs in the small kitchen window when I went to water them. The fall broke off several leaves, :-(( but I picked them up &, as I have no compost at present, put them in a jar of water. They should root in a few months Then I will have some more plants! If you like I could send you a few plants that I'll have potted up in the spring.

19 Dec, 2014


never had much luck at getting it to flwoer again, much less think of propogation; i seem to be better with plants than with flowers. obviously I need to pay more attention!

I used to pop knocked-off bits into water and hope; the spider plants bits i just used to make a hole in the pot iwth a finger, stick the piece in,a nd ifrm the soil around it. which may be why I ended up with over a dozen baby spiders!

19 Dec, 2014

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