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African violets and collectible houseplants

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What we Grow

African violets

Lots of them.  Standard size African violets, miniatures, trailers and the species Saintpaulia (the native African violet).  More information on our "About African violets" page.  

Streptocarpus: Lots of blooms, ease of care

Sometimes commonly known as 'cape primrose', Streptocarpus aren't primrose at all, but gesneriads (African violet cousins).  They will bloom heavily year-round and can be quite spectacular.  Very easy to grow and bloom, they are great for windows, or in artificial light.  Many visitors to our shop will mistake them for orchids, they are so pretty!

Unlike violets, each leaf of a streptocarpus will produce 8-10 or more bloom stalks, sequentially, so that plants tend to stay in heavy bloom for long periods of time.  Culture and care of streptocarpus is the same as for African violets.  If you are going to grow just one other blooming houseplant besides violets, we would highly recommend trying steps.  They are very easy to grow and almost constantly rewarding.

Begonias: Beautiful foliage plants (they do bloom)

These are tropical begonias, meaning they should be grown as houseplants (unless you live in a tropical climate!). Care is simple, leaves will be prettiest when given good light and moderate humidity. Though begonias like an environment similar to that for African violets and other houseplants, their thinner leaves means they are less tolerant of extremes than other, thicker-leaved plants.  Duress will show in the form of brown edges or dull color.

Most important is consistent care and avoidance of extremes in light, heat, and watering. Even watering is important--don't overwater and rot them, and don't let them wilt which will damage the leaves.  A very coarse, porous, soil is helpful.  All our begonias will bloom, though our practice is to remove their flowers--letting plants focus on growing their beautiful, colorful, foliage.  Of course, this is your choice to make!

Episcia: The colorful relative of African violets

Often referred to as 'flame violets' or the 'chocolate soldier plant', episcia have the family's most beautiful foliage.  All grow quickly and easily.  Since episcias readily produce stolons, they can be grown as hanging basket plants, or just as easily as potted plants for the table top or windowsill.

Care is the same as for African violets, though extra warmth and humidity are appreciated, making them very suitable for terrarium culture (though this is not required).  Episcia are easily grown under either artificial or natural light.  Most are heavy bloomers when stolon growth is controlled.

Hoya: The easy growing, blooming, 'wax plant'

Commonly known as the "wax vine", hoya are a genus of more than 200 species native to Australia, the Southern Pacific, and Southeast Asia.  A succulent, they have thick, leathery, leaves and blooms that are borne in rounded, upsided-down clusters like umbrellas.  Many are wonderfully fragrant.

Hoyas are virtually neglect-proof, making them perfect for the novice or "black thumb".  They make a great hanging basket, and reside in most every window we have available.  We've also grown them with success under lights. One tip: do not remove flower bracts after blooming, since subsequent blooms will appear from the same bract.

Kohleria: An almost indestructible flowering plant

We grow a LOT of kohleria.  We like to say, "if you can't grow a kohleria, you can't grow anything".  They are so easy, it's a bigger problem to keep them from growing!

Kohleria are fast, vigorous, growers--don't be squeamish about cutting them back (and you'll have to). This will encourage them to branch, grow fuller, and flower even more.  They are rhizomatous, so new growth will also appear from the base, easily filling any size pot.  It also means that if you've "killed" your kohleria, don't toss the pot--it may yet resprout!

Freely produced blooms are fuzzy with spotted throats, and leaves are lush and velvety.  Kohleria will do well anywhere there is decent light, either under artificial lights or in windows (where we grow many of ours).  They will tolerate conditions that many other plants will not.  They make excellent "cut flowers" as well--put stems in vase with water, where they'll continue to grow and gloom almost indefinitely.

Miniature Terrarium Plants

These are truly small plants, that are small-leaved and have a small growth habit.  These terrarium plants are not "stripped" down or immature larger plants!  Because of this, they are perfect for use in terrariums or small containers, and with minimal maintenance, will continue to look attractive and not outgrow the space.

Plants we grow are suitable for bonsai, terrariums and/or dish gardens. Though most are suitable for terrariums, they do not need to be grown this way--we grow ours, uncovered, under lights with our other plants.

Because most of these terrarium plants are branching, or spreading, in habit, they can be grown as much larger plants--though they will always remain small-leaved.  With proper care and pruning, they can easily be grown as small as you choose.

Gesneriads: African violet cousins

The African violet (Saintpaulia) is only one member of a large family of plants, most of which can be successfully grown by the home gardener.  This Gesneriad family contains over 2000 know species, hundreds of which are being grown in cultivation.  This doesn't include the many newer hybrids.  

All of those we grow can be grown in the home, and all of them will bloom, some of them quite easily and beautifully!  Many are unusual or not commonly seen, are new to cultivation, and some can be found nowhere else.

Sinningia: Big and showy to tiny and adorable

Commonly (and improperly) known as "gloxinia", these tuberous gesneriads are both easy to grow and easy to flower.  The larger, and showier bloomed, S. speciosa hybrids are most familiar, but sizes and colors vary widely--from the very small (less than 1") to the very large.

All require generally the same care as African violets.  To keep them low and compact, provide them a bit more light, though they will bloom and grow with less.  If neglected, plants can die back--but once tuber has formed, will soon sprout again.  Sinningias will mature, and generally will have produced a tuber once they've begun to bloom.  Once the plant has formed a tuber it can always resprout, so long as the "eye" of the tuber (much like a potato)