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. We grow many more than what is pictured above.
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.
Who we are
We’ve been growing and exhibiting since 1975, and have been in business shipping to satisfied customers world-wide since 1985. We hybridize many of our own plants–are famous for our ‘Rob’s’ and ‘Ma’s’ series of African violets, and our ‘Bristol’s’ series of gesneriads (African violet relatives).
We grow our plants in a renovated barn, circa 1900, with an attached glasshouse and other buildings. At any given time, we have 30,000+ plants being grown. We grow plants because this is what we love to do. View the “about” page to learn more about us.
What we do
We hybridize and grow all the plants we sell–we don’t buy from other growers and resell. This means we know what each plant likes to grow best from personal experience. We also collect the best and most unusual hybrids from other growers, then propagate them for sale, as well as collect and grow many rare species not previously grown in cultivation. We rarely travel or attend a show and come home empty handed!
We also try to share our passion for growing plants with others, and to educate those new to our hobby. We encourage everyone to share their experience with others–the spread the “cheer” and their knowledge. View our “blog” pages or subscribe to our monthly newsletter to read more.
What we grow
We specialize in African violets and their relatives (gesneriads), and other plants suitable for the indoor home environment. Most are of a manageable size (can be grown on a windowsill or light stand), and many will bloom readily in the home.
We also grow a huge, and diverse, collection of miniature and terrarium plants–every plant you need for a terrarium, miniature landscape, or fairy garden. Our plants are true miniatures, not just cuttings of a large plant that will quickly outgrow your container. Safe for use in vivariums. Not harmful to frogs and reptiles. We only use organic, nontoxic, products when growing these plants. For an overview of what we grow, view the “what we grow pages”, or better, our online catalog!
How to grow
Though we’d like to sell you plants (or perhaps we have) use this site as a reference–to learn about the plants you grow (or want to), or to learn how to grow them better. Use our “search function” to answer your question–for example, type “repot African violet”, if this is what you need to know. You’ll be directed to relevant information on this topic, or any other. Our “plant care” pages contain much useful information, including “how to” lessons, and a FAQ (frequently asked questions) library.
If you’ve purchased a plant from us, and are having difficulties growing it, or simply need more information on its care, we can always be reached by email or phone during business hours.
Where to find us
Visit us–our shop and glasshouse are open to the public year-round. Hours and directions can be found in the “about” pages. We also attend (and sell at) a number of shows during the year, throughout the United States. Dates of these upcoming events will be listed in the sidebar at right.
Visit our “facebook” and “pinterest” pages (links found at page top). Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, “VioletsFun”. Join a society–we are longtime members for many plant societies and interest groups. There is no better way to learn than to share your experiences with a fellow grower. We offer incentives to join (a free plant with an AVSA membership) and encourage members to participate and exhibit (coupons for show winners).
Want to share your knowledge or growing experience (or want to educate us)? Many pages of this site allow comments. We’ll post those that are relevant to the page being commented on.