African violets: Tonkadale’s legacy

In Annuals by tonka_admin

Tonkadale began as an African violet breeding greenhouse. Over the years, visitors came from far as wide to purchase unique violet selections. With time, violets faded into the backdrop to make way for fancy new annuals, perennials and easy care house plants.

However, African violets are a kind of sleeper plant and are experiencing resurgence in popularity.  Gardeners love their retro appeal and broad color palette.  They make a great gift, office pet, side table accent or collection.


Violets should be watered from the bottom. Place the plastic grower’s pot in water, the allow the plant to absorb the water for no longer than 30 minutes. Don’t get water on leaves.

Important: The water for your violets should be room temperature. If you use cold water, it will chill the roots of the plant. The leaves will curl down while the plant is absorbing the water.

Also, never use soft water, which has a higher saline content. This will decrease the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and water.


African violets thrive in moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light.  Having the correct amount of light  is vital for the plant’s health and overall performance.

However, darkness is important, too. African violets need at least eight hours of darkness each day in order to bloom. Florigen, which makes the plants flower, is produced in the light but does not trigger blooming until it is dark.

More detailed information about caring for African violets can be found on the Optimara Violets website.