Variegated Saintpaulias Are Exotic Among Violets. The Best Varieties, Home Care, Photo

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Variegated Saintpaulias Are Exotic Among Violets. The Best Varieties, Home Care, Photo
Variegated Saintpaulias Are Exotic Among Violets. The Best Varieties, Home Care, Photo

Video: Variegated Saintpaulias Are Exotic Among Violets. The Best Varieties, Home Care, Photo

Video: Variegated Saintpaulias Are Exotic Among Violets. The Best Varieties, Home Care, Photo
Video: Found My Wishlist Plant at Lowe's! String of Turtles, BOP, Variegated African Violet & More! 2023, June

Saintpaulias are back in fashion and are reversing the idea of cute, blooming violet crumbs that willingly live on any windowsill. Trends in the “market” of uzambara violets indicate a rapid increase in interest in plants with unusual leaves. More and more admiring glances are attracted not by unusual colors of flowers, but by exotic variegated colors of leaves. Variegated Saintpaulias are almost indistinguishable from all the others in cultivation. But bright flashes of light spots on the leaves completely transform their appearance.

Saintpaulia 'Rob's Outer Orbit'
Saintpaulia 'Rob's Outer Orbit'


  • What leaves do Saintpaulias have?
  • Leaf variegation - a unique mutation of Saintpaulia
  • Groups of variegated violets
  • "Little things" in the care that are important for variegated violets
  • The best variegated violets

What leaves do Saintpaulias have?

Violets are often called houseplants, the most varied in terms of flowering and the most boring in terms of greenery. For some reason, all Saintpaulias are perceived as dark-leaved, velvety-leaved, neatly rosette crumbs. But if you look closely not only at flowering, but also at the greenery, it is obvious that each variety has leaves that are actually special.

More rounded or oval, almost heart-shaped or narrow, with a wide base or narrow petiole, raised or almost lying, small, medium and large, with varying degrees of jagged edges, different shades of green and the effect of their fluff …

All Saintpaulias are individual and unique. But under "special leaves" in violets, they usually mean either plants with ruffles along the edge (beautiful wavy varieties), or new-fashioned variegated breeding novelties.

Unlike extravagant collectible leafy violets, which bloom inconspicuously and are grown only for the sake of leaves, variegated violets are full-fledged and familiar Saintpaulias, in which variegated colors of leaves are added to the "option" of luxurious flowering.

Saintpaulia 'Lucky Penny'
Saintpaulia 'Lucky Penny'

Leaf variegation - a unique mutation of Saintpaulia

Variegation is an atypical phenomenon for the uzambar violets, but not entirely a scientific achievement. These are natural genetic mutations that reduce the amount of chlorophyll in the cells of individual leaf areas and, in fact, disrupt the metabolic changes typical of Saintpaulias.

Opened the possibility of breeding variegated varieties thanks to an amazing random mutation in one of the largest collections of violets in the United States. Natural mutation remains the main tool for obtaining these unique multi-colored-leaf violets today. And selection, which strengthens and enhances the variegation in the offspring, allows you to get different variations of variegated patterns.

The variegation of Saintpaulias is not constant. The best variegated varieties in other conditions can completely lose light and colored areas, or vice versa, increase their area. The dependence on the quality of care and the stability of the conditions are the factors that determine the manifestation of this mutation on the leaves of the plant.

Variegated Saintpaulias are attractive because, unlike many other plants, each mutation in them is absolutely unique. In fact, variegation is exclusive to every plant. Their leaves can be stained both from the edges and from the petioles, change patterns during the aging process, offer different variations of patterns on each leaf and not be repeated exactly once.

Groups of variegated violets

Depending on how the patterns appear not only on individual leaves, but also on the entire rosette, all variegated Saintpaulias are divided into several groups:

  1. Mosaic varieties (trade name - Lilian Jared), in which variegation appears in the center or at the base of the leaf plates in the form of alternating spots, reminiscent of mosaics or marble ornaments.
  2. Bordered varieties (trade name - Tommie Lou) are neat and beautiful Saintpaulias, on the leaves of which light edges appear and seem to blur at the edges, without creating a strict effect.
  3. Crown varieties (trade name - Champion), in which variegation decreases from the center of the rosette to its edges, sometimes almost disappearing on the lowest leaves and always manifests itself differently on each leaf - from small speck-like specks to large spots, from rare hotel points to cover almost the entire sheet plate evenly or completely cover it.
  4. Chimeric mutations are the appearance on leaves of large spots of a different shade of green, usually in the center of the leaf.
  5. Spontaneous mutations occurring in varieties without the previously characteristic variegation.

Mutations during vegetative propagation are completely preserved in variegated violets, but with one secret: the cleaner the leaf is used for propagation, the stronger the patterns on the offspring and the stronger the plants themselves.

But it is not easy to get new bushes: due to mutations, small, almost white rosettes that form on old leaves during rooting become much more fragile and weak than in ordinary Saintpaulias. It is possible to separate them from the cutting only when they grow well, dark green colors will appear on young rosettes.

Saintpaulia 'Powwow'
Saintpaulia 'Powwow'

"Little things" in the care that are important for variegated violets

Variegation means not only decorative changes: on the leaves of violets, the area capable of full-fledged photosynthesis is also reduced. And the more variegated areas cover the surface, the more the plant depends on the quality of lighting and care.

In general, growing variegated violets is no different from growing all other Saintpaulias. But there are a few things to look out for if you want to keep your plants healthy and … variegated. After all, this mutation disappears very quickly in the wrong environment.

The first thing to do to guarantee variegated patterns is to clarify all the information about the plant when buying. Houses for variegated Saintpaulias need to recreate the same conditions in which they grew earlier - otherwise the patterns may disappear. For the rest, it is enough to take care of a few nuances:

  1. Lighting for the plant is critical. Variegated violets won't adapt to change with the same ease. Only good, diffusely bright illumination with 12 hours of daylight is a guarantee of full manifestation of patterns on the leaves of variegated varieties.
  2. The temperature requirements for variegated violets change only in one parameter - the maximum indicators. Saintpaulias with variegated leaves do not like heat and prefer to stay in a room with a temperature of no higher than 21 degrees.
  3. It is worth paying attention to one more little thing - the quality of the water. Variegated crumbs do not forgive misses and watering with non-soft water.
  4. When choosing top dressing, it is worth using not any fertilizers for violets, but only those in which the nitrogen content is lowered in comparison with potassium and phosphorus.
Saintpaulia 'Rob's Scrumptious'
Saintpaulia 'Rob's Scrumptious'
Saintpaulia 'Witch Doctor'
Saintpaulia 'Witch Doctor'
Saintpaulia 'Alamo Gold Fever'
Saintpaulia 'Alamo Gold Fever'

The best variegated violets

The first variegated variety from among the "mutants" appeared only in 1959, two years after the discovery of the mutation and testing its resistance in offspring. For a long time the white fringe on the leaves was considered as something extraordinary and almost half a century on the shelves could be seen only the first variegated variety that gave its name to all fringed varieties - " Tommy Lou» ('Tommie Lou').

But in the new millennium, the trends quickly changed, and the fashion for everything exotic and unusual has also affected the beautiful crumbs of Saintpaulia. Dozens of interesting variegated varieties have been actively bred both here, in Europe and overseas.

The best varieties of variegated violets are rightfully ranked as:

  • variegated crown variety "Private Dancer" with grayish, covered with light pink spots, almost completely covering the center of the rosette and purple flowers with a dense lilac fringe;
  • crown variety 'Rob's Scrumptious' with a watercolor transition of pink to cream and medium green tones on the leaves and candy pink flowers with white edges;
  • mosaic cultivar 'Crabapple' - slow- growing, with five to six shades of green, flowing from the brown edge to the whitish center of the leaves and contrasting with the dazzling bright pink double flowers;
  • mosaic variety 'Witch Doctor' with huge teeth along the edge of dark green leaves, decorated with cream ornaments and fuchsia pink double flowers;
  • fringed variety "Gold rush Allamo" ('Alamo Gold Fever') with spreading lines wavy light edges, white on old leaves and unevenly reddening in the center of the rosette, merging with cream flowers;
  • fringed variety 'Powwow' with dark scarlet simple flowers and even oval emerald leaves, decorated with a powdered border, thicker at the base of the leaf, thin on old leaves and covering almost the entire leaf plate except for the “feather” on the rest;
  • the fringed cultivar 'Buckeye Boysenberry' is a lilac large-flowered cultivar with wavy petals, the leaves of which are decorated with a speckled light pink border;
  • one of the darkest-leaved varieties 'Rob's Outer Orbit' with a white-creamy "streak" border, which is especially pronounced on young leaves and ultramarine flowers, occasionally covered with light pink spots;
  • chimeric sort of "Lucky Penny» ('Lucky of Penny') with olive-green spots on the feathers whitish light faded leaves and unique light purple flowers, which keep the dark-purple petals in the center of washouts.

Many plants that can be purchased at exhibitions remain unnamed, or even completely random mutations. But this does not diminish their beauty in the least.

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