African Violet Plant Size
African violet plant size vary in width significantly. According to the size of African violet plant, most often they are divided into:
- micro African violets, plant width less than 8cm (3 inches)
- mini African violets, plant width between 8 and 15 cm (3 - 6 inches)
- semi-mini African violets, plant width between 15 and 20 cm (6 - 8 inches)
- standard African violets, plant width between 20 and 40 cm (8 - 16 inches)
- giant African violets with plant width larger than 40cm (16 inches)
- trailing African violets with plant width larger than ... well, they can grow very large and often can be grown as waterfall of flowers ...
There are other classifications, too, but this one is most often used. For example, micro mini African violets are often mentioned - these are African violets with plant width less than 15cm (less than 6 inches).
Micro African Violets
Micro African violets are very small and fragile plants. Their leaves are sometimes less than 1 cm long (less than half inch) and flowers with their stalks are 2-3 cm tall (around one inch). Tiny plants, really tiny :o)
They grow up to 8 cm (3 inches) in width and can grow in 4-5cm (1.5 - 2 inches) diameter pots - sometimes 5cm (2 inches) pots are even too big!
Caring for micro African violets is basically the same as for other African violets - just due to the size, their soil must be more often watered, but soil must not be soggy, or their roots can start to rot. Keep air around your micro African violets humid.
Propagation of micro African violets is mostly done by rooting leaves - you need soil with finer grains to achieve better contact with small leaf stem - rest is just as same as with rooting leaf cuttings of larger cousins.
If you would like to give micro African violets a try, buy grown, full sized plants with flowers just starting to blossom. It will take some time to adjust to the size of the plant, especially if you had only standard sized African violets.
Mini and Semi-mini African Violets
Mini (8-15 cm) and semi-mini (15 - 20 cm) African violets are probably the most common African violets these days (followed by standard sized African violets) - they require little space, they are easily worked with, have plenty of varieties around (petal varieties, color, leaf shapes etc), they are easily rooted and propagated, grow very well under artificial light etc.
If you would like to have a plant or two of African violets (for example, for office), go for mini or semi-mini - it can be grown easily on the table with almost no care.
Standard African Violets
Standard sized African violets were for a long time most common African violets - hence the name. They are still very common and very often first type of African violets one gets.
All general advices regarding having and growing healthy African violets are applied to standard sized African violets.
Giant African Violets
Giant African violets can grow over 40cm (16 inches) in diameter with 10-12 cm (4-5 inches) long leaves - size of a smaller bush :o)
Although they are relatively big, don't forget that they are still very gentle plants that require plenty of care - proper sunlight, watering, humidity, temperature, fertilizer etc. They can happily grow in 20 cm (8 inches) pots, with their leaves and flowers all around (appearing similar to trailing African violets).
Their leaf stems are relatively easily broken, so keep kids and pets away from these (and any other) African violets :o)
Rooting and propagation of giant African violets is just as any other African violet. Even better, sometimes one can purchase or obtain in some other way an African violet plant without ever thinking about it's size - and after year or so, you have a small bush blooming in your room :o)
Trailing African Violets
Trailing African violets are special kind of (usually) standard or giant African violets.
Trailing African Violets have a naturally crawling, spreading or trailing habit - hence the name. These African violets produce branches or "runners" - similar to strawberries - from the central stem. For 'ordinary' African violets, it is important to remove runners (in this case they are called 'suckers') since they weaken central plant and they produce no or almost no flowers. Trailing African violet runners grow along the soil surface, rooting where they touch the soil surface and branching as they grow. They can be grown either as ground-covers or more often as hanging plants. Their leaf and flower size remain constant, while size of the plant is limited only by the practical reasons. Caring for trailing African violets is identical to that of other African violets - except grower don't remove runners/suckers from the main plant.