Another Granny Plant?

For me, African Violets are the perfect houseplant — they’re about the only ones that I seem to be able to grow, and that the cat doesn’t bother.  (They aren’t toxic to kitties, fortunately, because Toby is a sniffer and a nibbler!)  So when hubby came home from the supermarket with this $1.00 find last night, I was pleased to have another splash of indoor color.  There are a couple of damaged leaves, but nothing that can’t be salvaged.  And best of all, as we head into colder, drier air, their thick leaves seem to tolerate indoor heating and the change of light.

For more information on the African Violet, you may want to explore The African Violet Society of Canada.


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

21 thoughts on “Another Granny Plant?”

  1. Nancy .. I don’t mind if they call this a granny plant or not because I love them too ! I only have one right now .. and it is a mini .. too cute for words and it blooms dispite my terrible neglect at times. I had the most intelligent cat at one time .. she ate all the flowers and left the leaves .. she knew what the best part was on this plant ? : )

    Joy, I was looking at some of the minis on the Canadian Society site today — they really are darling! I must read up on how to properly trim these plants…my Mom used to have a lot of them at one time and they always looked amazing. I’m sure she did nothing more to them than water them every so often. And yes, kitties CAN be smart, but I wonder about my boy…he destroyed a Golden Star cactus this summer! Ouch.

  2. I adore African Violets. I used to have a lot of them but this house doesn’t have the proper windows. Maybe in my next house I’ll be able to get back into them. You’re right, they are the perfect indoor plant!

    I have the same lighting problem, Jane Marie — our apartment has windows without sills in the bedrooms, and the living room has sliding patio doors. So I’ve put this little guy on a small table in front of the LR doors — hopefully it likes it well enough there. :)

  3. Hello Nancy

    A blog friend sent me in your direction. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I plan to add you to my list. Your site is beautiful. Your photography is amazing.

    Thank you so much, Pat, and I’m very happy to have your visit. I hope you’ll return often. :) I look forward to exploring your lovely blog, too.

  4. I’m sorry I haven’t been here for awhile. I always enjoy myself when I do! I really like african violets, too. I have a couple that do so well. My mom has a “violet-green-thumb!” ;-) I admire her plants. They nearly drown in blossoms. I’m going to see if she’d share some leaves so I can start my own. How’s your weather these days?

    Hi Shady! Nice to see you again. My Mom always did well with hers, too…maybe it’s a Mom thing. ;) Our weather has turned quite cool, but no really frosty nights just yet. We’ve had some beautiful sunny days, but cool and windy.

  5. I love these granny plants but have no luck at all growing them.

    My biggest challenge will be lighting, but from what I’ve read, lower light in an east window should be fine, and that’s where it is. We shall see what comes of the poor thing. :)

  6. African Violets have always been a favorite of mine but I’ve never had much luck with them. My understanding from my mother is that they are picky about light and location. Once you find that perfect spot you will have a lovely plant, but woe be the owner who can’t find the right spot. Sadly, I always fell into the latter category! Good luck with yours and keep us posted, dear!

    I’ll definitely keep you posted, Debi — it’s like a rescue plant! I feel badly for it. LOL!

  7. They are lovely little plants to grow and if I had the right light conditions I would definitely have them in my house. My grandmother has them on her windowsill in the living room and they are gorgeous in shades of purple. Looks like hubby got a great deal on a pretty houseplant.

    Yes, windowsills that don’t get a lot of heat would be ideal. Yup, for $1, you can’t go wrong!

  8. You’ve certainly made the Granny Plant look exotic and sensual…Hey, Grannies can be both of those…I forgot I am Granny Aged. Seriously, Nancy, that is a beautiful photo. Good deal your husband got there…even cheaper in US dollars.


    Hey Gail! I hope you like WP as much as I do. :) It takes a while to find your way around, but after that, it’s great! I am a Granny, so I figured I’m entitled to all the Granny plants I can get. Hee!

  9. Nancy, …I am the Gailae…this is my wordpress sign in….I have been working on transferring it!

    clay and limestone

  10. I bought one to try out last fall, just to see what the fuss was about, and it took a really long time before we were communicating effectively, but now that plant has been divided into five others, and I’ve bought another three (which then turned into seven). Definitely worth the early awkward period. Like Debi said, they seem to need a fairly specific location, and consistent conditions: mine are in artificial light and seem to like it just fine.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the violets Mr. S! I had some years and years ago, but that was in a house that had windows everywhere, so light wasn’t a problem. We’ll see how this poor little thing does. :)

  11. I confess I have not been passionate about African Violets in the past…but your passionate purple picture is making me rethink this.

    I guess that photo does look rather “sultry” doesn’t it? Passionate, even. They do add a welcome bit of color through our long winter. :)

  12. Hi Nancy, you have done a glamour shot of the violet, va va voom! I tried these in several houses and never got the hand of them, but thing they are so sweet and so easy to find at the stores too. I can grow orchids but not these LOL Must be a mental block. I think a table by the glass doors will be perfect for you to admire and care for yours. Of course you will be needing more! ;->


  13. Can you please correct my typos, jeez, what a careless typist I am. ;->

    I treasure your comments — I don’t even see the typos. :) You’re right, after talking to my Mom this morning, I think more violets are in order. She has a wonderful little plant stand just for small plants that would be perfect in front of the patio doors. ;)

  14. I love African Violets also, Nancy. They seem to thrive on neglect, hating wet feet, often re-blooming just when I think I should throw them out! Mine are happy on library windowsill (SW exposure) and on my sun porch. A lovely photo of this old-fashion (high-fashion) plant!

    I think most of my plants thrive on little attention — like my geraniums that just won’t quit. I posted a quote this summer: “Science…tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough. Too much attention, like too much feeding…inhibits and embarrasses them.” – Victoria Glendinning I suspect violets may feel the same way. :-)

  15. What do you mean granny plants?? I won’t tell you have many I have, but I will tell you they are blooming like crazy right now, after taking the summer off.

    I just realized that I am a granny, so what am I kicking about?

    LOL, Sandy — I think “granny plants” was a term Stuart coined…or at least that’s where I remember first reading it. He was referring to the old standards, such as geraniums, and I included African Violets in there. I’m a granny too, so it doesn’t bother me anyway, though it was never meant as a comment on age. :)

  16. I don’t happen to have any right now. But I have set up the lights and traveled to find them in different locales and the whole nine yards. They are such delicate, lovely little plants with so much personality.

    I don’t have any lights or anything — this little fellow will have to fend for himself and make do with whatever light is available. :)

  17. My Mother raised them all through my childhood. We often moved but you could always count on African Violets on some sunny kitchen window sill. Seeing them there reminded me of her. Thanks, Nancy. I gave her a call! All Moms salute you now.

    They bring back a lot of memories for me as well, Steve — I’m glad you gave your Mom a call! Moms love that, you know. :)

  18. I’m putting and African violet on my wish list right now.
    I’m much better with outside plants than inside. I forget to water inside ones. God takes care of the outside ones for me.

    Hi Jendi — thanks for your visit and your comment. I don’t think a violet will give you much trouble. You can always check out that link for tips on proper care — some of those violets (that enter competitions) are so beautiful!

  19. I love the sweet little blooms of African Violets. I have one on the kitchen counter that smiles at me daily.
    Do you have any in your collection planted in a violet pot? I have mine in one and it seems to be thriving in it.
    The photo you took is beautiful!


    Hi Karrita — I only have the one plant right now, at least. And I do not have a violet pot, but will certainly investigate that. Thanks for the tip!

  20. I used to have a lot of African violets, but eventually they all died due to neglect. I really should try some again; I always loved their colorful blossoms. I haven’t had many houseplants in years–too busy at the time to take care of them properly. I had a couple ficus trees that I loved, but the cats killed them each time–they thought they were another litter box:)

    Kitties can be so naughty! Toby hasn’t paid much attention to this little violet, which suits me just fine.

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