About Persian Violet
The Persian Violet has been a popular houseplant for decades. And with good reason—it’s easy to grow and beautiful in any setting. It adds color to your garden plus it helps maintain the refreshing nature ambiance by fabricating sweet aromas all around the place.
|Scientific Name||Exacum affine|
|Common Names||Persian Violet|
|Plant Type||Annual, biennial, herbaceous|
|Mature Size||6–18 inches tall, 6–12 inches wide|
|Sun Exposure||Partial, Indirect|
|Soil Type||Moist, well-drained|
Exacum affine is an herbaceous perennial, commonly known as Persian violet. It is a tropical plant that produces mounds of foliage, small delicate flowers, and strong fragrances. Each lilac-blue bloom has a golden-yellow center that grows to be 6 to 10 inches tall and prefers full shade locations. As the growers say, its low maintenance and tough nature make it the perfect desk plant.
So, we’ve been talking a lot about biennials and perennials lately, but what are they exactly?
Biennials are plants that take two years to complete their lifecycle. This means that they germinate, grow, and flower one year, then go to seed the next. Although it’s not always the case (some biennials will only live for two years), most of them can be kept alive for multiple years by treating them as perennials.
Exacum affine is one of those plants that can live for several years, but usually doesn’t—mostly because people don’t realize it’s a biennial! It looks like other annuals and also behaves pretty much like an annual, so it’s often tossed out after flowering. If you want to save it for another year, cut off the flowering stems and keep it above 60°F/16°C during its dormancy period. You’ll see new foliage appear in the second year and you can collect its seeds then.
Cultivation of Persian Violet
Persian violet is a good choice for beginners. They are quite compatible with different types of soils and other flower gardens. The blooms also tend to last a long time, so you can enjoy them for a while. Typically, the plant only blooms twice a year, but don’t let that scare you away. Once they start to bloom, it’s such an amazing sight.
Light Exposure: Exacum plants require a lot of indirect light
Whether or not you’ve got plant-care experience, you’ve totally got what it takes to keep a Persian Violet happy and healthy.
For starters, make sure your pot/container has a drainage hole in the base. This will allow water to drain out of the pot when you water your plant and help prevent root rot. Next, fill the pot about halfway with soil, then place your plant in the pot with the roots spread out evenly. Fill the rest of the way around with soil until it is flush with the surface of your plant’s base.
Now onto placement! Persian Violet loves a good dose of afternoon sunlight, so set them up on a windowsill that gets some sun in late afternoon. However, avoid placing the pot or container in a location that receives full midday sunlight. The strong UV rays may harm the delicate plant. The flowers do best at temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15-21 degrees Celsius), so keep that in mind when choosing where to keep yours!
Care of Persian Violets
One of the most important things to remember when caring for this plant is that it doesn’t like being moved around. But don’t let that discourage you—if you give it the right care and conditions, it will reward you with beautiful purple blooms.
If you do decide to plant your Persian violet directly in the garden, try to find a spot that has light shade or dappled sun (possibly beneath a tree), and be sure the soil is well-draining. If you prefer to keep your plant in its nursery pot, just make sure it’s not in full sun, and water whenever the top inch or two of soil feels dry.
When your plant starts blooming, remember that those buds are sensitive—try not to move it around too much at this time. And if possible, avoid handling the plant at all when its flowers are open. It’s also important to use filtered water instead of tap water on all African violets, so as not to damage their delicate leaves.
Pest and Disease Control
Keep it Organic
By vigilantly monitoring your garden at least once a week for signs of insect or disease problems, you can catch problems before they become serious infestations. Always inspect both the tops and bottoms of leaves for evidence of plant damage. Most insects and diseases present some sort of damage symptom.
Once you spot damage symptoms on one plant, start looking carefully at all other plants in the same family, especially if they are in the same bed.
A few things to consider:
Don’t rely on pesticides. They are toxic to humans and pets. Some are not selective and kill beneficial insects as well as harmful ones. Others kill only certain insects or fungi but have little effect on others that may be attacking the same plant at the same time. Most pesticides have been developed to work best with large-scale monoculture farming where it is easy to apply them uniformly over large areas. In a home vegetable garden, they may be difficult to apply accurately and at the recommended intervals.
Keep Your Soil Healthy
You can improve the quality of your soil by adding organic matter like manure and compost every year. Make sure that you’re giving your plants enough water and nutrients, which they can get from the soil if it’s high-quality, but if it’s not, you may have to supplement with organic fertilizer. Adequate nutrients will prevent plants from competing for it. Pulling a few weeds every garden visit will be helpful too.
Disposal of Diseased and Infested Plants
Plant diseases are very diverse in their nature and severity. Some can be caused by pathogens such as fungi or bacteria and some can have viral origins. Plant diseases can also be classified depending on what category of the plant is affected (the roots, stems, leaves, flowers) and whether or not it affects the whole plant or just individual parts. The symptoms of these diseases can range from physical signs like spots on leaves to changes in nutrient uptake.
Immediate removal of diseased plants will prevent the virus spread-out to its neighboring plants.