African violets have many attractions to those how grow them indoors as house plants. One of their pluses is that success can most certainly be achieved even under rather makeshift conditions.
For Hobby and Collectors
However, no one can dispute the possibilities of growing African violets as a hobby plant for collectors. Hundreds of varieties appear by name on lists gathered throughout the country and world.
I met a lady once who grew 74 different varieties in her small house in Pennsylvania. On her window sills at every exposure some two hundred plants always providing lovely color.
Another acquaintance, successfully propagates enough plants under home conditions to have a nice local business to bring in some extra money where he sells about five hundred plants per year at his regular “garage sales”.
Another wife of a nurseryman, began raising plants for her own interest and pleasure. Then under the pressure of friends, she started selling them. Today in one greenhouse, 28 x 72 feet, built just for her violets, she sells thousands of plants yearly.
For Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Comfort
In California a sufferer of arthritis for 10 years writes, “I have found physical, mental, and spiritual comfort in my violets. I raise them only for my own pleasure, to give my friends, and other shut-ins. They help to satisfy that creative urge denied me in other mediums of expression.”
In the South, the wife of a minister in Charlotte, North Carolina, turned her hobby into a serious business when her husband’s activities were curtailed by illness.
I know, also of enthusiasts that they were willing to travel over icy roads, not yet cleared by snow plows, just to sit in on a conference with other African violet fans! And so it goes via this pleasant violet path.
People everywhere enrich their lives, bear their burdens, broaden their interests, make new friends through corresponding with other enthusiasts online, through visits with other growers and even develop profitable businesses.
Wholesale commercial growers have also contributed to this attractive plant group. I’ve seen collections from Pennsylvania to Oregon and discovered… that when a grower once gets African violet fever, that feeling for other plants is quite likely to wane.