Q:

What is a Persian violet?

A:

Quick Answer

The Persian violet, or Exacum affine, is a perennial flowering plant that is native to Yemen and thrives in tropical to subtropical regions. It is generally grown indoors in the United States, but it can survive outside in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 5 through 11. Persian violets are mound-shaped, and they feature shiny foliage and tiny, purple flowers with yellow centers.

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Full Answer

Persian violets require plenty of water and bright, indoor light. They thrive in humid environments and need to be misted on a weekly basis. Liquid fertilizer can slightly extend their blooming time, and well-drained soil can prevent root rot. They are usually short-lived plants, blooming profusely for three to four months before they die.

Attempts to save the plant for another blooming season are generally met with failure. However, some growers repot the tuber when the plant goes dormant in order to attempt to make it bloom again later. If the Persian violet survives, it generally has fewer flowers that are smaller in size. The dormant plant should be set in a cool, moderately lit room, and watering should be ceased until the new leaves begin to grow. Once the new growth appears, the plant may be placed back in a southern- or western-facing window for enjoyment until the blooming season ends.

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