PERSIAN VIOLET

FAMILY: Gentianaceae | GENUS: EXACUM affine

TYPE
  • Annuals
  • Perennials
WATER
  • Regular Water

Plant Details

This is the little potted flower you see in the grocery store that looks so pretty you'd swear it was fake. Despite the common name, it comes not from Persia but from Socotra, an island off the Horn of Africa. Sweet-scented, star- shaped blue flowers with yellow stamens are held above inch- long, egg-shaped leaves. A white-flowered form is also available.

Persian violet is not a long-lived plant: you can keep it for 6 to 8 weeks at best, after which you should throw it away. To get the best and longest show, give it bright light (but not hot sun) and pick off faded blooms regularly. Allow the soil surface to become dry to the touch before watering; overwatering will cause the plant to collapse. Make sure the pot drains freely. Thrives in high humidity, such as near the sink or shower. Don't bother to fertilizethe plant won't last long enough to make it worthwhile. Just enjoy the brief beauty it brings indoors at any time of the year.

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