African Violet Flower ‘Yvonne Decelles’

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I’m a bit of a closet African violet fan. More than any other plant, African violets seem to have a demographic, and I am very much not it. My interest began with the success I had with a couple of plants while living in a dorm room in my first year of university. I already had the plants and didn’t think much of them until I discovered that they loved the hot and humid environment in my room. From that point on I have always had at least one. I currently have six, which is all the space I can afford to dedicate to them.

If I had more space you can bet I’d have lots more. I’m addicted to the variegated varieties with frilly leaves. I can’t resist the African Violet Society tables at events like the CNE. The society sells leaf cuttings of all sorts of interesting varieties for easy propagation — only 2 bucks a pop. All but one of my current plants were acquired in this way. These days I just repeat the mantra, “Walk away, don’t even look at those cuttings.” and buy another bulb I don’t have space to plant at the bulb booth instead.


Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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5 thoughts on “African Violet Flower ‘Yvonne Decelles’

  1. So great to hear of your African Violet love. I always feel a bit love/hatey with the ones I have. I get seduced by the electric blue flowers (enhanced by the flourescent lights in the shop) and then I get them home and they always look a little diminished.
    Plus they are so hard to figure out how to display. Mine currently are all leaves, no flowers. Not sure how to get them to be more flowery.
    I love the mantra: Just walk away, don’t even look at the…..(could be substituted for so many gardeny things) Good tip about the CNE.

  2. Sarah: My biggest tip in getting them to bloom: they are one of the few plants that like to be pot bound. I only repot when they are no longer benefiting from cramped quarters.

    I just checked today and all of my plants are putting out blooms right now. This was only the first!

  3. Gayla..I love your blog–so nice to see your note about African Violets. The one pictured is lovely, for sure! One of my favorite plants, really–even named our daughter, who was born at the end of February, Violet Mae.


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