Violet "Optimara": home care

“Violet Optimara” is a name that unites more than 100 million copies of varietal violets (senpolia), supplied annually to stores in the USA and Europe. The breeders of the American company "Optara" annually add new items to a huge collection of varieties bred during the existence of the company. “Optara” also improves and popularizes ways to care for violets. They will be discussed in this review.

Botanical description of the plant

The name of the company is derived from two words: "Optima" - the best and Usambara - the name of the mountain in Tanzania, on which the first senpolia was found. The company's catalog, updated annually, regularly presents about 100 different varieties.

The company "Optima" proposed a classification of violets by the diameter of a leaf outlet:

  • miniature (up to 15 cm in diameter);
  • semi-miniature (up to 20 cm in diameter);
  • standard (up to 40 cm in diameter);
  • large (more than 43 cm in diameter).

All violets do not take root too deeply and have a fibrous root system. A leaf rosette develops near the ground itself. As it grows, it rises above the soil on a small stem. Leaves can be painted in any shades of green: from light to very dark.

The shape of the leaves of violet "Optima":

  • smooth;
  • heart-shaped;
  • oval;
  • with a pointed edge.

Features of the surface and edges of the sheet plate:

  • jagged edge (from light to strong jagged);
  • wavy edge;
  • shaggy sheet plate;
  • convex or flat sheet plate.

In nature, the senpolia blooms with white five-petalled flowers that rise above the leafy hat. Pedicels can be of different lengths. The number of flowers depends on the variety and on the conditions in which the plant is located. The color scheme is very diverse. Some modern species can boast of the presence of several shades or the uniqueness of colors in different colors of the same saint.

Did you know? Senpolias are not true violets and have a number of differences, both in the life cycle and in care. They are also called African violets, according to the region in which they were first discovered. They grow well in indoor conditions around the world, including in temperate climates.

The following types of violet flowers are distinguished:

  • one-color five-petalled; where the upper 2 petals are slightly smaller than the rest;
  • in the form of a “star” - with 5 or 6 petals of equal size;
  • half-double - they have more than 5 petals and yellow, clearly visible anthers;
  • double - 10 or more petals that form a flower resembling a rose;
  • tubular - very rare, similar to a bell.

The shape of the edge of the petal is:

  • in the form of a small wave;
  • smooth;
  • in the form of a fringe.

According to the type of coloring, the flowers of Saintpaulia “Optima” can be:

  • monochromatic;
  • two-tone;
  • multicolor;
  • fancy (with dashes, specks, broaches).

The flowering period lasts from September to March. If the conditions of detention are not optimal, then it takes only a few weeks. In good conditions, flowering can last several months. Saintpaulia flowers form small seed bolls. Thanks to this, the plant can multiply both by seeds and leaves. Violets are easily pollinated, so breeders have received and continue to receive new varieties today. The selection is based on the decorative qualities of a plant.

Varieties: a list with a brief description

Today, Optima is more than 15 series of standard violets and the Mini series, within which there are subseries. Optimara introduces more than 1000 varieties to the market, many of which were introduced in the 1950-1980s. The varietal base is replenished annually with new specimens.

Did you know? The famous French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte declared violets his flower and often put a violet flower instead of a signature.

The main series of standard and semi-miniature varieties:

  • "States of the USA";
  • "Icelandic series";
  • "Native American Summer";
  • "Southern Beauty";
  • "Victorian Charm";
  • "World Travel";
  • "My Violets";
  • "Canadian provinces";
  • "National park";
  • "Rhapsody" and others.

The most prominent representatives of the "States of the USA" are:

  • “Alaska” - its dull white flowers with a blue border remind the northern ice on a cloudy day;

  • “Arkansas” - these incredibly bright red flowers will attract attention in any interior, because there are at least 20 colors in a hat;

  • "Colorado" - an amazing combination of dark purple flowers and bright green leaves;

  • the pink flowers of Louisiana look as if they were tanned under the sun and none of them resemble the other;

  • a thin white border with a fringe on the purple flowers of the Hawaii variety immediately recalls the incendiary dances of the south;

  • Texas's unique shade of ultramarine is complemented by an almost cowboy carved border.

The Icelandic series is represented by two-color violets, where the main color is complemented by a small border around the edge of the flower:

  • purple-white "Barbados" ;

  • red and white "Jamaica" ;

  • bluish-white "Dominica" ;

  • bright pink and white Puerto Rico flowers.

Very large violets of the World Travel series are named after the main cities. You will definitely like the bright pink stars of “Paris” or the double blue-burgundy flowers of “Los Angeles”.

The My Violet series was introduced to the general public in 2009. It combines beautiful flowers with a bright inner part of the flower and a white outer edge. Each flower is divided into 2 different parts.

  • “My Love” is the owner of the Fuchsian core;

  • "My charm" is the flowers in ultramarine shades;

  • “My desire” is represented by deep pink flowers in the middle of a rosette of dark green leaves.

One of the oldest is the Rhapsody series. It was presented at the exhibition in 1956 and includes more than a hundred varieties.

All violets in this series are named after women:

  • "Juliana" - the owner of two-tone purple-white flowers and leaves in the shape of a heart;

  • Ingrid is presented in 2 versions, an older variety with plain pink flowers and its updated dark blue variation;

  • “Irene” - its oval dark green leaves are decorated with a hat of two-tone white flowers with a purple edge;

  • “Rita” is a two-tone beauty: the pink inner part of the flower and the white outer are complemented by a ribbed border.

In 1984, a unique series of cosmic violets was created. Its core was made up of seeds that were in low Earth orbit with the American Shuttles. The aim of the program was to study the effect of cosmic radiation on seeds. The resulting flowers marked the beginning of the new EverFloris series and today it has 11 different varieties.

Among them:

  • purple "EverLove" ;

  • soft pink "EverGlory" ;

  • white with a blue tint of "EverPraise" .

But you can not pay attention to the color of the variety in the picture. Cosmic radiation not only made the flowers much larger, but also influenced their shades: in two pots you will receive 2 senpolia with different color intensities.

A series of miniature violets is represented by 30 varieties. They are intended for cultivation in miniature pots, about 3-6 cm high. Miniature violets bloom much longer than ordinary ones. They are also distinguished by the fact that during flowering, their flowers almost close the leaf outlet. The series "Mini" (Little) is divided into several subgroups. Little Jewels is a super-mini violet for 1-inch pots (about 3 cm). The Little Indians are also mini, but larger for 2-inch pots.

Key representatives of the Little Jewels series:

  • “Little Amethyst” is a plant with semi-double flowers of purple-red color with a white border;

  • "Little Apatite" - a small violet with lilac flowers;

  • "Little Azurite" - the owner of blue flowers with a white border;

  • “Little Coral” is a miniature violet with double pink flowers and medium green leaves.

Key representatives of the Little Indians series:

  • “Little Apache Girl” - a variety with double pink flowers and terry convex leaves of moderately green color;

  • "Little Aztec Girl" - violet with red flowers, sometimes with a white middle and oval dark green leaves;

  • "Little Comanche Girl" - a variety with purple flowers, convex shiny leaves;

  • “Little Greek” is a violet with incredibly delicate pink flowers of a darker shade in the center of the flower.

The catalog novelty 2018 is the Little Trio variety with lilac-white-green flowers. The uniqueness of the variety is that the color of each flower is unique. You will not find 2 identical in one plant.

Conditions for successful growing at home

The violet in the room must be placed so as to provide optimal conditions for growth:

  • light - moderate, perhaps bright, but necessarily indirect;
  • watering - the soil must be slightly moist, but if it is dry near the roots, this stimulates flowering;
  • air - violet does not tolerate drafts and sudden changes in cold air.

Important! To check the lighting, put your hand over the violet on a sunny day. If there is no shadow by hand, this is the right lighting.

Location and Lighting

Of all the varieties, the most popular are those that tolerate low light levels. But in most varieties, the leaves begin to turn yellow. Therefore, the violet must be placed so as to provide it with bright, but indirect lighting. It can be a western or eastern window. On the southern windows, violets are shaded from the sun by a curtain or blinds. The correct luminosity for the senpolia is from 10, 000 to 12, 000 lux.

The intensity of sunlight varies with the time of year. In winter, violets can be rearranged so that they receive more light. Turn the flower на turn each time when draining the water from the pan to ensure uniform development of the leaves. If you do not turn the violet, then the leaf outlet will begin to lean towards the light source.

If an artificial light source is installed, make sure that the plant receives enough light in the red and blue spectrum. Blue is needed for photosynthesis, and red is needed to support flowering. Set the distance between the plant and the light source to at least 0.5 m. To start flowering, the violet needs an 8-hour period of darkness per day. This is enough to activate the flowering hormone.

Temperature and humidity

Saintpaulia thrives in the same conditions that most people like in terms of temperature, humidity and air composition. If you are comfortable, then most likely your violets too. The temperature should approach + 21 ° C. Do not let it fall below + 15 ° C or rise above + 27 ° C. A slight difference in day and night temperatures does not harm the plant. It will be normal for these parameters to fluctuate within 10 degrees. At constant high temperatures, the violets lengthen the stems and leaves. Then the leaves begin to dry and fall off.

Did you know? Petals and stalks of violets contain a large amount of vitamin C, which in them is even more than in some vegetables.

At temperatures below + 15 ° C, plant growth slows down, and the violet may die. A sign of death is hanging sluggish leaves. Optimum humidity - from 70 to 80%. But since in most apartments the humidity is not higher than 60%, it can be increased due to a pallet with wet pebbles. With the evaporation of moisture, the moisture around the flower will increase. Low humidity prevents the flower buds from opening. There should be enough space around each plant to organize good air circulation. It also prevents the transfer of fungal spores if one of the plants becomes sick.

Home Care

In addition to supporting the optimal microclimate, the senpolia needs to be regularly watered and fertilized, as well as monitoring the appearance of pests. For thick leafy rosettes, periodic thinning is performed to make room for the appearance of flowers.


The frequency of watering depends on the condition of the soil. If the top layer is dry to the touch - then it's time to water. Saintpaulia must periodically dry completely to achieve the best flowering results. Waterlogging is detrimental to her. If the roots do not dry out, then they cannot get the air that they also need. Violets are prone to deadly pathogens such as root rot, root collar rot, and pitious root rot. An excess of moisture limits the access of nitrogen to the roots, which becomes the root cause of rot.

Water should be at room temperature, or as close as possible to air temperature at the time of irrigation. Too cold, it cools the roots, which leads to curling of the leaves. It will be nice if the watering is carried out by drip irrigation. To do this, pour water into a tray with a flower and leave it for a while. The soil absorbs exactly as much water as the roots need. Remove water from the sump after 30 or 40 minutes.

Important! Never use soft water. It increases the salt content in the soil and changes its acidity, reducing the ability of senpolia to absorb nutrients.

Top dressing

Senpolias need special fertilizers for violets with a higher dose of phosphorus. It should be 2 times more than other components. You can apply fertilizer immediately after each watering in the amount of ¼ of the normal norm. If the leaves turn pale, then the violet lacks nutrients. When choosing fertilizers, make sure that they are 100% soluble in water. This is important because violet only uses nutrients from an aqueous solution.

The role of the main substances in the development of senpolia:

  • nitrogen is important for the growth and development of leaves and stems;
  • phosphorus helps the growth of healthy roots and plays a vital role in organizing flowering;
  • potassium is necessary for the accumulation and movement of compounds that provide energy to the plant.

Learn about planting and growing violets at home.


Pruning is necessary in all cases if you see faded flowers or damaged leaves. Their removal will stimulate the development of the following. For varieties characterized by a thick leafy rosette, periodic thinning is carried out, since flower buds can not break through to the light due to density. Remove damaged leaves and flowers to prevent the spread of disease. After removal, measures are taken to treat the senpolia.

Removal Technique:

  1. Wipe the scissors with a solution of water and bleach in equal parts to disinfect them.
  2. Cut the damaged or dry parts of the flower completely.
  3. Check the condition daily and remove all those leaves that you find after the first pruning.
  4. Try not to damage adjacent leaves or trunk. After cutting, sanitize the scissors again.
Do not cut the next plant with non-sterile scissors, this will cause the spread of bacteria.

How to transplant

Senpolia is transplanted every time a plant outgrows its current pot. There is also an opinion that it should be transplanted once a year after flowering.

Read more about the features of transplanting violets at home.

Saintpaulia transplant:

  1. Choose a new pot that is 1/3 larger than the size of the leaves of the plant.
  2. Prepare the soil. This can be peat moss, sand and perlite in equal parts, or soil for the saints from the store.
  3. Moisten the soil mix with warm water.
  4. Remove the plant from the previous pot.
  5. Remove damaged roots.
  6. Add drainage and part of the soil mix to the pot.
  7. Set the plant in the center of the pot.
  8. Add soil to the sides.
  9. Water the violet after transplanting.

Video: violet transplant

Growing difficulties

Violets, like other plants, can be harmful to diseases and pests. If diseases often arise due to improper care, then pests appear suddenly. The effectiveness of treatment depends on how quickly action is taken.

The main diseases:

  • root rot;

  • gray rot.

Root rot and neck rot is the result of the action of the fungus. As the disease develops, the lower leaves turn black and die.

The main causes of infection:

  • planting too deep;
  • plentiful watering;
  • poorly draining soil.
Gray rot causes the fungus Botrytis. It enters plants from moist soil through damage left by insects. The fungus can attack leaves, stems, flowers, i.e. any parts of the plant.

Prevention of rot:

  • the soil substrate should be light and loose;
  • watering should be carried out only after drying of the soil;
  • it is desirable to organize capillary irrigation from below, and not from above the plant;
  • water only with warm water.

We recommend that you find out why the leaves of the violet curl and what to do.


  1. Extract the plant from the pot and check the roots.
  2. Remove all damaged parts of the plant.
  3. Treat the root system with a fungicide against rot.
  4. Transplant into a new pot and soil.
  5. Normalize watering.

Other problems of violets:

  1. If water gets on a leaf and a yellow spot remains, remove this leaf.
  2. If the leaves are damaged by the sun, remove the damaged parts of the plant and normalize the light regime.
  3. Most leaf pests are sucking species. These are aphids, whiteflies, ticks. The treatment is carried out with insecticides, which must be sprayed onto the plant. To prevent flying pests from flying over to other violets, isolate the diseased flower and cover it with a plastic bag for several hours after processing.

Unfortunately, the company "Optara" does not make direct deliveries of its products to Eastern European markets. But, in any case, you can take advantage of their recommendations for growing your home violets and organize improved conditions for your flowers.

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