Growing Violets outdoors in Florida ?

xoxoxoxoMarch 30, 2011

Hello Folks,

Perhaps this has been talked about before in older postings,but I have a question and some thoughts about growing african violets in Florida.

My question is: Has anyone grown african violets outside in Florida?

I am not talking about directly planting them in the ground , but growing them in pots in a protected location away from the hot sun , and in an area with good air circulation.

I plan on moving to St. Petersburg Fl. one day and will be bringing all of my violets with me.

I know that the Tampa Bay area does have a tropical like climate , but it`s winters are on the cool side , so those few months would be too cold for them.

Here in southern New England , our Summers are a bit hot and humid and my violets grow quite well on the window sills with windows always open. I do not use AC.

I figure that if they do well here in the Summer months, why not outdoors in Florida , provided that they are brought indoors during the cooler months.

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irina_co(z5 CO)

I want to move there too when and if I retire.

It will be too hot in a mid summer. But you cannot imagine the amount of gesneriads people do grow on their lanai in a sun and shade most of the year. Depends how close you are to the Gulf- the closer - the less chance of the winter frost. The farther - the more chances you will be dragging your pots inside every so often. Think Achimenes, Smithianthas, Nemathantus, Sinningias, Seemanias, Drymonias...
Your AVs probably do better inside and no way you can grow Petrocosmeas and Streptocarpus - you can inside - but they will look like compost candidates. Episcias grow like weeds outside in a shade...

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 12:53PM
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Hi Irina,

Thanks for your info. Yes, Florida certainly is beautiful and I look forward to that move.

As for Florida being too hot in mid Summer, our Summer high temps. here in Massachusetts average about 5 deg. higher than it does in St. Petersburg. A high of 95 deg. is typical here in Mass. I have very good friends that moved there back in 1995, and we compare highs and lows all the time.
The city of St Petersburg is located right on the Gulf Of Mexico and access to the shore is only 10 min. away.

It has always been my thinking that if in nature, violets grow in the heat of Africa, why not in Florida?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 1:48PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Violets grow in mountain forests at different elevations and each range of elevation has its own range of varieties. Looks like Saintpaulia ionantha is somewhere in a mid range - let's say 4000ft - so our house beauties probably will suffer after 90F. Probably they wouldn't die but they would be not happy.

I have friends just north of Tampa = actiually I am going there this Monday for a vacation. It is all about microclimates - the house 1 mile froom the shore and the house 10 miles from the shore will have different range - 1 mile one will have less chance of frost and the max in a summer will be milder.

Go Florida!!!


    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 6:04PM
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