African Violet Flower Meaning

Native to a small area of eastern Africa, the African violet plant has been cherished for centuries. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that a German officer was able to identify these plants, taking some of the seeds back to his home country.

They quickly became an instant success in the world of botany. Experts and novices alike couldn’t get enough of these breathtaking beauties.

In addition to its aesthetic glamour and long-lasting nature, the African violet flower also has many deep meanings.

Scroll down to learn all about what these blooms have symbolized for years. We also included a few little-known facts about these stunning plants.

Let’s get started.

The Many Poignant Meanings of the African Violet Flower

Have you ever heard the saying ‘one picture is worth a thousand words’? Well, in this case, the picture is the African violet flower and it speaks volumes.

Take a look.

February Birth Flower

The tradition of having the African violet be the birth flower of the shortest month of the year dates as far back as the Roman Empire. It was during this time that people began giving each other flowers and gemstones to celebrate new births and birthdays.

These traditions have lived on through the centuries. Up until today, both the African violet and amethyst stone remain perfect gifts for anyone who has a February birthday.

Since then, African violet flowers have become a great way to honor those born in this short, winter month. They’ve come to symbolize chastity, humility, and purity.

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Faithfulness and Devotion

One of the many deep meanings of African violets is that of faithfulness. When you give these flowers as a gift, they’re said to symbolize being loyal and committed to that person.

Moreover, according to the Victorian Language of Flowers, or floriography, each color of these delicate blooms means something else.

For example, purple African violets are believed to say ‘I’ll always be there for you.’ Its spiritual meaning is used to solidify the bond within your relationship when given as a gift of love.

On the other hand, the cream-colored varieties are supposed to mean ‘Let’s take a chance on this new relationship.’ It promises a future filled with devotion, harmony, and deep, everlasting love.

Courage and Strength

One of the more impactful meanings of the African violet is courage and strength. Maybe it’s the flower’s ability to bloom all year long that symbolizes endurance and motivation to keep going even when things are tough.

In addition, this bloom teaches us the importance of finding balance in everything in our lives.

Finding that sense of balance when it comes to our health, relationships, and work is vital to living a long and happy life. It can also help us achieve inner peace, hope, and self-love.

Creativity and Inspiration

The element of these plants is water because of the fluidity of the smooth shapes and textures of the blooms and leaves. If you look closely, it seems like they’re flowing from one end to the other, with no jagged or pointy edges or tips.

These all symbolize our ability to be inspired to create and discover new things only if we allow our imagination to flow freely.

Love and Desire

African violet flowers have a feminine energy. They’re connected to the planet Venus and the Moon.

The planet Venus represents the energy of love and pure desire, which is both earthy and sensual. It represents the ability to love and be loved, and to be appreciated and valued.

These meanings are all transferred to the African violet flower.

Protection against Negative Energy

It’s believed that placing a sachet of dried African violet flowers underneath your pillow can protect you from recurring dreams and nightmares. You can even carry them around in your bag or pocket to help ward off evil spirits and keep away negative energy.

Some people also use dried African violets as incense. They burn the dried petals to chase away bad energy and evil spirits in order to replace them with a more positive flow of energy.

Just having the fragrant smell of these beautiful blooms wafting through the air is enough to calm your nerves, and ease stress and anxiety.

African Violet Flowers

Little Known Facts about the African Violet Flower

African violets are herbaceous plants that belong to the tropical African gesneriads. These plants are best loved for their velvety fleshy leaves and flamboyant and ornate year-round blooms.

They grow close to the ground and produce a multitude of dainty and vibrant flowers, with 400 different varieties growing worldwide.

Nevertheless, they all share many of the same characteristics. The only exception would be the color of the blooms, which can be either violet, blue, green, or even cream-colored, depending on the variety.

Here are a few fun and surprising facts about these cheerful companions.

African Violet Flowers Aren’t Actually Violets

African violets get their names because they share a close resemblance with the real, actual violets, Violaceae.

However, they don’t belong to the same family. The truth of the matter is they belong to a whole different genus known as Saintpaulia.

There are about 6–20 species of Saintpaulia in the world. Yet, most household African violet flower varieties originate from only two species: S. ionantha and S. confusa.

Over the years, botanists have cultivated multitudes of colors and shapes from these two parent plants.

African Violet Flowers Are Popular Houseplants

Since Victorian times, African violet flowers have enjoyed great popularity as houseplants. Many years later, they’re still a popular choice of indoor houseplants as they were back then.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • They bloom all year long, adding some color to the drab, cold days of winter
  • They’re fairly easy to care for and maintain
  • They thrive in moderately warm weather conditions
  • They’re not toxic to young children or pets
  • They come in a splendid collection of colors, ranging from deep purple to pristine white and everything in between

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African Violet Flowers Can Last for a Very Long Time

Ask anyone with a green thumb and they’ll tell you most indoor houseplants last for an average of about 2–5 years. The exception to that rule could very well be the African violet flower.

With proper care, it has some serious staying power, living up to 50 years in some instances!

As such, these vibrant blooms are truly the gift that keeps on giving. They make thoughtful presents for anniversaries, special milestones, and, of course, Mother’s Day.

African Violet Flowers Are on the Verge of Extinction

Luckily, there are a couple of popular species that are abundant because they’re thriving as houseplants. However, in the wild, the African violet flower is quite close to becoming extinct.

These tropical plants are native to a small region in the tropical rainforests of the eastern African countries of Tanzania and Kenya, which have been the victim of continual deforestation.

Unfortunately, some African violet species are found in only one forest in this secluded bio-diverse region. Others have been seen growing on the sides of only a handful of mountains. Incredulous as that may sound, the sad truth is that any loss of habitat for these defenseless plants can make them highly prone to becoming extinct.

African Violet Flower: Care and Maintenance

Contrary to popular belief, African violet flowers are actually pretty easy to care for. You just have to know what they like and don’t like, and they won’t cause you any trouble.

When growing these bright blooms, keep the following in mind:

African Violet Flower


Because African violets are endemic to the African rainforests, they’ve gotten used to growing beneath a canopy of large trees and shrubs that diffuses the light pouring in from the sun. Hence, they prefer dim or indirect sunlight.


In their native environments, African violets simply latched on the sides of rocky outcrops and soaked in moisture from the moss growing underneath them. That’s why they perish when placed in regular potting soil. Try some specially made African violet potting mix instead.


The leaves of the African violet plant will burn and become discolored if exposed to sunlight when wet. As such, growers prefer watering the plant as close to the soil as possible. You can also place the pot in a pebble tray filled with lukewarm water to make sure they get just the right amount of moisture through the drainage holes.


African violets hate excessive temperatures. They’re most happy when the thermostat is set between 68°F and 70℉. It’s also important to keep them away from drafty doorways and windows, especially during the colder months.


African violets need a lot of extra nutrients to keep up with their constant blooming. Yet, keep in mind that most potting mixes already contain plenty of nutrients. So, if your plant starts to show signs of weakness, add a high-phosphorus fertilizer every couple of weeks only in the spring and summer.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know a bit about the African violet flower and its meaning, it’s easy to understand why this is such a cherished plant.

Because of its many enduring qualities, it’s become one of the most popular and prized indoor plants. Yet, it’s the original variety that’s found in eastern Africa that tugs at our hearts the most, primarily because it faces the risk of extinction with each passing day.

Yet, the silver lining is that these blooms are as tough as they are beautiful. Add to that the fact that they bloom year-round, and you can be confident that these plants are sure to stick around for years to come.