A Blooming African Violet

My father-in-law likes to rescue our house plants. A longtime lover of plants he inspects them all during the course of his weekend visits, advising, praising and criticizing. He has watered our plants. Repotted our plants. Washed our plants to rid them of little pests. His most recent rescue was our African violets.

They had all but stopped blooming. I had tried more water, less water, more sunlight, less sunlight—nothing worked.

He pulled them out of the soil and started them anew—two little violets with two little root systems plopped in shot glasses filled with water on our windowsill.

The roots soaked up the water and we refilled the little shot glasses for months. The leaves got bigger and I purchased some soil specially formulated for African violets from our local gardening center. I repotted them. Guessed the amount of water. Guessed the amount of sun. And waited.

Today, I spotted a lovely purple bloom.

Thank you, Marty.

“That queen of secrecy, the violet.” —John Keats