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African Violets

African Violets 100 Hours Certificate Course

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Learn About African Violets

Grow fantastic flowers in your very own garden with the African Violets online course from ADL

Designed for the African Violet enthusiast, this course covers everything from potting and feeding, to pests and propagation. You learn how African Violets are classified and cover the exciting range of varieties available. Here’s your chance to achieve outstanding results with African Violets.

How To Benefit From This Course.

If you are working as a nurseryman, florist and indoor plant-scapers and you deal with African Violets on a regular basis, you will find the knowledge gained from this course invaluable, as your understanding of gesneraids expands.

Use this course to indulge your passion and love for Africa violets. Whether you are an amateur and trained plant collector you will find this course to be a rewarding experience.

Undertaking study for such a niche and specialised course for one specific type of plant will give you a level of know-how. Such focused expertise can add to your vocation or horticulture business as well as helping those who work in the horticulture sector.

Although the scope of this course is concerned with African Violets, the course also provides an introduction and foundation for growing associated plants that have comparable cultural requirements and uses in horticulture.

African Violets Are Members Of  The Gesneriaceae Family Of Plants.

This family group includes over 2,000 different species, spread across more than 120 genera. Around 300 or more of the species are in cultivation.

They appear mostly in tropical and sub-tropical regions; though there are exceptions. The family has representative genera from most parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, Asia, America, Australasia and Polynesia.

Some of the genera (including Saintpaulia, Streptocarpus and Sinningia) have been widely bred to produce thousands of different named cultivars; leading to many becoming commercially important plants.

The first gesneriad that was identified was Ramondamyconi, from northern Spain and the Pyrenees. It occurs naturally on rocky cliffs. It’s classification was confused at first. It was thought to be an Auricula at first, then Linnaeus in 1753 classified it as a Verbascum.

Eventually it was recognised to belong to a different family to those plants.

Gesneriad Characteristics

Most gesneriads have fleshy tissues -not woody. They are generally herbaceous or only slightly woody.

Occasionally they may be tuberous, commonly they can be epiphytes, on rare occasions they may be a shrub or climber.

Leaves are usually opposite and simple. The leaf margin is most often entire or toothed. The leaf surface is commonly hairy, but not always.

Flowers are cymose, usually irregular, bisexual (female and male parts in the same flower), with five petals, 5 sepals and most commonly two or four stamens (but sometimes five stamens). Flowers are often twinned.

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There are 8 lessons:

  1. Introduction
  • What is an African Violet
  • Plant name pronunciation
  • Review of the system of plant identification
  • Introduction to Gesneriads
  • Classification of Gesneriaceae
  • Introduction to most commonly grown African Violet Species
  • Information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs etc.)
  • Plant Reviews

2. Culture

  • Understanding how plants grow
  • Soils ad nutrition
  • African Violet potting mixes
  • Other cultural practices -Planting, watering, feeding, etc.
  • Review of Gesneriad Genera -Columnea, Streptocarpus, Episcia, Aeschynanthus etc
  • Plant Reviews

    3.  Propagation
  • Sexual and asexual explained
  • Propagation aids -greenhouses, hotbeds, cold frames, misting etc.
  • Cuttings
  • Seed
  • Division
  • Plant Reviews4.  Pests & Disease
  • Plant maintenance and health
  • Identifying problems
  • Controlling problems
  • Reviewing pest, disease and environmental issues that can confront African Violets
  • Plant Reviews5.  Light and its Affects
  • Understanding light affects on african violet flowering
  • Artificial lighting
  • Plant Reviews6.  Greenhouse Culture
  • The greenhouse system
  • Components of a greenhouse (floor, structure, ventilation, heating, etc)
  • Types off Greenhouses
  • Shadehouses
  • Coldframes
  • Heated propagators
  • Environmental controls
  • Heaters, Ventilators, etc
  • Plant Reviews7.  Ways to Use African Violets
  • Containers, in the ground, in greenhouses, growing for profit (to sell etc.)
  • Review of popular cultivars
  • Plant Reviews8.  Special Assignment
    PBL Project:  Planning the establishment of a collection of Gesneriads, for a specific (real or hypothetical) location.Please Note:    Each lesson culminates in an assignment, marked by your tutor and returned together with relevant suggestions, comments, and extra reading where required.

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