February Gift Flowers: Primroses or Violets
Depending on which calendar you check, the February gift flower is either the English primrose or violets. The only violets available this time of year in Missouri are the tender, inside African violets.
Both these flowers are non-natives and grow in shade in their native habitat. English primroses are blooming now in France, where although it's also winter the weather is a little more forgiving.
I have a little purple English primrose in my living room, a purchase at a local grocery store.
I bought the purple English primrose because it reminded me of the wild violets that will be blooming in my one-acre hillside garden later this year.
What I noticed about caring for English primroses is that they don't tolerate their roots going dry. That makes sense since in their native environment, they live in the moist leaf litter under trees. When the soil is dry, their leaves drop and the plant can easily die.
The same thing with African violets, only African violets prefer their soil more on the dry side. This is a hybrid purple African violet I've had for many years:
I keep both English primroses and African violets in indirect light on the southwest side of the house in a window and check daily that the soil has not dried out.
Besides a few African violets purchased on sale, the rest of my African violets are a non-hybrid variety so they are hardier, and bloom almost constantly. Their color is more of a pink purple and the color changes as the flowers unfold.
In the "Language of Flowers," violets stand for faithfulness. In a month celebrating Valentine's day, it seems appropriate, don't you think?
Which ones have you tried to grow or have you grown both?