Botanical Name: Episcia cupreata
Flame violet is prized for its showy leaves that grow in a rosette and reach 2-3 in (5-8 cm) long. They combine shades of green and coppery brown, often with light green or silver veins. Leaves have a metallic-like sheen that make this plant irresistible.
You can expect bright flowers to appear in spring and continue through fall. Dainty, tubular flowers rise above the foliage and are typically red, but may be available in orange, pink or yellow. They flare out at the tips like trumpets and are sometimes fringed at the edges. Deep in the center of the trumpet is a yellow eye.
Place flame violet near a window, but away from direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves. Also keep your plant away from heat vents or drafty windows.
High humidity is a must. It's a good idea to use a pebble tray or room humidifier for flame violet. If the leaves get brown edges and flower buds shrivel without opening, the air is too dry.
Repot in spring every couple years to refresh the soil. Flame violet has shallow roots and a spreading habit, so a wide, shallow pot works best. Or, you can put the plant in a hanging basket and allow the stems to trail over the side of the pot.
Origin: Colombia and Venezuela
Height: 6 in (15 cm) tall
Light: Bright, indirect light
Water: Keep soil evenly moist spring through fall; slightly drier in winter.
Humidity: High humidity. If relative humidity drops below 50%, place pot on a tray of wet pebbles or use a room humidifier. Don't use a mister because the leaves will spot and are prone to fungus.
Temperature: Prefers cool temperatures, especially while in bloom; 55-65°F/13-18°C at night/not warmer than 75°F/24°C during the day.
Soil: Peat moss-based mix or African violet potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with Feed every 2 weeks with African violet fertilizer.
Propagation: Take single leaf stem cuttings in spring. Dip the cut end in water, then rooting hormone powder. Put the stem in moist potting mix, then firm the mix around the stem so that it stands up. Enclose the whole pot in plastic to hold in humidity. Roots should develop in about a month, and you should see plantlets form from the base of the cutting about a month after that.
Flame violets that don't bloom aren't getting enough light. Place your plant near a bright window, but out of direct sun.
Episcia cupreata is a showy relative of the African Violet. Both are in the Gesneriaceae family.
Shown above is E. cupreata 'Chocolate Soldier' cultivar.