Discovered in 1892 by Baron von St Paul (hence the botanical name), many species can still be found growing in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Kenya. Though their geography is tropical, most species reside in the mountains, at altitude, and under the cover of other plants.
Adequate light is important for good growth and bloom. Try to provide bright, but not direct, sunlight. If growing under artificial lights, place a two-tube florescent fixture about 12-18″ above plants for 12-13 hours each day. If foliage appears healthy and growing, but no blooms, provide more light. If blooms are abundant, but leaves are pale or stiff, light may be too intense.
Use room-temperature water. Water when the soil feels “dry to the touch”. You can water from the top. Water on the leaves will not necessarily harm them–only if this water is much different from the leaf temperature! If you use “violet pots” or another self-watering method, be sure to use soils containing plenty of perlite or other relatively non-absorbent ingredient!
A ‘balanced’ formula is best (relatively equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). Look for formulas where the three numbers on the label (NPK) are similar. Avoid “bloom boosters”. Use each watering, following the directions for that fertilizer.