All About the African Violet – Times News Online

Posted on April 27, 2022 at 11:23 a.m.

The Penn State Master Gardeners Workshop on African Violets, held April 23 at Blocker’s Coffeehouse, 309 Front St., Catasauqua, was enthusiastically received as approximately 55 people thronged the adjacent room.

The program was part of a new outreach effort by the Master Gardener and Master Watershed Steward entities, which partner with local small businesses such as cafes, cafes and brewpubs to help support local small businesses by highlighting their ties to local agricultural businesses and bringing in a new clientele, according to Brad Kunsman, educator at Penn State Extension.

“We were happy to have them; it’s great for business,” said Elwood, director of Blocker’s.

Kunsman said the volunteers chose African violets because there had been an increase in calls to the Extension about houseplants since the start of the pandemic, and it’s one of the plants with that many people struggle with.

“Other indoor plant workshops that we have offered with great success are a program on succulents and one on bog gardening with carnivorous plants. We also plan to offer a cactus workshop later this year,” he said.

For $15, participants received a violet of their choice, soil and a plant “cup” in which to place it, and an informative PowerPoint presentation given by gardening educator and columnist Sue Kittek, who answered questions throughout the event.

Topics covered included the origin, trade history of the plant, types available, cultivation and propagation. Websites for species identification and help in diagnosing problems have also been proposed.

For those unfamiliar with the Master Gardeners program, it was created to help Penn State Extension provide horticultural knowledge and skills to local communities and the gardening public, according to its website. It is run by volunteers who, after completing their training, help the community in various ways.

For more information, visit the Master Gardener – Penn State Extension program at

PRESS PHOTOS BY MJ KORSAK At right, Penn State Extension educator Brad Kunsman greets participants at Penn State Extension’s African Violets Workshop, held April 23 at Blocker’s Coffeehouse, 309 Front St. , Catasauqua.

Participants learn about the different species of African violets.

Attendees of an African violet workshop, held April 23 at Blocker’s Coffeehouse, 309 Front St., Catasauqua, fill the gathering space.

Participants receive a violet of their choice during the program.

PRESS PHOTOS BY MJ KORSAK Garden educator and columnist Sue Kittek and Penn State Extension educator Brad Kunsman lead the presentation.

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