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When can you buy African violets, winter or summer?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
I'm pretty sure I've seen them in garden centers year-round. Like at Lowe's or Home Depot, inside with the houseplants. Maybe even Wal-Mart's garden center (again, with the houseplants). And flower shops might have them, because sometimes people order plants to be delivered instead of cut flowers.
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Pauline from Woodstock, IL
I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to when you say "huge" African violets. The largest I have seen come in 6-inch pots. Optimara is the world's largest grower of African violets. You may find the field guide offered on their website helpful. It lets you search for African violets by pot size http://www.optimara.com/optimarafieldguide.html.
You can buy African violet seeds here: www.parkseed.com.
For already established miniature, trailing or standard-sized violets check here: http://www.violetbarn.com/
Try Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses, Dolgeville, NY online website: lyndonlyon.com. They have been growing and hybridizing violets since 1954, a nationally known and winning violet grower. The pictures on their website are gorgeous. Once you're on the site, just click on "photo gallery". I work for a gardening magazine and have visited some very interesting growers and also feel we should support more independent growers. They know their stuff!