A well-cared-for African violet can produce flowers throughout the year if you know its basic requirements. Here are six tips to keep your African violet looking its best:
This is the most important step to keeping your plant healthy. Water at the base of the plant and don't splash water onto the leaves because water on the leaves can cause damage spots. The plant should not stand in water and the soil shouldn't be allowed to dry completely. Instead, water the plant when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Always use room temperature water for watering.
- Setting the container in a basin of water and allowing the water to absorb (no more than 30 minutes) is a common and effective method for not wetting the leaves. Note: There are special pots available that wick water and keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Take care to drain the lower portion of the pot after one hour of soaking, until it's time to water again.
- Soft water increases the salt (saline) content, which ultimately alters the soil and the plant's ability to absorb water and nutrients. If you have soft water, find another water source (bottled/filtered water or rainwater) for watering your African violet.
African violets require medium to bright, indirect light for 12-14 hours and at least eight hours of darkness. If your African violet stops flowering, then it is probably not receiving enough filtered light. Place African violets three feet (one meter) from a south-facing window in winter and near a north or east-facing window during summertime. Rotate the plant pot a quarter turn every week to keep the stem straight and the African violet symmetrical.
African violets should be planted in African Violet Potting Mix from your neighborhood Walmart, which is a special, soilless blend. Alternatively, you can mix equal amounts of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite to create a perfect combination for growing African violets.
It's best to purchase African Violet Food or an all-purpose liquid plant food (20-20-20 formulation) to regularly feed your plant. Dilute the fertilizer to one-quarter strength of the package instructions and apply it every two weeks.
African violets generally do well in typical household temperatures (60-75°F/16-24°C is ideal). Locate your potted plant away from heat/air conditioner vents or fans that create drafts, as well as doors to the outside that expose the African violet to cold air.
6. General Maintenance
- Remove the flowers and their stem once they finish blooming to encourage new flowers to develop.
- African violets should be repotted every year.
Have you had success with growing African violets? Please share a picture with us on our Facebook page, My Garden Life.