African Violets are beautiful flowers and make wonderful indoor plants. While they have a reputation for being fussy and difficult to grow, that really isn’t the case. They may need a little extra attention, but nothing overwhelming. They are easily grown in pots indoors, taking up little space. So, here are some tips on taking care of African Violets. Come and check out 10 Tips on How to Take Care of Your African Violets.
Selecting a Plant
You don’t always get to choose your starter plant, as many starts off as a gift, but if you do, here are some things to keep in mind. Pick an African Violet that has dark green leaves and healthy looking buds. There are many varieties to choose from but it’s often best to just start with a traditional purple-hued African Violet. Once you become more familiar with these flowers you can propagate and add more varieties to your collection if you wish.
Where to Plant it
African violets are strictly houseplants. Feel free to use a decorative container for your plant, but plant it directly inside of a plastic container with lots of drainage holes in it first. Find a plastic container that fits inside of your decorative container and go from there. They like to also be very snug in their pots. A pot about the third the size of their spread is ideal.
The Perfect Soil
Your soil for your violet must be very well-draining. Very Porous. You can find potting soil specially developed for violets or mix up your own from equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. Also, make sure you always use a sterile bag of soil for your violets so avoid any grown or transferred disease.
Balancing the Water
African violets are picky about water. Water must be room temperature, having sat out overnight or as long as needed. You must only water at the base of the plant or around the roots. The leaves are very prone to developing rot if splashed with water. If you water from the roots, be sure that there is enough of it that the roots can reach. Let them soak up water for about 30 minutes or so then remove from the sitting water. A tiny amount of water can be left at the base to provide humidity for the plant. If watering at the base of the plant, keep the soil evenly moist, but never soaking wet. It can be easy to overwater violets. Letting the soil around the roots completely dry out before re-watering will encourage blooms. You can also find special containers and water saucers designed for violet care. If you leaves start to yellow, you are probably over or under watering the plant.
That Perfect Glow
African Violets need a medium to bright filtered indirect light. South or west facing windowsills are ideal. Plants with dark green foliage usually need somewhat higher light levels than those with pale or medium green foliage. Turn pots regularly to keep flowers from reaching for the light. Make sure they get at least 8 hours of good light, but also be sure they have a night cycle as well for proper flowing.
Fed your African Violets
Pale leaves or no flowers could mean your plant if hungry for food. Fertilize African violet plants with special African violet food or a higher phosphorous food. Mix the fertilizer to one-quarter strength and use at every watering until the plant looks healthier.
Feel the Tropics
African Violets like a more humid environment. It’s easy to provide this with a water dish below the plant or setting your container over a saucer of pebbles or stones and keeping those moist. The evaporating water will keep an ideal environment for the plant.
Nice and Cozy
African violets like living like us. Their ideal living temperature is from about 65-78 degrees. Don’t let the temp drop below 60 or go about 80 and they should do just fine. Make sure they are kept away from air vents as this will affect their air temp and humidity levels.
Keep them Flowering
African violets benefit from regular deadheading. Pinching off spent blooms and the top bit of stem will encourage more flowers to grow and bloom.
African Violets are easy to propagate from cuttings. If your pot is too big for your violet, it will grow daughter plants. It will look like the center of the existing plant growing from the base. Simply remove the plant from the pot and gently separate the new crown from the existing plant. You can also cut a healthy green leaf and start its roots. Once it’s roots are established it can be planted in its own pot.
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