With their wonderfully shaped leaves and their bright, beautiful blooms, African Violets have the kind of charm that cheers up every environment. Learn how to care for your miniature Violet with this growing tutorial!
African Violets need just enough water to keep the soil moist, but never soggy. Be mindful, because too much water will leave Violet susceptible to such deadly pathogens.
It is always important not to get water on the leaves. The only exception is when you are misting to increase the humidity around your plants.
The best way to water your African Violet is from the bottom. Let the plant sit in 3/4” of water, and will absorb all it needs. After 5-7 minutes, remove the excess water. Never let the Violet sit in water for more than 30 minutes!
The water should be room temperature. Cold water can cause leaf spotting and curling.
Never use soft water and avoid using highly chlorinated water. If you can smell chlorine, then your water has too much. If you have access to highly chlorinated water only, put some water into a container and let it stand overnight to allow the chlorine gas to escape.
African Violet thrives in moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light.
If they don't get enough light, African Violets will stop flowering and turn yellow and leggy.
On the other hand, too much sunlight will cause the leaves and flowers to curl down and get brown spots.
African Violets will tolerate direct sunlight very early or very late in the day; during the rest of the day, they should be kept away from direct sunlight. Place your Violets in front of a window with eastern or northeastern exposure; when facing west or south windows, adjust your blinds or use a sheer curtain to filter out some of the light.
Remember that during the winter months, your African Violets will need to get more sunlight than they would ordinarily receive.
It's important to rotate your African Violets about once a week so that they receive an equal amount of sunlight on all sides, to avoid they will start bending towards the light.
Temperature & Humidity
African Violets will thrive in an average household environment. If you feel comfortable, your African Violets are probably feeling comfortable as well.
In general, you should keep the temperature around your African Violets as close as possible to 70 degrees F. Do not allow temperatures to drop below 60 degrees or rise above 80 degrees. Extreme variations should always be avoided.
When the temperature is too warm, stems and leaves will elongate and get dry, and flowers will begin to fall. However, cold temperatures are even more dangerous for African Violet. They can expose the plant to deadly pathogens and slow down its growth. In worst cases, leaves and flowers will rapidly begin to wilt, and the plant will go into shock.
Humidity is vital to the health of African Violets. You should try to provide your African Violets with at least 50 to 60 percent humidity. If the level of moisture is much lower than this, buds will fail to open, the plant will grow slower, and the leaves will begin to start to wither.
Remember that both heating and air conditioning can dry out the air to some extent. To increase the amount of humidity around your African Violets, you can consider using a humidifier, or place containers of water around the plants. Evaporation increases the water content in the air surrounding your Violets.
Maintain always good air circulation around your plant, but protect it from any cold drafts – they can be fatal.
Soil & Food
The best potting soil for African Violets actually contains no soil at all. It needs to be very light and porous – this will help the plant to breathe and stay moist, but not soggy.
A soil made primarily of block-harvested, sphagnum peat moss will work great; add some perlite or expanded polystyrene to maintain optimal porosity.
Keep in mind that the soil pH should be between 5.8 and 6.2; you can add small amounts of calcium carbonate or some lime to correct the pH level.
Miniature African Violets typically need a slightly different fertilizer formula. A Miniature Plant Food 7-9-5 is recommended.
In any case, when choosing a Violet Food, make sure that it is 100 percent water soluble, or your African Violet may not be able to absorb all its elements. Don't overfeed your plant, or it will damage the leaves.
In addition, it is important to drench the soil with water every three months. This will wash away any excess fertilizer salts which have accumulated in the soil. Simply thoroughly rinse the soil until it has become saturated, and then allow the excess water to drain completely.
Pots & Repotting
The best pot for an African Violet is an Azalea pot – less deep when compared to a standard pot.
The roots of African Violets tend to grow out more than they grow down, and if planted in a standard pot, they will not grow to the bottom of the pot, increasing the risk of root rot.
Always make sure that your pot has adequate drainage. If you have a pot which provides insufficient drainage or no drainage, then holes should be added.
An African Violet should be repotted whenever the plant has outgrown its current pot, and its roots are growing out and around the rootball.
Repot with fresh potting soil approximately about twice a year, and choose a pot with a proper size. Use the next largest pot size available, with an increment of roughly one inch. If you have an African Violet which is currently in a 2-inch pot, you will want to repot it in a 3-inch pot.
Generally, if an African Violet is planted in the correct size pot, the diameter of its leaves will be about three times the diameter of the pot. For example, if the width of your African Violet's leaves measures 12 inches, then it should be planted in a 4-inch pot.
If you are using a clay pot, you should regularly wipe the top edge with a wet cloth – excess fertilizer salts often accumulate on the rim of clay pots.
Thanks to: Optimara.com
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