Most gardeners shy away from growing the elegant African violet because they are intimidated by their numerous demands.
It’s true that these plants do have a few quirks, however learning about their proper care makes growing these marvelous plants less intimidating.
Growing African violets requires very little space; therefore you can grow them indoors in small pots for a showy display.
A balanced diet in your soil will ensure cheerful blooms to grace your landscape. Consider also the soil texture and drainage ability. African violets will do well in well drained soils. If your soil is less drained, consider adding some sand in your mix.
These plants are very picky when it comes to water so be careful when watering them. Use tepid or lukewarm water that has been standing for about 48 hours. Watering African violets at the base is the best practice. Splashing water on the foliage will cause foliar spots and damage to the bloom. Never let these plants stand in water for too long or dry out for long periods. Water as soon as the soil feels a little bit dry to reduce or completely stop water stress.
Appropriate lighting for the African violet is essential for it to make a perfect bloom. Let the light intensity be bright to medium. Violets with very dark green leafs need more light compared to those with pale or medium foliage. Turn your pots regularly away from the sun to protect your bloom from intense sunlight. Place your African violets 2 feet from a south or west facing window for the right light intensity. If you cannot maintain this light for at least 7 hours consider supplementing with fluorescent lights.
Fertilize your African violets with a supplement high in phosphorus. Mix the fertilizer with one quarter strength and water every day. If your violets reduce their bloom or their leaves turn pale it’s an indicator that your African violets are not getting enough nutrient supplement. Apply NPK fertilizer if any of these signs appear and ensure a steady supply of this fertilizer for the best results.
Once blooms are spent, pinch them out to encourage more bloom and soon you will be the envy of your neighbourhood. Now that you have learnt how to care for African violets, try them indoors. There are several varieties are out there.
Go and grab yours now and in no time you will be enjoying their cheerful bloom. Or pop along to one of the society meetings when you get a chance. Just get in touch with us for a full roster of the meetings over the coming months.
Here’s a couple of videos that found useful: