African Violet Care
The African violet is one of the most popular and easily recognized flowering houseplants. Easy to grow, it is a good choice even for a beginning gardener. There are many cultivars, or different varieties, of African violets that come in many sizes, colors, flower shapes and leaf styles. Plant sizes commonly range from 3" miniatures to hefty 16" diameter beauties. Bright flower colors in blues, purples, pinks, reds and white are an attractive home accent. Gorgeous ruffled, scalloped and quilted leaves frame the lush flowers.
Basic Growing Tips:
Light - The proper light is key to success.
- Avoid direct sunlight - it can cause the leaves to yellow and burn.
- North or east facing windows are best.
Temperature - Consistent temperatures are best.
- 65 - 70 F temperatures at night are ideal.
- Daytime temperatures should be 10 - 15 warmer.
- Avoid "night chills" by placing paper between the plant and the window OR removing plants from window sills on frigid evenings
Humidity - This is beneficial.
- Plants appreciate a humid environment. Fill a container with a shallow layer of gravel or pebbles. Add a layer of water. Set plant on the gravel or pebbles. The water will evaporate and keep your plant healthy.
Soil - Loose, well-drained soil is ideal.
- Optimal soil mix is soil, sphagnum peat and perlite in equal parts.
- Homemade or commercial mixes are both excellent.
Watering - This is the trickiest part of African violet care!
- NEVER pour water over the leaves of your plant!
- Wait for the top inch of soil to dry out before the next watering.
- The BEST way to water for a beginner is to fill a saucer half full with room temperature water. Place your plant in the saucer. When soil surface becomes moist, in about 20 - 30 minutes, remove plant from saucer.
Fertilizing - A simple process.
- During spring, summer and fall fertilize with any complete, water-soluble fertilizer according to the directions on the label. Select a fertilizer formulated for plants that bloom for best results. Do not splash fertilizer on the leaves!
- In the winter you do not need to fertilize.
For more information about this wonderful plant contact the African Violet Society of America (http://www.avsa.org/)