|Green thumbs are not necessary. Anyone can grow beautiful, blooming African
Violets if they will give the plants the basic conditions necessary for healthy
Location & Growing Conditions
Plants should be in a window where they receive adequate light, strong filtered
light in summer, mild direct sun in winter. Turn pots a 1/4 turn clockwise each
week to keep growth balanced. For heavy bloom 12 to 14 hours of light per day is
needed. Plant lights should be used if natural light is not adequate. Plants
need good air circulation to prevent disease but should never be exposed to cold
drafts or sudden temperature changes. African violets grow best at 65 to 70
degrees. Variations of more than 10 degrees cause problems. Lower temperature
slows growth and bloom, high forces spindly growth.
Always check first to see if the plant is ready for water. Water only when the
surface of the soil is dry to the touch. Use room temperature water, applying
enough water to wet entire root area. Never use water that has been through a
water softener or very hard water. Periodically wash foliage with a fine mist to
remove dust. Never expose to sunlight while foliage is wet. Plants may also be
bottom or wick watered. To prevent accumulation of salts, associated with bottom
watering, once a month water from the top, discarding the water that drains into
saucer. In very warm locations humidity around plants may be increased by
elevating plants on pebbles kept wet. The plant should never sit in water.
For young plants, feed with an all-purpose African Violet food until desired
size is reached. For mature, blooming size plants feed with a 0-10-10 (or
equivalent) food specified for bloom according to package instructions.
African Violets grow and bloom better in pots that are just large enough to
accommodate their root system. Over potting results in soggy, sour soil and can
lead to root and crown rot. Potting soil for violets should be light, easily
penetrated by the soft roots, fast draining and sterilized. Other soil or used
pots should always be sterilized before use.
Insects & Diseases
To protect against insects & diseases African Violets can use a preventative
treatment every 90 days using a systemic house plant insecticide. Mites, thrips,
mealybug, aphids, fungus gnats may be brought in from outside. Before these or any
other disease problems, come in and ask any of our Master Nursery experts.