Greenhouse Garden Center

2450 S. Curry Street, Carson City, NV 89703 Tel: 775-882-8600 Fax: 775-882-7285

All About African Violets

Back to List
Green thumbs are not necessary. Anyone can grow beautiful, blooming African Violets if they will give the plants the basic conditions necessary for healthy growth.

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.

Watering
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.

Fertilizing
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.

Potting
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.