African Violet Care
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I will be the first one to admit that African violets are not very easy to take care of. I have killed my fair share of them. That has made me even more determined to learn how to grow them and properly care for them. If you’ve ever wondered why your African Violets keep dying, there’s hope, you will find lots of information here about how to bring an African Violet back to life.
I’m sad to say that I had to kill two beautiful African Violet plants before I was able to admit to myself that even though I am normally capable of keeping houseplants alive, I knew nothing about how to care for African Violets.
Recently I had the opportunity to bring home a couple of baby African Violets, so I decided I should probably find out more about them before I kill two more. I was really surprised at what I learned.
Why is My African Violet Wilting?
African Violets are very particular about their soil. If the soil is too wet or too dry, this can cause your violet to wilt. Using self-watering pots to grow your African Violets in will help prevent your soil from being too wet or dry.
African Violet Blooms Dying
If you find that your African Violet blooms keep dying, your plant is probably getting too much water. Again, using the correct type of pot will help prevent this problem from occurring.
Do African Violets Need Direct Sunlight?
African Violets are very particular about their sunlight. I had already suspected as much. When my mom had violets, hers always had beautiful flowers covering them.
Even though I kept the plants alive for quite awhile, they hardly ever flowered. Apparently this is from having the wrong kind of sunlight.
African Violets prefer morning sun. They like sunlight from the east, or north if east is not possible. Make sure they are near a window.
If it is not possible to put your violets near a window, you can also use a grow light. They will not flower if they don’t get enough light.
How Often Should African Violets be Watered?
How often and the way you WATER your African Violets are very important. This was the biggest surprise to me. You should never, never, water your African Violets from above. They like to draw water up from the base of the plant. Hmmmm.
They make special pots for African Violets. You can order these self-watering pots from Amazon.
The planter has two pots, one sitting inside the other. You place water in the bigger container, and then place the smaller pot with the violet in it into the larger pot.
The water slowly seeps through the smaller pot to water the violet. Add water when the bigger container is dry.
Apparently you should also never water your violets with cold tap water. Set aside a container of tap water for a day or two before you water your plants.
The water will be room temperature and the chlorine in the water will have dissipated.
How to Take Care of African Violets in Winter
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, African Violets prefer temperatures above 65 degrees, so keep this in mind during the winter time and keep them away from drafty windows. Use a grow light if necessary.
How to Deadhead African Violets
Under ideal conditions, your African Violets can bloom for up to 9 months out of the year, taking a couple of months off in between to rest. During its blooming time it’s necessary to remove dead violet blossoms to promote new blossom growth.
During blooming periods, check for dead blooms every couple of days or at least once a week. Snip off the dead blossoms with a clean pair of scissors.
How to Repot African Violets
Many gardening experts recommend that for optimal African Violet care you repot your plants twice a year. You can find some expert tips for repotting African Violets from Martha Stewart.
When you are planting African Violets, it is also important to use the correct soil. You can buy a special potting soil made specifically for African Violets. They also make special plant food for them, but according to The Plant Expert, Jobe’s inexpensive plant food stakes work just as well. Here are some of my favorite tips for making homemade African Violet fertilizer.
Need more tips? The University of Georgia Extension has some really helpful information on propagating African Violets, as well as common pests that bother violets and how to remedy it.
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