Basic care of African violets

BuffaloViolets(z5 NY)January 1, 2013

LIGHT: African violets are grown indoors. They like bright, but filtered, sunlight. Do not place in direct sun. They can also be grown under florescent lights. The lights are usually suspended 12 to 18 inches above the violet for 8 to 14 hours a day.

SOIL: The African violet soil sold at most nurseries and home improvement stores is too heavy for the roots of African violets. Most hobbyists use one part peat moss or African violet soil, one part perlite and one part vermiculite. Use a lighter mix (more perlite) if wick watering your violet.

WATER: African violets prefer a moist, but not wet, soil. Water before the soil has dried completely. African violets can be watered from either the top or bottom. Use warm or room-temperature water. Cold water can cause spotting. Before putting the plant back in the light, make sure to dry off its leaves and center with a sponge, paper towel, cotton swab, etc. to avoid damage to the leaves and crown.

FERTILIZER: African violets like to be continually fertilized. When constantly feeding, use at one-quarter of the strength recommended on the bottle.

POTS: For the most flowers, African violets should be in a plastic pot one-third the diameter of the plant. For example, if your violet measures 12 inches across, put it in a 4-inch pot.

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