The African Violet: What You Need To Know

The African violet is a popular houseplant for many since its light and water requirements make it very durable and easy to maintain.

Many people who purchase a houseplant want a simple, easy to maintain plant that can survive even if forgotten about for a period of time.

Also, as not every house has the best sun light in every window, a plant that can make do with what it is given would be ideal. Enter, the African violet! Here are basics you need to know when getting an African violet:

Light Intensity: While they prefer bright light, they need to be kept away from direct sunlight. Best options would be a location that receives bright indirect morning or afternoon sun or any location that can get some sun light all day would be sufficient.

Light Duration: African violets are most likely to bloom if they can get between eight to twelve hours of sunlight a day allowing about eight hours of darkness a day.

Temperature: The higher the temperature, the less likely your African violet is to bloom. The ideal temperature range to store your plant would be between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soil: Drainage is the key to your success with your new plant. Look for soil consisting of peat moss, perlite and vermiculite. There are also a number of pre-mixed soils specific for African violets available.

Watering: Here is where many make mistakes with their plant. African violets really need do best in self watering pots. Their leaves do not like to be wet and so it is safest to allow the self watering pots to do their jobs. This also allows the average houseplant owner to fill up the pot, leave it and forget about it for a while. When the plant needs water, it is already available; you just need to fill it back up now and again.

Propagation: Very easy to propagate. All you need to do is simply cut off some of the healthy leaves as close to the base as possible and insert into a fresh new self watering pot. I would suggest four or five cuttings in the new pot should do the job. They typically take three to four weeks to really root and you could expect new growth about three to four weeks after the roots form.

In general, the African violet is a simple but beautiful houseplant. They can bloom in a variety of colors and stay in bloom for months. Since they have low maintenance requirements, they tend to be a perfect choice for those new to houseplants. If you followed all the advice in this article and your plant is showing signs of trouble here are two common things to look out for:

Insects: Check your violet now and again to make sure no insects are around and attacking your plant. If so, most can be treated with insecticidal sprays or a mix of alcohol and water.

Over-Watering: If your plant is not looking lively and it’s leaves are not stiff, you may be over-watering. Try taking your container out of the water for a little while and when you put it back in, only let the soil get damp. Poor out the rest of the water so that it is not sitting in it.