African violets are sensitive to changes in the makeup and composition of the soil. Utilize peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, coco coir, and coco peat as well as peat moss. The ideal mixture is peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite in a ratio of 50:25:25. African violets can be successfully planted in commercial potting mixtures like Miracle-Gro and Dr. Earth Organic Potting Soil for African Violets.
What distinguishes standard potting soil from dirt for African violets?
Numerous African violet soil formulas can be found online, but almost all of them call for peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. Each has a specific task to complete, and when combined, they produce the ideal conditions for your plant to flourish.
Hyper-lightweight perlite is made of glass that has been heated by volcanoes. This method of heating glass produces a popcorn-like substance that retains moisture without obstructing drainage. This keeps your plant moist without causing it to get waterlogged underground. The porous perlite gradually releases moisture into the air, increasing humidity and simulating the steamy, jungle-like conditions that your plant prefers.
The mineral vermiculite is flaky and frequently offered in pellet form. Because it is harmless and won’t decay or mould, it will keep pesky pests out of the container holding your plant. Additionally, vermiculite keeps potting soil sterile, extending the freshness of your African violet blossoms. Vermiculite also speeds up root growth and anchoring and helps soil retain nutrients like ammonium, potassium, and calcium.
In mossy peat bogs, decaying plant debris is gathered to make peat moss. Over time, it keeps soil structure intact while assisting in increasing soil acidity. Similar to perlite and vermiculite, it may hold moisture several times its weight and release it to the plant over time. Peat moss helps reduce the process of leaching and maintains more crucial nutrients for your plant by absorbing water.
The Problem With Peat Moss
One of the most prevalent components in all varieties of potting soil is peat moss. Sadly, it’s not the best for the environment. Since peat grows slowly, harvesting peat moss depletes bogs that have been around for many years considerably more quickly than they can be replaced. Peat bogs serve as organic carbon sinks as well, and when they are damaged or lose their effectiveness, dangerous glasshouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
Think about these more environmentally sound options to peat moss:
- Coconut coir is formed from dried fibres obtained from coconut husks and is widely regarded as the greatest peat moss substitute. This substance is substantially more environmentally friendly and holds water at least as well as peat moss.
- Wood fibre: With less harm to the environment than peat moss, bark chips and wood shavings offer the same advantages for air and water movement. However, to make up for the nitrogen that this medium has sequestered, you need use a fertiliser with a high nitrogen content.
African Violet Soil PH
The required amount of acidity is another characteristic that distinguishes African violet soil. The pH of typical potting soil is typically very close to neutral (7.0). African violets prefer a pH range of 5.8 to 6.5, which is somewhat acidic. Your plant won’t be able to efficiently absorb nutrients in typical soil.
Peat moss is typically used to reduce the pH of potting soil for African violets. When used with conventional fertiliser, coco coir has also demonstrated the ability to supply an adequate pH. However, if you’re using wood fibre, you might want to amend the soil with a light organic compost or a 15-30-15 fertiliser with a high nitrogen content to balance it out.
What kind of potting soil do you employ for African violets?
Actually, there is no soil (or dirt) at all in a decent potting soil for African violets. A good potting soil will be very light and porous, enhancing aeration and maintaining the soil’s moisture level without becoming wet. Such potting soil will be mostly composed of sphagnum peat moss that has been harvested in blocks.
Are there any specific potting requirements for African violets?
How can you simulate these conditions within your home as it’s unlikely that you’ll be planting your African violet on any rocky ledges? The following criteria should be present in the potting mix for African violets:
- The ideal level of water retention is always just moist, never damp.
- Fluffy and light for proper aeration
- For best vitamin absorption, slightly acidic
What’s the difference between African violet potting soil and regular potting soil?
You might be tempted to use ordinary potting soil for your African violet if you have some laying around. Attention: This could destroy your delicate plant. Traditional soil is far too dense and contains more moisture than your plant can tolerate, which is why this is the case.
The soil sensitivity of an African violet contributes to its image as a finicky plant, but if you match its unique requirements, it will thrive. African violets require a certain kind of light soil. In reality, many mixes are made up entirely of organic material that is both fluffy and granular and include no soil at all.
But hold onto that bag of planting dirt. It only need a few more ingredients to become the potting mixture that African violet growers dream of (more on that later).
How is potting soil for African violets made?
Here are three popular recipes for African violet potting mixture:
- Vermiculite, two cups, two cups of peat moss, and one cup of perlite (50:25:25 ratio)
- Peat moss plus vermiculite or perlite equals one cup (50: 50 ratio)
- Vermiculite or perlite, one cup, one cup of peat moss, and one cup of AV potting mix.
Can African violets grow in succulent potting soil?
African Violets can also be grown on cactus soil. These soils comprise sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and peat humus, the same elements found in combinations created for African violets.
These components guarantee proper drainage while maintaining the ideal humidity level for African violets.
You should be aware that African Violets prefer slightly acidic soil, though. You can amend the soil with adding limestone to maintain the pH equilibrium.
Can I grow African violets in orchid potting soil?
No, you shouldn’t plant African violets in orchid-specific potting soil. African violets should not be grown in orchid potting soil at all. Although both African violets and orchids may need a well-draining potting soil, their growth requirements are distinct. African violets flourish in cracks in rocks.
Are vermiculite and perlite the same thing?
Remember that there are differences between the two when choosing between perlite and vermiculite, including the fact that vermiculite contains nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, but perlite does not. Additionally, the slightly rounded perlite is less likely to remain uniformly distributed throughout the pot than the flatter vermiculite since it occasionally floats to the top of the soil. Vermiculite, on the other hand, compacts more readily, which may limit its capacity to aerate. As a result, it supposedly doesn’t endure as well as perlite.
The key distinction between the two is that although vermiculite can absorb up to sixteen times its weight in water, perlite for plants can only absorb up to four times its weight in water. Therefore, vermiculite is superior to perlite at capturing and redistributing moisture. Depending on the kind of plants you are growing, that might or might not be a benefit.
The amendments all produce a lot of dust, which is one thing they have in common. As a result, if you choose to mix your own potting soil, you should do it while donning a dust mask or respirator.
Is it possible to grow African violets in cactus potting soil?
Your jade plant wasn’t necessarily killed with Miracle Grow. A succulent like a jade plant needs a light soil, and if you’re careful with your watering, Miracle Grow Cactus and Succulent soil will do. You have more flexibility if you lighten the soil even further.
However, Miracle Gro AV plain soil is too heavy for your African Violets. You can use it, however if you do, mix Perlite and it at least 1:1.
Vermiculite, peat, and perlite should be mixed in a 1:1:1 ratio when creating your own soil. (Or substitute premix soil with peat.)
I combine perlite and commercial AV soil (like Miracle Gro) at least 1:1, but frequently I add more perlite than that.
Is the potting soil for African violets suitable for other plants?
Due to its high cost, African violet potting soil is typically not utilised for other plants. Due to the sort of soil that African violets need to thrive, high-quality additives are frequently employed, or occasionally the product is just priced up because it is targeted towards a certain consumer group.
Do African violets require certain compost?
For African violets, the ideal potting mixture enables air to reach the roots. In their natural habitat, the “This specimen is discovered growing in the cracks of mossy rocks in Tanzania’s Tanga area. This enables the roots to receive enough of air. African violet soil needs to be permeable to water, have the right quantity of water retention, and not obstruct ventilation. Some chemicals promote the expansion and vigour of roots. Your mixture ought to be fertile, permeable, and well-draining.
Sphagnum peat moss (not decomposed), coarse sand, and/or horticultural vermiculite and perlite are included in mixes that you can purchase. Make your own potting mix using any of the following items. Add one-third of coarse sand to an existing houseplant mix if you want to achieve the required porosity. You can observe that there is none “dirt added to the blends. In fact, many potting mixes for houseplants don’t even include dirt.
To assist with feeding your plants, you might wish to add some fertiliser to the mixture. Additional components found in a high-quality African violet blend are aged or decomposed bark, earthworm castings, or compost. Castings, compost, and decaying bark all provide as nutrition for the plants. For your African violet plant to be in the best possible health, you’ll probably want to employ additional feedings.
When purchasing one, wet it just a little bit before planting your African
When ought my African violet to be repotted?
Every five to six months, or about twice a year, African violets should be repotted. When the plant has fully grown, this merely entails repotting it in a pot of the same size with some new soil. Use a pot no bigger than the plant’s root system at all times. This often refers to a pot no bigger than a 2 1/2 for minis and semiminis, and a pot around a 4 for standards. Your violet will eventually have lost (or had removed) its older, lower leaves, creating a “neck. Repotting is required to get rid of this.
With a first step, an African violet “neck. A “The neck is the trunk that resembles a palm tree and develops throughout time as the lower leaf rows are stripped away. The lowest row of leaves on a healthy violet should emerge from the trunk at soil level. The lowest row of leaves is well above the soil line and pot rim when there is a neck. This unattractive neck can be removed by repotting. The best results come from doing this frequently, roughly every 5 to 6 months.
Step 2: Remove the root ball’s bottom. Remove the plant from the pot and cut away the bottom of the root ball in a quantity equal to the length of the neck, for example, if the neck is half as long as the plant, cut away half of the root ball. Repotting is therefore best done on a regular basis, before the neck gets too long. For instance, in the most severe scenario, if a plant had a 2 neck, we would need to take 2 out of the root ball’s bottom. Nearly the entire root system must be cut out if the pot is only 2 1/4 deep! Repotting can be done with little to no root system removal and little to no negative consequences on the plant by doing it when the neck is still small.
Step 3: Replant the plant in the same size container. If the plant is mature, a larger pot is not necessary. The violet can now be put lower into the pot because a section of the root ball’s bottom has been cut away. The plant should be lowered until the bottom row of leaves is level with the pot’s rim (i.e. no neck will be visible).
Step 4: Include new dirt. Now that its lowest row of leaves is level with the pot rim, the violet should be lowered in its pot. Fill the pot with new dirt, filling the neck to the rim. New roots will grow into the extra soil from the neck.
The replanted violet is step five. After repotting is complete, the soil level and bottom leaves should be even with the pot rim and there shouldn’t be any visible necks. Give the plant a light watering and label the pot. This is crucial because the plant will need a little less water until it starts to grow new roots into the additional soil (it has a smaller root system). This is more likely to be the case the more extreme the repotting.
Other advice. The three most frequent reasons for ill violets among novice gardeners are probably improper pot size, bad soil, and too little repotting. Even though a tiny violet was utilised in this example, the same process applies to standard-sized types as well. Repotting doesn’t need entail placing violets in ever-larger pots; most standards (unless grown for show) are perfectly content in a 4 pot! Use only containers that are as big as the root system. The plant only benefits from adding soil if it can grow a root system big enough to use that dirt!
For the majority of growers, a very light, porous, soilless potting mix is strongly advised. When purchasing a commercial mix, consider the soil’s feel rather than the label. “The poorest soil combinations for violets are frequently African violet soils! Vermiculite and/or perlite should make up 1/3 to 1/2 of the mix in mixes with a light, frothy consistency. Do not mix soil that is heavy, black, or thick. A skilled gardener can produce stunning plants in nearly any environment, but a light, soilless mix is much more tolerant to over- or underwatering, infrequent repotting, and neglect.