Because they require dry leaves, African violets are only grown indoors in North America. If you want the finest color and flowers, grow your plants in bright, indirect light. The optimal location for a plant stand is three feet away from a window that faces west or south. When placed directly next to north or east-facing windows, plants will still grow, but their leaves will be thin and spindly, and they will be less likely to flower. African violets can be grown indoors, 12 to 15 inches above the ground, under 40-watt fluorescent lights (also known as grow lights), if you don’t have a nice location near a window.
Can African violets be planted in the ground?
Even the most seasoned gardener can be intimidated by African violets for some reason.
Stephen Orr, editor of House & Garden magazine, provided some advice on The Saturday Early Show about how to keep exotic flowers alive for a very long period.
The African violet is a resilient small plant that frequently thrives and lives comfortably for decades. It is also reasonably priced, makes a wonderful present, and is durable.
Stephen Orr was questioned by the Saturday Early Show about how to care for African violets and some frequent misconceptions about the plant:
African violets are said to be challenging to grow. Is that a fact, though?
They are not difficult to cultivate, no. They are actually challenging to kill. Making them content enough to blossom again frequently is the secret.
How many different varieties of African violets are currently available? There are hundreds of different types, and every year, new ones are developed. Standard (variegated, ruffled, etc.), Miniature, Trailing, and Chimeras are a few of the various varieties (with unique color patterns and combinations).
Do African violets resemble common violets? Not at all, no. Tropical plants native to East Africa include African violets. They therefore make suitable indoor plants. In most American climes, they could never thrive outdoors the way a typical violet might.
Almost anywhere, including grocery stores and garden centers, sells these plants. Where can I get African violets the easiest? Yes, they are generally available, but make sure they appear wholesome and well-kept. Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses is a reliable mail-order company that has been specializing in African violets for 50 years.
What interior conditions are necessary for African violets? Simply put, they require both some humidity in the air and strong, filtered sunshine. Any prolonged period of time below 60 degrees F will inhibit their growth. If the temperature is too high, plants will become spindly and sappy, produce an insufficient number of blooms, and drop before maturing. A little coolness is preferable than extreme heat. Best range for humidity is between 40% and 60%. Using a humidifier is an excellent idea if your home is unusually dry. Putting your plants on trays filled with wet stones would be a straightforward fix.
Can you use a grow light if there isn’t enough natural light? Use fluorescent lights continuously if there is poor natural light in your space. You can use cool white, daylight, or tubes made specifically for plant growth alone or in combination. The plant’s variety, light intensity, and tube type all influence how far it should be from the lights. Adjustable light fixtures allow you to raise or lower them to the desired height.
How frequently should an African violet be watered? Depending on the season and how dry your home is, water just when the top of the soil feels just a little bit dry to the touch and every week or so.
Which method of watering is best for them? One of the main causes of African violet failure is improper watering. Use only water that is room temperature. You can water from the top or the bottom. After the earth has absorbed all the water it can contain, never let plants stand in water. Pour out any remaining water in the saucer after 15 to 20 minutes. Wet feet are not good for violets!
When should an African violet be repotted? What is your method? Before switching to the next size pot, a reasonable rule of thumb is that the plant’s diameter should be three times that of the pot. They should be repotted in the same manner as any other plant, however you shouldn’t mix up the pot sizes. Plants should not be jumped from a 2-foot pot into a 4-foot pot. They enjoy being somewhat pot-bound.
What sort of soil is required? They need soil that drains well. If not, they develop root rot.
Do these plants need to be fertilized? One of the causes of the absence of blossoms, the small size of the blooms, and the pale or light-green foliage is the lack of fertilizer or occasional fertilization. Every time you water, use a well-balanced fertilizer, such as 15-30-15, at a rate of 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water. Do not assume that just because they are blooming well with a little fertilizer, more will make them much better! Inadequate fertilizer can scorch the roots and result in brittle, harsh leaves.
What is the most common error individuals make when growing African violets? Since plants prefer moisture and humidity, most people overwater their plants. In their native East African region, the plants frequently flourish next to rivers in rocky nooks. They enjoy this kind of muggy, humid, but well-draining environment.
What is the lifespan of an African violet? Given the right care and repotting, they can live for many years.
Here is a summary of Orr’s advice on strengthening African violets:
Light: In harsh western or eastern exposures, sheer curtains should be used since strong, filtered light or intense shadow produces the highest bloom. Artificial grow lights work great with the plants as well.
When watering, use tepid, never cold water. You can water from the top or the bottom. The plant will rot if the pot is left in water for too long. After 15 or 20 minutes, drain any extra water that the plant hasn’t absorbed.
An African violet will suffer in any temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant thrives best at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not draft. By setting the plants on moist stones, you may create humidity for the plants. A bright window in the kitchen or bathroom can work well because African violets prefer humid environments.
African violets, when grown properly, can bloom all year. Every time you irrigate, use a balanced fertilizer diluted to one-quarter teaspoon per gallon of water.
Repot: They enjoy being somewhat root-bound. They develop naturally in rocky locations that have little pockets of dirt nearby. Repotting should be done when the plant’s width is three times the pot’s diameter. Take out any dead flowers and foliage.
What keeps African violets from wilting?
African violets are diminutive indoor plants that have fuzzy leaves and clusters of white, blue, or purple flowers. African violet care instructions are provided here!
About African Violets
African violets, as their name suggests, are indigenous to East Africa and come from the subtropical rainforests of Tanzania and Kenya. German colonial commander Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire recognized these plants in 1892 and returned to Germany with seeds. Saintpaulia became the name of the genus, although Streptocarpus, a new genus, has lately been assigned to the plants. They are not a species of violet, despite their common name, but they do have bright violet blossoms. Here is more information on these delicate plants.
In bright, indirect light, African violets flourish and produce the greatest blooms. Despite being typically easy to care for, they occasionally have fussy periods. Be not disheartened!
How to Plant African Violets
- If the soil is well-draining, you can use an authentic African violet potting mix or an all-purpose potting soil. How to make your own blend is shown here.
- African violets should always be grown in small pots, and every few years they should be repotted with new soil. African violets blossom more when they are somewhat constrained by their pots, so don’t be hasty to give them more room.
- The soil should have a high organic matter content and be loose and well-drained. discover organic soil amendments.
- African violets should not be replanted deeper than they were previously and the plant’s crown should not be buried. If kept overly damp, the stems of African violets are prone to rotting.
- Maintain a light moisture in the soil, but watch out for overwatering because African violets’ fragile stems are highly prone to rot.
- Use room temperature water instead of chilly water because the leaves may become marked.
- African violets should only be watered from the bottom to prevent getting too much water on the leaves, which can rot and develop fungal patches if kept in an environment with excessive humidity.
- Bright, indirect light is preferred by African violets. Keep them at least a few feet away from bright south or west-facing windows and stay out of direct sunshine. The greatest illumination for them comes from a window that faces east or north without endangering the delicate leaves.
- Artificial illumination also functions nicely. Use LED or fluorescent lamps in addition to natural lighting.
- Leggy stems and thin, dark green leaves suggest that the plant is receiving insufficient light, while light green or bleached leaves show that it is receiving too light.
- Use a high phosphorus plant food to fertilize every two weeks during the active growing season (spring and summer). Only begin fertilizing when it looks that the plant requires an extra push (slow, thin growth; pale or yellowing leaves).
- Since most soil mixtures already contain an abundance of nutrients, overfertilizing is an issue that occurs more frequently than underfertilizing.
- Some kinds are more tolerant of cooler circumstances, but many prefer warm environments (65F/18C or warmer). In any event, avoid having them near drafty windows during the winter.
- As they get bigger, plants should be moved to bigger containers, although keeping African violets slightly root-bound might help them blossom. Wilted leaves are one indication that your violet needs to be replanted.
- The squishy leaves have a propensity to gather dirt and dust. Use a little paintbrush with sensitive bristles to gently scrub them away.
Which direction benefits African violets the most?
The vibrant African violet blossoms are particularly lovely. They’ll provide color right away to any space.
Even during the gloomier winter months, they have a reputation for continuing to bloom. Place them around the house so you may enjoy their vibrant hues and plush textures all year long.
Once you establish a routine for caring for African violets, you’ll discover that they expand with ease. But unless all of their fundamental requirements are satisfied, they won’t develop. Give them the proper temperature, light, and nourishment, and you’ll start to bloom right away!
How to Choose and Take Care of African Violets:
1. Start out strong. Select a plant with the desired blossom color and vivid emerald foliage. Make sure the pot has openings for drainage.
2. The ideal lighting. African violets frequently don’t blossom because they don’t receive enough light. Because direct sunlight can burn the leaves, African violets require indirect light. For optimal results, pick a window that faces north or east. Keep plants away from cold glass, and turn the container once every week to ensure that all the leaves get enough light. African violets can be grown under a grow lamp to extend the day throughout the winter.
3. Remain cozy. The most comfortable temperatures for most people are between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
4. Subsurface water. Water should be at normal temperature to fill the saucer. Pour off any extra water after letting it settle for about an hour. Between waterings, let the plant dry out completely.
5. Use the new liquid Violet from Espoma to fertilize! Every two to four weeks in the spring, summer, and fall, indoor houseplant food.
6. Be thoughtful before replanting. Only when a plant is root-bound will an African violet bloom. Use organic potting soil designed exclusively for African violets, such as Espoma’s African Violet Mix, when it comes time to repot your plants. Choose a pot that is about a third the diameter of their leaf spread in diameter because they flower best in compact pots.
Do violets prefer shade or the sun?
Rich, organic soils in a wooded environment are the ideal conditions for growing several varieties of violets. While violets can withstand chilly temperatures, neither heat nor dryness are tolerable to them. Especially during the warmer months, make sure violets receive regular hydration. Make sure to select a well-drained potting mix when growing violets of the annual variety in containers. A slow-release fertilizer will aid in promoting ongoing blooms.
Violets can endure a range of lighting situations, but the most thrive in full sun to partial shade. Some woodland species can actually be planted in locations that are thought to be under complete shade because they can withstand more shade. Plant violets in areas that receive afternoon shade in warmer climates to help plants stay cool throughout the sweltering summer months. Given that violets are cool season plants, even this strategy might not be sufficient to help them survive. Because of this, violets are frequently treated as cool-season annuals and pulled up as summer arrives.
Do African violets thrive in the outdoors?
African violets typically cannot survive outside. Despite being very hardy plants, you need to create the ideal environment for them. African violets are native to Tanzanian rainforests, therefore your backyard is probably not up to the task. The unpredictability of outside surroundings makes it impossible to offer the ideal conditions these plants require to flourish.
However, the fine print contains a lot of ambiguity. Some gardeners claim that some areas have more hospitable climates; others insist that African violets thrive best when grown outside only occasionally; and many say categorically “NO” to the topic in its whole.
Let’s examine what you need know about cultivating African violets outside.
How frequently should an African violet be watered?
Consider fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lighting is the solution if you lack bright window light. I make use of four-foot lights that each have two cool white bulbs. I’ve successfully used one warm white and one cool white bulb in a fixture. unique plant bulbs, known as “A beautiful plant is also produced under grow lights. 8 to 12 inches is the ideal distance between the pot and the light.
How frequently should African violets be watered? “The most frequently asked question regarding African violets is how frequently they should be watered. The greatest indicator is to touch the surface of the soil; if it feels dry, it’s time to water. For best results, African violets should be given time to completely dry out in between waterings. An overwatered plant can die. A soggy, moist soil mass prevents air from penetrating the fine roots of an African violet, which they need. Half of your work is finished once you have learned the art of watering African violets.
Do African violets need to be watered from the top or bottom? Both are acceptable. It’s crucial to avoid using cold water; lukewarm or warm water is recommended. To prevent leaf spots, if you water from the top, take cautious not to get water on the leaves when the plant is in the sun. If you water from the bottom, you should dump any extra water once the plant has absorbed all that it requires. An African violet shouldn’t be left submerged in water for too long.