African violets make it to the list of one of the most popular houseplants in the world. One of the reasons why they are popular and are loved by many is the fact that they bloom a few times a year and not only once. The next reason is that they vary and are available in multitude of leaf forms and colors.
For those who are attracted by African violets and are planning to grow them, before purchasing them and starting to grow them, it is important for you to know how to grow and care for them. If you have no idea, there is nothing to worry as you are here where you will be given the tips for growing and caring for them. If you just purchase them and are ready to grow and care for them, you can also check out the following information.
It is better for the African violets to be grown indoors year round. While it is true that some people keep them outside when the temperatures are warm, it is not recommended as they are at risk of insect damage. Not only that, they are also healthier and prettier when they are placed indoors than outdoors.
- Natural light
Instead of the direct sun, African violets need indirect light. The main reason is because the direct sun can burn their leaves. They would look pretty around the windows as long as they receive lots of indirect sunlight for them to absorb. If you want to plant them indoors, please get the windowsills that face east or west as these areas are the best locations for them. Apparently, African violets require 10-14 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness every day to be able to bloom well.
In case it is hard for you to provide African violets with proper light, you are recommended to consider supplementing with fluorescent lights. What are the fluorescent lights? Fluorescent lights are the kinds of things that can be used to enhance plant growth. With them, you are allowed to grow a host of plants indoors. These lights come to rescue when the standard indoor lights cannot do more to influence photosynthesis. By using the fluorescent lights closely to the top of the plants, these plants will be able to drive the important plant process.
African violets are known to be picky when it comes to water. As they are picky, it is a must for you to be careful when watering. The best water for them is the one with lukewarm. Not only that, tepid water that was allowed to stand for 48 hours is also fine for them.
You have the main job when watering the African violets, which is to make sure the soil keeps moist to the touch. However, it should not be soaked or sodden. Remember to not splash the foliage with water if you water them by hand. Even just a drop can cause foliar spots and damage so please do not even try. Besides, do not allow them in water or completely dry out. In order to avoid the spotted plant look, it is better for you to water them from the bottom. However, it is not recommended for those with no growing African violet plants experience.
- Temperature and Humidity
African violets can grow well in comfortable indoor temperatures. The best temperatures for them range around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, what about humidity? African violets love a humid atmosphere. The best humidity for them is the one that is more than the one found in most homes. For those who use the bottom-up watering system, then it is good for you as it creates humidity and for your plants as it will benefit them. If you have no bottom-up watering system, you can try to keep the plants on dishes or trays of pebbles that are kept moist.
- Soil and Fertilizer
If you want your African violets to be healthy, it is important for you to keep an eye on drainage as it is the one that keeps them healthy. In order to make everything possible, you are advised to choose a commercial mix of sterile potting soil and perlite. If you want or need to re-pot the plants, it is better for you to use a sterile potting mix.
The African violets have to be fertilized every other week. The type of fertilizer for them is the one with a higher phosphorus number. Feel free to mix the fertilizer at one-quarter strength and use it at every watering.
- Choosing the Plant and Choosing the Container
The most recommended African violets to bring home are the ones that are healthy. If you have no idea about the healthy ones, they are with the darkest green leaves. You can also tell that the plants are healthy when they have the healthiest buds. In order to make sure that you get the best quality of the African violets, you are suggested to purchase them from a reputable grower or nursery. Actually, it is not limited to these places as you can also find them on Amazon. If you are a bit busy or you just do not feel like going out, check out Amazon and find the stores with positive reviews.
Just like choosing the African violets, choosing the container for them is also important. The best containers for these plants are the ones with adequate holes for drainage. It has been known that the proper drainage is important to prevent the roots from rooting. In case you like a hole-less ceramic pot, you can put the plant in a plastic container that has drainage holes and then place that container inside the ceramic one. When you want to water, you can get rid of the plastic pot from the ceramic one. Make sure to not replace it until the excess water has drained off.