Where is the best place to put an African violet?
African violets are indoor plants in North America that thrive in bright, indirect light. They need to stay dry and stand three feet away from a west- or south-facing window for optimal growth. If a window isn’t available, they can be grown under 40-watt fluorescent lights or grow lights hanging 12 to 15 inches above the plant. African violets grow best in well-drained, slightly acidic soil, and Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix is formulated to provide the right environment. To grow, plant African violets in small self-watering containers, such as ceramic or plastic pots, to ensure the proper amount of moisture is provided.
Do African violets need a lot of sun?
African violets are a popular indoor plant with attractive white, pink, or purple flowers and soft velvety leaves. They prefer 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight per day and prefer a filtered morning sun or in-direct bright light. To grow, they should be placed in a bright indirect sunlight-rich spot. Water them from the top of their potting mix or overhead, sitting in a saucer of water or using a wicking pot. Use a potting mix that retains moisture but is free-draining, like Scotts Osmocote African Violet & Cyclamen Mix. Regularly rotate the pot to encourage even growth and remove spent flowers or yellowing leaves. To remove dust, use a soft paint brush to gently brush off any dust. African violets can also be grown outdoors in a protected warm, part-shade spot.
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How do I keep my African violet happy?
African violets are a type of plant that thrives in indirect sunlight, but they can be discouraged by cultural issues. They need bright, indirect sunlight, which can cause them to stretch for the light and produce few or no flowers. They also need eight hours of darkness every night, which is essential for producing the flowering hormone florigen. If growing under lights, avoid running them more than 16 hours a day.
Watering is another factor, as African violets prefer evenly moist soil. Too much water can lead to root rot and roots dying in too dry soil. Plants with reduced roots systems often sacrifice flowering to survive. Fertilizer practices also impact their blooming. Houseplants are dependent on the grower to apply sufficient nutrients without overdoing it. Small pots do not maintain a large reserve of nutrients, so regular fertilization is crucial. However, too much fertilizer with high nitrogen content can lead to lush foliage at the expense of flowers.
For African violets, it is recommended to use a balanced fertilizer that contains all major plant nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Nitrogen is important for leaf and stem growth, phosphorus for healthy roots and flowering, and potassium for the accretion and movement of carbohydrates throughout the plant. The African Violet Society of America recommends choosing a fertilizer that does not use urea as the nitrogen source, as it can burn their roots.
Lastly, repotting African violets into larger pots is essential for their well-being. Regularly repotting ensures the soil is refreshed and the plant is root-bound for optimal blooming.
Are African violets good indoor plants?
African violets are a popular houseplant due to their reliable flowering and easy growth. They have fuzzy leaves and various shades of pink, purple, or white flowers. They thrive in low humidity and moderate temperatures, and can live for decades with proper care.
About African Violets
African violet flowers are a popular houseplant with year-round blooms that make them a delightful conversation piece. They are actually a different genus, Saintpaulia, with most household variations originating from two species: S. ionantha and S. confusa. These plants have a wide range of colors and shapes, but none are truly violets.
African violets are the belle of the houseplant ball, with their variety, perpetual bloom, and warm-weather roots making them suitable for most climates. However, they are at risk of extinction due to deforestation in Tanzania, where some species can only be found in a single forest or mountain. To help, consider donating to the African Rainforest Conservancy or East African Wildlife Foundation.
African violets symbolize devotion, commitment, and faithfulness, making them a thoughtful gift for Mother’s Day, special anniversaries, and milestone events. With the right care, they can live up to 50 years, with the key being to avoid over-watering, chilly temperatures, and direct sunlight. To keep your plant thriving, follow these tips:
1. Keep the plant moist and dry. The African violet flower is not delicate, but it requires proper care to maintain its health.
2. Avoid over-watering, chilly temperatures, and direct sunlight. This can significantly reduce the chances of the plant reaching a ripe old age.
3. Be patient with your African violet plant. If you follow these steps, you can ensure its longevity and beauty.
How to Plant African Violets
African violets are a popular houseplant due to their reliable flowering and easy growth. They thrive in low humidity and moderate temperatures, and with proper care, they can live and bloom for decades. To grow African violets indoors, they need bright, indirect light for best color and blooms. Plant them three feet away from a west- or south-facing window, or under 40-watt fluorescent lights hanging 12 to 15 inches above the plant.
African violets grow best in well-drained, slightly acidic soil, and Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix is formulated to provide the right growing environment. Plant African violets in small ceramic or plastic self-watering containers, which provide the proper amount of continuous moisture. Water African violets weekly, using room-temperature water and not getting water on the leaves.
A month after planting, begin feeding them with Miracle-Gro® Blooming Houseplant Food for more and brighter blooms. Add two pumps of plant food to the water reservoir of a self-watering pot each week when changing the water. If using a regular pot, add plant food directly to the soil or mix in with the water in your watering can.
To grow more African violets, use leaf cuttings from these plants to propagate new plants. Snip off a leaf where it meets the plant stem and stick the cut end in a small container Seed Starting Potting Mix. Keep the soil evenly moist, and new leaves will sprout in a few weeks. Once plants have 4-5 leaves, they can be repotted into African violet pots.
When repotting African violets, remove the plant from the pot, cut off the bottom of the root ball, and repot the plant in the same container with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix, burying the stem.
How to Care for African Violets
In 1892, Baron Walter von Saint Paul discovered the African violet, Saintpaulia ionantha, in Tanzania. This plant belongs to the Gesneriaceae family and is known for its violet-colored flowers. Due to their popularity, many hybrids and varieties are now available, with different flower colors and leaf shapes coming from mutations of the original plant. Standard plants typically grow about 8-12 inches in size, while new miniature varieties stay around 4 inches in width.
Cultivation information for African violets includes providing 10-12 hours of strong light each day, avoiding temperature and humidity fluctuations, and using a pair of 40-watt florescent lights. The best artificial lighting is achieved with a cool-white and warm-white daylight tube placed approximately 8-12 inches above the plants. If the plant has dark healthy leaves but no blooms, increase the light, and if it is blooming but has pale leaves, reduce the light.
African violets prefer a temperature between 65°F and 80°F with about 80% humidity. To provide an adequately humid environment, use a humidifier or place pots in a tray filled with gravel and water. Avoid misting the foliage as water on the foliage may cause permanent leaf spotting.
Watering methods for African violets include placing the pot in a saucer filled with water for 15 to 30 minutes, using a wicking system, or using special, self-watering pots. It is recommended to re-pot African violets once a year to maintain their health and growth.
In summary, African violets are a beautiful and versatile plant that thrives in indoor environments. They require a balanced diet of sunlight, temperature, humidity, and watering methods to ensure their growth and health.
Types of African Violets
There are far too many African violet varieties to try to list them all, with more being developed and named each year. Let’s take a look at 31 beautiful and unique varieties of African violets.
- ‘Champagne Pink’
- ‘Cherry Princess’
- ‘Crimson Ice’
- ‘Diamond Tiffany’
- ‘First Kiss Blush’
- ‘High School Sweetheart’
- ‘Irish Flirt’
- ‘Little Intermezzo’
- ‘Little Maya’
- ‘Little Ruby’
- ‘Lonestar Twilight’
- ‘Mac’s Jubilant Jamboree’
- ‘Music Box Dancer’
- ‘Myakka Trail’
- ‘Ness’ Forever Pink’
- ‘Pow Wow’
- ‘Quilting Bee’
- ‘Radiant Glow’
- ‘Ramblin’ Firedance’
- ‘Rambling Moonbeam’
- ‘Silver Romance’
- ‘Summer Twilight’
African violet enthusiasts have numerous beautiful plant choices, with thousands of cultivars ranging from micro-miniature to large sizes, rosette and trailing growth habits, and countless leaf and flower styles and colors.
How to Get African Violets to Bloom
African violets are a popular plant due to their ability to bloom almost year-round with proper care. Each healthy flower lasts two or three weeks, and a happy plant can produce new blossoms regularly for 10 to 12 months out of the year. Despite their reputation for being finicky, African violets are low maintenance once the conditions are right. Learning more about African violet care can help set your plant up for success. Genetics play a role in whether a plant is born showboat or struggles with stage fright. However, if the plant has bloomed in the past, it is likely that you can coax it back into bloom. If your plant stops blooming, it may be due to a lack of key needs being met. Common culprits include poor soil conditions, lack of sunlight, or poor lighting.
Common Problems With African Violets
African violet leaves curling under are a common issue caused by cold air and direct sunlight. To fix this, move your plant to a more pleasant space with a steady temperature of 68-70ºF or support it with a small heat lamp or grow light. If you have trouble maintaining a consistent temperature in your home during winter months, consider supporting your plant with a small heat lamp or grow light.
Too much sunlight can also cause the leaves to curl under. African violets prefer bright, indirect sunlight, but when placed in hot, direct sunlight, their leaves can suffer. Sweet, sweet shade is recommended for this issue.
Brown, crispy leaves are a clear sign that something has gone wrong with your plant. Two main culprits are water spotting and too much fertilizer. Water spotting occurs when your plant’s leaves get wet while watering and exposed to direct sunlight, leading to brown spots and sunburn. The affected leaves won’t recover and need to be removed.
To prevent overfertilization, examine the pot for salt buildup on the soil, leaves, or rim of the pot. If you notice orange or yellow-ish crystals, flush the soil with room-temperature water while avoiding the leaves. Use a gentle, urea-free fertilizer to prevent nutrient buildup underground.
When a leaf turns yellow, it’s likely a sign that your plant is starting its journey to the greenhouse. However, this doesn’t mean the entire plant is sick. Water shock occurs when the water is colder or warmer than the plant’s base temperature, which can shock and kill the cells in the leaf.
How Do I Bring My African Violet Back to Life?
Although they’re known for being finicky, African violets actually are quite hardy in the right conditions. Our blog 6 Signs Your African Violet Is Dying can help you identify what needs fixing and revive your plant before it’s too late. Once you’ve averted disaster, follow these five tips to keep your African violet alive for years to come.
How Do I Know if My African Violet Is Healthy?
If your African violet is healthy, you’ll know it! These gorgeous plants grow vigorously, and are known to bloom nearly all year round. If you’ve got vibrant flowers, strong growth, and firm, fuzzy leaves, keep doing what you’re doing!
Monitor your plant regularly for African violet leaf problems, flower loss, or soil issues—and correct any inconsistencies before they become a bigger issue. Master your process with Do This, Not That!, an easy guide to beginner African violet care.