Docter’s Interior Plantscaping features African Violets at the Town Center Marketplace every Saturday this season through October 3rd.
Growing African Violets is Simple.
African Violets are great plants for indoor growing because of their beauty and easy care. These plants do best as houseplants in most areas because they do not tolerate cold temperatures. They have dainty yet hardy blooms in many colors, some with frilly, elegant, fringed edges and double petals. While they may have a few quirks, learning the basics of caring for your African Violets will help you achieve beautiful blooming plants that will last for years.
Light – Choose an area with bright light that is slightly filtered during the spring through fall months so your plants are not subject to sun damage or drying out too quickly. You may choose to move them to a brighter location during the winter, even into direct sunlight, since the winter sunlight is not as intense. Dark green foliage plants need a slightly higher intensity of light than the more pale leaf varieties.
Water – African Violets are a bit picky about water so this is where they may be individually quirky. You never want your method of watering to splash on the foliage as this will produce spotting. The best method for watering is to place your plants in a saucer of lukewarm water when the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch. Do not leave your plants in the saucer for more than 30 minutes. By then, they will have absorbed what they need and you can be sure you are not over-watering your plants.
Fertilizing – If you are noticing that your African Violets do not seem to be blooming on a regular basis or the foliage is seeming to pale out, you should feed your plants with a special African Violet Fertilizer or a plant food that has a higher middle number such as a 15-30-15 mix. Add about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of fertilizer per gallon of water to your saucer wicking water once or twice a month. Be cautious of the “super bloom” fertilizers as they can burn the roots.
Repotting – The rule of thumb for repotting your African Violets is to make the size of the pot about 1/3 the diameter of the plant. Pinch the leaves back to about 3 or 4 main rows of leaves and bury the “neck” in a soil mix of equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. Be sure to remove new growth, or suckers, that grow on the main stem. These small, new stems can grow large and make the plant misshapen and uneven in appearance and slow down the bloom production.
Now that you have these basic guidelines, you can enjoy your beautiful African Violets with confidence.
Experience Live Plants!