The Robust African Violet
African violets, also referred to as Saintpaulia, can be found in different purple, blue, and mauve shades. You can also find white African Violets. Large leaves surround small flowers on this hardy little plant, and these leaves are as soft as velvet.
African violet care
African violets are excellent plants inside the home. When placed in a small pot, they can fit nicely on the ledge of a window. Another desirable feature of the African violet is its ability to produce flowers throughout the year.
- If you decide to keep African violets in your home, place them in a window where a neighbouring tree outside shades them from full sun.
- Give your African violets a good watering with tepid water when you water them and remove any water that settles at the bottom of the tray. Do this twice each time you water these plants in the summertime to flush out any accumulation of destructive salts.
- Make sure the soil that nourishes your African violets is always a little moist. Since the leaves and flowers on African violets can easily be damaged if water touches them, be sure to water these plants from the bottom, and do not spray the flowers or the leaves.
- Fertilize African violets with a phosphorous-rich fertilizer made for houseplants to keep them healthy. With proper care, you should enjoy these plants for a very long time as African violets are reported to have a life expectancy of 50 years.
- You can use an actual African violet potting mix or an all-purpose potting soil, as long as it is well-draining.
- Keep African violets settled in little pots and re-pot once a year to blend in fresh soil.
- The soil should be loosened and well-drained, and the high organic body content is beneficial.
- Many species prefer warm conditions (65°F / 18°C or warmer) though some can tolerate more controlled conditions. Keep away from drafty windows in winter.
- Thin, dark green leaves and leggy stems notify you that the plant is getting too limited light; light green or bleached leaves indicate too much light.
- Plants should be moved to larger pots as they grow, but keeping African violets slightly root-bound can assist them to bloom. The optimal conditions for repotting are after some leaves have wilted a bit.
Put African violets in your home if you require houseplants you can count on for longevity and year-round blossoms. Purchase them in assorted colours, and keep them collectively in one pot to enjoy the beauty of the contrasting colours of the delicate flowers. Present someone you know with African violets as they make a delightful gift.
African violets are typically classified by size, based on how wide they grow:
- Miniature: less than 8 inches across
- Standard: 8–16 inches across
- Large: more than 16 inches across
Potting, Spacing and Troubleshooting
African violets need to have a potting mix that drains quickly and doesn’t hold unnecessary water.
Tip: Many commercial African violet soil mixes are too thick and difficult for proper root growth.
For best blossom, pots should be about one-third to half the diameter of the plant. For example, a 7-9″ plant should be in a 3″ pot. A 9-12″ plant goes into a 4″ pot. Choose shallow pots for best drainage and root aeration. Repot your plant in new soil and a clean pot every year.
For more information on African violets, visit the website for the African Violet Society of America at www.avsa.org.