Growing African Violets

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African violets are small houseplants that produce clusters of white, blue, or purple flowers over fuzzy leaves. 



Planting


How to plant African violets

  • You can use an actual African violet potting mix or an all-purpose potting soil. 
  • Keep them planted in small pots and re-pot once a year to mix in fresh soil.
  • The soil should be loose and well-drained, and high organic matter content is beneficial. 

Care


How to care for African violets

  • Keep the soil lightly moist and use room-temperature water.
  • Leaves are susceptible to rot if kept in high humidity, so water African violets from the bottom to avoid getting excess water on the leaves.
  • Dust dirt off the leaves with a small, soft brush.
  • Fertilize every 2 weeks with a high phosphorous plant food, but only during the active growing season (spring and summer). Only start to fertilize when the plant appears to need an extra boost. Over-fertilizing is a more common problem than under-fertilizing.
  • Many varieties prefer warm conditions (65°F / 18°C or warmer) though some can tolerate cooler conditions. Keep away from drafty windows in winter.
  • Thin, dark green leaves and leggy stems tell you that the plant is getting too little light; light green or bleached leaves indicate too much light.
  • Plants should be shifted to larger pots as they grow, but keeping African violets slightly root-bound can encourage them to bloom. The optimal time for repotting is after some leaves have wilted a bit.



Pests/Diseases


  • Cyclamen mites can occur. They are nearly impossible to remove completely, so disposal of the infected plant and isolation of nearby plants is recommended.
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Various forms of rot and blight

Recommended varieties


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