Inside: The African Violet plant is one of the most popular flowering houseplants. Taking care of your African Violet plant is pretty easy. Learn the best way how to take care of African Violet plants to ensure they live a long happy life.
African Violet – Saintpaulia
Look around any home that has a window in their kitchen, odds are you’ll find an African Violet plant perched upon the windowsill. Heck, even Julia Roberts put one or two African Violet plants on the windowsill in her kitchen in Sleeping with the Enemy.
That’s how it should be.
All kitchens should not only come with a refrigerator, dishwasher; microwave, and oven; but they should be equipped with an African Violet plant as well.
Hey, if it’s in Julia Robert’s kitchen (regardless if it’s her fictional kitchen) it should be in yours too.
No wonder the African Violet is one of the most popular and readily available flowering houseplants. Not only is it reasonably priced, but it spruces up any area of your home. What sets the African violet apart from other flowering houseplants is the texture of its leaves which tend to feel fuzzy.
You may have heard, that African Violets are rather finicky or extremely fragile, and in the past they were; however, with new growing technology, and different hybrid varieties, the African Violet is one little plant that can hold its own.
This is how you take care of African Violet plants
With the right care, the African Violet plant can bloom nearly year-round. Each flower typically will last two or three weeks. An African Violet plant can continue producing new flowers regularly for 10 to 12 months out of the year. This is one of the reasons why the African Violet plant is one of the most loved houseplants around.
African Violet lighting requirements
The African Violet does best in an environment that is bright but has indirect light. It thrives with 8 to 12 hours of light per day.
An east-facing window would be its ideal home. African Violets also do extremely well under grow lights, so if you live in a cave with poor lighting or you don’t have an Eastern exposure window, your African Violet will be equally as happy.
An African Violet can also survive under fluorescent lights, but the flowers will tend to die off quicker under fluorescents than in natural or supplemental lighting.
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African Violet soil requirements
African Violets do well in light, porous, and well-draining potting media. They like the soil slightly moist, but not wet.
A good mixture of fertile loam, sand, perlite, and peat will make your African violet extremely happy. If you’re unable to locate fertile loam or don’t care to make potting soil, Black Gold African Violet potting soil works amazingly well.
African Violet water requirements
The best way to water your African Violet is by bottom watering, using room temperature water. Not only will your plant absorb all the water it needs, but it also reduces its leaves getting wet, which can cause spots or rings to appear.
Using cold water will damage the African Violet’s root system due to shock.
It’s best to use distilled, rain, spring, or filtered water. African Violet plants don’t tolerate tap water very well.
African Violet fertilizer requirements
Your African Violet plant needs to be fertilized every 6 to 8 weeks. You can use commercial houseplant fertilizer; however, the African Violet will do better if you use organic fertilizer, such as worm castings.
African Violet humidity requirements
African Violets enjoy humidity levels between 40% and 70%. They will not bloom as much if the humidity levels are too low.
If you’re not one to have a humidifier in your home due to an increase in mold growth, you may want to place the pot on a shallow tray, or a plant drip tray filled with some small pebbles. Just add some water to the tray and when it evaporates, your African Violet will reap the rewards of the water’s vapors.
African Violet temperature requirements
African Violets don’t like to be cold. Let’s be real; who does. The best temperature to keep them at would be between 65°F and 85°F ( 16°C and 30°C)
Bugs & Diseases that affect African Violets
There are several pests that can harm an African Violet.
Root-knot nematodes cause stunting of growth and blister-like galls on the roots and leaves. Plants infested with root-knot nematodes should be destroyed immediately.
Mealybugs can harm your African Violets by stunting and distorting the leaves due to the mealybug sucking all the juice out of the leaves. Mealybugs leave a sticky substance behind called honeydew which can cause mold growth or ant infestation.
Just what you don’t need; more bugs.
To get rid of Mealybugs simply spray your plant with warm water, Dawn dish soap, and isopropyl alcohol. You can also add all the ingredients to a small bowl and dab with either a cotton swab or cotton ball.
Peachy Tip. When using Dawn detergent, do not use the foam version. It’ll leave soap suds on the plant, which you may think are mealybugs.
Although, you typically don’t want to get the leaves of your African Violet plant wet, when it comes to pest control, wouldn’t you rather have some brown marks on your leaves than an infestation?
Other tips for the happiness and well-being of your African Violet plant
African Violets do require excellent circulation and are somewhat anti-social, so it would be best to keep them away from crowds. In other words, they’ll be happy amongst your other plants, but don’t keep so close to other plants that it invades their personal space.
How do you care for your African Violet Plant?
Are you very careful not to get the leaves wet when you water your African Violet plant or do you bottom water? Share with a comment.
For more information regarding African violets please visit The African Violet Society.