Growing Beautiful African Violets

Growing Beautiful African Violets

A Beginners Guide to Beautiful Flowering African Violets

African Violets are lovely little plants and are fairly easy to grow. If you haven't had good luck with them in the past, follow a few simple rules to get them blooming in no time!

Basic Care for African Violets
African Violets really can be easy to grow and have bloom for you. They do need a few special things though, to really be at their peak.

The first thing that your African Violets need is sunlight. Lots of it too. However, you may not want to put them right in the direct sun of a sunny south facing window. Many house plants will burn if set in a hot southern exposure, so if that is where they need to be, set them back a little bit from the window.

Bright indirect light is the best for African Violets. The more, the better. In theory, they should have over twelve hours or very bright indirect light. However, if you can't provide that, find a good bright place and give that a try. The plants should do just fine.

Watering African Violets can be a little tricky. Their leaves are fuzzy and, as with almost all fuzzy-leafed plants, you should not get their leaves wet. They will not like this at all. The leaves which have been wet will turn brown and die.

It is best to water your African Violets from the bottom. Add water into the saucer at the bottom of the flower pot and let it seep in to the soil.

In addition, do not over water your plants. If you find that your African Violets are growing but not flowering, try cutting back on the water. Let the pots dry out almost completely in between waterings. If you stick your finger in to the soil, it should feel dry, but not crusty. If it is hard or crusty, you have let it get too dry. Generally, try to water your African Violets every week or ten days.

Fertilizing Your African Violets
You can readily buy some African Violet fertilizer. The liquid type makes the job very easy. Just add the fertilizer to the water you are going to water your plants with. You can dilute the fertilizer by half and fertilize every time you water if you like. During the winter, it is not a bad idea to give your plants a break and skip some fertilization. Don't forget to get back in the habit as the days start to lengthen. This is the plant's signal to get growing.

Potting Your African Violets
African Violets do best in small pots. Make sure that the pot has drainage holes in the bottom, as sitting in water will kill them. You can purchase special potting soil for African Violets.

You may never have to repot your African Violets, but if you decide to change their pot, make sure to keep them in a container which is about the same size as the previous one.

Put some rocks or a piece of paper towel over the drainage holes, but make sure that water will seep out. Then add a layer of fresh African Violet soil into the bottom of the pot. Position the plant in the pot and make sure that the previous soil line is just under the rim of the container.

Fill up the pot, making sure to keep the plant straight and pat down the soil gently but firmly. Make sure to give your plant a drink (from the bottom) now that it is in its new home.

Propagating African Violets
African Violets are easy to propagate and can make great gifts. Why not take some cuttings and make new plants?

Make sure that the plant you are taking the cuttings from is in good health. You might want to water it if it is dry a little while before you take the cuttings. This way, the cuttings will be hydrated and in good shape.

Cut off a few leaves from the plant. Try to take the more mature leaves at the bottom of the plant. Pinch off the stems and keep them as long as possible. You can take several leaves.

Take the leaves and put them into a small pot filled with rooting mixture or African Violet soil. Just stick the stems into the soil and pat down the soil around them. Water the pot, this time from the top, remembering not to wet the leaves. This will tamp down the soil and remove any air pockets.

Leave your leaf cuttings in a spot which gets plenty of bright indirect light. Too much heat may keep them from rooting, though. Remember to water as with the host plant and in four to six weeks, many of your leaves should be rooted.

African Violet Varieties
African Violets come in many colors and varieties. You can find them in white, pink, purple and more. You also can find variegated flowering African Violets and plants which have ruffled leaves and flowers.

Get Growing
Go buy some African Violets. They are inexpensive and easy to care for. If you find that they are not flowering for you, give them some more light or less water and you should be good to go. These lovely little plants are a fantastic addition to any room. Enjoy!