Gardening Magazine

Growing African Violets

By Kate_miller

Growing African Violets

Rebel's Night Breezes African Violet

It's always a mistake for me to visit Home Depot. I grab the cart and push off quickly, determined to by-pass the flower department. With blinders on, I make a beeline to the more mundane departments, such as plumbing, or electrical.

Growing African Violets

I like to pair micro-mini roses with the violets. Such a pretty combination...

Though, that rarely, if ever, works. Some little pretty catches my eye and this time it was the Violets. I need another African Violet like I need a hole in my head but, somehow, two more of them found their way onto my window sill.
I'm justifying this by composting the old violets, in favor of some new fresh blooms... because older Violets run out of steam. They flower less profusely and the leaves get kind of ratty.

Growing African Violets

Ness Ruffled Skies African Violet

Growing Tips:
African Violets grow perfectly for 2 types of people:
1) Residents of Tanzania
2) Indoor gardeners with a lot of time on their hands
If you don’t fall into those two categories, you’re probably an African Violet serial killer... like me! And, Sandy... and, pretty much everyone else I know. Come springtime, stores tempt us with these darling little house plants though the average life expectancy in my home is about 6 months.

Growing African Violets

Lyon's Spun Sugar African Violet

* The quickest way to kill them is by over watering. Water when soil is dry to the touch.
* Another good way to do a bad job is to water them from above. They absolutely hate getting their leaves wet. Set them in a saucer and let the roots slowly take a drink.
* East windows, with morning sunlight and bright light for the rest of the day, is ideal.
√ If leaves start turning brown, the plant is getting too much light.

Growing African Violets

Tommi Lou African Violet

Give them highly diluted 10-10-10 organic plant fertilizer, once a month. Spend the extra dollar on African Violet soil. It does make a difference.

Growing African Violets

Strawberry Sundae African Violet

Or, better yet... don't re-pot them. For indoor flowering plants, it's not always a good idea to re-pot them; they flower best when root bound. Have you ever noticed how the plant is super cheap but then a ceramic pot costs a fortune and special soils are pretty spendy? The flower is the hook to get you to spend tons of money on accessories you may not need. But, then, I'm a cheapskate.
These pretty, little flowers grow wild in one small place on the planet, the rain forests of East Africa. Make them feel at home by creating a humid environment.

Growing African Violets

Bob Serbin African Violet

Put a layer of stones in a deep saucer, fill with water, and place your flower pot on top of it. (Pot should sit above the water level.)
The water will slowly evaporate upwards, creating the perfect flowering environment for your African Violet. Which, incidentally, is not a violet at all. But, that's a story for another day...
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