African Violet Care
One of the most talked about house plants in term of care is the African Violet. However if you get the basis right, these are actually an easy pplant to grow.
The main requirements for wonderful African Violets are water and light, if these two factors can be catered for you are well on your way to problem free plants
Watering African Violets
The growing medium needs to be on the dry side of moist. This means we let the soil almost dry out before watering. The regime should be:
Use room temperature water that has been allowed to stand for a day or so that any chlorine has had time to dissipate. Soft water is also a problem, do not use it.
Water from below the leaves, use a specialist watering can with a small spout so that you can get the water directly to the soil. Or place the pot in a a tube of water for 15 minutes to soak. Or use a wicking system, this is a wick that takes water from a reservoir to the plant.
Watering problems with African Violets
- Water on the leaves will cause spots
- Cold water will cause the leaves to curl
- Over watering can cause crown rot and can also starve the roots of oxygen
Light for African Violets
Light should be bright but indirect. so filtered light. As African violets are often grown indoors with light from a window, the pots need to rotated to prevent uneven growth. Many growers use special fluorescent grow lights.
Light problems with African Violets
- Burnt foliage a sign of to much light
- Lack or flowers and pale foliage indicates to little light
- Lack of a night, like us they need a sleep, 8 hours of darkness a day
Temperature and Humidity for African Violets
Certainly an even daytime temperature is important, around 20C (70F) is ideal, the same temperature as most people feel comfortable in. Although cooler nights are OK avoid cold drafts.
Ideally a humidity of 50 - 60%, this is easily achieved with the wicking systems used in specialist African Violet Pots. Some growers mist during warmer periods as well, some use humidifiers
Temperature Problems with African Violets
- High temperatures will cause lanky growth and the foliage may
dry and drop off.
Cold temperatures can cause leaf loss, crown rot and wilt.
African Volet Accessories
Some important accessories that will help you grow great affican violets include :
One of the major factors is not to over pot, these are a plant that like the root systems a little confined, not quit pot bound, but almost.
A number of specialist African Violet fertilisers are on the market, they are often used with the wicking systems.
- Potting medium
Use a specialist potting mix, usually one with perlite and sphagnum moss, this promotes good drainage and adequate moisture. Repot every year for optimum growth and health
African Violet Pests and Diseases
- Powdery Mildew
- Insects and mites
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