African Violet Know-how

These are some violet care tips Valerie put together. About all I know is that she grows hundreds, and they require minimal care and they look great. Hey, the results speak for themselves.


Watering - Young plants may be top watered, using tepid-warm water. Take care to keep water away from the crown and avoid spilling water on the leaves. A wet plant can rot and die if you are not careful.

Potting up plants - For each plant take a 3 & 1/2 in. pot and fill it with regular, peat-based potting compost. Young plants with a good root system can use full-strength potting compost. Make sure that the crown is just above the soil surface and gently firm the compost around the young plant. Water in with tepid water from below or around the plant if watering from above. Place a clear plastic bag over the top of the plant and pot for the first few weeks to help the plant to become established. Once you definitely see growth the bag should be removed. Give it as much light as possible now to encourage blooming. You may see flowers within three to six months after repotting.

Flowering - Flowering occurs when the plant is root bound and will have repeat blooms every 6 to 8 weeks with proper fertilizer and light.

Rejuvenating a "stalky" plant - As a mature African violet plant develops and grows older, its lower, outer leaves will die and need to be removed. The Leaves are constantly being replaced by fresh new leaves growing out of the crown of the plant. After some time, the loss of these outer leaves will begin to expose the underside of the plant and reveal its bare main stalk. When this process of aging first becomes apparent, it is possible to repot the plant into a larger pot, sinking the stalk lower into the compost. This will improve the appearance of the plant for a time.

Sooner or later more drastic action has to be taken. First, using a very sharp knife, slice through the main stalk of the plant just above the soil surface. Trim the stem back, leaving 1 1/2 inch (38mm) below the last good leaf. Plant after 6 - 12 hours to give the plant a chance to heal over so it will not rot on you. Plant it up in potting compost, or rooting it in water first before potting. In either case it is most important to cover the plant with a clear plastic bag to retain moisture and reduce stress. Make sure that all buds and flowers have been removed, and do not give any fertilizer for the first 10 weeks.

Rotting leaves - Getting the plant wet without drying it off immediately or over watering.

Yellow/brown leaves - It is getting too much bright light. The sun bleaches the leaves. Move the plants to a North window, where the light is more to itís liking.

Flowers with brown spots - It is in too bright of light.

Big leaves and no flowers - Your plant is struggling to grow with insufficient light. Move it to a sunnier location.

Leaves with white spots or streaks - These white marks are where the green chlorophyll has been killed by cold water or exposure to cold air or draughts. It is not a disease, it will not spread, and it will not occur again if you eliminate the cause.

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