African Violets: Growing Tips and Care

African Violets are very popular when it comes to gardening in limited areas. Here are some growing tips and ways to care for the African Violets.
About African Violets

The African Violets originated in Africa. This low growing plant is available not only in shades of violet, but also in pale blue and white. African violets are also known to adapt well to typical growing conditions found in many homes. Their small stature makes them a favorite amongst people who have limited space to pursue gardening. The African Violets are also known as the Saintpaulia. This name goes back to the time when Baron Walter von Saint Paul discovered them and brought the plants back to Europe in 1863. This plant was first discovered in Tanzania. The African Violets are also available in multi-colored forms. The flower shape can be single, star shaped, double or semi-doubled or even fringed at times. The leaves are also seen in a variety of shapes such as oval and ruffled. There are many factors one needs to consider when it comes to growing African Violets. Let us take a look at some tips to remember while growing and maintaining African Violets.

African Violets: Growing Tips and Care

African Violets require a very good source of light for it to bloom. You can place them on a window that is facing North or the East, especially during the summer season. Here, you must take into consideration the intensity of light. When growing African Violets, too much sunlight can even cause the leaves to burn. If the leaves turn thin and dark, it would mean that it is not having enough light. The winter season may see the temperature drop down. In such cases, the African Violets should be moved away from the window in the night. The right way to create a kind of a suitable growing condition for the African Violets would be to set it in a deep pan on an inch layer of pebbles, filled with water, just below the pot.

Watering the African Violets also plays an important part in their growth. This would also depend on the soil mixture and the size of the pot. The right way to water these African Violets would be watering them from below or from above, with a watering can that has a long spout. This method will give you the right amount of moisture in the soil. You can even use the wick method of watering the African Violets.

Growing African Violets would also need you to consider the texture and constituency of the soil for the plant. These plants require a rich soil with special soil mixes. These have to be designed and sometimes scientifically prepared to the exact specifications. When it comes to the soil, also keep in mind that the soil is not packed too tightly. This is because the African Violets need a well-aerated soil for their growth.

African Violets are known to grow better in an environment of 65° to 75°F temperature in the night and during the day it can bear a 10° or a 15° increase in temperature. High humidity is beneficial for these plants. For this, you can place the potted plants in a metal or a plastic container that is filled with gravel or sand. You can have a shallow layer of water in the bottom of the container to assist evaporation in the atmosphere. But, do not set the bottom of the pot directly in the water.

Caring for African Violets would also require you to keep a check if these are subject to attacks of mealy bugs or red spiders. In case this occurs, you can use insecticides that are labeled for use on the African Violets. You can also opt for natural methods to control the attacks of the pest or bugs. While potting the African Violets, you can use decorative clay or plastic pots. These can also be planted in any kind of a container but care needs to be taken to use some foil or tape along the rim of a clay pot. This would keep the leaf petioles from rotting. Here's hoping these growing and caring tips for African Violets can help you cultivate these plants with ease. Good luck!
By Kashmira Lad
Published: 1/7/2008
Bouquets and Brickbats | What Others Said