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African Violets

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African Violet
Purple African violet

Watering African violets are easy and simple. It like bottom watering. This plant will get a leaf burn if its leaves get wet.

You should place your potted plant in a tub or saucer that has a few inches of water in it. The drainage holes in your planter allow the water to absorb into the soil. If the soil is moist, then you should remove the pot from the saucer.

African Violet leaves are rigid and do not like to flex very much. If you want to water it from the top, you should gently lift the leave and gently pour the water. 

All about African Violets

African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha) is native to Eastern Africa and belongs to the family Gesneriaceae.

African Violet can bloom for 10 to 12 months of the year when cared for properly.  

These plants have different leaf variations. Flower color varies from white, pink, maroon, blue, lavender, violet, deep purple.

They are ideal plants for gifts as they stay small. They need very little space and live for many years (if well maintained).

African Violet is one of the easiest to grow houseplants that have low maintenance.
Let us get into the details and understand African Violet’s cultural requirements like light, humidity, soil, and nutrients requirements.

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African Violet
African violet

African violet light requirement

African Violets need a lot of bright indirect sunlight.

They thrive under grow lights turned on for 12 to 15 hours a day. South or West windows offer the best light in winter. During warmer seasons, windows with East or North exposures are best.

If the light is too much, then the leaves turn into pale and appear bleached out.

African Violets are not blooming

African violets need around 12-15 hours of light to bloom. You can also put them near grow lights if they are not blooming.

What temperature do African Violets prefer?

They do better indoors when the temperature is between 60-70 degrees and higher humidity. 

African Violets fertilizer

African Violet likes to be bottom watered. So, during watering, add few drops of fertilizer to the water saucer. Instead of adding fertilizer once a month, break it into 4-5 times.

African violet flower

Does the pest attack African Violets?

Yes, Aphids, Cyclamen Mites, Red Spiders, Mealy Bugs, or Botrytis Blight can attack African violets.

Insecticidal soap sprays can control most insects and mites. 

Mealybugs may be controlled by mixing rubbing alcohol with an equal amount of water and touching each insect with a cotton swab dipped in the solution.

Cyclamen mites are one of the most serious pests of African Violets. They are very small and cannot be seen with the naked eye. They may cause severe stunting of leaves in the center of the plant, sometimes with leaf curling. New leaves are often very hairy, making them appear grayish. Flower buds may also be stunted and misshapen or even fail to open. Badly infested plants should be discarded. Kelthane sprays may be used if many plants are affected.

Saintpaulia ionantha

Propagating african violets

African Violets can be propagated by division, leaf-petiole cutting, and seeds.

The easiest method of propagation is by division. It takes about 10 months to produce a flowering plant if propagated through cuttings. Though propagation through seeds is easy, seeds are never perfect replicas of the parent plant, and the success of the seeds is not guaranteed.

What soil is good for African Violets?

African Violets grow in a very wide range of soils and soil mixtures. Artificial mixes such as peat-vermiculite and peat-perlite are great for growing violets. Violets grow best in sterilized potting soil or commercial African Violet soil mixture.

African Violets and cats

African Violets are not toxic to cats. As per the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), African violets are non-toxic to Cats, Dogs, and Horses.

Although African violets are not toxic, the pesticides or chemicals that you apply to the plant may be toxic to the cats.