Learning how to properly care for African violets will ensure that your new plants will stick around for several years to come. In general, the African violet is a hardy plant and most homes will serve as a suitable environment for their growth. There are a few basic requirements that African violet plants need to thrive and it is important to fully understand them.
To care for African violets you must have an area in your home where they can grow. A suitable place would be on a windowsill that receives a good amount of filtered sun each day. Avoid damaging African violets by placing this delicate plant in direct sunlight.
Tip: The African violet is a beautiful flowering plant. If you don't have a suitable windowsill to grow your African violets, consider investing in a grow light that simulates sunlight. Simply position your grow light approximately 18" above your plant and watch it thrive in your home!
Most garden stores will sell fertilizer that has been specifically designed for African violets. It is advisable to select one of these products as many other house plant fertilizers contain elements that can be harmful to African violets.
The main thing to look for in your African violet fertilizer is balanced nutrition. A popular combination is 10-10-10. Fertilizers that are water soluble are great because the nutrients break down better when added directly to self-watering pots.
One of the easiest ways to care for African violets is to plant them in self-watering pots. Because these plants need to be kept evenly moist, it is really hard to properly water your African violets from the top of the soil. More often than not the top inch of the soil will be moist, but the bottom few inches will be completely dry. A self-watering pot helps to solve this problem by allowing the soil to soak up any extra water it might need.
Tip: If you choose to water your African violets from the top make sure to dry off the leaves when you are done. Water can damage the leaves if left on their surface.
Finding the right soil for your African violet is essential to the health of the plant. African violets need a soil that is light and fluffy so it does not suffocate the plant's root system. This is especially important because the soil needs to stay moist and the water can cause it to compact in the pot.
A good African violet soil should contain three main ingredients: peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. The peat moss will help to retain moisture and the perlite will stop the soil from compacting.