How to get your African violets to bloom
One of the world’s most popular house-plants has to be the African violet, with flowers nowadays, in almost every color hue. While some will flower as sweet singles, there are also doubles, ruffles, minis and trailing varieties; and others too, with variegated leaves.
Whatever the variety, each has its own special charm, often bringing keen collectors together to compare plants, at their annual exhibitions. Should you ever have the chance, do visit an African violet show, and there you will get to see the very best of African violets on display.
Where’s the best position indoors, for an African violet?
African violets need a warm position, away from cold draughts. They also need very good light, (without direct sunshine), to promote flowering. During colder seasons and with lesser daylight hours, African violets will slow down their flower production. This can be overcome if need be, by using overhead fluorescent light-tubes suited to indoor plants.
What kind of potting mix?
Use an open and light, free-draining potting mix, marketed especially for African Violets.
Watering African violets:
Most successful methods for watering are here, perhaps depending on numbers of plants in a collection to be attended to
- 1) Sit the pot into a container of water and let the African violet drink up the water naturally. Remove when the surface is damp, and don’t water again until the surface has become dry to touch.
- 2) Plastic pots made especially suited to African violet plants, include a saucer with a raised section inside for the pot to rest upon. A thick wick is placed into the planting medium when potting up, and is pulled out through the bottom of the pot and remains in the water tray. As the potting medium dries out this wick then absorbs moisture, keeping the African violet sufficiently moist.
- 3) There is a similar self-watering ceramic version available, avoiding the need for a wick.
Feeding plants with a specially formulated, commercial African violet tonic, will continually promote healthy plants, and subsequently, abundant flowering. This is generally available in a colored, granulated form and added to water.
As house-plants, African violets will over time collect dust, and this can clog the pores of their leaves. A light brushing with a soft toothbrush or a paintbrush is recommended and will also keep the leaves looking fresh and clean.
Basic tips on how to grow African Violets.