African Violets are plants with heart-shaped leaves and delicate blossoms. True to their cousin, the wild violet, a lot of the blooms are purple in color. However, African Violets do come in blooms of yellow, red, fuchsia, white, and multi-colored. Their leaves can be dark green to multi-green.
Most of the time these plants are kept inside as houseplants. They can be very stingy with their blooms if they are not taken care of properly. But, when they get the sunlight and nutrition they need they can produce a multitude of healthy blooms year round.
The first consideration when taking care of your African Violet is light. African Violets need at least twelve hours of light a day. They thrive best with natural sunlight, so if there is a window they can sit in where sun shines through for most of the day, they will be happiest there. However, this is a difficult thing to achieve so many people resort to artificial light.
Your local nursery will have plant lights of all shapes and sizes and designs. Bring a picture or your plant and the area you wish to keep it with you and the workers at the nursery can help you decide on the plant light that best suits your needs. While you are there, you might as well discuss the proper plant food with the nursery worker.
There are many types of plant foods available. It is best to buy one that is specifically for African Violets. This way you are sure to give your plant the right amount of nutrients without giving it things it does not need or will harm it. There are different formulas of African Violet food, and depending on the size and type of your plant, you will need to know which one is best for your particular African Violet.
One other consideration you have is your plant’s home. What kind of container are you going to allow your African Violet to grow in? There are things to consider before you make this decision. For instance, how are you going to water and feed your plant. Watering an African Violet is a delicate procedure. You have to be very careful not to allow water in the base or leaves of your plant, or you could cause fungus to grow or cause parts of your plant to rot.
Watering from the bottom is an option. If this is what you plan to do, you must buy a container with at least one hole in the bottom. Then, you need something to place that container in so it will be sitting in the water. Here are some ideas you can use for this.
A regular clay pot with a hole in the bottom works well. Use that to house your plant. Then, use a tray with medium size gravel to set your clay pot on. Pour the water mixed with the plant food into the tray with the gravel. Allow the clay pot to naturally soak up the water and feed your plant.
Another way is to use a plastic pot with a hole at the bottom. Take thick cotton string and fray the end of it. Place that in the bottom of the pot and then put the dirt and your plant on top of the string. Let the pot sit in its bottom dish and pour your plant food into the dish. The string will soak up the plant food and deliver it to your plant’s soil.
There are self-watering pots you can buy also. These tend to be expensive and don’t always work correctly. But, sometimes they can be beneficial. It is up to you to decide which type of arrangement is going to work best for you.
Even if you plan to water and feed your plant from the bottom up, you still need to water it at least once a week from the top. To do this, use a watering can with a long skinny spout. Hold back the leaves of the plant gently and make sure you do not get any in the base or leaves of the plant. This is necessary to wash away all the mineral deposits that gather in the top of the soil and can cause your plant to stop blooming.
If you make sure your African Violet gets plenty of light, the right food, and keep moisture off the green parts of your plant, you should have a prosperous and beautiful plant. Your blooms will be more likely to become vibrant and plentiful.