African violets have a unique scent that can lighten up the surrounding of your home throughout the year. As a popular plant, it has well-shaped leaves, firm structure, and brightly coloured beautiful blooms that can make any home look magnificent. But then, it is not just about planting African violets but about knowing how to care for them.
African violet, which is also commonly known as Saintpaulia, is a herbaceous flowering plant, and it is from the family of Gesneriaceae. It derives this name because it has a superficial resemblance with real violets, and interestingly, small houseplants can produce clusters of blue, white, or purple flowers over fuzzy leaves.
How to care for African violets houseplants
African violet is a tender plant and must be cared for accordingly. Here is what you need to do to take care of them probably.
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1. Get an ideal temperature
The range of temperature that is ideal for your houseplant is between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius, so the plant should be in a place where you can monitor its temperature easily. Additionally, let the plant be in a part of the house where it can get indirect sunlight as it will scorch easily under direct sunlight.
2. Continuous watering
For your plant to bloom, you must water it adequately at all times. While underwatering can hinder the blooming of an African violet plant, you must also bear in mind that too much water can equally affect its growth. At the same time, when watering, do so at the base and never splash on the foliage, as drops of such can cause foliar spots and damage. Also, always use lukewarm or tepid water.
3. Fertilise when needed
African violets need enough nutrients to continue producing flowers throughout the year, which is why fertilising it is still necessary to sustain its year-round growth. You can use food that has a higher percentage of phosphorus or special African violet food to fertilise it.
4. Repot to give room for continuous growth
As much as you desire to see your houseplant growing, you should bear in mind that once the pot in which it is planted becomes too small for it, its growth may be affected. By implication, you need to repot the plants and use new soil and a larger pot every year to keep up with the growth.
How to care for African violets after blooming
One of the best periods that you will love your African violets is when it starts to flourish, as it is very colourful and unique at this time.
Try to rotate the pot once a week so that all the leaves can receive light. Besides that, below are some other points to note on African violets care to maintain its first bloom all through the year:
- Make sure the pot where the plant is placed has drainage holes.
- Because the plant is delicate, keep a warm environment.
- When it is time to repot, always ensure that you use an organic potting soil made especially for African violets.
- Use the required fertilisers to preserve the bloom.
How do I get my African violet to bloom again?
If for any reason your plant stopped blooming and you are concerned on how to revive it, try the following:
- Check the soil to make sure if everything is okay with it.
- Put the plant in a four-inch pot.
- Water your violet plants from the bottom.
- Use nutrients that are specially made for African violets.
- Prune suckers as soon as they appear.
- Place the plants where they will get filtered without direct sunlight.
How to grow African violets
You can grow African violets at home quite easily if all the necessary environmental conditions, right medium, and nutrients are present. As long as the plants get all they need to thrive, they will bloom beautiful purple flowers throughout the year, giving your home a bit of summer even during the winter period. To grow the plant, you can plant a leaf of the plant in the soil or water or you can plant the seed. Depending on your choice, the steps are enumerated below:
Planting a leaf in the soil
- Fill a pot with loose potting soil.
- Then, cut a stem (about 1.3 cm) from a healthy violet plant and press it into the soil.
- Use a plastic cover to cover the top of the pot.
- Place the container in a warm place or where it will get a lot of filtered sunlight;
- If the plastic keeps the moisture, you may not need to water the plant.
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Planting African violets from seeds
For you to grow the houseplants from seeds, you have to use a suitable growing medium such as peat moss. Below are the following steps to follow when growing African violets from seeds:
- Make sure to fully dampen the medium (peat moss) before you begin planting the seeds. However, it should be moist and not wet.
- Spread the seeds over the medium evenly.
- After that, lightly cover the growing medium. Note that the seeds are small and covering them with too much peat moss can bury them.
- Finally, expose them to 12 hours of indirect sunlight each day and only water the seeds if the environment is humid.
Do African violets need direct sunlight?
Not exactly. As much as the plant requires a lot of light, it grows best in, at least, partial sun or under UV lights in a greenhouse. This is why it is better to place the plant in a suitable place where it can get filtered sunlight required for proper growth.
How often do you water African violets?
The fact is there is no hard and fast rule on how often you should water the plant. But then, it is essential to control or monitor the frequency of watering since too much water or less water can cause this tender flower to die prematurely. Whenever you see that the soil is becoming dry, you can water it.
How do you take care of an African violet indoors?
The principles to follow on how to care for African violets indoors can also be followed by those who are concerned with how to care for African violets in winter. So, whether indoor or during the winter, for the African violets to thrive well, you must place them in a suitable position that is void of direct sunlight. As noted earlier, the plant cannot withstand direct sunlight even during the winter, so do not put them close to south-facing windows.
At the same time, the north-facing windows may be too dark, thereby hindering the growth of the plant. So, the most suitable positioning for the African violets during the winter is near the east-facing windows. Just make sure to get a curtain or a blind to provide the plant with some shade when temperatures go higher during this period.
Now that you are armed with the required information on how to care for the African violets, you should be able to keep the plant blooming all through the year. Then, the last point to note is that this plant, discovered over a century ago by Baron Walter von, is often associated with motherhood, Valentine's Day, and Easter.
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