The Care and Feeding of African Violets
The Right Light
Violets like a lot of bright light but not hot direct sun. In their natural habitat under forest canopies, African Violets are protected by the tree canopy. The better the sunlight you give your violet without it being direct, hot sun, the more often it will bloom for you. Some suggestions are a window with morning sun, filtered light, artificial light, or table lamps. If your violet is not blooming - then it probably needs more light. Try moving it near a lamp or in a brighter spot. During the winter months, when the sunlight is weaker, your plants will benefit from the light of a southern exposure.
Violet don't have to only have sunlight - we have many happy customers who have violet pots in their office. Artificial light also works!
Violets will flower more often if you use fertilizer. This is much like how we take vitamins - we don't absolutely need them but they do help us overall. We recommend using the brand 'Peter's for Violets' and you can pick this up at most locations that sell plants. Mix 1/4 teaspoon to a gallon of water. We suggest using a gallon water jug, store it under your sink and just use that each time you fill the water in the pot!
Violets do not like to be very hot or very cold. They prefer a temperature between 70°F and 80°F with about 80% humidity. At night they can tolerate temperatures in the upper 60’s. However, it is important to avoid temperature and humidity fluctuations, including sudden drafts.
We have many people ask us what type of soil we use - so our trick is to first make sure to buy a healthy plant. Then follow the planting instructions using a mixture of 2 parts SuperSoil and 1 part Peralite.
There are many varieties of violet plants. Common colors are purple, pink, white, and lavender. Some have variegated leaves, ruffle edges on the flowers, or spotted flowers. It helps to start with a healthy plant from a grower. The plants you find at your local grocery stores are usually already unhealthy and therefore even harder to grow.
Sometimes we bring a streptocarpus plant with us to our craft shows. This plant is in the African Violet family.
Splitting a Violet
New African Violet plants can be produced from existing plants. Cut leaves from the original plant, leaving 1 inch of leaf stalk (petiole) with the leaf. Plant the leaf and stalk, up to ¼ inch of the leaf, into a wet sand/vermiculite mixture. Cover lightly with plastic. Keep the media wet and within two to six months, new plants will have formed and will be ready to separate and replant.
Violet plants are pet friendly. They are not toxic to animals.
Violet pots make a great gift idea for: