The Care and Feeding of African Violets
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 may 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 need to stay evenly moist at all times - and that's exactly what The Perfect Violet Pot does! You never have to water the plant from the top of the pot again. The water is absorbed through the unglazed portion of the lower half of the top pot. This way - the plant drinks the water as it needs it rather than you guessing how much to give it. This eliminates all of the guesswork for you!
Fill the bottom bowl 2/3 full - or as much as will fit so it doesn't overflow when you put the top portion back in. Then, check the water level every 2-3 weeks for the large size pot or 1-2 weeks for the medium size pot. When only an inch or so of water is left, fill it back up!
DO NOT mist the foliage. Water spots on the foliage may cause permanent leaf spotting.
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!
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.
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 recommend planting your violet directly into the top portion of the pot. We do have some customers who have said that they leave it in the plastic container and it does just fine.
Your violet should not be too dry or soggy, but evenly moist. Add 1 to 2" of potting soil to the pot, then take your violet out of its present container. Plant it into the top and press down to compact the soil. Fill the bowl as directed with water and enjoy!
There are many varieties of violet plants. Common colors are purple, pink, white, and lavendar. 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.
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.