How to Grow African Violets as Houseplants

African Violet Houseplants

Growing African Violets Indoors

African Violets are relatively easy to grow. The plants are native to wooded coastal regions of East Africa. They are an ideal indoor houseplant. It is one of the more popular indoor house plants. Their sometimes shy blooms are long-lasting, often lasting for several weeks. The biggest problem with growing them, is sometimes they don’t bloom. So, you may have to coax them into blooming. We’ve got pointers to help you force African Violets to bloom.

African Violet Flower

Forcing African Violets to Bloom

Are your African Violet plants refusing to bloom? It’s a frequent problem.  Here are the key steps for forcing African Violets to bloom:

  1. Provide ample sunlight. Use full, direct to indirect sunlight. Without enough sunlight, your plants will not bloom.
  2. Provide even moisture. The soil should be moist, not wet at all times. Also, water from the bottom.
  3. Do not use cold water. Rather, use room temperature water.
  4. The plants like higher humidity. Add a humidifier to the room. 
  5. Add a fertilizer high in phosphorous. This is the key element to promote blooms in plants. Make repeated applications if necessary. 

Garden Tip: Use a soil tester to monitor nutrient levels. 

African Violet Care

African Violet care starts with lots of sunshine. So, grow this plant in full sun, if possible. Place them in a sunny window but avoid hot rays coming in during the summer months. Also, avoid placing them near frosty windows in the winter months. Provide artificial lighting, if little sunshine is available.

Soil and Fertilizers: Most garden stores carry an African Violet soil mix and fertilizers, which have been formulated specifically for these plants. The fertilizers are higher in Phosphorous to help promote blooming. 

Choosing the Right Flowerpot: Select a pot about the diameter of the foliage. The plants are more likely to bloom if it is slightly rootbound.  Repot every four to six months with fresh African Violet soil mix.

Growing Tip: If you are having problems blooming, check the fertilizer you are using. Avoid high Nitrogen formulas.

Watering: Avoid overwatering them. Use a planter with openings at the bottom, to allow good drainage. Always water them from the bottom up, and never let the leaves get wet.  They like their water warm, not cold. If watering from the top, be careful not to get water on the leaves, as they will spot. Water the plants every three days, if they need it.

Temperatures: The ideal temperature is 75 degrees during the day, and 60- 70 degrees at night. Also, they like higher humidity levels.  Add a humidifier during dry winter months.

Pruning and Plant Appearance: Trim off dead or unhealthy leaves. Remove spent flower blooms. 

Dusting Plant Leaves: All indoor houseplants are susceptible to dust accumulation on their leaves. Do not use a wet or damp cloth to remove dust. Water can spot and damage the leaves. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush to gently wipe the dust off the leaves.  Also, you might have success with a gentle breeze on the leaves. 

Propagating Plants –  African Violets are commonly propagated by rooting leaf cuttings. Find Out How

Ideal Soil pH: 6.5 – 6.8.

Also, See:

Plant Problems – causes and cures

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