Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Simply Home: Growing African Violets

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I love African Violets.  They add such an old fashioned touch to my home.  No need to be intimidated growing them either.  If I can do it, anybody can!  Here’s how:

1.  Repot your African Violet after purchase with good soil.  You can buy soil specifically made for your violet.

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2.  Place your violet near a window or under a lamp that you keep on daily.  Better light yields more blooms.

3.  Water when soil is dry to the touch from the base below leaves, or in a saucer below plant, with tepid water rather than cold.  Take care not get water on the leaves as it will cause brown spots. 

4.  Keep dying or ugly leaves and blooms pinched off.

5.  Use African Violet plant food according to directions.  

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You can easily start a new plant, too.  Just simply place a healthy leaf or two from your original violet in a new pot of soil.  Water and give light as you would a mature plant.  (Be very careful not to get water on new growth foliage.  I killed one that way and learned a lesson!)  Before long, you will begin to see sweet little baby leaves!  

Here is the progress of my recent new start:

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Once the new growth gets going, pinch off the original leaf.

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It is a great way to share with friends and loved ones!

Extra tips:

  • African Violets don’t like chlorine, so it is a good idea to use water that has been sitting out for a day or so.
  • Repot about once a year, so that they can enjoy a fresh batch of soil and nutrients.
  • They don’t like direct sunlight.  If leaves turn pale green, this is a sign that they are receiving too much light.
  • Healthy plants rest several months a year and don’t always bloom.
  • They like the same temperature that we do, making them ideal houseplants.   

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3 comments:

Kathryn Ross said...

Oh, Mrs. Smith - If only I had read this two months ago. I was gifted an African Violet and the first thing I thought wasn't "How soon will I kill it!"

Never had any luck with these - although, my mom kept hers for years and always blooming.

I shall print your post out and follow directions to a tee! The blooms on my gift violet are gone - just large leaves. And a couple with those brown spots from a bad watering. I knew not to touch the leaves with the water - but I messed it up - again!

How DO these things survive in the wild - outside - exposed to rain??

Joy!
Kathy

Little Birdie Blessings said...

What a lovely post about caring for such a beautiful plant. I'm enjoying that last photo in particular. The purple petals glisten. I'm afraid though, even with the step by step tutorial, plants tend to die in my care. Interestingly enough, my husband and stepson love plants and tenderly care for them. ~ Abby

Holly said...

These are just gorgeous! You make it sound so easy - I will have to try this the next time I have the opportunity. They are so delightful! I bet that God had a wonderful time creating all of these beautiful flowers.
hugs!

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