Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
Do you have tips for success with African violets?
Rate This FAQ
First discovered in the country of Tanzania, African violets are native to eastern Africa. A baron from Germany spotted the delicate flowers and sent them back to his native country for research. For the first few years they were only grown in botanical gardens and conservatories. It wasn't until 1926 that they were introduced to the commercial industry in the United States.
Since introduction, African violets have become one of the most popular house plants grown in this country. They have been crossed, radiated and mutated to develop new colors and flower shapes. About the only colors African violets are not available in are yellow, orange and a vivid red. African violets can be touchy about their surroundings and growth requirements but, if given proper care, will bloom and look attractive most of the year. Here are some tips:
* Start with a potting soil mix that drains well. Some nurseries sell potting mixes specifically formulated for African violets. When creating your own soil mix, be sure it drains well and is not easily waterlogged.
* and has drainage holes in the bottom. Sometimes African violets are planted in pots with large drainage holes, but the pot is then placed in a colorful aluminum foil liner that nullifies the ability of the pot to drain. These plants die quickly from root rot.
* insect or disease. Check the top inch of the soil. If it is still moist, the plants do not need to be watered. Once the top inch of soil dries, water thoroughly, allowing the water to drain out the bottom of the pot.
* African violets bloom best when crowded. The leaves should hang above the soil but not touch the edge of the pot where salts collect that can injure the plant. If leaf stems lay across a wet rim of the flower pot, they may rot. To prevent this, cover the rim with paraffin or aluminum foil.
* African violets do best in bright, indirect light. Place them in a room that receives about 12 to 15 hours of light a day. A room with a southern exposure is best, or one with large windows facing east or west. If fluorescent lighting is used to supplement sunlight, be sure to provide a minimum of 15 hours of light a day. The lights should be placed within 6 to 12 inches of the plant.
* African violets prefer daytime temperatures around 70 degrees, and cooler nights of about 65 degrees. The higher the humidity the better. Utah is not known for its high humidity, so this may need to be supplemented by using a humidifier or a humidifying tray.
* Fertilize plants with a product specifically designed for African violets. Apply it monthly from spring through fall. Let the plants slow their growth during the winter by reducing the amount of fertilizer. If minerals from fertilizing accumulate on the soil surface, water heavily to flush the soil, allowing them to drain well, or repot.
* Only a few pests bother African violets. However, the leaves and flowers should be inspected periodically for any visible signs of insects or damage. Remove dead flowers when they begin to droop.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- Do I need to prune my trees this spring?
- My sycamore tree has brown-reddish spots along the leaf veins. What is it?
- I have a scarlett red maple. It's about 8 years old and last year the leaves didn't get very big. This year, it hasn't even began to bloom yet although, It has tiny buds. I noticed that the bark in some places peels off very easily. Under the bark, it looks like there may be some black flecks (maybe bug feces). I only noticed one little red colored bug under where I peeled the bark. I don't see any other bugs anywhere, even at the base. Do you think it could have a disease or bugs? I am going to put some fertilizer steaks around it and pour some Bayer Advanced tree and shrub insect control around the base of the tree. Is it too late to spary it?
- Could you pleae identify the pine-like tree on the north side of our home? The needles are on two sides of the twig rather than on all four sides. They (the needles) are very soft and are dark green. At this time of the year (Sep), the trees bear red berries. The trees are approximately 35 years old and are 12-14 feet tall. Thank you very much for your assistance!
- I live in rose park and am selecting trees to add to my backyard. I have full sun and dark rich soil. I want a good shade tree but am not sure what would be best. I have been looking at different types of maple trees but am wary about their growth rates. Are there any trees that you could recommend?
- How late in the fall season can you lay sod in northern Utah?
- How do I prune my roses?
- I have an infestation of red ants in my retaining wall area where I also have plants. What is the best way to get rid of the red ants so I can weed etc. in that area?