Do you ever think of how you can care for a plant to ensure it’s healthy? I do think of that occasionally. And sometimes I know the answer, and other times I don’t. But, knowing can guide you through the growing stage of your plant. That’s why I want to help you understand how to care for African violets indoors.
African violet is a beautiful houseplant that grows all year round. It can rebloom multiple times in a year with little to no maintenance. People love it because it is easy to care for.
However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need care. Worst case scenario, it stops blooming in the middle of the year. What would you do? Probably nothing because you were not paying attention.
So, this guide will help you understand the different ways to care for African violets indoors.
Varieties of African violets
African violet is a perennial plant that grows well in tropical areas. Although its name is violet, it blooms into shades like blue, lavender, pink, re-violet, lavender, white, and purple. So, if you have a different plant shade, don’t worry; it’s the same.
The plant grows to about 2 to 6 inches tall and about 3-inches in thickness. Depending on the variety you are planting, they will display flowers at the center surrounded by dark green leaves.
Here are the major species of African violets;
- Standard African violets
- Semiminiature violets
- Miniature African violets
- Trailing African violets
- Species African violets
How to care for African violets indoors.
When you put your mind to planting a flower, you must know how to care for it. There are different ways you can care for African violets indoors on your own. You just need the basics, and you are good to go.
A good container
A good container with proper drainage will ensure you care for African violets without worrying about stagnant water. Removing the excess water prevents the roots from rotting. So, if your pot doesn’t have enough holes, then add holes to avoid killing your plant.
Another thing about holes in a pot is that it improves air circulation. Roots need to breathe as they make food. So, when they receive fresh air, they are stress-free. Lack of enough air can result in root rot.
When planting African violets indoors, and you use a pot, ensure that you purchase potting soil instead of using soil from the garden. That’s because potting soil is mixed with the required nutrients to sustain the plant’s growth.
On the other hand, if you choose to use garden soil, ensure it is well-draining, rich in nutrients, and has good aeration. Proper aeration ensures that the roots breathe fresh air from the surface. Lack of air and poor drainage can cause root rot. So, make sure the soil is good before you start planting.
Mix it 50/50 with the perlite of your choice for potting soil to improve it.
If you care for African violets indoors, you should know that the plant grows well in bright indirect sunlight. You can place it on a window facing south or west so that it can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Turn the pots regularly so that all the spots can receive sunlight.
If that is not possible, you can purchase a grow light here. Place the fluorescent light about 12 to 15 inches above the plant leaves.
Also, you should avoid giving the plant excess sunlight. You can notice this if the leaves start to turn green. If the leaves turn dark green, become thin, and the plant becomes leggy, it receives little light.
It is better to maintain optimum light conditions to ensure it grows into a healthy plant.
The plant doesn’t require a lot of water. The soil has to be moist and humid. Keeping the soil moist can be a challenge for some people. To attain this, give it at least 1 inch of water per week. Also, you can check if the soil is dry before watering.
To check, use a finger to poke a hole into the soil and feel if the soil is moist or dry. You can also purchase a moisture meter to check the moisture content in the soil.
Water the base of the plant and avoid watering the flowers. A mere drop on the flower can cause damage. When you are done watering, make sure excess water drains out of the pot, and there isn’t stagnant water.
Give the plant fertilizer that has a higher concentration of phosphorous. For instance, the NPK ratio should be 15-30-15. Apply fertilizer to the plant when you are watering. Use liquid fertilizer to make sure it dissolves into the soil.
When the plant leaves turn a paler color, they lack nutrients. And that means it’s time to add nutrients to the soil.
Temperature and humidity
Proper care for African violets involves providing optimum temperatures to support their growth. The room temperature should be warm and humid. It should range between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
A humid environment is best for growing African violets. If you care for African violets indoors, you need to increase the humidity because it is more humid than you can find in homes.
You can use the bottom-up watering system to ensure the plant is humid. Another way to improve humidity is to place the plants on a tray of moist pebbles.