This delicate flower started with two leaves under my moms care.  It took quite a few years for those leaves to establish themselves into her home and really get comfortable enough to start blooming and then thriving.  Initially, they seemed very finicky – too much light, too much water, too dark, not enough water….etc.  However, through time and patience my Mom finally got it right.  Now, they are blooming constantly and have grown big enough that she has been able to propagate them into many different plants.  Here are some tips to get your African Violets to bloom happily and to make your house a little more green!

Water:

It’s important that you water so that you start seeing it drain into the saucer below the pot.  Remember to water directly to the soil and to not get the leaves wet.  Check using the tip of your finger once a week and if it’s almost dry to the touch, water again.  In a dry environment, the frequency to water is approximately 1 time per week.  If you live in a more humid area, you may not need to water as often.

Soil:

You’ll want soil that drains well and isn’t clumpy.  The soils should be loose but not full of wood/sticks.  It should be loose and crumbly and not soak up water too easily.  You also do not want hard soil.  Use a mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.  Stores usually sell soil specifically for the African Violet.

Light:

They do not like direct light but, instead, enjoy filtered/indirect light throughout most of the day.  My mom keeps them in the bay window that does not receive direct sun but, gets light all day long.

Propagate:

Once it has grown so that you can see roots almost coming out of the side of the pot, carefully remove one small plant stem from the other and ensure some roots are attached to the one you are removing.  You can use some root hormone as an option and put into soil or, put in water for 2-3 days then put into soil.  Give light but, again not direct light.  Keep it moist but, only the soil not the leaf directly.

There’s also a way you can propagate from a leaf cutting.  In this way, cut a leaf that is grown but, not one of the oldest ones.  Cut the end of the leaf stem about 45 degree angle and put some rooting hormone on it.  Dig a small hole to put the stem in (us a pencil or pinky) Place in the soil and allow to grow for a few months while keeping the soil moist (not the leaf).  Eventually, a small plant stem will grow from this that you can replant into a new pot – again this is a finicky plant so try to use the same soil mix used before.

Fertilize:

We fertilize once a year with the formula you can buy in a store.

Other care:

When you see the flowers have gone brown and dried a bit, just pick them off.  Every so often, the leaves get old and you’ll want to clip those off as well.  This helps the plant grow healthier and stronger.  Treat the finicky plant well and it’ll be a pleasure to keep in your house!  Cheers to greener thumbs!

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