African Violet Care

African violet care. African violets are unique and beautiful flowering house plants that come in many varieties. African violets require special care to grow and thrive.

African violets have long been a popular house plant. There is a wide selection of colors, shapes, sizes, and varieties to choose from. "Gardening How-To", published by The National Home Gardening Club, says in the article "Color for Winter", written by Ruth Zavitz, that African violets are available with many different bloom types.

There is the frilled variety with its lacy looking edges. The wasp type has a single bloom with smaller curled back petals. A single layer bloom is the standard five petal, one layer flower. A double bloom has more than one layer of petals. The semi-double bloom falls in between the single layer type and the double bloom. The same article details the varying bloom patterns of the African violet. There is the fantasy pattern which has dotted flowers. A bi-color flower has two different colors on the same flower. An edged pattern flower has a different colored trim around the perimeter of each petal. Last of all, the pinwheel pattern is especially showy with streaks of color running through the petals.

"Gardening How-To" recommends growing African violets in temperatures ranging between sixty and eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit. When the environment is too cool the leaves grow a thick hair-like covering and lose their healthy gloss. In temperatures over eighty degrees African violets will not bloom.

The same article says that African violets need plenty of light. An African violet that is not getting sufficient light will have longer than usual stems. The plant should appear somewhat spread out and flat when it is getting the proper amount of light.

The leaves of the African violet will be spotted and damaged if they become wet. When watering violets either set the pot in a shallow saucer of water to allow for absorbtion from the bottom, or carefully water between the leaves to avoid getting them wet. Do not over water African violets. They require water only after the top of the soil becomes dry. "Gardening How-To" says the water should be warm since cold water will cause leaf damage with or without contact. The "African Violet Society of America", in their website article "How to Grow African Violets", recommends using a 20-20-20 fertilizer at half the recommended dosage with each watering, especially if the plants are growing in a potting medium other than soil. Since chlorine can be harmful to house plants, they also suggest letting chlorinated tap water and fertilizer mix set overnight to allow any chlorine in the water to evaporate.

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