Houseplant Girl

The African Violet

African violets

African violet house plants are a beautiful option for indoor plants, making your home more colorful and exciting even in the dull and dreary winter months. One of the most common house plants, they are bright, beautiful and make you feel sunny.

So if you have what it takes to grow these beautiful babes in your house, I say go for it. Even better, once you are confident keeping them alive, feel free to propagate more from their leaves, giving them as holiday gifts during the winter season—-you will be the envy of every party!

They are wonderful and adaptive plants, but there is some rudimentary knowledge to be had in order to properly grow these beautiful plants.

Watering: Any decent drinking water will be okay for the African Violets, however, water softeners can be damaging. There is a method to watering this plant as well; thoroughly water over the top of the soil. Allow the water to  run through the pot and drain off.

NEVER allow these violets to sit in water as the salts can be toxic and lead to root rot.

Only water when the top soil feels dry to the touch. Tepid water should be used, and if any water is accidentally dropped on the leaves, dry it up.

Light: These plants will not bloom without proper light. You will need plentiful light, so don’t try and grow these in your “garden” apartment. They definitely don’t call it a garden apartment for how well plants prosper in your dungeon. Give them full sun in winter and bright indirect light in summer. You’ll also want to turn them everyday to give all the leaves a chance. These plants do great under fluorescent lights, about 10 inches from the plants. 16 hours of light and then 8 hours of darkness, you have yourself some happy African Violets. You can read about different types of grow lights here. 

Temperature: Indoor temperatures should be above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s cold, take them away from windows to avoid drafts.

Humidity: They love 50% relative humidity, which is pretty high. Set them on pebble-filled trays with water to increase plant humidity. Clay pots will also increase humidity.

Fertilizer: Low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus, soluble plant food every time you water.

Soil: Well-draining potting soil will do the trick.

Pots: Don’t put these in too big of pots or else they will be slow to bloom. Wait around 6 months to a year before deciding to branch out and getting them a bigger 4-inch pot.

Propagation: The best part about the African Violet is that you can propagate these suckers! Simply take off a leaf with one inch of the stem attached.

Insert the stem into a small 3-inch pot of damp soil and bam! You’ll be getting yourself a new plant soon. A good trick to create a nice humid environment for the new plant is to place it in a clear plastic bag and set it in front of a bright window or under a fluorescent light. I will take around 6-9 months to be able to get a nice bloom, but once it happens all the work is worth it!

I love African Violets and if you have the right conditions and settings, they should be the first on your list for beautiful house decorations. They make every home beautiful and give an exotic vibe to your garden list.

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After finishing her masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Michelle wanted to share her love of plants and all things medicinal. With her knowledge of Chinese herbs and household plants, she decided to create a site sharing her love of indoor plants.

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