With their wonderfully shaped fluffy leaves, compact structure and beautiful, vibrant flowers, African violets (Saintpaulia) have a charm that brightens up the environment and puts a smile on your face. If you’re new to growing African violets at home or just want to learn more about how to keep them healthy and thriving, here are some reliable tips.
African violets are meant to be grown indoors all year round. Although some gardeners take them outside in warm temperatures, they are susceptible to insect damage and will remain healthier and prettier if kept indoors.
African violets need indirect light rather than direct sun, which can scorch their leaves. They are perfect plants for windowsills, provided there is plenty of indirect light they can absorb. Windowsills facing east or west are the best locations for these plants, which need 10 to 14 hours of light and eight hours of darkness per day for maximum flowering.
There are many ideas for how to water African violets, but the basic guideline is to make sure the soil is kept moist to the touch, but never dripping or soggy. If you water by hand, try not to splash the leaves, which will be stained with water. You can water from the bottom up (letting the plant soak up water from a dish or saucer the pot was placed in) which will help you avoid the spotted appearance of the plant.
African violets are like many people – they thrive in comfortable indoor temperatures that range between around 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
African violets need a humid atmosphere, more humid than that found in most homes. If you are using the bottom watering system, then your African violet will already have the benefit of this moisture-creating method. Another good method is to keep the plants on dishes or trays of pebbles that are kept moist.
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