Gardening Tips

African violet: care

African violet: care

The African violet is an indoor plant that, despite not being as striking as other more showy ones, has a lot to offer. The best proof of this is that this small plant has been widely popular for a long time in homes in many countries, including Spain.

If you want to learn what are the african violet carekeep reading us in this EcologíaVerde article.

Characteristics of the African Violet

Its scientific name is Saintpaulia sp.. although it is much better known by its common name, African violet. These plants form a botanical family that is actually quite small, with only 6 species, although the popularity of the plant has given rise to endless varieties.

The African violet, as its popular name indicates, came to Europe from Tanzania, from the hands of a German baron who sent it at the end of the 19th century. Is about a small plantwhich rarely exceeds 15 cm in height and rather lateral growth, in which what most attracts attention are undoubtedly its flowers, which the plant produces throughout the year.

The original color of the flower, and also one of the most valued, is a beautiful purple that is very particular to the plant, although the existing varieties offer all kinds of different shades and colors. The leaves are oval and appear in a rosette, sharing with the flowers the velvety touch that characterizes the plant.

Now that we have seen what its characteristics are, we are going to detail the care of African violets.

African violet: care - Characteristics of the African violet

Location for the African Violet

african violet flower, saintpaulia, is a somewhat delicate plant in terms of its location, especially as regards its flowers. Now, how to care for African violets at home? They are usually grown as an indoor plant because does not support:

  • The direct incidence of intense suns.
  • Temperatures below 10º C.

So, unless you live in a mild tropical climate and can locate your African violet in the garden in partial shade, it is a plant reserved for the interior of home. Although it does not want direct sun, it does need a very bright location, or it may have problems giving flowers throughout the year.

In this way, it is better to place it next to windows or sources of natural light abundant, always being careful with the direct incidence at the most intense hours or the magnifying effect of some crystals. You also have to keep the plant protected from draftswhich can dry them out and harm them.

Finally, regarding the temperature, the ideal is to keep it at between 17 and 21º C throughout the year except winter, when it should be moved to another slightly colder place, around 15º C, and watering reduced, so that the plant can go into vegetative rest until spring and thus continue to flourish vigorously.

African violet: care - Location for the African violet

African Violet Watering

How are African violets watered? This African violet care is another key point. It is very important that do not wet the leaves and flowers of the plant when watering it, since the accumulated moisture can cause rot and disease problems for the plant.

It is best to use the immersion irrigation, since in this way we provide the plant with all the water it needs without causing problems of excess moisture. It consists of immersing the pot in a large enough bucket or bucket of water, or even the sink. The water must cover the substrateand you must leave it there until bubbles stop coming out of it, which usually will not take more than a few minutes.

After this, take the pot out of the water and let it eliminate the excess water (it is essential that the pot has drainage holes). Then leave the pot for about 15 more minutes on a plate, from which you must then remove the excess water once again, and that’s it.

This is a very useful method and one of the best for watering all kinds of plants, as many suffer if their leaves get wet regularly. In summer, with a weekly watering this will be enough, and watering fortnightly the rest of the year, but in case of doubt, the substrate itself will tell you when it needs watering: if it is very dry, it will weigh little.

Now that we know how to take care of African violets in terms of irrigation, we are going to focus on the substrate and fertilizer they need.

Substrate and fertilizer for the African violet

The substrate is one of the cares for the African violet that does not give problems: you can use any universal mixture as long as it offers good drainage. We recommend the universal mixture for seedlings that you can make yourself with earthworm humus, coconut fiber and peat mixed in equal parts. Stir well, add a handful of vermiculite and another of perlite, and you will have a light, well-drained substrate that is very rich in nutrients.

For the subscriber, provide ecological organic fertilizer such as earthworm humus or compost, during the warm months, every 15 days. Add one or two centimeters of it to the base of the pot and it will be enough.

Find out more about coconut fiber for plants: properties and how to make it, in this EcologíaVerde post.

African violet: care - Substrate and fertilizer for the African violet

African violet pruning

Since the plant blooms throughout the year, it is also necessary to maintain a constant maintenance pruning to avoid diseases or waste of energy of the plant. Prune, with well-disinfected and sharp scissors, all the flowers or branches once they wither.

We leave you the following article on Plant pests and diseases: lists and how to eliminate them so that you have more information on the subject.

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