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Wedel's Nursery, Florist and Garden Center

African Violets – Grandma Was Right

African VioletsIf you think back to visits with Grandma and remember what her living room or kitchen looked like chances are you’ll notice pretty little windowsill plants that seemed to always be in bloom with dainty and colorful blossoms. Those are African violets! Grandma always seemed to know how best to make a house a home; good food, comfortable decorating, the right advice. African violets were part of all of that and they are a part that can help to make our homes cheery just like hers.

There are a few things you need to know to grow African violets successfully but the process isn’t difficult at all. African violets aren’t demanding and, with a little care, they will reward you year after year with almost perpetual blooms. The blossoms on Grandma’s plants were probably purple, pink, blue or white but you have a great variety of colors to choose from today as well as the choice of flat, single colored petals and leaves or ruffled and multicolored petals and leaves.

African VioletAfrican violets thrive in nighttime temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees and daytime temperatures around 75 to 85 degrees. If you are going to display your plants on a windowsill, choose an east facing window. That would be ideal but a north window will work too. A rule of thumb is give your plants 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark or as close to that as you are able. If east or north facing windows aren’t available where you want your display you can use a artificial light. You can use a plant light or a more decorative choice such as a grow bulb in a lamp that suits your decor.

African VioletYou can feed your plant with each watering but if you do use half the rate of plant food suggested on the food label. An alternative is to use a natural plant food such as Monty’s which is safe to use each time you water. Keep the soil moist but be sure to avoid overwatering. Overwatering is probably the most common cause of the demise of African violets. Water through the drainage hole in the bottom of the container by placing the container in a shallow pan and allowing the water to move up through the soil. If you water from the top avoid getting water on the leaves since that could cause leaf spot which will prevent the plant from doing well.

African VioletsAfrican violets bloom most prolifically if they are root bound so use a small clay pot or container. Your plants will bloom almost non-stop if you keep that in mind. Speaking of being prolific, one plant can lead to many more. Violets can be easily propagated by rooting the leaves! You can expand your African violet indoor garden or make gifts of African violets for your family and friends.

Wedel’s has a variety of beautiful African violets to choose from so stop by and have a look. We’ll answer all of your questions about proper soil, watering, containers, food, light sources and anything else you’d like to know about using African violets to brighten your home decor and making it as welcoming, warm and memorable as Grandma’s.
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