We have had a few questions about African violets lately and since they are one of my favorite houseplants I thought it might be interesting to learn a bit more about them. I bought 8 African violets nine years ago for my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner. Now, I only have one plant left. I’d like to get more African violets but I’d like to know what I did wrong that killed the other 7 plants.
According to Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist, the best window to place the violet near is either north or east facing. This was good news for me as we recently did some rearranging at our home and my last surviving violet moved from a south window to a north window. I was concerned for the health of my plant but now I know that the move shouldn’t harm my plant.
Transplanting the violets into larger pots may have caused the death of several other plants. Apparently violets prefer smaller pots. Violets will bloom and grow better in a smaller pot. Small cuttings that are ready to be potted should be potted into 2” pots. The plant can be transplanted into a 3” pot once good roots are established. The plant should remain in this size pot until the plant measures 9 “diameter. I know that I transplanted into larger pots before my violets reached this size.
I did remember to use potting mix designed for African violets and I am very careful when watering the plant to not splash water up onto the leaves. I wait until the soil seems dry before watering and I don’t over-fertilize either.
I’m excited to use what I’ve learned when I purchase my next violet.