Suburban Wildlife

Where we can watch and relate to wildlife in a suburban backyard.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Watering your African Violet

African violets have very delicate, fibrous roots. They will not grow well,(if at all) - in heavy soil. They cannot be allowed to dry out completely for more than a very short time. They will also not do well at all if they are always soaked. They can be very fussy, it’s true.

The type of potting medium is very important - but lets leave that alone for the time being. If you are just starting out we will try to work with whatever soil your new plant is in - for now.

Watering: First rule, don’t allow drops of water to sit on the leaves of a violet. If water gets on a leaf, blot it off as soon as you can. It’s best to add a small amount of water to the tray under the pot. Allow the water to soak up into the pot until the surface of the soil feels moist. Don’t leave the pot sitting in the water.

You can often tell if the plant needs watering by simply lifting the pot. There is quite a difference between the weight of a nearly dry pot, and one that is well moistened. The alternative of course is to simply check the top of the soil for moisture. It should be damp, but never soaking or dry.

The EASY way.. Wicking…..

You can buy various pots that will keep your violet properly watered which need only a minimum of attention. However pot size is important with violets. We can get around to that topic when it comes time to talking about repotting your prize plant.


Greta Koehl said...

And yet African violets can be very tolerant of some things. One of mine fell off the shelf and lost half of its leaves, but it has recovered very nicely.

Gail said...

Now, that's a lot of work!

Carol............. said...

Good post on the African Violet.....they are either an "I love you" plant or "Don't like you plant".

Country Mouse Studio said...

Great post, I love African violets and your squirrels are so cute.

Rusty said...

Hi Gail. No work at all, and boy does it save time (and plants) when you have a dozen or more to care for. I can even go away for perhaps a week and come home to a happy violet. (Grin).

Rusty said...

Hi Carol - been there - done that! But now I know the 'secret' to turn every plant into a lover... And so does anyone reading the blog. (I hope). Anyway, more to come.

Rusty said...

Totally surprising too - having seen entire plants arrive via 'snail mail' and flourish withing a day or two. Greta, you called it right on. They are as tough as can be - as long as they have lots of light, and a reasonable feeding. ATB!

Jenn Jilks said...

What a beautiful post. I have saved a violet from my Dad's funeral plant. He used to raise them.
We thought Dad was OK, except that Mom surreptitiously watered the plants when they needed it. Dad was, indeed, suffering from a barin tumour.
I'm not doing well with violets. I did well with my DAD with his last few months.

My ex-late-father-in-law used to raise miniature violets.

I admired them both.
Thank you.

Rusty said...

More coming. I think I will deal with pests that can make life miserable for violets next. Some are easy to deal with, but a few are more of a disaster.