Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

Your best tips for growing beautiful African violets

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

What are your best tips for growing beautiful big healthy and lots of blooms.

I've been growing them for about 6 months now, and I have a huge shelf and each shelf is lit up. I absolutely love all the variegated ones, and have stuck mostly to that type of AV.

What are your best tips for growing them. Especially keeping them in bloom.

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

I love the variegated ones too!!! Mine are either in bloom or about to bloom. Lots of tips and methods out there. I have mine wicked and constant feed them. I will flush them and skip fertilizer maybe every 5 or 6 weeks. Best tip I have is keep the roots hugged up in their pots. They love to be rootbound and it also keeps the roots from rotting. My neighbor bought an Optimara and asked me to help her repot it. It easily went from a 4" to a 2" pot and started blooming for her in no time. What are your tips Kathy Ann?? Join in Lynn, Jim, Karen, Roly and others :)

Connie

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

thanks for those tips, I don't really have any of my own, I'm learning lol

Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

Kathy I did see your stand. Looks awesome !!! I would say that if you can keep the light on a timer so that they get about the same amout of light every day. I keep mines in trays with pebbles at the bottom and water once the tray is dry. Like Connie says they like to be snug in their pots. Remember to trim the inflorescence once the flowers start fading otherwise the flower might start decomposing on top of a leaf and end up with bacterial rot. I fertilize with every watering as well skipping a week out of the month. Given that I have to water twice a week. Variegated leaves are great and I love them but try some of the fantasy flowers with the variegated blooms. Those are gorgeous too !!!! I am no expert either. Still can't get new plants to grow out of leaves...:( But will try again soon.

Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

Here are some pictures of ones blooming now or about to bloom again. I love the variety in the flowers

Thumbnail by Roly0217 Thumbnail by Roly0217 Thumbnail by Roly0217 Thumbnail by Roly0217 Thumbnail by Roly0217
Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Beautiful!! I've got to get a few streps!! I'm really surprised I have done well with getting the leaves to grow for me. Got lots of leaves going now!! Thanks for all the tips!!

I dont have a timer, but the lights stay on all day and my husband turns them off before bed every night. Same for every day.

(Lynn) Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

I love the pictures Rolando! Who are they?

I guess my best tip would be isolate,isolate.isolate.
Lynn

Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

I will look them up when I get home. I can't remember the names off the top of my head.

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

Nice A.V. blooms Roly!!

Connie

Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

Here they are from left to right excluding the first two. I had the last 3 on Instagram with their names added but the first two I only put African violet. I won't be home until tomorrow at 6 am

A.V. Mama's Red Dust
A.V. Ness' Pink Confetti
A.V. Fancy Free

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I meant to ask, what do you all use to fertilize, i've been just using the african violet liquid plant food and putting it in the water, I set my water out to sit for 24 hrs before I use it . My grandmother use to use peter's special in her's , but that stuff is hard to find . she use to use this mix she made up also, I think it had tea, dish soap and something else. She swore by that mix, I don't remember what it was exactly, she's no longer living. I wouldn't try it, I'd be affraid of killing off my AV's lol

Homestead, FL(Zone 10a)

I believe that the Peter's brand was sold and now it is sold as Jack's but the formula remained the same. I use the Jack's 20-20-20, 1/4 tsp per gallon of water for my AV's, episcias and streps.
Chiqui

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Thanks

Northeast, MO(Zone 5b)

I use that brand and had to order it because we don't have nurseries here. I use 1/8 tsp per gal. for constant feed. Just make sure your 3 numbers are pretty even across the board and add up as close to 60 as possible. Don't get one with a high middle number which is a bloom buster. Growers might use it right before a show but rarely as it has an adverse effect on your plants if you keep using it. Several growers will also use Miracle-Gro for tomatoes. Doesn't matter what they label it for as long as the numbers are good :)

Connie

Andalusia, AL(Zone 8b)

Hey Kathy Ann,just wanted to say Hi to you!

Jan in AL.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Hi Jan!!

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

My best growing tip: don't overwater! I've killed a hundred a.v.s over the years, but just keep trying. Many years ago, I could grow the most beautiful fancy a.v.s, but now, I can't grow one to save my life!

(Lynn) Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

Kay,
Don't give up! Things have changed.Everyone here is very helpful.
Lynn

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Lynn, thanks for the words of encouragement, but it might be the water where I live.

(Lynn) Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

That can be corrected too.What do you think is wrong?
Lynn

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Lynn, I have filtered water.

(Lynn) Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

Kay,
I will try to get you some help on that from others who have filtered water.
Lynn

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks!

(Lynn) Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

Do you mean it has been run through a water softener? If so,you may be able to divert the water before it goes through the softener or buy RO water or water from the places where you take your jugs in and fill them.
Lynn

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

No, it's just filtered water.

(Lynn) Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

Kay,
I asked some experts and this is what they said.
Lynn - We'd need to know exactly what kind of filter is being used. Generally speaking even if it's a R/O filter (which removes everything except hydrogen & oxygen) the plants should be fine as long as she's using a fertilizer with micronutrients.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

It's R/O water. I know my problem - overwatering. With our humidity, just because the pots are light, doesn't mean they need water. I just have to learn that.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I have a tendancy to underwater mine since they are quite many now lol i did loose one to rot not long ago never would dry out completely which I think is why it rotted, it was shabby looking from the day I got it though, never quite did recover, i have some babies not doing well either, every time I under water they loose a few more leaves. I have no help for you Kay, sorry, They do love their lights I have mine under though.

Mine don't have a choice but to get dry feet between waterings, so much to do, I know if you water when their still wet, they do not like that. Or rather, mine don't seem to like it, I use faucet water which has set for at least 24 hrs, and I use the av fertilizer, but i'm about to bite the bullet and buy jack's av fertilizer off ebay. No where else to get it.

(Lynn) Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

The most important thing to remember if you have filtered water is to use a fertilizer that contains the micro-nutrients.It would also help to get some PH strips and check your water.It should be around neutral (7) or slightly below.
Lynn

This message was edited Jan 22, 2013 1:46 PM

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

My tip is for those who wick water. Make sure your trays do not go dry. The wick will dry and not pick up any water. I have my violets sitting on mats, over grids, on trays. Over the holidays, I got involved in family festivities and forgot to check my trays. A few were empty. So I added the fertilized water and went about my business. I never checked the mats. They were bone dry. I lost about 10 small young violets. They were in smaller pots and just dried up. I had to take the pots off the mats, and rewet the mats. I also had to change all the wicks in the pots. It was a big job. So I now try to check the trays every three days.

Akron, OH(Zone 5a)

I still have to master the science of balanced fertilizing, sigh.... So my best advice to keep the plants happy is to repot often, like 1-2 times a year. It really helps me with nutrition, aeration and grooming. Getting rather time consuming though when the number of plants magically keeps growing, hehe

As for wicking some growers don't recommend it for AVs and Streps because these don't like to be moist all the time and benefit from drier soil between watering. In my experience wicking is great for baby plants though.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I have trouble keeping the babies happy. :(

Pomona, CA

Man, this thread made me realize that I might be overwatering too! o_o...

South, TX

I use mostly semi hydro for my violets. Good IGS plant stands, Berkey water filter. This was a pic. from last year. Need a new on. The plants on the floor are on a stand now.

Thumbnail by Sallysblooms
(Lynn) Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

Beautiful Sally!

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

LOVE your pic sally, nice plant trays too. I have to water alot more because of the wood heat, but i think sometimes I over water too. they wilt a few days after they r watered . I also have a few nats flying around, what are your remedies for that?

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Hi All, I use the 2 piece Violet pots. I have used them for years and my violets seem to do very well. I have been told recently that they aren't good to use and impedes root growth. I never use fertilizer. When I potted these up more than 2 years ago I may have added some time release fert but that has long passed. So does anyone else use this type of pot and how do you fertilize them?

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS Thumbnail by HollyAnnS Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
(Lynn) Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

Very pretty Holly.I think lots of growers use these pots.
Lynn

South, TX

Kathy, I don't have gnats. I had them once, but now I use mostly semi hydro ceramic pellets. They have helped with watering for sure.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I was wondering if you root the strep leaves the same way you root AV leaves? I've posted a trade for them but no takers so I'm going to purchase some leaves. any helpful tips would be appreciated.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.
BACK TO TOP