African violets are one of the world's most popular houseplants and for good reason. These compact, low-growing plants flower several times a year, and they are available in a multitude of leaf forms and colors. African violets are distinguished by a rosette of thick, fuzzy leaves and violet-like flowers that bloom just above the evergreen foliage.
Don't be put off by their reputation for difficulty: providing you follow a few simple rules, African violets should thrive indoors. With a little experience, it's possible to keep these slow-growing plants in flower nearly all year round and grow them to the size of dinner plates.
African violets do well in bright but not direct sunlight. They are commonly grown under fluorescent lights placed 30-38cm above the leaves. If the leaves start getting light green, your plant is getting too much light, while thin and dark green leaves or a leggy plant indicate too little light.
A well-drained potting mix is essential for African violets. Poor drainage can cause root rot, in which the plant becomes waterlogged and its leaves begin to fall, so make sure that the plant is never allowed to be exposed to standing water for an extended period of time.
Keep soil moist with warm water and strive for high humidity. Do not allow water to contact the leaves of the plant to prevent damage, other than light misting. Water from below, or push the water spout into the soil when watering. Don't allow the plant to sit in water.
Temperature and Humidity
African violets like warm and humid conditions and thrive at 21 DEGREES. Do not allow the temperature to fall below about 15 degrees. Do your best to keep the plants away from any drafts in the home.
Feed with an African violet fertilizer every other week during the spring and summer. For the amount to use, follow product label instructions.