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You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Not many houseplants promise flowers indoors, but African Violet does just that! Along with its fuzzy, rounded leaves, African Violet flowers and small size make it ideal for adding color and texture to your space. While African Violet (Saintpaulia) is not actually a violet but instead a member of the Gesneriaceae family, its flowers can be found in shades of blue, purple, and pink, and occasionally red and white, hence its comparison to the violet. Most often the foliage is a rich green, but sometimes you can find a rare variegated African Violet with white leaves. To keep African Violet look its best can require some extra effort, but in general they are not difficult plants – we rate them at an intermediate level.

African Violet has some very specific wants. When watering African Violet, you’ll want to use distilled water for water that has been left out for 48 hours. This helps to avoid watering African Violet with cold and chlorinated water, neither of which African Violet likes. Water African Violet under the leaves and avoid splashing water onto the leaves. While most plants prefer to be watered after the top inch or two of soil has dried, African Violet wants to stay watered. But, never soggy. (See what we mean, it’s got a very specific list of demands!) Keep the soil at the top of the plant moist, but never let the bottom of the plant sit in water. Pots that drain well but will retain moisture are great for African Violets. African Violet likes a cozy pot and will bloom best when root bound, so take your time when it comes to repotting. Pinching off spent blooms will help the plant to bloom more, as well. It’s also important to use the right soil – go with a mix specific to African Violets to get the most out of your plant.

African Violet wants medium to bright indirect light. As with most houseplants, too much light can cause leaf burn spots, so keep an eye out. Don’t have a lot of natural light? African Violet will tolerate fluorescent light as a substitute for natural sunlight. Because African Violet doesn’t grow to be very large, it’s a great plant for window sills and desks. Generally they will only grow to be between 8 and 16 inches across. They’re also pet-safe so placement doesn’t have to depend on keeping them out of reach. These air purifiers like a somewhat humid environment, so consider placing a humidifier nearby. You can also place the pot on or near a tray of pebbles filled with water to add some humidity to your African Violet’s home. The evaporation will create a slight humidity that can be beneficial in a dry climate. Keep African Violet at a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees, but take care to avoid vents and drafts. Winter heat will dry African Violet out faster, and summer air conditioning can cause the plant to become too cold.

Happy Plant Parenting!

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Author Nicks

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