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How to Grow African Violets (Saintpaulias)

They may have a touch of ‘granny’, but African Violets make for marvellous flowering indoor plants and are the ideal choice for terrarium displays. 

Location

African Violets require moderate to bright indirect light all year round to encourage flowering. A well lit kitchen bench or coffee table is perfect. They also prefer humidity in the atmosphere (thus why they are ideal for terrarium environments). This is not usually a problem except in dry climates, if the room has a air-conditioner in use or during winter when indoor heaters dry the air inside the house.

Watering

When watering African Violets, allow the potting mix to become reasonably dry before the next watering (but not completely dried out to the point the plants foliage is wilting!). Apply water to the soil surface or from the bottom-up using the saucer below the potted container. DO NOT WET the foliage or leave water droplets on the leaves as this can cause leaf marking and spotting.

Remove spent flowers.

Fertilising

African Violets require specially formulated fertiliser to promote healthy growth and most importantly, abundant flowers. Searles Flourish African Violet Food, is an ideally suited soluble fertiliser. Apply this (following instructions) to the potting mix every three to four weeks from spring thought to autumn. DO NOT fertilise in the cooler cold weather, as African Violets are usually actively growing in temperatures of 18 degrees Celsius and above. 

Re-potting

African Violets need to be re-potted about once a year to maintain healthy and strong growth and promote continued flowering.

A sign that your African Violet requires re-potting is if there is increased stem length from soil level to lower leaves.

When re-potting, use Searles African Violet Mix. Replant your African Violet so the lower leaves are only just above the potting mix level. New roots will grow from the stem of the plant that is now below the soil. Water the mix and keep the plant away from strong light for three to four weeks, then move it back to its favoured position.