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Potted Violet Plants: Tips For Growing Violets In Containers

Potted Violet Plants: Tips For Growing Violets In Containers


By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Violets are cheery, early blooming perennials that welcome the advent of the growing season with daffodils, tulips, and other spring bulbs. However, these cool climate woodland plants do best in partial shade. Violets are versatile, and growing violets in containers is no problem at all. Want to learn how to plant violets in pots? Read on.

How to Plant Violets in Pots

Violets are readily available in most garden stores, but it’s easy to start violet seeds indoors about 10 to 12 weeks before the last expected frost in your area. Violets are relatively slow to germinate.

Simply fill a planting tray with a good quality potting mix (be sure the container has at least one drainage hole). Sprinkle the seeds lightly over the surface of the soil and cover them with 1/8 inch (3 mm.) of potting mix. Water well.

Cover the tray with black plastic and place it in a warm room with temperatures at about 70 degrees F. (21 C.). Water as needed to keep the potting mix lightly moist, but never soggy.

Once the seeds have germinated, remove the plastic covering and move the tray to a bright window or place the seedlings under a grow light.

Thin the violets by snipping weaker seedlings at the soil line when the plants have at least two sets of leaves. Seedlings should be 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm.) apart.

Transplant the violas into larger containers when the seedlings are large enough to handle.

Care of Violets in Containers

Container care for violets is easy. Harden the young plants in a protected location for a few days before moving the container to its permanent location.

Once established, potted violet plants require very little care. Place the containers in a sunny area when the weather is still cool and then move the plants to a semi-shady area when temperatures begin to rise.

Feed potted violet plants in spring and fall, using an all-purpose garden fertilizer.

Violas are usually very pest-resistant, but if you notice aphids, spray the potted violet plants with insecticidal soap spray or neem oil. If slugs are a problem, wrap the rim of the container with copper strips.

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African Violet Care: Proper Care and Propagation Tips

With fuzzy leaves and pretty flowers that come in white, purple, and blue, African violets are a charming houseplant. This guide will show you exactly how to help your favourite houseplant thrive with African violet care tips that really work. Plus, learn how to propagate your plants too!

African violets are known as friendship plant and are often used as a symbol of loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness. For those reasons, it’s long been a favourite for gifting! Whether you purchased one of these cheerful plants or received one as a gift, this guide will help you keep them thriving.

I’ll show you how to care for African violets as well as some of my propagation tips so you can have violets galore! It truly is the gift that keeps giving.

With proper care, African violets can provide almost continuous blooms in a rainbow of colors and leaf shapes. Although flower size, petal-type, and color vary widely, plants generally grow from four to seven inches tall, with hairy leaves and tightly grouped clusters of flowers.

The African violet belongs to the family Saintpaulia and is native to Africa. They are one of the most popular cultivated houseplants in the world today and are particularly well suited to the home environment. There are now thousands of varieties in existence, with new hybrids being developed almost daily.


African Violets Care

If you have never cared for African Violets before, there are some things that you will want to learn before taking care of them, such as watering requirements, light needed, humidity, and much more. Here we have provided a guide to help you learn how to take care of these precious treasures.

Watering Requirements for African Violets

African Violets prefer soil that is moist. It should never be soggy.

If they receive too much water, this gorgeous houseplant will become susceptible to Root Rot, Crown Rot, Pythium, and other diseases that are deadly to flowers.

If you water your flowers too much, it could hinder the plant from getting the nitrogen it needs to survive. This process is called denitrification.

You will want to be sure to use room temperature water. Should the water be too cold, it will chill the roots of the plant. If chilled, the leaves will begin to curl down.

Watering from the bottom is the best way to water your African Violets.

If watering from the top there is a chance the leaves will become spotted. Spotted leaves can not be removed as this is a form of necrosis. To water from the bottom of the plant, set your planter in a container of water long enough for the soil to get moist.

These plants don’t like any chemicals in their water. An easy remedy for this is to allow water to sit for two days in order for the chlorine to evaporate. You can also catch rainwater in buckets to water the plants with.

Soft water should never be used for watering your violets. Soft water alters the PH of the soil as well as the conductivity. This makes it hard for your flowers to absorb the nutrients that it needs from the soil.

Self-watering devices are available for those that are concerned about watering their violets incorrectly. These devices eliminate the need to worry about a fungal disease that causes your pretty violets to rot.

Light Needed for African Violets

African Violets should never be placed in direct sunlight. Attempting to do this will result in a plant that is scorched. Instead, the flowers should be provided with bright, filtered light. They must receive at least 10 hours of light daily.

If African Violets do not receive enough light, the leaves will yellow and the plant will cease to flower. The leaves and stems may also become elongated.

On the flip side, too much indirect sunlight can be an issue for these flowers. Brown spots can form on the leaves of the plant and the blooms. Leaves are also known to curl down when too much light is provided.

The only time African Violets should be placed in the direct sun is early in the morning or late in the day. It is advised to place your flowers in Southern or Western facing windows to make sure they do not receive too much sunlight. You can shield out the direct sunlight in rooms with sheers or blinds.

Be sure to rotate your African Violet. This is crucial so the plant receives equal light on all four sides. You can remember to do this each time you water the flowers, or once per week. It only needs to be rotated a quarter.

Humidity

African violets need high humidity.

An easy way to manage this is to place the planter in a pebbled filled saucer with a small amount of water. With the bottom of the pot out of the water, the soil will not become sodden.

There are special planters on the market that are made specifically for violets. These have their own well that you simply fill with water.

Fertilizer

In the spring and summer, your African Violets will need to be fertilized every 14 days.

A balanced formula of fertilizer needs to be used. While it may be tempting to use a bloom booster on these flowers, refrain from doing so. These are very hard on the plant.

Containers or Pot Considerations

There are a variety of pots or containers on the market for your African Violets.

Many love clay pots because they are affordable and porous. This makes them able to drain better. Clay pots are also easy for individuals to personalize with paint, making them a great addition to any home decor.

Clay pots do allow evaporation to occur faster than any other pot, and will often become covered with a mineral deposit over time.

Others prefer to use plastic pots.

Some of these come with saucers. This makes draining the flowers fairly easy.

Should you use this type of pot, be sure to empty the draining water often so the plant is not sitting in the water.

Many master gardeners will choose plastic pots for various reasons. They may like that there is a constant water method that can be used with these plants (wicking or capillary matting).

Master gardeners also find that plastic pots have a greater variety. Most clay pots only come in a few sizes. However, with plastic pots, one is able to find smaller pots that often work best for African Violets. These gardeners are also finding that plastic pots are much easier to clean and more inexpensive than clay pots.

The third choice for a pot is ceramic. This kind of pot has two pieces, which makes watering very easy.

One consideration that you may wish to make when purchasing a pot for your African Violets is a self-watering pot. This makes it very easy to care for your beauties and you will never need to worry about overwatering them.

When looking for a pot or container for your African Violets, make sure it is large enough.

If you plant your flowers in a pot that is too small, the roots will not develop properly. This will cause them to become rootbound, which will not promote new growth.

Keep in mind that it is advised to repot your African Violets at least twice per year. Some may need to be repotted more than this.

This method is called “Potting Up”. You move your plant to a larger pot, using fresh soil.

You will know that your plant needs to be potted up as the roots will begin to grow out of the rootball.

There are times when you may need to “Pot Down”. This method involves moving an African Violet that is too small for the container it is currently housed in. You can often tell the pot is too large if the soil is soggy even though you have provided proper drainage or the root balls are not formed cohesively.

Soil Requirements for African Violets

African Violets should be planted in a potting mix that actually does not contain any soil at all. The potting soil used should be light in order to enhance the aeration.

You can create an airy soil by adding perlite, sand, or vermiculite to the potting mix which will create air pockets. These air pockets will help promote roots that are healthy.

The soil must be kept moist, but should never be soggy. It should never be packed into the pot, as root penetration will be eliminated if the soil is dense or compacted.

Propagating African Violets

A very easy way to grow African Violets is to use a leaf cutting. By following these steps, you can ensure you have the best chance of producing a new healthy African Violet.

  1. Look in the center of the plant for a leaf middle-aged and healthy. Using a sharp knife, cut it, leaving a stem of 1.5 inches.
  2. Place the leaf in your potting soil mixture. Be sure to use a soil that contains vermiculite or perlite. A soilless rooting mixture will help stop the risk of soil-borne fungus, which will infect the leaf of the plant
  3. The potting mix should be placed in a brightly lit area with no direct sunlight.
  4. Clumps of plantlets will start to form at the bottom of the leaf in about 6 weeks.
  5. Once the plants have 4+ leaves, you can separate the clumps and plant them in their own pots.

African Violet Pests and Other Problems

Unfortunately, there are pests and other problems that bother your African Violet plant. These include the following:

  • Mealybugs- A clump of eggs will be laid on a leaf, which will resemble a white clump. By taking a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, you can gently rub the leaves of your plant to remove them. Neem oil and castile soap mixed together in a spray bottle can also be effective when sprayed on the violet’s leaves. Mealybugs can spread to other house plants, so if you are unable to remove them, it is best to get rid of your African Violet.
  • Powdery Mildew- Any leaves that are infected with this mildew should be immediately removed. You can lower the humidity and increase the air circulation to avoid this.
  • Thrips- These small pests will feed on pollen. Simply remove them by rinsing with soapy water.
  • Cyclamen mites- Any plant that becomes infested with this pest should be taken to the garbage immediately. It is typically impossible to completely remove them, and they will spread to other healthy plants in your home.
  • Rot and blight- Avoid this by overwatering. If this occurs, your African Violet will be ruined with no chances of saving.

If your African Violet has soil or debris on any of the leaves, a paintbrush can gently wipe this off. Should you see dead leaves, a pair of tweezers can assist you in their removal.

If you happen to see the leaves of the plant becoming pale, or they look bleached, you will need to move them to an area that receives less light. If there are pale leaves and the plant is not growing, you may need to fertilize them more often.

Rusty colored leaves or tightly planted centers can be caused by too much fertilizer. If this is the case, you can flush the plant with fresh water to remove the excess fertilizer. You will then want to only fertilize these flowers every other watering.

Last Thoughts on African Violets Care

By using this guide on how to care for African Violets, you’ll make sure you have healthy plants in your home.

If you know how to take care of African Violets, you should have no problem growing these flowers in your home.

By making sure your flower has the proper water intake, humidity levels, fertilizer, and more, you will ensure that your plant has a healthy life.

If you found this helpful, I’d love for you to “ Pin It ‘!


African violets are easy to grow if you play by their rules. The key to keeping them happy is giving them the conditions they’d get in their native jungle: humidity, damp soil and lots of bright, filtered light.

Best Houseplants for College Life

Find an easy-care plant that truly interests you. Yes, African violet is a good option.

African violets do best with 10+ hours of bright, filtered light. Never give them direct sun they’ll scorch.

Keep soil moist but well drained. You want moist, not soggy.

Water from the bottom, not the top. To do this, set the potted violet in a dish filled with water as long as it takes for the soil to become fully moist. Watering from the top with water that’s too hot or cold can cause leaf spots.
PRO TIP: Let tap water sit for two days so chlorine evaporates from it before watering violets with it. They’re sensitive to chemicals in tap water and prefer water at room temperature, not chilled. You can also catch rainwater and use that to give your violets a drink.

Violets love high humidity. Give it to them by placing the violets’ pot in a saucer filled wtih pebbles and a bit of water. You want the bottom of the pot out of the water so the soil doesn’t get sodden, hence the pebbles. You can also use a special violet pot that comes with its own well you can keep filled with water.

Fertilize them every two weeks during spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer formulated for African violets. Skip bloom boosters they’re hard on the plants.

They like a warm house, 65 to 75 degrees during the day, with a 5 to 10-degree temperature drop at night. Remember, think jungle.

Keep them away from drafty windows and doors in the winter.


How to Root African Violet Leaves in Water

Rooting leaves in water is one of the traditional methods of African violet propagation dating back to the early days of the plants’ popularity in North America. If your grandmother grew African violets from leaf cuttings she may have used this method (or merely pinched off a leaf and stuck it in the soil of the nearest house plant).

To root leaves in the water you will need a rooting container to hold water and a means of suspending the leaf above the water while the stem remains in the water. We like to use small, colored glass bottles (colored glass slows the growth of algae) and aluminum foil. Cheap and easy.

First, choose a healthy, firm leaf from one of the middle rows of the parent plant. Make sure you choose a leaf with a long enough stem (petiole), preferably 1-1/2 to 2 inches long. Cut the tip of the petiole at an angle with a sharp blade.

An alternative to using additional leaf supports is to create support from the aluminum foil covering the rooting jar. This works well for smaller leaves:

Monitor the water level in the rooting jar daily to make sure the stem is sufficiently covered. Plantlets should begin to grow and become visible along the stem within a few weeks.

This is a leaf of African violet ‘Cherry Dots’ showing several babies growing from the stem after approximately 3 months in water.

Have you tried rooting leaves in the water? Share your experiences by leaving a comment!


How To Care For African Violets

If you are new to African violets here are some basic tips for African violet care to get you going. And if you just haven't been successful with them in the past, these tips will get you back in the African violet's good graces.

Buying African Violets

First of all, when buying a new African violet plant look for one with firm, healthy leaves and lots of healthy looking buds.

I am not an African violet snob and will buy them at the local grocery store, but only if they are FRESH to the store and are looking extra PERKY. Otherwise I prefer to buy them at my local garden center where I know they have been well cared by someone with knowledge of plants (rather than knowledge of pastrami).

Starting with a healthy African violet plant is much, much easier than trying to revive one on their last legs.

Repotting African Violets

I always repot my African violets as soon as I bring them home from the garden center or grocery store. The plastic nursery pots they are sold in at the stores are not optimum for long term use, so into new pots they go.

And then I repot them once a year to give them fresh airy soil. The previous soil would have become compacted over time.

In both these instances I am repotting them in the same size containers. African violets bloom better when slightly rootbound, so until they become too rootbound or start to get leggy I try to keep them in approximately the same size planter.

In general, the pot should be roughly &frac13 the size of the spread of the leaves.

Wait to move them up in planter size when they become too rootbound - you will see roots growing out of the hole in the bottom of the pot or poking up out of the soil on top when they are at this point.

African Violet Pots

I prefer to use terra-cotta pots for my African violets since terra cotta is breathable. And honestly, I love the look of an African violet in these simple pots.

You can use an African violet specific pot which self waters the plant if you prefer. In this case the planter comes in two parts. The plant is planted in the top portion with water put in the bottom portion.

It really is a personal preference though, both type of pots will work.

When picking out a pot, make sure it is slightly shallow though - roughly the same size in depth as in width. You do not want overly deep planters because the roots are shallow growing and in a tall planter you will end up with a plant with soggy soil at the bottom yet roots that haven't touched water.

(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure policy here.)

African Violet Soil

When repotting, use an African violet specific soil such as Espoma's African Violet Potting Mix . They like airy, loose and fluffy soil and regular potting mix is too heavy for them.

A note about Miracle Grow African Violet Potting Soil which is commonly found in just about any grocery store or hardware store. It already has fertilizer added in to it, so if you use it you have to remember to be careful to not over-fertilize your plants by using your own fertilizer also. Some people like that they don't have to think about fertilizing, some people like to control their fertilizer usage more.

And you can always make your own. A common recipe for making your own African violet potting soil is to mix 1 cup peat moss + 1 cup vermiculite + 1 cup perlite. So if you want to DIY it, go for it!

African Violet Fertilizer

Fertilize your African violets with an African violet specific fertilizer spring through fall. No need to fertilize in the winter months. I use Schultz African Violet Fertilizer, just because that is what my mom always used, but there are other brands out there. Follow directions on the package.

Do remember what I told you about the Miracle Grow potting soil though.

Watering African Violets

Let your African violets dry out slightly between waterings. I can usually just lift the pot and tell it needs water by the weight of the pot. Which might sound odd, but really the soil is so light that you can easily tell when it has the added weight of water in the soil.

Water from underneath with room temperature water. I fill the saucer or a shallow pan with water and allow them to drink up as much as they can from underneath for about an hour. Then toss out the extra water. They prefer moist, yet not soggy soil.

DO NOT let them constantly sit in water. They will become mushy and waterlogged and will die a fast miserable death.

African Violet Light

African violets prefer bright, indirect light such as an East or North facing window. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves. And they are notorious for not re-blooming without the correct lighting situation.

Rotate once a week to keep their uniform, rounded shape.

You can place them under a grow light in the winter months if you like. I have not found it necessary, but some people swear by them.

African Violet Temperature Preferences

They do best in 65 - 80 degree temperatures.

They need to be kept away from cold glass, so if you have them in a kitchen windowsill, pull them back a bit from the glass.

Propagating African Violets

If you are interested in a frugal way to produce a never ending supply of new African violet plants, Melissa from The Empress Of Dirt has a wonderful article on How To Grow African Violets From Leaf Cuttings including a video of the process.

I didn't want to make this article so long no one would read it, so pop on over to her site to learn how to propagate the right way (it is not hard at all)!

Are African Violets Poisonous To Cats

No, they are non-toxic to cats and dogs.

BUT, if your animal or child is prone to sticking plants and flowers into their mouth, I would keep these pretty flowers out of their reach. And I would still contact the local poison control center to just make sure the amount of plant they ate won't have another effect on them. Just because they aren't poisonous doesn't mean they won't upset their stomach.

Do you grow African violets? What is your favorite variety?


Varieties Of Violets: Different Types Of Violets

Violets are one of the cheeriest little flowers to grace the landscape. True violets are different from African violets, which are natives of east Africa. Our native violets are indigenous to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and may bloom from spring well into summer, depending upon the species. There are around 400 types of violet plants in the genus Viola. The many violet plant varieties guarantee there is a sweet little Viola perfect for almost any gardening need. Violet Plant Varieties True violets have been cultivated since at least 500 B.C. Their uses were more than ornamental, with flavoring and medicinal applications high on the list. Today, we are fortunate to have a plethora of different types of violets readily available at most nurseries and garden centers. Violas encompass the dog violets (scentless blooms), wild pansies and sweet violets, which are descended from wild sweet violets from Europe. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide which of these endlessly charming flowers to choose for your landscape. We’ll break down the basic different types of violets so you can pick the best fit for your garden. Both pansies and violets are in the genus Viola. Some are perennials and some are annuals but all sport the sunny, uplifted face-like flowers characteristic of the family Violaceae. While both are technically violets, each has a slightly different characteristic and genesis. Pansies are a cross between the wild violets, Viola

There are around 400 types of violet plants in the genus Viola. The many violet plant varieties guarantee there is a sweet little Viola perfect for almost any gardening need. Violet Plant Varieties True violets have been cultivated since at least 500 B.C. Their uses were more than ornamental, with flavoring and medicinal applications high on the list. Today, we are fortunate to have a plethora of different types of violets readily available at most nurseries and garden centers. Violas encompass the dog violets (scentless blooms), wild pansies and sweet violets, which are descended from wild sweet violets from Europe. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide which of these endlessly charming flowers to choose for your landscape. We’ll break down the basic different types of violets so you can pick the best fit for your garden. Both pansies and violets are in the genus Viola. Some are perennials and some are annuals but all sport the sunny, uplifted face-like flowers characteristic of the family Violaceae. While both are technically violets, each has a slightly different characteristic and genesis. Pansies are a cross between the wild violets, Viola

Violet Plant Varieties True violets have been cultivated since at least 500 B.C. Their uses were more than ornamental, with flavoring and medicinal applications high on the list. Today, we are fortunate to have a plethora of different types of violets readily available at most nurseries and garden centers. Violas encompass the dog violets (scentless blooms), wild pansies and sweet violets, which are descended from wild sweet violets from Europe. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide which of these endlessly charming flowers to choose for your landscape. We’ll break down the basic different types of violets so you can pick the best fit for your garden. Both pansies and violets are in the genus Viola. Some are perennials and some are annuals but all sport the sunny, uplifted face-like flowers characteristic of the family Violaceae. While both are technically violets, each has a slightly different characteristic and genesis. Pansies are a cross between the wild violets, Viola

Today, we are fortunate to have a plethora of different types of violets readily available at most nurseries and garden centers. Violas encompass the dog violets (scentless blooms), wild pansies and sweet violets, which are descended from wild sweet violets from Europe. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide which of these endlessly charming flowers to choose for your landscape. We’ll break down the basic different types of violets so you can pick the best fit for your garden. Both pansies and violets are in the genus Viola. Some are perennials and some are annuals but all sport the sunny, uplifted face-like flowers characteristic of the family Violaceae. While both are technically violets, each has a slightly different characteristic and genesis. Pansies are a cross between the wild violets, Viola

Violas encompass the dog violets (scentless blooms), wild pansies and sweet violets, which are descended from wild sweet violets from Europe. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide which of these endlessly charming flowers to choose for your landscape. We’ll break down the basic different types of violets so you can pick the best fit for your garden. Both pansies and violets are in the genus Viola. Some are perennials and some are annuals but all sport the sunny, uplifted face-like flowers characteristic of the family Violaceae. While both are technically violets, each has a slightly different characteristic and genesis. Pansies are a cross between the wild violets, Viola

Both pansies and violets are in the genus Viola. Some are perennials and some are annuals but all sport the sunny, uplifted face-like flowers characteristic of the family Violaceae. While both are technically violets, each has a slightly different characteristic and genesis. Pansies are a cross between the wild violets, Viola lutea and Viola tricolor, and are often called Johnny-jump-ups for their ability to crop up readily anywhere. Sweet violets are descended from Viola odorata, while bedding violets are deliberate hybrids of Viola cornuta and pansies. The mounding form and leaves are the same, but pansies have more distinctive “faces” then bedding violets, which feature more streaking. Any of the types of violet flowers are equally as appealing and easy to grow. Typical Varieties of Violets There are over 100 types of violet plants available for sale. The two main types of violet flowers in nurseries are bedding violets and sweet violets. These and pansies are classed into 5 categories:

Typical Varieties of Violets There are over 100 types of violet plants available for sale. The two main types of violet flowers in nurseries are bedding violets and sweet violets. These and pansies are classed into 5 categories:

Heirloom Double

Heirloom Double Parma (which prefer warmer seasons) New violet Viola Pansies are distinguished by their four petals pointing upwards and one pointing down. The

New violet Viola Pansies are distinguished by their four petals pointing upwards and one pointing down. The

The violas have two petals pointing up and three pointing down. The categories have further been divided into subgroups:

Pansy Viola

Pansy Viola Violetta’s Cornuta hybrids None of this is very important unless you are a breeder or botanist, but it serves to indicate the huge array of varieties of violets and the need for a larger classing system to indicate species variation among the family members. Bedding varieties are your hybridized violets and pansies. In late winter, they are the most commonly found in nurseries and thrive in the cool of early spring and even late winter in temperate and warm regions. Wild violets are less common but may be found at native nurseries since 60 species are native to North America. Every region will have slightly different offerings but there are some mainstays in the Viola community. The garden or bedding pansies, which are a hybrid, come in numerous colors, from blue to russet and anything in between. Blue violets are the most common and will readily seed themselves in your garden. Perennial violas that will perform well in most zones

Wild violets are less common but may be found at native nurseries since 60 species are native to North America. Every region will have slightly different offerings but there are some mainstays in the Viola community. The garden or bedding pansies, which are a hybrid, come in numerous colors, from blue to russet and anything in between.

Blue violets are the most common and will readily seed themselves in your garden.

Perennial violas that will perform well in most zones include:

Wild Violas for sale may be field pansies, yellow wood violet, hairy violet, dog violet, downy yellow or early blue violet. All these types of violet plants should thrive in dappled light, well-draining soil and average moisture. Most will self-seed and double the dainty flower display the next year. Violets of any name are one of

All these types of violet plants should thrive in dappled light, well-draining soil and average moisture. Most will self-seed and double the dainty flower display the next year. Violets of any name are one of nature’s sweet treats that shouldn’t be missed in the landscape.


Watch the video: Repotting African Violets. Garden Answer