Ciscoe Save Me: Caring for African violets

Ciscoe Morris offers advice on how to successfully grow and nurture African Violets. 

Caring for plants can be quite a challenging responsibility. Ciscoe Morris gives us a little advice on how to successfully grow and nurture African Violets.

African violets make exceptional house plants. I love them because they're one of the few house plants that will bloom year round (except when they take a little rest in late winter) if you give them what they need, and they come in all sorts of incredibly attractive colors. To keep your African violet blooming well, move it into a south window in as bright indirect sunlight as possible. (Direct sunlight could fry the leaves.) At the same time, raise humidity by keeping the plants on a pebble tray, or buy a few of the pots made specially to water African violets from the bottom. The pots work great, look nice and also help raise humidity. During the growing season, fertilize every 2 weeks with a soluble African Violet food (available at most nurseries) but dilute to half-strength. Feed only starting in early March until the end of October. Allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering. Stressing the plant a bit encourages it to boom. Always water from the bottom, and avoid wetting the leaves, as that can lead to nasty fungus problems. Don’t be in a hurry to repot. African violets bloom best if they’re fairly rootbound. Finally, remember to remove spent flowers as soon as they begin to fade. Then sit back and enjoy the glorious, cheerfully colorful, year round flower display!

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Remember the Ciscoe creed: You can't have too many houseplants!