The Q&A Archives: Encouraging Young African Violets To Bloom

Question: I recently have been able to raise about 20 african violets from leafs. Now being the impatient person I am I was wondering how to get them to bloom as soon as possible? What type of fetilizer do the growers that raise plants to purchase use and what techniques would encourage young plants to bloom? Several violets I have purchased have been very small (3") but were in bloom. How do they accomplish this?

Answer: The tiny violets in bloom were probably dwarf varieties.

These plants are theoretically potentially everblooming, but they do seem to bloom more in spring and summer. Your new plants should be able to bloom within a few months if they are well cared for which is one of the reasons they are so rewarding to grow.

Here are some pointers on care: Give the plants average
household temperatures, but avoid drafts or sudden changes
in temperature. Place the plants in a bright window, but
keep it from getting direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but
wait until the soil surface begins to dry before watering. Use
tepid, not cold water, and try not to get water on the leaves
or crowns of the plants when you apply water. African
violets like humidity in the air. To increase humidity, place
the pot on a tray of pebbles in which you keep about a
half-inch of water. As the water evaporates it will add
humidity. Some expert gardeners are able to get African
violets to bloom ten months of the year. This is because the
plants are given perfect growing conditions. More often,
though, African violets will bloom for a few weeks, then rest
for several weeks, and then bloom again. Cut the flowers
and stems off when the flowers fade. You can feed them
about every two months with a complete houseplant
fertilizer for blooming plants (read and follow the label directions), or with a
special African Violet fertilizer.

For more specifics about how avid hobby and professional growers care for their violets you might enjoy the website for the African Violet Society of America. Enjoy your violets!

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