The Q&A Archives: Soggy Soil For African Violets

Question: I'm trying to grow an African violet for the first time. My problem is that I brought an African violet self watering planter and the next day the soil was so soggy I could squeeze water out of it. I used Scotts potting soil for African violets and followed the instructions for repotting. Please help me to know what I'm doing wrong, so I don't drown my plant. Thank you very much for your help.

Answer: I purchased just the kind of pot you describe and have been using it successfully for about three months. It's a two-piece container. The bottom is glazed inside and out and the top is glazed only around the rim. The idea behind the pot is that you can fill the bottom with water and the unglazed insert will absorb water as the soil in the top of the pot dries. I also had the same reaction as you're having when I first used it. The soil seemed way too wet and the plant kept tipping to the side. I solved the problem by removing the top part and setting it on the rim of the sink for a day or two until most of the water drained from the soil but the soil was still moist. Then I filled the bottom part of the container with water and set the top part back on it. It's been working great ever since!
You might want to do the same. Good luck with your new plant!

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