The Q&A Archives: Dead Flowers

Question: I'm not exactly sure what kind of flower I have. My son gave it to me for Mother's Day. I believe it may be an African violet(pink). When he brought it home from school it was already half dead. I'm trying to bring it back to life but it doesn't seem to be working. Can you please give me some suggestions?

Answer: 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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