The Q&A Archives: Caring for African Violets

Question: How do you care for African violets?

Answer: African violets, botanical name Saintpaulia ionantha, are one of the most popular houseplants around. They like temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees F and high humidity. Place the pot on a saucer filled with gravel; keeping water in the saucer will increase the humidity around the plant. (Just be sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the pot.)<br><br>African violets prefer an acidic soil, and there are special potting soils made just for them. When you water, try not to put water directly on the crown of the plant or on the leaves. Pull off any yellowing leaves, and fertilize when the plant is actively growing. African violets bloom best when pot bound or crowded. Bright, indirect light encourages the most blooms.

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