The Q&A Archives: African Violets

Question: 5 mos ago I moved from upstate NY to Winston Salem NC. My 4 african violets appeared to make the transition smoothly - except they have not bloomed since. Until then they were in perpetual bloom. other than the move I have not changed their care, the plants are healthy - just not flowers. any suggestions?

Answer: I suspect your plants are just recovering from the move and adjusting to their new home. They do need a period of rest between blooming cycles so it may have been lengthened because of the move. Although the environments seem to be identical, the humdity might be a little different. You probably already know the basics, but the following guidelines might help you determine just what the problem might be:
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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