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May 13, 2020 1:20 PM CST
Thread OP

Hi, I've never tried taking care of any plants so I'm completely clueless to how this works, sorry in advance. But I realized that I'm really into this and I'd love to get myself more plants in the future, but for now I need help with this one.

My mom got this plant as a gift recently and I'd like to help her take care of it, but I can't identify it and I'm not sure how to save it, as it doesn't seem in a good state. Here's a picture of it:

Thumb of 2020-05-13/Astronomy/e10982

The leaves are pretty weird, at first I thought they were plastic leaves or something because they didn't look like casual leaves to me and they're very thick, and they feel like they're covered with a hairy texture.

Thumb of 2020-05-13/Astronomy/f81def

You can also see how they have cracks in them, and they feel very crispy at the moment and would easily break if you pinch them a little hard. From below they look like this:

Thumb of 2020-05-13/Astronomy/0fa314

The roses seem okay except a few ones in the middle.
So I need help on how to save this plant, if possible, and some knowledge such as what kind of light/sun should I keep it in, for how long, when to water it, etc. As I said I've never taken care of a plant before so this is all very new to me.

My mom is already attached to it so I'd love to keep it alive for as long as possible, not to mention plants are lovely and cute so taking care of them feels amazing, almost like a pet. Thanks in advance!
May 13, 2020 1:25 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: Ukraine Region: United States of America Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Your plant is an

Edited to add: African Violets come in sizes from miniature to semi-miniature to standard and blooms, they have dark green to light green to variegated leaves and blooms of many colors. They require warmth, bright light, no sun and do not like water on their leaves, so water the soil only.

We have many, many African Violets listed in our database here, where you can view photos and growing information:
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Last edited by plantladylin May 13, 2020 1:31 PM Icon for preview
May 13, 2020 1:26 PM CST
Name: James
North Louisiana (Zone 8b)
Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Growing under artificial light Ferns Garden Photography
Region: Louisiana Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Critters Allowed Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Container Gardener
African violet ...not sure which one
May 13, 2020 9:32 PM CST
Thread OP

Thank you both!

So uh I've been reading around and seeing some videos, and as always when you overdo that you start getting kinda different information and confusion builds up so pardon me but I'm just gonna ask a few questions here as well about some things I'm still not sure of and thanks in advance,

1) how much light and shadow per day? Been seeing different numbers around, I believe 12 hours of light are mentioned here. And is it better if I leave it by a window (without the sun hitting the plant) or rather use room light? If light bulbs work I'll add some info about the ones we have.
2) is there a general rule of thumb interval for watering it? I get the moist soil check but just in case I'm being mistaken and it's too moist or vice versa. The method I'll use is watering from the bottom, so letting the bottom of the pot sit in water for 30-60 mins? I'm also not sure for how long.
3) how often does it need to be fertilised? And do homemade fertilisers work or does it need something specific?

And lastly, since I believe it is in a bad state, do I need to do something more than usual to save it? Such as extra watering or light? Thanks again!
Last edited by Astronomy May 13, 2020 9:35 PM Icon for preview
May 14, 2020 8:42 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
Prof. plant consultant & educator
The internet will provide 12 different opinions on just about any subject. When it comes to indoor plant care, the internet is not well-curated.

Keep your AV in its plastic pot and leave the roots undisturbed. Place it in a location where it gets bright but indirect sunlight. That would be close to any window, but beyond the reach of the sun's rays at any time during the day. A north window is often best. Make sure the window is completely uncovered because even sheers block out most of the light that a plant uses. Natural light is better than artificial light.

As soon as the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch or turns a lighter shade of brown, water it from the top slowly until some water runs through the drain holes. Don't le the pot sit in water. When you water, avoid letting any water get on the leaves.

Fertilize it monthly at half strength. Use a commercial rather than a homemade product.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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May 16, 2020 4:31 PM CST
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
I agree Will's the best!
It also doesn't look half bad, so there's lots of hope for both of you.
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
May 17, 2020 1:38 PM CST
Thread OP

Thanks guys, noted all you said.

The flowers in the middle seem to be dying but I'm not sure why or if it's a normal thing. Leaves seem okay, they became less crispy at the edges and don't feel like they could break on touch now.

My apartment only has west and east windows so I'm keeping it next to the western window where it's getting good indirect sunlight for about 12-13 hours a day from sunrise to sunset, and then I keep it in a darker place but I'm not sure if it's dark enough. Do they need complete darkness or is some shade in a lit room enough?

Watering it about once or twice a week, but what confuses me is that some parts of the soil sometimes seem a bit dry while others are moist so it makes me unsure if I should water or not.

I might have to do with homemade fertilisers for now due to quarantine and delivery being messed up too. Been reading about egg shells, coffee grounds and milk/juice leftovers as options, not sure what you guys would recommend here. Thanks again c:
Avatar for CalPolygardener
May 17, 2020 11:06 PM CST
California (Zone 9b)
The flowers in the middle are the oldest ones are "dieing" because that's what happens when they're old. Just pick them off or carefully cut them with scissors to remove them. The east facing window would be better for lighting-- they don't like full sun just bright diffuse light. The depth of darkness doesn't matter-- dark is dark. You don't need to move it, just find the right place and leave it there. When you water it try to water all the way around the plant, that way there won't be dry areas and wet areas. If you want to water from the bottom, let it sit in the water for about 10-15 minutes and then let it drip dry before you put it back in its home. This should also help to eliminate the wet/dry areas.
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