Gesneriads forum: African Violet Pot

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Name: Deb
Buffalo, Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Region: Minnesota Birds Cactus and Succulents Hostas Hummingbirder
May 21, 2017 9:44 AM CST
My family gave me an African Violet for Mother's Day. I was reading up on their care and the basic watering instructions I've found are to let the soil just barely dry out, then bottom water using non chlorinated water for 30 minutes. Sounds easy, but I have a couple of questions-should I use soluble violet fertilizer in the water every time I water or fertilize every so often? And, somewhere along the way, I picked up a "violet pot"-are these good to use? It looks nice, but I'm afraid of over watering. Is commercial violet potting soil OK?
Thanks-I just want it to live :)

Thumb of 2017-05-21/dmurray407/34905b

Madison, Alabama (formerly NC)
Aug 12, 2017 7:22 PM CST
There does not seem to have been any response to this query. I grow some African violets and do use most of the time the commercial mixes. My plants seem to do well as long as I am careful about overwatering. I have some of the violet pots but they did not seem to be absorbing the water like I expected. So my DH drilled 2 holes in the sides of them lower down. I set the inner pots into the outer pot which contains water. The water enters the inner pot through the holes instead of relying on absorption through the sides - seems to work. So I can use the pots (which were relatively expensive) although not exactly as I expected.

Yesterday I received 3 little plants from The Violet Barn (my first order from them). All three are very healthy and actually have blooms. I am really happy with them and will definitely order again. So glad to have found a choice besides Lowes and HD - so many varieties to choose from. The shipping costs but they pack wonderfully.

Hope your plant is doing well. AFs are actually fairly tough plants and can take a lot - tap water is fine as long as it is not too cold. Just don't overwater and rot the leaves. Good luck.
Name: Trudy
Youngsville, LA (Zone 9b)
Aug 27, 2017 6:45 PM CST
These are my favorite pots ever! I have about 20 african violets & when they outgrow their 1st 2" rooting pot & 2nd 4" pot I try to invest in these pots as a final home where they can grow long term. They are about $12 at Walmart & some big box gardening stores but they keep the roots just moist enough so I don't have to water but once a week. I mix my plant fertilizer in the water about every other month so they absorb the nourishment. I do find it helps to change the soil out every 6 months like most other pots so salts don't build up too much in soil. They are usually pretty pots & that helps, too. If you ever have leaves to trade I'm always open to a trade of leaves or baby rooted plants. Just let me know since Sept. & Oct. are the latest months to mail before cold temps. set in. Thumbs up
Madison, Alabama (formerly NC)
Aug 29, 2017 6:10 AM CST
Interesting. I have rooted leaves many times - it is so easy. I was greatly surprised when I saw a comment on The Violet Barn site where one of their pieces of advice was "never waste a leaf - root it". So many commercial growers today have patents on their plants (as if you could and should try to claim total ownership of a growing thing!) and threaten legal action if you reproduce it on your own. Their attitude endears me to them and I am already getting up another order (last one for the fall) from them.

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