African Violets for Everyone

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African Violet How-To

Here are a few general points to remember in looking after African violets

* For African violets to be full of flower and to look beautiful they need to be healthy
* Since African violets come from tropical Africa, they need warmth. However many species come from higher elevations so they don't like really high temperatures.
* Mostly they come from sheltered areas where there is shade, so keep them away from too much direct sun.
* However they do like plenty of light to do well. There are no natural "indoor" plants and even sheltered natural environments are brighter than many indoor locations.
* Their natural habitat is quite humid, so consider trying to provide some humidity.

African violet 'Colonial Darling'

* Often their native home was nothing more than a small pocket of decayed leaves and grit between rocks, so keep the pots small enough to reflect their small root system.
* In view of the previous point, use a potting mix that is light, open and well drained and they will thank you for it.
* The decaying leaves in which their ancestors may have been growing provide a natural fertiliser. This doesn't happen in a pot. Living things generally need fertiliser so be sure you provide it.
* Yes! You can get water on the leaves! It rains in Africa! You can emulate this natural cleaning of the leaves by either brushing the leaves to keep them clean or wash with luke-warm water. Just don't use icy cold water and don't leave cold water on the leaves overnight, especially in cold weather. It is not good to let dirt and dust accumulate on the leaves.

This site has several articles about caring for African violets.  New material will be added from time to time. Follow these links:

African violet care: How to look after an African violet Growing African violets from leaf How not to kill an African violet Does your African violet have too many heads?      (New) Creating a dish garden using African violets The anatomy of a dish garden

How to get the best flowering from your African violet   (coming soon)

New from old: how to rejuvenate a tired African violet  (coming soon)

As well as these articles about growing African violets, you might like to read the article about Sinningia, a genus of related plants:

Growing Sinningias in Australia
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For more hints on growing African violets, you can also look at "The African Violet Way" my free bi-monthly e-newsletter. Back issues are also available. Don't forget to email me if you would like to be notified when the next issue is available.

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The book "African Violets for Everyone" is available for purchase from this site. It is full of information and illustrations to help in growing these plants. 

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