African Violet Care
What is your violet telling you?Abundantly blooming violets are an adornment for any room and give their owner highly positive emotions. Saying that, we offer the following for your consideration. To best keep your violets safe, sound and healthy, please consider the following all around growing conditions and advice on resolving very common issues. Our specifics regarding the eradication procedure for disease, thrips and other pesky varmints is a separate "Helpful Tip".
After your purchaseOnce again, we draw your attention to the fact that the main way to protect your indoor plants from diseases is proper care and timely preventive measures. If you have purchased a blooming violet, BEFORE you bring it into your home, we advise you to cut all flower stalks with clean tools - this will reduce the risk of sucking parasites, in particular thrips, being brought in your house along with the flower. If a transplant is necessary, be sure to sanitize not only the prepared substrate, but also the pot. If everything is fine with your new violet and it does not require a transplant, take it to your previously prepared, isolated location and start following rules for proper care. After all, it's not following rules of caring for indoor violets that causes most problems.
Let's deal with them in order.
Why do some violets become small and dull?Should the flower lack natural light, then new generations of leaves, compared to old ones, grow smaller and look more dull. Their petioles are elongated and the edges of the leaf plates bend up. You should rearrange the flower pot on the windowsill to be lit by diffused sunlight. In the autumn-winter period, additional artificial lighting up to 10 - 12 hours will be highly beneficial. Protect your violet from direct rays of the sun and drafts. Your violet will recover soon and bounce back.
Why do violets have leaves rise up?Ideally, the leaves of the violet are located relative to the stem horizontally. True, some varieties of violets, are prone to some uplift of leaves. If you have a violet of a different variety and its leaves suddenly began to rise and twist - there may be several reasons: 1. Incorrect lighting. It should be neither weak nor redundant. On the southern sunny windowsill there must be a light shelter in the form of curtains or blinds, otherwise the sun's rays will burn the delicate leaves of violets and, to protect itself from the sun, it raises the leaves up. Western and eastern directions are the most preferable ones, and violets will not be enough light on the northern windows. The cuttings will lengthen, the leaves stretch toward the light and stretch upward. The rosette becomes like a large spider with disproportionately high and thin peduncles. Move the violet pot to a suitable, well-lit place with the diffused rays of the sun. With a short daylight, organize additional lighting up to 12 hours a day. The violet will gradually become beautiful and compact again. Just remember to remove the old leaves. 2. Lack of humidity in the room. If the air in your room is too dry, the leaves of the violets will rise up and begin to curl. Try to increase the humidity of the surrounding air in every way. 3. Heat from heaters. The leaves of the violets rise when the pot is on the windowsill, right under which there is a battery, from which powerful heat flows. Violet tries to protect itself from the heat and picks up the leaves. It will be worse once the leaves begin to turn yellow and yellow-brown spots appear. It should be remembered that violets love a stable air temperature (64 - 75 F). Close the batteries, ventilate the room, but avoid drafts. If you analyze the possible mistakes and correct them, your violets will return to normal once again.
Why do violet leaves twist inward?Should the smooth leaves of your violet suddenly begin to curl inward, look for reasons among the following: 1. You may be too keen on artificial lighting. Excess light leads to the fact that in the center of the outlet the leaves begin to grow on each other, their shape is deformed. The reverse side of the leaves becomes burgundy. 2. Leaf plates become stiff, brittle and fold into a tube. Peduncles are formed so short that they cannot get out from under the leaves, they also twist and, when touched, break off. If you do not reduce the duration and intensity of illumination of the violet, you will get discolored leaves of the outlet, which will soon die. 3. Excessive watering. The roots of the violet, being constantly in the water, suffer from oxygen starvation, begin to decay, the whole metabolism is disturbed in the plant. Leaves curl. Violet urgently needs to be rescued. Take it out of the pot. Inspect the roots. Remove any rotten and damaged ones. Treat with fungicides or crushed activated carbon. Transplant the treated plant into new soil. The pot must be cleaned, sanitized and checked for proper drainage through holes in the pot. 4. Excess nitrogen fertilizers in the soil. A fragile violet is not able to absorb excess nitrogen, so it twists the leaves. If you do not take measures, do not transplant the flower into a suitable soil composition - the violet may die. 5. The cause of leaf twisting sometimes becomes a terrible and dangerous enemy of indoor plants - a cyclamen tick. This parasite is so tiny that it is simply impossible to detect it without special equipment. The tick affects the lower side of the leaves, which curl inward. The leaf itself is as if covered with a layer of dust that cannot be washed off in any way. Over time, the cyclamen tick affects the entire plant, the roots begin to rot, the stems dry out leaflets curl up. It is necessary to remove all affected parts of the plant, then treat the flower with chemical agents, and several times, in order to consolidate the success and return the violet to its normal appearance and healthy condition.
Why do violet leaves twist inward?If the beautiful violets suddenly began to fade leaves, and the entire outlet was about to wither, it is worth hurrying and find out the cause of this outrage. And there may be several: 1. Low or too high temperature, poor or too intense lighting, excess moisture, stagnation of water in the pan, hard or cold water, burns to the root system due to excess dosage, and others Pests that have settled on the underside of the leaves and suck out juices from them. Special drugs - acaricides can help. (On pest control another article). 2. Diseases of a fungal nature. The fungus can appear in the soil or enter the violet tissue through wounds in the stem or leaves that appear mechanically during pruning, propagation, or transplanting of violets. We will describe the diseases of violets, which lead to the fact that its leaves fade in new article.
Why do violets leaves turn yellow?Perhaps you messily water it - water falls on the velvet leaves of violets and spoils them. Yellow spots also appear from sunburn, if the violet is in the sun. Ring spots can be from cold drafts in the winter season. Could be just old leaves on the bottom (simple remove them).
Why do violets have blackened leaves around the edges?If the violet edges of the leaves began to blacken, it is necessary to find the cause of this phenomenon and eliminate it. Let's figure it out in order: 1. The main cause of blackening of the leaves along the edges is excessive wetting of the substrate. Stop temporarily watering the plant, let the soil dry. Try to touch the damaged areas - if they are soft, the root system may begin to rot. Then we recommend removing the affected leaves, peduncles and suckers. Take a violet from the pot, inspect the roots, if brown remove. Transplant the violet into a new substrate according to all rules then pour and spray phytosport or a systemic fungicide. 2. Tender violet leaves do not tolerate drafts. At any time of the year, drafts can cause light or brown spots to appear on the leaves. But a few seconds in the cold air when airing the room in winter is enough to make the green velvet leaves of the flower begin to darken around the edges. Gradually stains from the edges spread over the entire surface of the leaves. A Violet experiencing this does not require treatment. Remove the damaged leaves so that they do not spoil the appearance of the flower. 3. Lack of nutrients in the soil leads to brown spots on violet leaves. In the process of growth and flowering, violet actively selects all the nutrients from the soil. They should be regularly renewed, feeding the plant twice a month with special liquid fertilizers for violets (senpolia). Do not neglect the annual transplant of the plant into a fresh substrate. If the flower is not transplanted for a long time, harmful salts accumulate in the soil that interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Feeding in this case will not be effective. The appearance of white plaque or spots of white or gray color on the leaves of the senpolia can indicate a disease - fungal, bacterial or viral. We will talk about diseases of this nature later.
Why do violets flowers or buds wilt?If buds are not fully opened and the violet flowers dry prematurely, you can count on it for the following reason(s): 1. The room is too dry. It is necessary to increase air humidity - the flower is suffocating. 2. The room is too hot. In the summer, the sun fries through the window glass, in winter - the batteries are fried under the windowsill. There is no time for flowering. 3. Not enough natural light. In winter, due to the short daylight hours, artificial lighting is required. 4. Soil not suitable for violets, too acidic, with a pH below 5.5 5. An excess of nitrogen in the soil. 6. Drafts. When airing, take the violet away from cold air.
Why doesn't the violet bloom?If the violet refuses to bloom - it is worth analyzing all the various reasons. We will again have to list all the conditions under which the violet will bloom for sure: 1. Different varieties of indoor violets bloom differently. If the violet is more than three years old, then, most likely, it will bloom rarely and reluctantly. Abundant flowering is usually observed on young outlets, whose age does not exceed three years. So, propagate your favorite varieties on time. You can tackle this winter, planting suckers or rooting leafy cuttings. By spring, they will grow, adapt and, quite possibly, bloom. 2. Use a pot of the right size for the violet. Young AV grow well in 2" pots, medium rosettes need 3" pots, and adult specimens quietly fit in containers no more than 5". Anything lager is rarely if ever recommended for a single plant. If you place the violet in an oversized pot, the surface roots of the violet will not be able to quickly master the entire space, they will grow. Together with the roots and leaf rosettes and will grow violently at the expense of the formation of peduncles. In addition, excess soil deep in the pot can sour and provoke the occurrence of various infections. 3. It is not advisable to tolerate a deficiency or excess of nutrients in the soil. For example, an excess of nitrogen components will cause rapid growth of foliage to the detriment of flowering. An excess of potassium in the soil will cause a halt in the growth of the violet and its yellowing. 4. It is very important for blooming violets to grow in loose, light, slightly acidified soil. If you used the soil from the garden or other, heavy, not suitable for violets soil, then it will dry out for a long time, it is bad to let air through. The roots will choke and rot. There is no time for the violet to bloom - most would die. 5. Use special soil for growing violets - light, breathable, nutritious. Follow the norms of transplanting into a new substrate, as even the best soil compacts over time and loses its nutritional value. 6. For the violet to please you with constant flowering, observe the norms of its irrigation during all periods of its life. Both the complete drying of the substrate and its constant over moistening will not lead to healthy, abundant blooming. 7. Indoor violets are sensitive not only to the frequency of watering, but also to the method of watering. If you flood the growth point, the plant may become ill. Should you get water when watering on the velvet leaves of violets, then the sun's rays through the window glass can leave ugly spots on them - burns. The violet will quickly become stressed and refuse to bloom. 8. The temperature of the water used is very important for the blooming of violets. We do not recommend watering violets with tap water. Such water contains impurities, from which the soil quickly becomes saline, and becomes unsuitable for flower growth. Water the flower only with settled for 24 HR or boiled water at room temperature or even a little warmer. Use all the methods described by us in the article on caring for violets: for top watering, watering in a pan, immersing the pot in a container of water, drip, wick watering and others. 9. Lack of lighting - this is the most common reason for the lack of bloom in violets. If the flower pot is in the back of the room, the leaves of the violet will stretch toward the window, flower stalks will not form, and the violet will turn into a bush of leaves alone. For abundant flowering violets require at least 12 hours a day of continuous lighting. In the autumn-winter time, we recommend using fluorescent, LED lamps or grow lamps so that daylight hours are at least 10-14 hours. But, if you put a pot of violets on a sunny windowsill, its leaves in the afternoon can get sunburns, from which they become spotty, begin to dry out and fall off. This is another reason for the lack of flowering. Violets love bright, but diffused light for 10-14 hours a day. 10. To bloom violets need high humidity. If your area has too dry air, especially during the heating season, it should be moistened by any means (trays with wet expanded clay, containers with water for evaporation, spraying of ambient air, the use of household humidifiers and other tricks). Only at a humidity of 50-60%, the violet will be able to live normally, develop, form peduncles and bloom for a long time. 11. In addition, the flower needs fresh air, in a stale room flowers weaken and run the risk of catching some infection or attract sucking parasites. Airing the premises should be a regularly performed procedure. We hope the above information will help you to grow a beautiful and healthy collection.