African violets are perfect for those, who want indoor plants that require less space and minimal care. These plants do not need direct sunlight for their growth, and also like the temperature settings and humidity inside homes. Apart from the traditional variety with bluish purple flowers, African violets are now available in shades like, pink, white, purple, etc. Some plants produce double layered petals too. Even though they thrive well as indoor plants, you have to take care of their basic requirements, so that they stay healthy and produce flowers throughout the year.
How to Take Care of African Violets
African violets belong to the genus Saintpaulia in the family Gesneriaceae. These flowering plants are native to Tanzania and the genus is named after Baron Walter von Saint Paul-lllaire, who discovered this plant in this African country. The African violet is now very popular as a houseplant, and is widely grown in most parts of the world. While African violets are considered perfect as indoor plants, proper care has to be taken, if you want them to grow healthy.
Soil: These plants require loose, well-drained soil. You may buy some soil mix, fertilizer, and pots that are specifically meant for these plants. Otherwise, plant them in soil that contains perlite, moss, etc., for sufficient drainage.
Sunlight: Even though African violets cannot survive in harsh sunlight, they need at least eight hours of bright light for flowering. You may either place these plants on windowsills, where they get indirect sunlight; or provide them with fluorescent lights for 16 to 18 hours a day.
Water: Watering must be done only when the soil looks dry. Over watering can lead to mold problems and rotting. Room temperature water without softeners are good for these plants. If you want to use tap water, then keep it overnight, so that the chlorine and fluoride dissipate. Water them once in two to three days, that too if the soil looks dry. It will be better to avoid wetting the leaves. If there is excess water in the pot, you have to drain it after some time.
Humidity and Temperature: African violets need an average humidity, and a temperature range of 63