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Now browsing: Hometown News > Gardening > Garden Nook

Master the art of growing African violets
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Posted: 2014 Aug 15 - 08:54

One of the most intriguing and beautiful houseplants is the African violet. These delicate plants are admired by many but a lot of people shy away from purchasing them because they think they are hard to grow. This is not really the case. It is true that they require some attention but then again, most other plants do also.

The first step is to decide what plant you would like to bring home. African violets come in several colors and some varieties have variegated leaves. As with most flowering plants, it is a good idea to buy plants that have some buds that not yet have opened. Make sure the leaves look healthy and green. Once you purchase your new plant, you need to transplant it into a different pot. Be sure to choose a pot that is designed for African violets. A regular flowerpot is too deep. Be sure to purchase a potting soil that is designed for African violets. You also should purchase some small pebbles or stones. You will also need a saucer to place under the pot.

After you have purchased your plants and the supplies you will need, it's time to do the fun part. Fill your African violet pot about half full with soil and place the newly purchased plant centered in the pot. Fill the remainder of the space with more soil. Pat the soil down slightly and then add a little more soil to top off the pot. Once your plant is situated, you can add a couple of Jobes plant spikes to the mix. Now, here comes the tricky part. Water your plants by placing tepid water in the plant saucer you purchased. Place the pot in the saucer and allow it to absorb the water for about an hour. Do not water the plant from the top or allow water to touch the leaves.

Since African violets are native to Africa, they require a humid environment in which to thrive. You can use your saucer to help raise the humidity around your plant. You can achieve this by first placing small stones in the bottom of the saucer. Now, place your pot in the saucer and level the rocks so the pot remains steady. Now, put some water in the water but be sure the water does not completely cover the stones or touches the bottom of the pot. This water will enhance the humidity around the plant and ensure that it remains happy. Check the plant every few days and water as needed. Always use the above-mentioned method for watering and do not water from the top.

Joe Zelenak has more than 30 years experience in gardening and landscape. Send e-mails to hometowngarden@gmail.com or visit his Web site www.hometowngarden.com.

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