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Growing African Violets


May 11, 2023


The Searles Gardening Team

African violets are often given a bad name for being a fussy plant, but they are very easy to care for plant once you have the correct position and follow a few simple steps.

As in real estate it is all about position, position, position. Most people kill their plants with too much love and attention. Once you have it settled in the perfect place in the house then you will be thrilled with their delicate furry leaves and array of flower colour that bloom several times a year.  Before you know it, you will become a collector.


Finding the right position is simply not allowing them to have direct sunlight, or contact with glass on a windowsill and never let the leaves have contact with water. Sitting in a saucer of water may cause them to contract crown rot, and this will make the inner leaves go brown and soft and then spread throughout the plant. If this gets a hold it is often simpler to bin the plant and try again.  Some place a wick (thick piece of cord) around the root ball of the plant and then the other end is dangled into a water supply.  This method means the plant only draws up the moisture it needs.


With their desire for being moist and not wet, use a potting mix which is specific to African violets such as Searles Cyclamen and African Violet Specialty Mix. It has 9 months of controlled release fertiliser added and so you only need to supplement it with Searles Flourish Flower & Foliage soluble fertiliser fortnightly. The instructions specifically for African violets is on the back of the carton.


When you see an old leaf turning brown or drooping, remove the leaf promptly to keep the plant looking healthy and prevent fungal issues.  Air circulation is very important for African violets, so don’t overcrowd them on a bench. Leave plenty of air circulation around the plant. This will also reduce fungal issues.