For a lot of people, the following situation would seem familiar. You bought your very first African Violet plant, and it was blooming gloriously. That was why you purchased the plant in the first place. But after some time, the blooms wither, and the plant doesn’t produce flowers again. Then you’d ask yourself – how to get African Violets bloom.
This is a very frustrating situation which has happened to a lot of people. But surprisingly, blooming African Violets is easy. All you have to do is to give your plant everything it needs and to know exactly when do African Violets bloom. Under the right conditions, these plants will produce flowers almost constantly.
What are the right conditions for African violets to bloom?
It’s time to stop wondering how to get African Violets to bloom and it’s time to start nurturing your plant in the best way possible. There are a few conditions to set if you want your plant to start blooming and to continue blooming as much as you want it to.
If you’re growing a plant in natural light and it’s the winter season, then it’s probably not going to bloom because of the shorter days. But as the days start to get longer in the month of February, then you will start seeing those blooms. If you want your African Violet to bloom all throughout the year, you can provide the light it needs using a light fixture. Just hang this fluorescent fixture about 10 or 12-inches above the plant.
African Violets need a lot of bright light but the direct sunlight in the afternoon tends to burn the plant. It’s best for the plant to get direct sunshine in the evening or in the morning, so find the best window in your home to place the plant.
African Violets need even moisture all the time. You should never let your plant dry out nor should you place the potted plant on a dish or bowl with water for several days. Keep the soil damp enough but not too soggy. Try lifting the pot. If it’s too light, then it’s already time to water the plant. Only water when needed not when it’s convenient for you.
Just like humans, African Violets thrive in “normal” temperatures of 60 to up to 80 degrees. Keep this in mind especially during the winter. Although your home may feel warm enough, if your plant is right next to a window, it might be too cold.
When it comes to fertilizing your plants, you should look for the best bloom fertilizer to promote the flowering of your plant. Usually, these fertilizers would have a higher phosphorus content compared to the other elements. Also, follow the instructions of the fertilizer carefully, so you don’t end up under or over-fertilizing your plant.
Is your plant healthy?
Now that you know the most important considerations when growing African Violets, the next thing to learn is how to determine if your plant is healthy or not. To do this, first, give your plant a shower using lukewarm water.
With a sprayer, rinse the dust and dirt away gently. After cleaning the plant, take a good look at it. If all the leaves are green and fresh, then your plant is still healthy. If not, then you should remove any limp, old or yellow-colored leaves. Also, remove any of the old stalks which don’t have blooms anymore. Keep on removing the withered parts until you’re left with a healthier-looking, symmetrical plant.
There are two things to keep in mind during and after bathing your plant. First, be careful not to let the water go into the plant’s center crown as this might rot the plant. Second, don’t place your plant in direct sunlight right after rinsing it as this may cause spots.
What are some of the reasons why your African violet isn’t blooming?
We’ve discussed some relevant blooming tips for you to keep in mind. But sometimes, the African Violet still refuses to bloom. Here are some reasons why:
- One factor may be low humidity. These plants thrive on humidity, and if the air around it is dryer than 40% humidity, it’s not likely to bloom.
- Another factor may be that the potting mix has become too dry. That’s why it’s important never to allow self-watering pots to dry out. In such cases, you may have to repot your plant if you want it to start blooming.
- Your plant may have a fungal disease known as powdery mildew. This mildew which looks like white powder may appear on various parts of the plant. If it starts growing on the bud stems, then the buds will likely fail.
- Finally, your plant might have an infestation of cyclamen mites. These pests typically feed on the plant’s newest growth, and this includes the bud stems. Try to observe if some parts of your plant grow in distorted ways. If so, then your plant probably has these mites on it.
Repotting African violets
It’s important to repot African Violets annually, and spring is the best time to do so. Since most potting mixes contain peat, they tend to break down and become too acidic as time goes by. Also, minerals and fertilizer salts may start to accumulate in your plant’s pot which is why it needs new and fresh potting mix!
When choosing a potting mix for African Violets, choose the light variety. If you use a self-watering container, then choose a mix that’s even lighter than the standard products. One mistake to avoid is overpotting African Violets.
Keep in mind that these plants don’t have big root systems and they thrive better when they’re pot-bound. So, choose a pot with the right size to accommodate your plant. Also, if there’s too much soil around the plant’s roots and it starts to get soggy, the roots might start rotting and become vulnerable to bacteria and fungus.
When repotting an African Violet, don’t press the mix into the pot. Fill the potting mix all around the plant’s roots then tap the sides of the pot for the mix to settle properly. You should only grow African Violets with a single crown.
If you see several crowns of any sucker plants growing out of the main crown, you have to take these out. You can root these extra crowns in separate pots. Cover them with a plastic bag and wait until they start rooting which will take about a month. After that, you can start planting them in new pots and expand your collection!
Final thoughts on How to Get African Violets to Bloom
Sometimes, African Violets start to become vegetative. When this happens, they get so comfortable that they don’t grow flowers, only leaves. If you want them to start reproducing again, you should give them a bit of a scare.
The best way to do this is by repotting the plant. You can also try firmly tapping the pot on a hard surface to produce a small earthquake for the plant. This may awaken the plant’s survival instinct, and it may start growing buds again.
There are also a couple of varieties of African Violets which are “shy bloomers.” If you’ve tried everything and your plant still isn’t blooming, you may discard the plant and try blooming a new variety. One which is more suited to your environment and growing conditions.