Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi
Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi

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Feeding Your African Violet

What fertilizer should I use for my African Violets?

African Violet 20-20-20 Fertilizer

We recommend a balanced fertilizer. So what does this mean?

A balanced fertilizer contains equal parts of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash.

What do those three numbers mean on the front of the fertilizer label?

African Violet 12-36-14 Fertilizer

Typically you will see three numbers on the front of a fertilizer label, for example 20-20-20 or 12-36-14.

These numbers, also known as N-P-K, represent Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), and Potash (K).

A simpler way of looking at it is to think of the numbers as a percent. A “20-20-20” fertilizer is the rough equivalent of saying that the fertilizer is 20% Nitrogen, 20% Phosphate, and 20% Potash.

What are the benefits of Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potash to my African Violet?

African Violet Bloom

Nitrogen: The key function of Nitrogen is to help your African Violet grow.

Phosphate: Aids in maintaining a strong, healthy root system. Phosphate also plays an important role in producing blooms.

Potash: There are many important functions of Potash, two of which are allowing for easier water uptake and helping to synthesis plant carbohydrates for feeding purposes. Potash also plays a role in helping your African Violet fight off potential diseases.

How do I know if my African Violet is deficient in Nitrogen, Phosphate, or Potash?

Nitrogen Deficiency: If the leaves of your African Violet are smaller than you are used to and/or the leaves of your African Violet are turning a pale/yellowish color along their edges, there is a good chance your African Violet is not getting its required amount of nitrogen.

Phosphate Deficiency: If your plant is not producing blooms despite the fact that it gets plenty of indirect sunlight, there is a good chance your African Violet is not getting its required dose of Phosphate. Be sure to check that your African Violet isn’t overpotted as well. Overpotting is when we pot a plant in too large of a container, causing it to grow in sub-optimal conditions. A phosphate deficiency can lead to your African Violet not blooming as expected, or even at all.

Potash Deficiency: Whitening/Yellowing of leaves, brown leaf tips, and smaller blooms than normal can all be attributed to a potash (potassium) deficiency.

Feeding your African Violet is a simple, surefire way to instantly become a more successful grower. Take the time to try it out, your plant will reward you a thousand times over with more vibrant, healthy growth.

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“I just want to thank you. I've NEVER been able to get orchids to re-flower. Out of frustration, I bought everything from you to repot 4 that I had and with your pots, mix, instructions and hints, they're all blooming. I'll recommend you to everyone. Thanks again!!”

- Rosemary G.


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