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Watering an African Violet is different than watering your average houseplant, in that, it wants to be watered
from the bottom. While this may sound odd to those unfamiliar with these types of plants, don’t
worry. It’s actually quite easy to water a plant from the bottom.
One way, and perhaps the most popular method, is to use a self watering pot.
The reason is because it’s an easy and effective way to know you are not overwatering (or underwatering)
your plant. They are also nice because they save time and energy, the pot slowly and methodically waters
your plant on its own. Finally, it will protect you from getting water droplets on the leaves because you
aren’t watering from above the plant. Water droplets on the leaves can lead to unsightly spots that you
don’t want on your African Violet.
The “do it yourself” method is to get a saucer and put
your African Violet pot in it. This method is also incredibly easy, you just need to remember to water your
violets! Once your African
Violet pot is sitting in a saucer, use a watering can with a
relatively thin spout (to avoid water going everywhere) and pour water in the saucer until the pot your
African Violet resides in is sitting a shallow pool of water. Walk away and let your African Violet sit for
at least 45 minutes. After you’ve let it sit for a while, check the water level. If there is still water in
your saucer, your African Violet is telling you it doesn’t need any more water. Pour the remaining water out
of the saucer, putting it back under your African Violet when you’re done. If there is no more water in the
saucer after you return from letting your African Violet sit, put your finger in the soil to ensure you feel
moistness. If the mix is still dry, repeat the process again.
Finally, there is the wicking method. In this method, you take a wet wick and weave it through a drainage
hole in your pot when you repot your African Violet. Do this before you put in your mix. The top of your
wick should be held in place at the top of the pot with your wick being long enough to dangle down through
the drainage hole. Then, you put your pot over a water reservoir filled with room temperature water (a
covered cup with a hole cut in the lid for example), and let the wick dangle down into the water. It’s
important that the pot itself is above the water, not in the water. If the bottom of the pot is sitting in
the water, your African Violet will get way too much water. Much like the self watering
pot, the wick will gradually provide your African Violet with the water it needs.
Knowing when to water your African Violet is pretty straightforward. Take your finger and lightly push down into
the soil. If the mix feels bone dry, it’s time to water. If the mix feels moist, let your African Violet sit and
check back in a few days.
We want to avoid soft water. Luckily, most tap water is hard enough to be work fine. When it comes to
temperature, we want room temperature. The reason we want room temperature water, rather than cold, is because
cold water is harder on the roots. It makes them cold, and thus can have adverse effects on the leaves of the
Just like when you are checking if your African Violet needs water, we can check if it's over watered
feeling the soil. If the mix is really wet, rather than moist, you should cut back on your watering. Your
mix should be closer to damp than soggy.
“This fall I religiously followed your advice, creating an environment of shortened
days and lower temps in order to encourage blooming...I was successful. FINALLY!! Thank you, thank you!!
Both of my plants decided to bloom and they look beautiful. I wanted to share the good news and
my gratitude with you. Thanks again!”Laurie J.
“The potting medium you sent is gorgeous!! It's superior to the bark I've been
buying at Lowe's. I can't imagine what (my orchids) will do when I put them in your potting mix. It even
smells fresh!! Many, many thanks. I'll be ordering from you again.”
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