How to Fertilize African Violets

Feeding Your African Violet

What fertilizer should I use for my African Violets?

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?

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?

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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