Why do blossoms on my African violets fade quickly?. How long should the flowers last?
Blossoms on African violets usually last between 2-3 weeks. This varies according to the variety. However, if the humidity is low, blossoms will fade more quickly. Humidity is quite important for flower size, color as well as lasting ability. If the plant dries out, blossoms will droop and do not resume full vitality when the plant is watered.
If a bloom is just starting to fade, should I leave it on or remove it?
Remove it as you will lose a point for each faded bloom anyway.
How often should I re-pot my plants?
Most plants are ok if re-potted every 6 months. If you want your minis to be extra special, re-pot these about every 4 months. If a young plant is out-growing its pot, re-pot it to prevent smaller leaves developing.
I water my African violets from the top. How often should I water them?
Water them when the potting mix feels dry to the touch. The mix will be still moist at the bottom of the pot, but will gradually dry out from the top. Always water with tepid water and do not allow pots to stand in surplus water.
Why do the leaves on my African violet turn down and hug the pot?
If your plant is growing in cold conditions, this can happen. African violets prefer a temperature of 15 – 20 degrees Celsius. If necessary, move your plant to a warmer position. Another reason could be that you are using too much fertiliser. Use only 1/8th of a teaspoon per two litres of water for wick watering. I have noticed that light green leaves are affected more easily by cold conditions and too much fertiliser. If you grow under lights, move your plant lower as too much light could cause this problem too.
What differences are seen between too much light and not enough?
Leaves that need more light will have longer petioles, smaller leaves and will probably stretch up to the light source rather than lying in a flat symmetrical pattern. If there is too much light, the leaves may look bleached or burned, and the centre looking tightly compacted.
Do Fungus Gnats hurt my plants? How do I get rid of them?
Larvae if these gnats eat root hairs and retard the growth of the plant. Allow the potting mix to dry out between watering. Spray gnats with ‘Mortein House and Garden’. Potting mix with diatomaceous earth is supposed to kill larvae. Last resort is Malathion soil drenching (an insecticide).