How to Care for Violet Plants

Overview

Violets are among the most popular blooming houseplants available. Well-loved for their soft, dark green foliage and delicate blooms, they are available in several shades ranging from violet to white and even multicolored varieties. They are sometimes considered difficult to grow, and while they do have specific requirements, a little attention to their needs will result in thriving violets that add a splash of color to your windowsill throughout all four seasons.

Step 1

Choose a container with several drainage holes in the bottom to prevent the violet from remaining too moist.

Step 2

Add African violet potting mixture to the container, as regular potting soil is too dense and tightly packed. Alternatively, you can make your own potting mix by combining one part each of potting soil, perlite and peat moss.

Step 3

Plant the violet by making a hole in the middle of the potting mixture and gently placing the roots inside. Carefully refill the hole and tamp down to remove any air bubbles from around the roots.

Step 4

Choose an east- or north-facing window to place your violet during spring and summer months. During fall and winter, move to a warmer, sunnier window. These plants need 10 to 12 hours of sunlight each day to do their best. Ideal temperatures for violets vary between 80 to 85 degrees during the day and no cooler than 65 degrees at night.

Step 5

Water violets by placing the container into a saucer filled with water. Allow the plant to remain there until the top of the soil feels moist. Continue to water in this manner whenever the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

Step 6

Maintain the correct level of humidity by filling a metal or plastic tray with small gravel and then with water. Place the violet container on top of the gravel, taking care that it is not actually submerged. The flower will benefit from the moisture provided as the water evaporates.

Step 7

Fertilize violets at each watering with a 20-50-20 water-soluble fertilizer mixed at one-fourth the strength recommended on the package.

Step 8

Repot your violet whenever it begins to outgrow its container. Allowing the plant to wilt slightly will help prevent leaf breakage when transferring from one pot to another.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not put your violet in direct sunlight, as this will result in yellowed or burned leaves. Take care not to splash water onto the leaves of this plant to prevent unattractive spots from forming on the foliage.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting container with drainage holes
  • African violet potting mixture
  • Metal or plastic tray
  • Small gravel
  • 20-50-20 water-soluble fertilizer

References

  • Violet Nook: Care and Maintenance
  • Purdue University: African Violet Care
  • University of Rhode Island: Caring for African Violets
  • Iowa State University: African Violets
Keywords: growing violets, violet care, African violet

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.