African violets are a very popular flowering houseplant. They are very easy to care for and require very little light to grow and bloom to their full potential. With the right care, you can have colorful blooms all year.
Type of Light
Violets, like most plants, need light in both the blue and red spectrum to grow and flower well. Use full spectrum tubes, which are sometimes labeled daylight and will have a Kelvin temperature rating between 5,500K and 6,700K.
Amount of Light
African violets need about 600- to 1,000-foot candles of light to grow and bloom properly. This can be achieved easily with two to four 40-watt fluorescent tubes placed about 12 to 15 inches above the top of the plants.
African violets like eight to 15 hours of time with the lights on and the remainder in darkness. A common household lamp timer is very beneficial for keeping worry-free consistent day and night periods.
Keep night temperatures around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit with an increase of 10 to 15 degrees during the day, which often occurs naturally from the heat radiating off the lights. Temperatures over 80 F will inhibit flowering.
Keep the soil evenly moist but not wet. Fertilize with a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength or one made specifically for African violets when growth and flowering slows down.
- Purdue University: African Violet Care
- University of Minnesota: African Violets
- University of Georgia: Growing African Violets
African violet, full spectrum fluorescent, flowering houseplant
About this Author
Brian Albert has been in the publishing industry since 1999. He is an expert in horticulture, with a focus on aquatics and tropical plants like orchids. He has successfully run an aquatic plant business for the last five years. Albert's writing experience includes the Greater Portland Aquarium Society newsletter and politics coverage for a variety of online journals.