Garden Rows

Tuesday, June 11

African Violets

Once upon a time, I acquired an african violet from a friend. It was in decent condition in a small terracotta pot. Feeling hopeful, yet intimidated by hearing they were easy to kill plants, I did a little research. Supposedly, as long as you have the right set up, African Violets are quite easy to grow! I was living in an apartment with only North and South facing windows at the time, so I thought the light quality would be good. On to the watering dilemma. Feeling cheap, I decided not to buy a self-watering African Violet pot. That would have meant purchasing the pot, and a special bag of soil. Like I said, I was feeling cheap, so I opted for the wick system. I had some 100% cotton batting that I cut into a strip and put in the soil with the plant and the other end in a bowl of water with the understanding that the soil would absorb as much water through the cotton as it needed. I was afraid to water from the top since I thought if any water touched the leaves it would cause rot problems. To wrap this story up, the plant died and I was afraid to every get another African Violet.

Fast forward a few years, I was visiting my cousin Ivy. She had strawberry pot in her kitchen full of happy African Violets! She said it was super easy, mostly she just lets them be. I think her kitchen is South facing, but the pot is in a place where it doesn't get much direct light, just lots of bright indirect light. Well, Ivy, you inspired me.

Once we moved into a larger house where I thought my husband might not notice yet another plant appear out of thin air, I brought home a 50 cent African Violet. Purple with a thin white edge, pictured above. I splurged and got a self watering flower pot. It has been sitting in my South facing kitchen window for probably about 8 or 9 months. It gets bright indirect light all day with a very short bit if direct light. Not only is it growing new leaves, but it has even re-bloomed a few times!

I added another one a few months later, and it is just as happy as the first! When I brought home the purple one, I cleaned it up a little by removing a few leaves. I got a wild hair and stuck one of the better looking leaves in a pot with another plant just to see what would happen...much to my amazement, it grew babies!

I officially love African Violets now! Thank you Ivy for the encouragement you probably had no idea you gave me! We never know how our words will affect someone, so that is why I try to keep mine kind and positive. I hope you are having a beautiful day!

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