It is getting late and I am actually not in the mood to update my blog. But, I promised Aunty Di, while chatting on Skype, that I would take a picture of my African Violet and give her some tips on growing them.

Having done a Google search and viewed a few websites, it seems that the general consensus is, lots of light, but no direct sunlight. Plant in a well aerated soil mix and do not let the plants stand in water. Apparently, they need regular fertilization and be slightly pot-bound in order to flower well.

Sorry to say, but I am growing them totally opposite to what has been suggested above. Except for the soil suggestion. Maybe. I think I read that the soil should be slightly sandy. Or else one should buy special bags of potting soil. Well, mine are planted in average sized plastic pots, in average potting soil.

Apparently, they also require lots of attention. Last year, they got almost nothing – attention, water, the works – yet they seemed to survive. The bottom leaves would go limp before I watered them sometimes. Very bad care, I know.

Now that I have moved and things are going better, so is the care of my plants.

They are still in the same pots, from when I repotted after buying them. They have not received fertilizer in a very long time. All I have done recently is remove all the dead growth and trim off a lot of the excess leaves. Then I went and topped up the soil in the pots, since they were a little wobbly on top.

On average, I water them once a week. Or when I lift the pot and it feels very light. I fill the pot’s base with water and move on to the next pot in turn before going back to the first pot and refilling the base. Upon the third turn, the water absorption has slowed significantly. Sometimes I add a bit more, sometimes I don’t.

As you saw in previous pictures, the plants are on a sunny window sill. They receive full late afternoon sunshine, for about three hours. It usually gets quite hot, but the leaves still remain a rich green colour with no sign of burnt edges.

The plant above has gone crazy with flowers and there are several stalks still growing. I have another plant that has just started to flower. The third is yet to flower, but it is small. It was sharing the pot with another plant, which I removed. Hopefully it returns to its previous glory soon.