How to Care for Violets: The Ultimate Guide
Everything you need to know about proper watering, lighting, transplanting, and more.
Where to put violet
Place Saintpaulia – this is the scientific name of this houseplant – on the windowsill or close to the window. Violets love diffused light, not direct sunlight. In order for the plant to form symmetrically, a couple of times a week turn it in one direction by 45 degrees.
It is good if the windows face east, west or north. If they face to the south, in spring and summer you will have to shade the plant.
To protect Saintpaulia, use, for example, light curtains, paper, or bamboo blinds. But metal is not the best option. They heat up and act like a summer battery.
Another way of shading is parchment paper or sunscreen, which are sold in ordinary hardware stores. Close a third of the window with them for the spring-summer season, and remove them with the onset of autumn.
Where to keep violets in summer
In the warm season, leave the plant on the windowsill. Do not take it out to the balcony or loggia.
At a temperature of 27–28 ° C, turn on the fan, but do not point it directly at the violet.
If the room is air-conditioned, make sure that the temperature does not fall below 18 ° C, and the airflow does not fall on the plant.
In the very sun, if the room is more than 30 ° C, move the Saintpaulia to the floor. It’s a couple of degrees colder there. A short lack of light is not as bad as overheating.
Bottles of frozen water or cold generators for household cooler bags will also help to cool the air next to the plant. Place them next to the saintpaulia, but make sure that they do not come into contact with the leaves.
Where to keep violets in winter
In the cold season, keep the plant at a temperature not lower than 18 ° C. If it is too cold on the windowsill, move the violet to another place.
If the window sill itself is cold, place the plant pot on a styrofoam or foam pad. And make sure that it does not blow from the window frames.
What water you should use to water the violet
Use only prepared. Collect tap water in a jar, let it stand for a day or two, and then boil it. So in the moisture, there will be almost no chlorine and salts that are harmful to the plant.
You can use filtered water, but distilled water is not suitable at all.
Water the violet only with warm water, a few degrees above the temperature in the room. From the cool, rotting of the roots can begin and the plant will die.
What irrigation technique to use
Through the tray
Pour in water and after 15-20 minutes make sure the ground is damp on top. Then drain off anything that hasn’t been absorbed.
Through the top
Carefully pour the liquid into the pot. Make sure that the leaves and especially the center of the plant do not get wet. After 10–15 minutes, remove any remaining moisture from the tray.
How often should you water violets?
Check the soil in the pot daily. If the top layer of the ground is dry, the plant needs moisture.
Do not water the violet if the soil is still wet, no matter how many days have passed. It will endure excess water more difficult than light drying.
How to humidify the air
Saintpaulias love moisture. They are comfortable with a relative humidity of 60%.
To ensure these conditions:
- use a humidifier;
- place a small container with water near the violet;
- place the saintpaulia together with the tray on a plate with moistened expanded clay or sphagnum;
- spray water from a spray bottle near the plant, but not on it.
This is especially true in winter when the air in the apartment is dry due to heating.
How to bathe a violet
Dust accumulates on the leaves of the plant. To get rid of it, once every couple of months, arrange violet water procedures.
Before bathing, close the pot with a regular transparent bag so that moisture does not get on the ground. Over time, when you get used to it, you can refuse the package.
Turn on the water. Make sure it’s fairly warm (comfortable for hands) and the pressure is light. Take the pot and lean it slightly towards the stream so that the water hits the leaves, but does not flow inside.
Gently rinse each leaf in turn with your fingers. Do not use sponges and brushes, they will damage the plant.
Keep the center of the plant with young leaves dry. If you accidentally get it wet, blot the moisture with a paper towel.
Do not return the violet to its original place immediately after a shower. Let it dry first. For example, it is convenient to bathe the plant in the evening and leave it in the bathroom overnight. And in the morning again place it on the windowsill.
How to replant a violet
When and how often to replant violets
Even if you do not like the pot in which you have bought the plant, do not rush to change it. Wait at least a month. During this time, the violet adapts to a new place, and the replant will not increase stress.
Saintpaulias need to be replanted every six months, a maximum of a year. If you do not do this, the plant will develop and bloom poorly.
The main thing is not to replant violets at temperatures above 28 ° C.
What ground does violet need?
Saintpaulias like light and loose soil that retains moisture well. It is best to take soil from a store for violets. Other options are not always suitable for composition.
Be sure to add leavening agents, such as perlite, vermiculite, or sphagnum moss, cut into pieces of 1-1.5 cm. Without them, the soil will quickly compact and will not dry out well.
Potting mix options that you can prepare for your violet:
shop soil, crushed sphagnum, perlite, and vermiculite in a ratio of 6: 2: 1: 1;
store soil, perlite, vermiculite, and crushed sphagnum in a ratio of 1: 1: 1: 1.
Also, add about a teaspoon of charcoal per pot (¹⁄₂ spoon will suffice for mini violets). Mix all ingredients.
The mixture should be airy and homogeneous. In it, violet roots will receive both moisture and oxygen in abundance.
What kind of pot does the violet need?
Not too big. Otherwise, Saintpaulia will grow for a long time and will not bloom soon.
The best option is a pot with a top diameter two to three times smaller than a violet rosette. In height, it should be about the same as in width, or even slightly less.
Both clay and plastic are suitable materials. The main thing is the presence of a tray and drainage holes at the bottom.
How to do a replant
Remove the plant from the pot and remove the old soil from the roots. A loose ground will crumble by itself, just shake it off.
Pour 1-2 cm of expanded clay drainage into the same pot. Add soil and plant a violet in the center.
Do not compact the soil too hard.
How to care for violets after replantation
Moisten the potting soil a little. Next time water after five or six days. During this time, damage to the roots will heal.
How to fertilize violet
Feed Saintpaulia if it has been growing without a replant for more than six to seven months. If every six months you renew the soil, you can do without top dressing – the ground already contains enough useful substances.
Fertilize no more than once or twice a month. Use special products for violets or flowering houseplants for this.
Do not feed plants in heat (from 28 ° C), which causes stress.
What to do if the violet does not bloom
If the violet looks healthy, and the flowers do not appear, most likely it does not have enough light. You can solve this problem by choosing a more suitable place for the plant.
Another possible reason is the pot is too big. Replantation will help to cope with this.
How to care for blooming violets
If your violet has begun to bloom when the room temperature is below 30 ° C, it is better to remove the flower stalks under the base. Flowering in such heat can be dangerous for the plant.
If the temperature is lower, just care for the plant as usual. When all the flowers are dry, remove the peduncle to the very base – gently bend it to the side, and it will easily separate. Don’t leave a stump, it will rot.
If not everything has faded yet, but dry flowers spoil the view, just remove them with nail scissors.
What problems can arise during flowering
Flower Buds dry up and die
The reason may be insufficient humidity. To solve this, use one of the tips above.
Another option is a sudden change in conditions. This often happens after buying a flowering plant, especially during the cold season.
Too small flowers
Appear due to the high temperature in the room where the plant stands. And not only during flowering but also during the laying of flower buds.
Changed color of flowers
In-store violets, with repeated flowering, inflorescences of a completely new color may appear. For example, from a delicate white-blue or white-pink, it can turn into a deep purple.
The reasons for this are not errors in care. Growers generally consider these plants to be disposable live bouquets and don’t care about color repeatability.
This does not mean at all that Saintpaulia will not develop normally and re-bloom. But what the inflorescences will be like is difficult to predict.
How to treat violet
They are clearly visible on the leaves, the elasticity of which is not lost. In general, the plant looks healthy.
Such spots appear from a draft during airing, which is why they are called draft spots. For the plant, they are not dangerous but spoil the appearance.
They cannot be cured, only prevented. So when airing the room, cover the plants with foam wrap or newspapers.
The reasons may be different:
- Overheating, direct sunlight, or excessive lighting.
- Lack of moisture.
- Lack of nutrients in the soil.
- Increased acidity of improperly selected soil.
Problems due to the sun are solved by changing the location. And in other cases, just replant the plant.
Thickening of the middle
Occurs for various reasons.
1. Cyclamen mite
Young leaves, on which the mite parasitizes, curl up, become strongly pubescent, become brittle, and noticeably lag behind in growth.
Peduncles are fragile and short, new flower buds practically do not develop. Even if some flowers open, they are also distorted and with unnaturally colored areas.
There is no web. It is impossible to see the pest itself with the naked eye.
To control mites, treat the plant with acaricides four times at intervals of three to four days. And for prevention, treat once a year.
2. Too much light
A similar pattern is observed with excessive illumination. This is especially true for plants that stand on the southern windows.
To relieve symptoms, find a new place for Saintpaulia.
3. Ground problems
If the ground is not chosen correctly, over time it becomes compacted, and the plant lacks moisture. Another possible reason is the accumulation of salts in the soil due to irrigation with unsuitable water or an imbalance of nutrients.
The best solution in all cases is a replant.
If the leaves are soft even when the soil is wet, the plant has root problems. They probably rotted. This could happen if the ground was well dried and then watered abundantly. Or during night airing, the soil cooled slightly, and watering aggravated the situation.
With such symptoms, remove the plant from the pot and inspect the root system. If white roots are visible, leave them, and remove all affected (brown) roots with a knife or razor.
For about half an hour, but the violet in a pale pink liquid of potassium permanganate, and then replant it into a new earthen mixture.
If the roots are entirely rotted, cut them off, remove the bottom row of leaves and clean the trunk.
And then put in water to form new roots.
Another option is to sprinkle the trunk with an antiseptic (crushed coal) and dry it slightly. Then plant in the ground and cover with a bag for the effect of a greenhouse.
The whitish and flour-like layer on the leaves
This is powdery mildew, a fungal disease. Its development is facilitated by a combination of temperatures below 16-17 ° C and high humidity.
If infection occurs during flowering, remove flower stalks.
Treat the violet with a penconazole fungicide twice, 10 to 14 days apart.
Raise the temperature in the room or move Saintpaulia to a warmer place.
How to prevent violet from getting sick
- Provide Saintpaulias with suitable lighting, but keep out of direct sunlight.
- Watch the temperature in the room where the plant is.
- Choose the right potting mix and the right size pots.
- Replant every six months to a year.
- You should water as the soil dries out and bathe regularly.
- Do not place bouquets of fresh-cut flowers in the same room as violets. This can lead to parasite infestation.
- Quarantine new plants for two to three weeks and keep them separate.
- Isolate the sick saintpaulia for the period of treatment.
- Periodically inspect violets to identify problems in a timely manner.