Variegated African Violet, Saintpaulia ionantha, is the cutest little plant to have in your home nursery. It likes to be kept in the shaded corners of your home and add some spunk to them in return.
We have compiled a complete care guide on this plant so you can become its best plant parent ever. Go through it and learn the simple needs of the beautiful African Violet.
- What Is Variegated African Violet?
- Variegated African Violet Care
What Is Variegated African Violet?
Variegated African Violet is a gorgeous plant with dark, fuzzy leaves. These leaves grow in a rosette manner and are speckled with white-collar flecks. They are known for blooming pink and purple little flowers in spring.
Variegated African Violet Care
The care guide for this plant suggests placing it under filtered light, potting in slightly acidic but well-draining soil, and using a diluted fertilizer only one time each month in spring and summer. Maintain temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity above 50 percent for the best bloom and foliage.
Want to learn more? Carry on reading below.
– Water Requirements
Water this plant with warm water at room temperature every seven to ten days. You need to ensure that the soil is dry at least one to two inches from the top down first. We recommend all our readers keep a moisture meter for this purpose.
When watering, you must always use the deep watering technique. In this method, a plant is watered with copious amounts of water until it starts to come out of the drainage hole. Lastly, water the soil only, taking care that it doesn’t splash on the leaves.
– Light Requirements
These plants need to be kept out of the direct sun as they are prone to sun damage pretty quickly. Filtered natural light or artificial grow lights work best for the growth of these plants.
– Growing African Violets in Natural Light
Place a shade to keep direct rays of the sun from your plants. Within a room, pick a spot that is bright but not too close to the sun. If you must keep these plants near a window, place a curtain over them to filter them out. Also, keep rotating the plant every day so that all sides receive a uniform amount of light.
– Growing African Violets in Artificial Light
Artificial lights are an excellent resource to have when growing this plant in a room with poor natural light. We strongly recommend buying LED grow lights as they are reasonable to buy and run for 14 to 16 hours a day. Install them at a distance of about 20 inches from the plant for maximum impact.
– Soil Requirements
Pink variegated African violets grow best when they are potted in slightly acidic soil. The soil needs to have a balance between draining rapidly as well as retaining the right amount of water.
Perlite, bark, and coco coir are the magic ingredients when it comes to getting rapidly draining soil. Similarly, sphagnum moss is the ingredient for adding nutrition and moisture retention to the soil.
It is very important to sterilize your soil prior to potting plants in it. There are a lot of different methods to sterilize soil and you can choose one that you find the easiest.
– Temperature Requirements
Keep this plant under 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. In fact the hotter it gets, the better your plant seems to get. Don’t let the temperature drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit in any case, especially at night time.
– Humidity Requirements
40 to 60 percent humidity is what makes the variegated leaf African violet plant the happiest. Most washrooms and kitchens provide humidity within this range. However, if you notice the leaf edges turning brown and your hygrometer reveals a lower than normal humidity level, then corrective measures need to be taken.
Take medium-sized pebbles and use them to fill a shallow tray. Pour water in it and place the pot over the pebbles. Your makeshift humidity tray is now ready. Take care that the pot must not touch the water.
– Fertilizing Requirements
This plant isn’t very big on fertilizing. You will only need to apply fertilizer about once per month during the limited spring months. Fertilizing during the rest of the year isn’t needed and might even be detrimental.
Water the plant with copious water right before fertilizing. This is to condition the roots and protect them from chemical burns. Another aspect of saving the roots is to dilute the fertilizer to one-third of its strength.
Another alternative to using the traditional liquid fertilizer and then diluting it is to use a slow-release one instead. This comes in pellets or powdered form that you can then bury in the soil. The nutrients continue to be released at a slow and steady pace in the soil for the next three to four months.
This plant produces leaves on a regular basis almost every other month. In order to keep your plant in its proper shape, you will need to prune the bottom two to three leaves off at least once per month.
The tools you use for pruning need to be properly sterilized. At the end of the blooming season, the dying flowers need to be removed as well. This phenomenon is called deadheading and leads to a healthier bloom in the next spring.
Variegated African violet propagation can be carried out by two main ways; using seeds or leaf cutting. Propagating yourself is always way better than purchasing variegated African violet for sale from a nursery. Learn about both methods by carrying on reading below.
– Using Seeds
Get the best quality variegated African violet seeds you can find. Soak them in water for one night beforehand so that they swell up. Next, procure a shallow seedling tray and evenly spread a nutritious medium over it.
Sprinkle some water to moisten your medium and then insert the seeds into it one by one. Cover the tray with transparent plastic to ramp up the humidity around these seeds. Take the tray to a bright and warm place until you begin to see your seedlings germinate.
– Using a Leaf Cutting
This method of propagation is way easier and better than using seeds. Learn all the steps of this process here.
- A leaf-cutting is the easiest method that we ourselves employ to propagate this African plant. The leaf needs to be young and healthy. Remove it from the stem by gently twisting it off with your hand.
- Now, you can either use the entire leaf or cut it in two or three parts. It is totally up to you. You can take more than two leaf cuttings at a time to increase the probability of success.
- Dry the leaf by keeping it wrapped in a paper towel for one day, then dunk it in rooting hormones. Lastly, push it gently into the soil such that it is not completely buried in it.
- Take the pot to a warm and humid area like your washroom. Make sure it soaks in abundant indirect sunshine.
- In three to four weeks, new plantlets will begin to sprout from your leaf cutting. This will be an indication for you that your propagation has been successful.
Some common problems with this plant that new carers experience are either a lack of adequate light or exposure to too much light. Over-fertilizing is another problem that we often see happening with this plant.
Learn how to solve all these problems below.
– Plant Not Flowering
These plants are renowned for flowering all year round with each bloom lasting a good two to three months. That’s why it is a sign of trouble if your plant suddenly stops flowering.
There are two main reasons why this might be happening. One is low light conditions and the other is exposure to temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Move your plant to a brighter, warmer place in the house and watch it resume its flowering.
– Bleached Out Leaves
Exposure to direct sunlight almost always leads to leaves losing their green color and assuming a bleached, washed-out appearance. This is followed by leaves becoming papery and yellow.
This is your cue to relocate the plant to a more shaded location or install a curtain over nearby windows. Unfortunately, the leaves that have been sunburnt cannot be saved and will need to be pruned, but you will get to save the rest of the plant at least.
– Decreased Flowering With Dark Leaves
While nitrogen is an essential nutrient for the growth of the plant, over-fertilizing with a nutrient-rich fertilizer is also not a good idea. A build-up of nitrogen in the soil suppresses flowering and causes the leaves to become deeper green than usual.
Deepwater your plant to flush out the buildup of nitrogen from the soil. Resume a suitable fertilizing regime and don’t forget to always dilute the fertilizer before using it.
We have covered lots of ground on this variegated plant. It is time to retrace our steps to the most pertinent points.
- This African variegated violet plant needs a bright, warm, and moderately humid space to grow prosperous.
- You can propagate it by using seeds, but it’s better if you go for the leaf cutting route.
- Over-fertilizing and low light will suppress the bloom of this plant.
- Keep in a shaded place away from direct sunlight to avoid bleached-out leaves.
With our comprehensive care guide, we are pretty sure you cannot go wrong with these plants. Only five minutes out of your daily routine and you will have the most exuberant bloom at hand!
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