African Violets

Received my first AV about 6 weeks ago Was in full bloom-had just been watered-3-4 days later flowers began dying-but there were new buds.
Iwatered it from the bottom til soil was damp-about 30 minutes-new buds blossomed while older ones still died off-I watered it again about 5 days later from top-avoiding leaves-seemed to do better-until this past week--
Watered about 5-7 days after previous watering from bottom like before-about3-4 days later leaves were drooping around eges of plant -some flowers dying--
What am I doing wron --it's in North window-Iwater with room temp water--Help!
AL
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Stop bottom watering. Water from the top until some drains out the bottom. Then, take the pot off the dish and dump the excess water. The only exception to this is if you've let the soil get REALLY dry and the plant is drooping. Then, some potting soils need to soak before they'll accept water. Here's more from Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses, which specializes in gesnariads:
WATERING - Improper watering is one of the most common reasons for failure of African violets. Always use room temperature water, watering only when the top of the soil feels slightly dry to the touch. Use water that is fit for drinking. Never use water that has been through a softener. Watering may be from the top or bottom, by wicking, or you may wish to choose one of the many self- watering pots available today. Never allow plants to stand in water after the soil has taken up what it can hold. After 15 to 20 minutes pour off any water that is left in the saucer. Violets do not like wet feet! About once a month water should be generously run through the pot from the top to flush out accumulating salts. After this is done, put your plants on several layers of newspaper to absorb the excess water, preferable overnight.
There's more at www.lyndonlyon.com. On the left, click "Hints". This company is about an hour West of Albany NY. If you have an African violet addiction and you visit this place, bring a friend to help you limit what you buy. Seriously.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

I have to disagree here! Though I'm relatively new to gardening outside, I've been growing gorgeous African violets on my windowsills for many years. I always bottom water.
Here's what I do that works. I always put my pot in some kind of outer container, either one of those thin plastic cachepots that come with plants or a larger pottery container like a big decorative mug large enough for the plant to sit deep in it.
I water by taking the plant out and then putting about an inch of water in the outer container and then setting the pot with the African violet in the pot.
I don't water until inspection shows that the outside pot is dry.
The limp leaves are probably from over watering. You shouldn't have to water more than every 5 days or so. Maybe a lot less this time of year when you aren't using central heat.
I find that those small plant fertilizer spikes work better than the African violet food I used to use for fertilizer.
As far as light goes, I move my plants around from time to time since I don't have a lot of sunny window sills. The African violets do okay on my east-facing windows in the winter when there are no leaves cutting down on the light they get. I move them to the south facing windows in the summer when most of my other plants go outside.
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You're adept enough at this to notice what's enough, and what's too much. Keep it simple for beginners!
How you water also depends, to an extent, on your water quality. Everything I've read over the years (and my own experience) says that you're more likely to end up with mineral deposits on top of your soil if you bottom water. Again, this is something beginners might not notice, or know how to deal with. So, I recommend against it, especially since it's so easy to top water correctly.
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Think how you water AV's depends on what works for you. My wife waters from the bottom and I water from the top and we both have beautiful plants.
Marv-Montezuma, IA http://community.webshots.com/user/vmwood
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I'll add that if you want this to bloom in the future a north window won't do it without a grow light. These need lots of light to bloom.
Tom
--
Chris: "Dad, what's a blowhole for?"
Peter: "I'll tell you what it's NOT for and then you'll know why I can
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Well, i grow mine in a north facing window (Toronto) and mine flowers contiinuesly.
Paulo
said:

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Tom Randy wrote:

But not direct sun.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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said:

My violets love north light as long as it was unshaded and they bloomed just fine, too. This sounds more like a case of overwatering. Are you watering when the soil feel in need of water (but not overly dry, either) or are you just watering it on a schedule?
You might try putting the plant over a saucer filled with pebbles that has water in it all the time to give it proper humidity. You can even wick the pot so that you don't have to water the violet itself, just the pebbles below and the plant will draw up the water it wants.
If I were you right now, I'd knock it out of the pot and see how soggy the soil is. If it's very wet remove all the dirt you can and give it fresh african violet potting soil and don't water it right away. The little feeder roots will have been severely damaged and need a change to recover. I'd also remove the drooping leaves if they are mushy or saggy limp -- they won't come back and they are just sapping what little strength the plant has left. It' hard to save an overwatered plant but it can be done.
Giselle
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Hi--shook of the old dirt and put in new AV soil--haven't watered-litttle roots and wet--figure I'd water-fro top in 3-4 days--sound good
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Were the roots white? If so, that's good; the feeder roots are still alive then.
Just make sure you water the soil and not the plant -- especially not the crown. Violets can be awfully tempermental about stuff like that.
Good luck.
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