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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Were the roots white? If so, that's good; the feeder roots are still alive
Just make sure you water the soil and not the plant -- especially not the
crown. Violets can be awfully tempermental about stuff like that.
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