One of the best gifts for the Mother's Day is a potted plant. Of course, if your mother likes houseplants.
My mother likes African violets and grew them in her apartment as long as I can remember. I guess I caught that green thumb bug from her since for the last 10 years I have been propagating them.
I'd like to share how to propagate them but lets start with care.
Start with just one plant. Purchase the one you really like in bloom. When you bring it home, place it near the sunny window sill, they hate direct sun light. Mine are blooming all year round on the north window sill protected by the blinds.
Rule 1: bright and even light condition.
Rule 2: regular watering with room temperature water.
Regular watering is very important. I am doing this 1 time a week, lets say, every Monday. Do not over water! Pour the water on the soil and avoid to wet the leaves. Let the soil soak all the water completely and in about 15 minutes turn your pot slightly over the sink to get rid of extra water from the saucer.
Rule 3: fertilize.
African violets love fertilizer. You can either purchase a liquid one and add it in a water every time you water the plant or you can purchase a stick fertilizer. Follow the instruction on a package and your plant will bloom.
Rule 4: choose the right pot.
In my opinion, the best are simple plastic pots with a saucer which allows you to collect the extra water. They are not as pretty as the glazed ceramic ones but African violets do great in them! You can always put a plastic pot to a ceramic one to make it look better. I would decorate a top with a pretty decorative peat moss.
Rule 5: the right temperature, humidity and ventilation
Other important issues are the right air temperature, ventilation and humidity. It's easy with temperature: if it is comfortable for you, it will be comfortable for your African violet. Avoid the sudden changes in temperature and try to keep it in a range of 70 to 78'F.
Ventilation is very important. The plant does not like drafts but loves indirect air circulation. So do not let air blow directly on them and do not place 2 pots with 2 African violets too close together. This will prevent diseases.
They love when the air is humid. The best level is 70 to 80% humidity but they will thrive at slightly lower levels also.
Keep your plant healthy and happy and it will return your care with non stop blooming all year around!