5 Best Potting Soil for African Violets
African Violets are not difficult to grow, but they have specific needs. And if these needs are not fulfilled, your African Violets will not thrive and eventually can die.
That is why, it is important for you to know all the aspects of the care of these plants, what they need, and how they like it.
In this article, I will talk about the potting soil that African Violets need and I will review the best ones you can buy for them. So, let’s get started.
What Potting Mix is Best for African Violets?
One of the most important factors that decide whether an African Violet will thrive or not, is the type of potting soil you are using.
African Violets grow best in porous, well-draining, slightly acidic soil. However, it is important to consider the humidity of your home as well. If it is less humid, you should use potting soil that has organic matter to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
5 Best Potting Soil for African Violets
Many growers use a potting mix that is soilless mixtures, that contain sand, peat moss, perlite, or vermiculite. These mixtures are perfect, but if you choose this type of mix, you must fertilize your African Violets weekly for optimal growth.
1. rePotme African Violet Imperial Potting Soil Mix
Another positive thing about this soil mix is that you can buy it in small quantities for easy usage and the bag is resealable. To complete this soil, you only need a pot or container that is suitable for African Violets.
rePotme African Violet Imperial Potting Soil Mix provides the optimal drainage while absorbing the right amount of water to keep the African Violet hydrated.
Although this mix has perfect drainage, your African Violet will need regular fertilizer if you are using it. This potting mix does not contain essential nutrients that an African Violet need for optimal growth.
2. Miracle-Gro African Violet Potting Mix
This mix is formulated to provide good drainage and aeration while it provides the needed nutrients as well as giving your African Violets a beautiful color naturally.
The potting mix can be combined with other soils, such as garden or flower bed soils. But the more you are mixing it, the more the quality is compromised.
Although this potting mix was designed for African Violets, it can be used for other house plants as well. However, to use it on large scale, you need more bags, as the bag has only 8 dry qt of soil.
If it is not used all at once, you should seal the bag airtight and store it correctly, as it can attract different kinds of flies.
3. Espoma Organic African Violet Potting Mix
Espoma Organic African Violet Potting Mix is an organic mix that is formulated especially for African Violets. It makes it perfect for these plants its features of being well-draining and aerated, it encourages the growth of the roots and absorbs as much water as needed.
Its natural ingredients are yucca extract, aged humus, limestone, composted rice hulls, peat moss, and 35%-45% Canadian Sphagnum.
Being organic, Espoma Organic African Violet Potting Mix is a very good potting mix for other houseplants as well.
However, make sure you store the leftover correctly, as this mix can get moldy because it doesn’t contain any chemicals.
4. Sun Gro Horticulture Black Gold African Violet Mix
It contains lots of good ingredients such as Sphagnum peat moss, perlite, volcanic pumice, earthworm castings, and even dolomite lime to adjust the pH of the soil.
As we know, African Violets love to have slightly acidic soil; therefore, this potting mix, is special because it contains dolomite lime.
As its name states, “Black Gold” can be really black gold because it contains every nutrient and ingredients that an African Violet needs. It has excellent drainage and it is rich, dark, and full of organic materials and minerals.
5. Hoffman Organic African Violet Soil Mix
This mixture is formulated especially for all types of African Violets. It is tailored to promote long blooming cycles, root growth and to aid the plant growth to its very best.
Hoffman Organic African Violet Soil Mix contains only organic ingredients that maintain a proper drainage level. The organic ingredients in this mix are perlite, sphagnum peat moss, and earthworm castings.
This organic mixture ensures that the African Violets get enough organic matter and nutrients directly from the soil.
It is ready-to-use soil, it contains everything that your plant needs. The even better news is that the packaging contains all the needed information about how to plant or transplant an African Violet.
DIY African Violet Potting Mix
Nowadays you can find African Violet potting mix in many shops, such as garden centers, online shops, even some supermarkets are selling them.
But some African Violet growers prefer to mix their own potting mix. If you are one of them, and you prefer to do it yourself, then here are some nice tips and recipes that can help your plant thrive and bloom for a long time.
There is no perfect mix, but my personal favorite formula is this:
- 50% or 2 cups peat moss
- 25% or 1 cup perlite
- 25% or 1 cup vermiculite
Instead of peat moss, you can also use coco coir, and you can also add limestone and superphosphate to the basic mix.
The limestone should be added to the mix only if you are using peat moss. This helps in balancing the acidity of the potting mix and prevents toxicities. Add only 1 tablespoon if you are using the ratio above.
Superphosphate encourages root growth, especially helpful when the African Violet is newly propagated. Use 1 tablespoon of superphosphate if you are using the recipe above.
How to Make DIY African Violet Potting Mix?
It is not enough to only mix the ingredients listed above. First, you have to pasteurize all the ingredients to eliminate bacteria, diseases, insects, or any leftover weed seeds.
Pasteurization is not difficult, even if it sounds daunting.
Just heat your oven to 180°F/82°C. This temperature will eliminate all the unwanted bacteria and other stuff, without frying and destroying the needed ingredients.
While you wait for the oven to heat up, moisten the mixture and then spread it on a baking tray. If you prefer to use peat moss, you should wet it thoroughly before mixing it with other ingredients.
Before putting the baking tray with the mixture into the oven, first, cover it with aluminum foil. After this is covered, put it in the preheated oven for about 45-60 minutes.
Measuring the temperature with a cooking thermometer is essential to prevent healthy bacteria from dying. Do not let the mixture heat up more than 180°F/82°C.
After you take out the tray from the oven, remove the foil, and leave the mixture to sit for four days in the open air. Aerate the soil by stirring several times each day.
After four days of aeration, your potting mix is ready to use for your African Violets.
Keep the leftover mixture in a cool, dry place, and make sure it is closed in an airtight container or bag.
How Often to Repot African Violets?
African Violets should be re-potted every 6 months or at least every year.
There is no need to change the pot every time, as African Violets like to be root bound, otherwise, they will not bloom.
African Violets need to be re-potted only to change and refresh their soil to promote root growth and blooming.
Whenever you repot, you can also refresh and groom the plant.
Is Cactus Soil Good for African Violets?
Cactus soil can be used for African Violets as well. These soils contain the same ingredients as the mixtures that are made for African Violets: sphagnum peat moss, perlite, peat humus.
These ingredients ensure good drainage while keeping the right amount of humidity for African Violets.
However, you should know that African Violets love slightly acidic soil. To balance the pH of the soil, you can add some limestone to the soil.
Is Regular Potting Mix Good for African Violets?
The regular potting soils are too heavy and dense for African Violets.
Most of the mixtures formulated for African Violets contain no soil or dirt at all. The perfect soil should be porous and light to enhance aeration and keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
Can You Put African Violets in Orchid Potting Mix?
Both, orchids and African Violets indeed prefer light, porous, and well-draining potting mixes; however, the elements of each species’ preferred soil are too different to use interchangeably.
You should not use orchid potting mix for your African Violets.
African Violets should be re-potted every 6 to 12 months to ensure healthy growth.
These flowers need light, porous, and well-draining potting mix to prevent root rot.
There are many potting mixes that can be purchased, specially formulated for African Violets; however, if you prefer to do it yourself, you can easily mix and pasteurize the ingredients at home.