How to Get African Violets to Bloom?
African Violets are one of the most favorite blooming houseplants. These are so popular because are not difficult to care for, they have beautiful velvety leaves, also, because these are known as plants that can bloom all year round.
African Violets can bloom even during the winter when most of the plants are dormant.
So, you can always add some color to your home with these lovely plants.
Except when they are not blooming. And this can happen sometimes. You are just waiting for the magic, but that is not happening.
In this article, I am going to talk about African Violets’ blooming issue, what is the reason they are not blooming and how to get them to bloom.
African Violet Not Blooming
There can be several reasons why your African Violets are not blooming. Usually, these problems can be easily corrected to help your plant in flower production.
The most common reason why an African Violet is not blooming is the lack of light.
African Violets need at least 12 hours of bright light. This makes them perfect windowsill plants; however, direct sunlight is also bad for them.
Keep your African Violet on an eastern windowsill, but also a northern or a western window will do it if this is not getting too hot.
A south-facing windowsill can be too hot and too bright during the hot months. Your plant can get damaged by direct sunlight. You can keep an African Violet on a south-facing windowsill only during the winter.
If you cannot provide the perfect light conditions for your African Violet, you can opt for fluorescent light.
But don’t forget to give your plants a break. African Violets also need at least eight hours of darkness. The flowering hormones need darkness to be able to get activated.
Watering is another main reason why an African Violet will not bloom.
If you don’t water it adequately, and you under- or over-water it, this will refuse to bloom, or eventually, it might even die.
African Violets like moist soil. Never too dry or too soggy. Before watering, make sure you always check its soil. If this feels dry, then you water the plant. If it is still moist, then wait for another day or two and check again.
Also, be careful with the technique of watering. You should never water the soil itself.
Instead, water your African Violet from the bottom. Put some water in its saucer or place the pot in some water and let it soak for about 30 minutes.
Then empty the saucer from the extra remaining water, and leave the pot to drain as well.
You should also be careful what kind of water you are using. Always use room temperature water, which is sitting for one or two days, so the chlorine can evaporate from the water.
Another choice can be distilled water or rainwater. But never softened water because that adds too many salts to the soil and can be damaging for the roots.
– Soil or Pot
The quality of the soil or the size of the pot can also be a reason why your African Violet is not blooming.
The soil should be a special mix for African Violets that is not too heavy or dense and combined with some perlite.
These plants like their soil to be well-draining and loose. A soil that is too dense can lead to root rotting.
The right pot is also essential for African Violets to bloom.
African Violets are blooming only when they are root-bound. So, whenever you repot your plants, don’t go for a bigger pot unless it is outgrown.
A pot that is too big for your African Violet can also harm the plant because there can be too much soil that keeps too much water for the plant.
– Humidity and Temperature
I think humidity and temperature go hand in hand. Also, these two factors can be another two reasons why your African Violets are not blooming.
African Violets like humidity around 50% to 60% and a room temperature of 65°F to 75°F/ 18°C to 24°C, in which 70°F/21°C would be perfect.
Anything out of these numbers will affect your plant and this will refuse to bloom.
Also, you should always be careful not to keep your plants crowded or touching each other. Keep the room ventilated and ensure airflow around your African Violets.
By doing so, you can prevent stunted leaves and diseases.
Make African Violet Bloom Again
As I said above, many factors can be wrong and can stop your African Violets bloom.
However, if the room temperature and humidity are on the right level, the soil and the pot is perfect, your plant gets enough light and you are watering it as you should, but your plant is still not in bloom, then here are some more tips what to do to make your African Violet bloom again.
First of all, cut out all the suckers and divide the crowns. The suckers and the baby plants can take away the energy from the mother plant and this cannot focus on blooming.
You can also enhance your plant’s health by cleaning its leaves. Make sure you use room temperature water when you rinse the plants. Ideally, rinse them with distilled or rainwater.
Trimming your plant regularly will also help in producing flowers. African Violets need only 3 or 4 rows of leaves to bloom. Also, cutting off the old, dried leaves and spent blossoms will keep its energy to grow new flowers.
Flushing the soil from to time is also essential. This helps clean out the built-up salts from the soil. Do this when the plant needs watering. Just pour room-temperature water on the soil, just under the leaves, until excess water comes out of the draining holes, and leave it to drain.
Do this, every three months, and you’re good.
Last but not the least, another tip I can recommend to get your African Violets to bloom is to fertilize them regularly. Using an adequate fertilizer every 2-4 weeks in spring, summer and fall will make wonders and will keep your plant healthy and in bloom.
How Long do African Violets Flower?
Once an African Violet matures, this can bloom nearly constantly. But only if it gets the proper care.
African Violets blooming season depends on its environment. The most important factor is the light.
If the plant gets enough sunlight, it will produce flowers, and in the perfect temperature and humidity, a single flower can last from few days to a few weeks.
Once a flower is spent, remove it, so the plant can focus on producing new once, rather than on producing seeds.
So, keeping the plant happy and ensuring the needed environment and care, you can enjoy lovely colored flowers during the whole year.
Best Fertilizer for African Violet Flowers
To help your African Violets bloom and keep the flowers for as long as possible, I recommend the Espoma fertilizer, made special for African violets.
Espoma Organic Violet Plant Food is designed especially for all types of Violets, but you can also use it for orchids and bromeliads.
It is a natural and organic food that contains all major plant nutrients, such as kelp extracts and humic acids and millions of beneficial microbes that ensure the plant’s health.
Espoma Organic Violet Plant Food is derived from hydrolyzed poultry manure, bone meal, hydrolyzed fish protein, hydrolyzed soy protein and potassium sulfate.
You can use this fertilizer every 2 to 4 weeks and make sure you are using it properly. The bottle has a measuring cap, so you cannot go wrong with the dosage.
Shake the bottle well before mixing it. Then with the lid closed, turn the bottle upside down and then turn it back upright.
Then open the lid by flipping it and the pre-measured dose of the fertilizer can be added to 1 quart of water.
When you apply it, you can either pour it into the soil or in the saucer, but always avoid the leaves.
African Violets, with proper care, can bloom all year round, nearly constantly.
If yours is not blooming, you should question yourself what could be the problem. Is it getting enough light? Are you watering from the bottom? Is the soil good for your plant? Or the pot is too big?
African Violets need 12 hours of bright, indirect light and 8 hours of darkness.
They don’t like getting wet, so always water yours from the saucer. Also, don’t over or under-water it.
But if you are doing it all right, then maybe your plant needs some fresh soil, that is light and well-draining.
You should also remember, that these plants are blooming only when they are root-bound. So, a pot that is too big will not be on your help.
However, with all your hard work, sometimes the plants just need some fertilizer as a booster. Don’t get hesitant to use fertilizers, because they can make such a difference.
Using the appropriate fertilizer, you can get your African Violet to bloom in a few weeks and enjoy its flowers for several weeks.