For African Violets, sufficient light is very important for abundant bloom. Any window providing strong, bright light is good. Even a window ledge with an unobstructed northern exposure will provide enough light for satisfactory growth. Light intensity drops sharply as one moves away from its source. Place the plants as close to a window as possible. If a south or west exposure is selected, use a sheer curtain to shield plants from the hot, direct rays of the summer sun. Rotate plants 1/3 turn every day for even growth.
Excellent results can also be obtained by growing African Violets under fluorescent lights. Either Cool White or special grow lights may be used. Adjust the lights so that they are 8"-12" from the plants and keep lights on for about 14 hours a day. Brittle leaves and tight centers indicate too much light, while lack of vigorous growth may mean insufficient light.
African Violets require moist soil with good drainage. Water plants from the bottom to avoid spotting the leaves. Never use softened water and only use water that is at room temperature. Dilute African Violet fertilizer to about 1/4 the suggested strength and use this solution for every watering. For best bloom, remove all extra sprouts, maintaining one single crown.
Plants will be damaged in temperatures below 55 degrees. Flowers will drop and growth will be irregular in temperatures over 80 degrees. Humidity is important and may be achieved by grouping several plants together or setting plants by a tray of water.
Plants may be washed with warm water, but large droplets should be brushed off to avoid spotting the leaves. Dusting with a soft paint brush will also clean the plants. Most insects can be controlled with a systemic insecticide.
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