Blue Violet

blue violet flower

My Mama was big and beautiful.  Liz bought her to give to her son’s nursery school teacher Rose.  The last day of class Rose remembers Liz and Ben walking into the classroom holding Mama, she was in full bloom and oh so pretty but Rose had just sold her house and was downsizing.  The last thing she needed or wanted was Mama to look after but she smiled and thanked Liz and Ben.  When Rose got Mama home she reluctantly found a window with filtered light for Mama to sit in, she watered her from the bottom being careful not to get her leaves wet, bought her food and turned her pot once or twice a week.  Mama blossomed and bloomed.  This was the first time Rose had had any luck with the likes of Mama but they developed a lovely relationship to the point when most mornings when Rose came into the kitchen she would say good morning and softy touch Mama.  Time passed and Mama continued to grow.  One morning when Rose came into the kitchen she found Mama droopy and sick looking.  To Rose’s surprise she felt very upset. Not wanting Mama to die she hopped on her bicycle and rode to the nearby garden shop and bought a large clay pot and two little clay pots, some special soil and food and proceeded to divide Mama into three.  In a matter of days all three of us were thriving and well.  Now when Rose comes into the kitchen in the morning she says, “Good morning girls”.

Rose’s friend Lauren is celebrating her 60th. Birthday and she wants to give me, Blue Violet, to Lauren.  I will miss Mama but I hope Lauren will love me and care for me like Rose cared for Mama.

©2015 r.f.c.

Water – African violet plants are picky about water, so take extra care of African violets when watering. Water with lukewarm or tepid water that was allowed to stand for 48 hours. Water at the base. Never splash the foliage of the plant with water; just a drop can cause foliar spots and damage.

Proper watering is an important aspect of learning how to grow African violets. Water when soil feels less moist to the touch. Never let growing African violets stand in water or completely dry out. Wick watering, from the bottom, is sometimes appropriate but may not be the best practice for those new to growing African violet plants.

Light – Provide appropriate lighting for the African violet plant. Light intensity should be filtered, with bright to medium intensity reaching the growing African violet. Light affects flowering. African violet plants with dark green foliage usually need somewhat higher light levels than those with pale or medium green foliage.

Turn pots regularly to keep flowers from reaching for the light. Place growing African violets 3 feet from a south- or west-facing window for the right lighting. If this light cannot be maintained for eight hours, consider supplementing with fluorescent lights.

Fertilizer – Fertilize African violet plants with special African violet food or a food with a higher phosphorus number — the middle number in the NPK fertilizer ratio, as 15-30-15. Fertilizer can be mixed at one-quarter strength and used at every watering. Reduced flowering and paler leaf color indicate that growing African violets are not getting enough fertilizer.

Pinch blooms from the growing African violets when they are spent. This will encourage the development of more flowers.

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