Summer with your Violets
Summer is the very best time of the year for growing African Violets; they are happy and we are happy at this time of the year. Violets are raring to go, providing you are carrying out good culture practices. All the work that you undertake on your African Violets at this time of the year is rewarded tenfold. Don’t expect to get good results at the May show if you do not put in the work.
Plants that have been in the same pot and soil for some time should be given a clean up and repotted into fresh soil. The soil can be thoroughly flushed out to remove accumulated fertilizer salts. Immerse the pot in water until it is saturated and then drain and then water again from the top until plenty of water drains out. Use warm water and preferably rain water.
Small plants should not be allowed to flower, this will enable the plant to grow much better until it reaches a size where it is more able to support a good head of blooms. Once you let it bloom then leaf growth slows down.
If you haven’t been using much fertiliser over the winter months you can now increase the dose slightly, taking care not to be too heavy handed. Any roots that are not healthy should be cut off as well as any leaves that are past their best. Clean the plant up and get it into a good symmetrical form now.
There is every possibility that you may find your violets are crowded. This is a very common occurrence and you must be firm and provide more space or thin out the ones you could do without, otherwise your problems will be compounded with the active growth you can expect over the next few months.
Select your best plants now and commit yourself to growing them for our show next May. Give them plenty of room, groom them weekly and maintain the leaf symmetry.
Follow the twelve week schedule which suggests a fertilising programme and the removal of all flowers and buds until about 6-8 weeks before the show
From an Article by Bob Richardson (African Violet Society of South Australia Inc.)