African violets are miniature houseplants that grow clusters of white, blue, or purple blooms atop their fuzzy leaves. They are among the most well-liked houseplants in the world. These low-growing, compact plants bloom numerous times a year.
African violets have sensitive leaves that should always be kept dry. As a result, most gardeners water these plants from the bottom up. Besides the unique watering method, African violets have sensitive roots, which is why this plant’s health depends on a suitable potting mix. A few things must be considered when preparing a soil mixture for African violet plants. This post will go through these factors and also go over three African violet potting mix recipes.
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About African violets
African violets are native to East Africa and originate in the subtropical rainforests of Tanzania and Kenya, as their name suggests. Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire, a German colonial commander, identified these plants in 1892 and brought seeds back to his country. As a result, the genus was given the name Saintpaulia.
Although African violets are not actually from the violet family, they do have vibrant violet blossoms .
Why is African Violet Potting Mix Important?
The type of soil or potting mix used while planting an African violet is crucial to its overall health. This is so because the roots of the plants spend their entire lives in this particular soil composition. A healthy African Violet plant will result from healthy root development in a good soil mix. Additionally, strong roots guarantee effective nutrient and water uptake.
African violet potting soil requirements
The African violets are sensitive plants, so they cannot tolerate the density of conventional potting soil mixes. These rainforest plants have evolved in mossy outcrops, which is why their delicate root systems prefer a light, soilless planting medium.
An Ideal African violet potting soil should have the following characteristics:
- Retains moisture without causing the container to become waterlogged
- Enables proper airflow
- Prevents nutrient leaching and keeps fertilizer in place.
- Increasing above-ground humidity
- The African violet potting mix should also have a balanced pH
You can create these conditions with just a few basic components. It’s simple to make your own African violet potting soil at home.
African Violet potting mix PH
The amount of acidity is another important characteristic of an African violet soil mix. The pH of typical potting soil is close to neutral (7.0), while African violets prefer a pH range of 5.8 to 6.5, which is somewhat acidic. African violet is not able to absorb nutrients efficiently in a typical soil.
Peat moss is frequently used to lower the pH of potting soils. Coco coir has also proven to provide a suitable pH when used with traditional fertilizer. However, if you use wood fiber, you might want to amend the soil with a light organic compost or a 15-30-15 fertilizer with a high nitrogen content to balance it out.
How to make the best soil mix for African violets (DIY recipes)
Since typical pre-made houseplant soil contains decomposed peat, which causes excessive water retention, it is overly heavy and hinders airflow. Your African violet plant could perish if you use these kinds of soils. However, you can make them suitable for African violets by combining these soils with equal parts of coarse vermiculite and perlite.
If you dislike using conventional houseplant soils, you can make your own African violet potting mix. The following are some DIY recipes for making the best soil mix for the African violet plant:
DIY recipe 1:
- Two cups Peat Moss (50%)
- one cup Vermiculite (25%)
- one cup Perlite (25%)
DIY recipe 2:
- one cup Leaf mold (33%)
- one cup Peat Moss (33%)
- one cup Perlite (33%)
DIY recipe 3:
- Five cups Leaf mold (50%)
- Three cups Coco coir (30%)
- Two cups Perlite (20%)
Pre-made African violet soil Mix
If you do not want to create your own soil potting mix for the African violet plant, you can still utilize pre-made soil mixtures. However, they might need some sand or perlite to aid drainage. The following pre-made soil mixtures are some of the best Pre-Made potting soil for African violet plants:
- Miracle-Go soil for African Violets
- Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix for African
- Sun Gro Black Gold African Violet potting Mix
- Hoffman 10301 Organic African Violet Soil Mix
How to prepare African violet potting mix for repotting
Before beginning to create your DIY soil mix for the African violet plant, choose your preferred recipe and gather the necessary items. Then carry out the following actions:
- Mix the prepared components in a well-ventilated area.
- Add water to the soil mix until it is moist but not wet, ideally at room temperature or slightly warmer.
- Add the moist soil mixture to the pot.
- Make a hole in the middle of the soil mixture with a pencil.
- Remove the African violet plant from its current pot and cut off any leaves that are dead, dry, mushy, or yellow.
- Shake off extra soil that is clinging to the roots. If roots become too long, they can be cut.
- If the plant has a lengthy neck, clean it by carefully removing the roots and any dried-out or dead plant tissue.
- Set the African violet plant’s neck and roots in the center of the soil.
- Cover the plant’s roots and neck with your African violet potting mix until the lowest ring of the leaf stalks just grazes the ground.