How stunning are African Violets? It’s not hard to see why so many of us are enthusiastic to have them in our homes. They are also pretty easy-care houseplants too which is an extra added bonus.
Under a grow light, or beside a bright window (providing their not in direct sunlight) they will grow, flourish, and bloom amazingly well, yet they stay relatively small, are pretty tidy, and don’t need constant attention.
But of course, everything comes with a slight catch, right? Well, African Violet’s is that they can be a little fussy when it comes to watering them. It’s equally as easy to underwater them as it is to overwater them.
So, learning the correct and adequate amount of water to feed them is imperative. But what exactly is that sweet spot that’s not too much or too little? How much water do they need?
How often do they need it? Find the answers to these questions and more in this handy African Violet watering guide.
Let’s Talk Soil
Okay, so you might be thinking what does soil have to do with water? Well, pretty much everything. The soil will retain the water that you feed the plant so understanding the soil is equally as important as all the other questions that you may have.
Typically, most African Violet plants will be grown in soil-filled pots. They usually contain a mixture of soil that is specifically formulated for this particular plant. The soil should be lightweight, well-drained, and high in organic matter.
The reason for this is that you want the soil to be able to retain the necessary amount of water without becoming overly soggy. The soil also still needs to be loose enough that the roots have access to a little airflow.
You should always do the touch test with your soil for this plant. You want it to be relatively dry, pretty soft, and somewhat spongy too. If it’s not, you’re using the wrong soil and you may encounter issues when watering the plant.
Use The Right Water
This might sound a little confusing. I mean, how many kinds of water are there? Well, just the one, I suppose. But it can vary in temperature – and your plant won’t take kindly to the wrong kind of temperatures.
When watering your African Violet, you want to ensure that you are using water that ranges from room temperature to tepid to please the plant. Never use cold or hot water to feed your plant.
This plant is very sensitive to water temperature and will not respond to either extremity. It’s usually best to pour the water into a container overnight to allow it to settle at room temperature.
It also gives the water time to evaporate some of the chemicals that may be found in tap water. This plant is also fairly sensitive to chemicals, so this will massively improve its health.
How Much Water Is Required For An African Violet?
Now, for the more particular part of caring for this plant – getting the amount of water just right. The thing to keep in mind here is that they are super susceptible to overwatering. So, it’s always best to start off small.
The very worst thing you could do is drown the plant in a ton of water all at once. First off, you should always place a saucer under the plant pot so that you can monitor the drainage.
You will also want to be certain that the pot has drainage holes available or you’ll likely overwater the plant. It’s always best to add a somewhat small amount of water at first and then add more if necessary.
Also, keep in mind that the soil should always be dry when you water it. If it’s already wet, you will create really soggy soil which will result in a wilted or dead plant. A fate we all wish to avoid. Soggy soil can encourage root rot too.
When watering, you want to continue until the soil is completely moist without going so far as for the soil to be described as soggy. It’s a fine line to tread which is why small pours are encouraged.
You can always test it though by doing a touch test, it should make the finger a little moist but it shouldn’t be soaking wet.
How Often Does An African Violet Need Watering?
So, now that we know how much water we’re expected to give our favorite plant, how often should we be doing so? Well, there’s no hard and fast rule to this question, but the general consensus is that once the soil has begun to dry out, it is time to rewater it.
Of course, you should try and keep an eye on the soil frequently, and do so more often during the hotter months when the flower will require more water.
If you place your finger in the soil and it’s dry and lacking moisture it’s time for another watering. If it’s still relatively moist, you’ll want to come back and try again in a day or two.
This can be a little confusing and difficult to get right at first, but you’ll find with time it becomes a lot easier and almost like second nature. And it’s always better to err on the side of caution with this plant just because of how prone it is to overwatering.
African Violets are a beautiful flower to add to your home or garden, and for the most part, they are pretty easy to maintain. However, as you’ve learned from this article, they can become a little fussier when it comes to water.
You’ll need to feed it only room-temperature water in small doses, and wait until the soil has started to dry out before you repeat the process. But providing that you follow these instructions, you should have a stunning flower that is effortless to keep around.