How To Make Your African Violet Bloom?

How To Make Your African Violet Bloom

One of the main reasons people choose to grow African violets is because of their beautiful flowers, and growers, therefore, want to know exactly what to do to make their African violets bloom.

Often, the reason your African violet is not blooming is that it is not getting enough sunlight. These plants need bright, indirect sunlight in order to produce flowers. Place them next to a north-, east-, or west-facing window so they get light that is not that too intense. You can also buy a grow lamp to help the plant out during the winter.

In this article, we will discuss what measures you can take to help your African violet bloom.

How often do African violets bloom?

African violets are quite low-maintenance if their living conditions are ideal, and can bloom almost year-round if properly cared for. Their flowers will last for up to three weeks. A well-cared for plant can have continuous blooms for 10 to 12 months in a year. 

The frequency of an African violet’s bloom will also depend on its genetics. There are those that bloom constantly, while others scarcely bloom. But if the plant has a history of blooming, chances are you can coax it to bloom again even if it has taken a break.

Why did my African violet stop blooming?

1. Lighting issues

These plants need light in order to bloom. The best light for them is bright morning light or the less intense light of the late afternoon. Try not to expose them too late morning or early afternoon sunlight because it may be too much for them.

If the plant is not getting enough light, its stems will elongate and its leaves will become small.

Too much sunlight, on the other hand, can bleach the plant’s leaves.

2. Genetics

As we mentioned, not all African violets are created equal. Due to breeding, some are prolific bloomers while others can live their entire lives never having bloomed once.

3. Watering issues

When you underwater the plant, it will dry up and the buds will fall off.

When you give it too much water, the roots can end up drowning and rotting.

African violets prefer moisture most of the time, but they should also be able to dry out between waterings to allow the roots access to oxygen.

4. Low humidity

Dry air, especially indoors, can also affect the plant’s ability to bloom. Never let the humidity around your plant get any lower than 40%.

5. Fertilizer issues

African violets need proper nourishment to be able to bloom. Often the nutrients and minerals in the soil are enough, but the soil can become depleted over time and you may need to replenish it.

If you let the plant go without nutrients, it will not have the energy to bloom, while overfeeding the plant can kill or burn its roots and also keep it from flowering.

6. Soil pH

Incorrect soil pH can cause the plant not to get the nutrients it needs. Plants need their soil at a certain pH for effective absorption of nutrients and minerals to take place.

This is not a very common problem for potted plants, but if your violets are planted in the ground, then it is definitely possible.

African violets like a soil pH of 6.8.

7. Compact growing medium

Another reason your African violets may have a hard time blooming is due to compacted soil or growing medium.

You can check whether your plant has a good potting medium by pushing your finger into the soil. If you have no problem pushing into the soil, it is not compacted, but if you are met with a lot of resistance, it is most likely compacted.

8. Wrong pot

If you plant your African violet in a pot that is too big, more excess water can be retained in the soil and this can lead to overwatering and root rot.

Choose a pot that has a diameter one-third less than the plant’s leaf spread.

9. Disease and pests

Infections and infestations from mealybugs, mites, powdery mildew and blossom blight can negatively affect the African violet’s bloom.

How to make an African violet bloom

Increase the humidity

African violets are tropical plants that need moisture in the air in order to grow best. You can help your plants by placing them close to one another to create a microclimate with increased humidity. Just make sure they are not so close that leaves are touching, to minimize the risk of spreading pests and diseases. You can also use a pebble tray filled with water under the plant’s pot to boost humidity.

Efficient lighting

As mentioned above, lighting is important to keep an African violet blooming. Place the plant in a spot where it gets bright, indirect light. In the summer, place it in a north- or west-facing window so it can be protected from the intense afternoon sun.

In the winter, choose an east-facing window to reduce the risk of sunburn.

Give the plant a quarter-turn every week so that all sides get sunlight evenly.

Feed the plant correctly

If your plant has depleted all the nutrients in the soil, feed it sparingly with diluted fertilizer. Give a gentle fertilizer formula when you water the plant, and that should be enough.

Temperature

Keep the temperature around the plant at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or as close as you can, because this is the optimal temperature for African violets. If the temperature is too high or too low, the plant will cease to bloom. Make sure there are no cold or warm drafts passing through where the plant is situated, as these can dry the plant out.

Use the right kind of soil

Make sure the soil you are using is not dense or compact. Choose soil that is loose, porous and airy; this also makes for a well-draining medium. The plant’s roots are delicate and will do better in fluffy soil. If you can test the soil, all the better. Keep it at pH 6.8 or as close as possible.

Protect the plant from disease and pests

If the plant is constantly staving off pests and disease, it will no longer have the energy to produce flowers, so make sure you check regularly for pests or signs of disease.

Choose the right pot

As mentioned above, do not plant the African violet in a pot that is too big for it. These plants want their roots to be a bit snug, so choose a pot that is one-third smaller in diameter than the width of the plant.

Conclusion

African violets are low-maintenance plants as long as they are kept in their ideal growing conditions.

The most likely reasons your African violet is not blooming are lighting issues, genetics, incorrect watering, low humidity, fertilizer issues, incorrect soil pH, compacted soil, temperature issues, incorrect pot size, pests or disease.

Encourage your plant to bloom by increasing the humidity around it, providing bright, indirect light, fertilizing the plant properly, keeping the temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, using the correct pot and soil, and protecting it from pests and diseases.

Image: istockphoto.com / ThorMitty