African violets are pretty and can brighten up a room, but without the proper care they'll wither and die like any other flowering plant.
Step 1: Choose the environment Choose a warm, dry spot in your home, with a temperature around 75 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night. The space should have plenty of indirect sunlight, but African Violets should be shielded from direct sunlight for most of the day.
TIP: If your African Violet is near a window and the temperature dips below 60 degrees at night, move the plant away from the window. Also move it if the temperature reaches above 75 to 80 degrees, since overheating can lead to root rot.
Step 2: Water Keep the plant's soil moist at all times by keeping the saucer filled with tepid water, but do not overwater. Instead of watering on a schedule, feel the soil -- if it's slightly dry, it's a good time to water.
TIP: If you choose to water the plant from the top with a watering can, be sure tokeep the water away from the leaves to avoid the appearance of white spots.
Step 3: Add fertilizer Add fertilizer to the plant periodically, following package instructions. Do not overfeed the plant and only use fertilizer made specifically for African Violets, also known as Saintpaulia, the plant's botanical name.
Step 4: Avoid pests Avoid harmful pests like mealybugs -- small, white bugs that occur in clusters on the leaves and stem. Prevent them by not overwatering the plant, and eliminate them by spraying the plant with lukewarm water or wiping them from the plant with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab. Keep up the care and enjoy your beautiful violets.
FACT: True Violets have been known for centuries. The ancient Greeks cultivated them about 500 BC or earlier.