African violets are easy plants to keep alive, and you can grow them as foliage plants or as flowering plants. If yours isn’t blooming, and this is not by choice, this tutorial will show you how to get an African Violet to bloom again.
There is nothing wrong if you want to keep your plant as a foliage plant; as long as the plant is otherwise healthy, not producing flowers isn’t a big deal. Your plant can still thrive. However, the blooms these plants produce are gorgeous and are certainly worth the adjustments in care. We promise it isn’t hard, and getting the African violet to bloom doesn’t take too long.
With optimal care, your African violet can bloom all year round, so if you don’t see flowers with yours, you will need to make some adjustments in how you care for your plant.
How to Get an African Violet to Bloom
To get your African violet to bloom, you will first need to assess its condition and the location you have it at. More often than not, just a small adjustment will make all the difference.
Light plays a very important role when it comes to this plant producing flowers.
You need a spot that gets a good amount of light, a couple of hours of direct light if it’s not too strong (avoid harsh direct light as it can damage the leaves). Morning sun or late afternoon sun is best. Keep your plant near the window, so it gets lots of bright indirect light throughout the day.
With proper light, and if the plant doesn’t have too much foliage, you should be seeing the first signs of flowers forming soon.
If you have it in an optimal spot in your home already but aren’t seeing flowers and all other things are OK (read on to see what are all other things to consider for how to bet an African violet to boom) – you might need to consider artificial lighting. If there isn’t sufficient light, you can help out your African violets with artificial grow lights (fluorescent lights and such). These plants do well with artificial lighting, so this is certainly an option you can explore.
Number of Leaves
You’ve found a great spot with the perfect amount of light, so what’s next? Making sure the plant can focus its energy on creating blooms. If there are too many rows of leaves, the plant needs to maintain them all, so there isn’t much to spare.
The more rows of leaves, the lesser the chance of blooms. If there are many rows of leaves (4+), it’s safe to cut off a couple of old bottom leaves. This will encourage new growth, both new leaves, and flowers.
Never cut too many at a time though, you can do it gradually over time. Always use sterilized tools when pruning leaves to avoid bringing pathogens to the plant.
What to do with the leaves? Propagate them! African violets are easy to propagate, and while older leaves don’t propagate as fast as mature younger leaves, they will still grow baby plants. You’ll have a couple of new plants in no time.
When it comes to watering, African violets are one of the most forgiving plants. They are amazing at tolerating drought, so they are one of the best beginner plants. However, they do prefer a good and frequent watering routine, and if you want them to bloom, you will need to water them regularly.
There is a wonderful and hassle-free way to keep them happy and optimally watered though. They do amazing with self-watering pots. You can purchase these in many plant stores or you can even make one yourself.
If you don’t want a self-watering planter, or you can’t get your hands on one make sure you water them regularly. Check the soil often, allow the top layer of soil to dry and after it does, water the plant. When watering, make sure you use room temperature water as cold water can damage the roots.
Fertilizer for Blooming Plants
If you’ve had your African Violet for a while and haven’t been feeding it, the soil could be depleted of the nutrients the plant requires for new growth. Adding fertilizer might be the thing missing when it comes to getting your African violet to bloom.
When choosing a fertilizer, opt for one specialized for blooming plants. Use it as specified by the manufacturer, as not all brands are used with the same frequency or the same quantity.
Regular houseplant fertilizer will be OK too, if you can!t get your hands on one for blooming plants.
As these are fairly popular plants, some stores also carry fertilizers specialized for African violets. Specialized fertilizer is a great choice.
Other things to consider
Depending on your location, getting the African violet to bloom all year round might not be possible. While some locations get enough light during the winter months to keep the flowers bloom, others may not. Do not be discouraged if your plant doesn’t bloom in winter. Just keep it happy, and it will give you blooms in spring.
Temperature plays a role too, while these aren’t fussy, they require average warm room temperatures. Avoid cold drafts.
Watching the Flowers Grow
Observing the gentle flowers forming is a very rewarding process. The buds are easy to miss when they start growing, it might look like a new leaf forming, but you will recognize them in a couple of days. And they are just the sweetest.
While the first few might feel like they are taking their time growing, after the first flower blooms, many more will follow shortly.
It’s such a rewarding process to observe.
And after just a little bit more wait…