How to Prepare African Violet Soil / Potting Mix ?
The soil or potting mix in which an African Violet is planted is very important for the overall survival of the plant. This is because the plant roots spend all of their time within this soil mixture. Healthy soil promotes healthy root growth which in turn will lead to a healthy African Violet plant. Healthy roots also ensure the efficient uptake of water and nutrients from the soil.
Three most important points to remember about African Violet Soil / Potting Mix:
1) The soil should be light, loose and airy (this can be achieved by the addition of perlite, vermiculite or sand which can create air pockets in the soil promoting healthy root growth).
2) Conversely, the soil should not be compacted, heavy, dense or packed hard, this will prevent root penetration through the soil, leading to poor root growth.
3) African Violets should be re-potted in fresh soil every 6 months and kept in the same size pot. Do not re-pot to a larger pot. African Violets like to be slightly root bound which promotes flowering. Root bound is when the roots start to grow out of the pot holes underneath the pot or when roots show on the upper surface of the soil.
Below are three common African Violet Soil / Potting Mix recipes:
1) Two cups Peat Moss +one cup Vermiculite + one cup Perlite (50:25:25 ratio)
2) One cup Peat moss + one cup Vermiculite or Perlite (50: 50 ratio)
You can also use the commercially available Miracle Gro African Violet Potting mix; however, this soil is too dense for violets, so remember to add peat moss and vermiculite or perlite to lighten the potting mix.
3) One cup AV potting mix + one cup peat moss + one cup vermiculite /perlite
This commercial mix also contains fertilizer, so remember not to over fertilize if you are using your own fertilizer.
How to re-pot or pot African Violets plants into Soil / Potting Mix:
1) Prepare the soil mix in a well-ventilated area
2) Add room temperature or tepid water to the soil mix till the mix is moist but not wet
3) Fill up the pots with moist soil mix using spoon or hands
4) Use a pencil or tool to make a hole in the center area of the soil mix
5) Take out African Violet plant from existing pot and remove any dead/ dry/ mushy/ yellow leaves
6) Shake/remove excess soil sticking to roots. Can also trim roots if too long.
7) If plant has a long neck, clean that area by gently removing roots and dead /dry plant tissue.
8) Place African Violet plant , its neck and its roots inside the center area of soil mix
9) Cover roots /neck of plant with soil mix till the lower ring of leaf stems just graze the soil.