Page 6 - Super Floral > March 2016 Issue
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blooming plant

              african violet

      These popular houseplants are finding favor among younger
  consumers because of their wide range of varieties and retro vibe.

  ‘Devotion’                               decorative life                           75 F). Never expose them to tempera-
                                                                                     tures below 60 F or above 80 F, even
  Harster Greenhouses                      With proper care and ideal environ-       for short periods. They also require
                                           mental conditions — steady warmth,        relatively even temperatures — no
  BOTANICAL NAME                           careful watering, good light, high        cold or hot drafts or sudden changes
  Saintpaulia ionantha                     humidity and regular feeding —            in temperature.
                                           these plants can last for years and       HUMIDITY High relative humidity — at
    (saynt-PAUL-ee-uh eye-o-NAN-thuh)      will bloom continually.                   least 50 percent to 60 percent — is
  COMMON NAME                                                                        essential. There are several ways to
  African violet                           care and handling                         provide the required humidity level.
                                                                                     n Mist the air around the plants, or
 description                               LIGHT These plants require bright but     lightly mist the leaves with a very fine
                                           indirect (filtered) sunlight. They will   spray of room-temperature water
  African violets are compact plants       tolerate direct sunlight only very early  (a fine spray mist will not leave
  that have diminutive five-petaled        or very late in the day. During winter    water droplets).
  blooms (single flowered) with tiny       months, African violets might need        n Place pot(s) on a pebble tray,
  yellow centers. Semidouble variet-       additional exposure to light — more       or place containers of water around
  ies have more than five petals, and      or closer exposure to direct sunlight or  the plant(s).
  double-flowered varieties have 10        grow lights. To rebloom, these plants     n Place a humidifier in the room.
  or more petals. Some cultivars have      need at least eight hours of darkness
  ruffled or fringed (wavy) petal edges.   each day, so ensure they get no more      AIR CIRCULATION Because high humidity
  Blooms rise on thin stems above a        than 16 hours of light per day.           is so important, good air circulation
  rosettelike formation of leaves, which                                             is vital in order to prevent the growth
  are typically round or oval but some-    WATER Keep the soil lightly and evenly    of fungi.
  times lance shaped; either green         moist — but never soggy. Water plants
  or variegated, sometimes with a          when the soil surface is dry to the       FERTILIZER Feed these plants regularly
  reddish underside; fleshy (semisuc-      touch with room temperature (never        with African violet plant food (14-12-
  culent); and velvet textured (hairy).    cold) water, and avoid using softened     14 NPK), following the dosing and
  The leaves also can have scalloped,      or highly chlorinated water. The best     frequency recommendations on the
  ruffled, crinkled or serrated edges.     ways to water these plants are 1) by      container. Soluble powders, concen-
                                           placing the pot in a tray of water and    trated liquids and quick-release formu-
 colors                                    allowing the plant to absorb water        lations are the preferred types; avoid
                                           for up to 30 minutes; 2) by using a       time-release fertilizers.
  Hues include a range of blues,           “self-watering” device (capillary mat-
  violets and reds, including blue,        ting), pot or saucer; or 3) by carefully  GROOMING Remove dead blooms and
  blue-violet, purple (violet), lavender,  pouring water around the inside edge      damaged leaves regularly with a sharp
  red-violet, red and pink. There also     of the pot. It is important to never      knife, including the entire stalk. Also,
  are white, yellow and green varieties,   get water on the leaves or the crown      immediately wipe off any water that
  as well as bicolored and multicolored    (center) of the plant.                    may be spilled on leaves during water-
  varieties with speckled, striped and                                               ing, and regularly brush away dust and
  white-edged blooms.                      TEMPERATURE African violets prefer        dirt from the hairy leaf surfaces with a
                                           average room temperatures (65 F to        soft-bristle brush, like a paint brush. sf
18 www.superfloral.com / march 2016
                                           Super Floral has created this page for the education of
                                           store-level employees. To download a reprintable PDF,
                                           go to www.superfloral.com and select “Current Issue.”
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