Growing African Violets and Gloxinia

LIGHT: Place your plant where it will receive plenty of bright but indirect light. Avoid hot sun, especially in summer, which can burn the leaves and fade the flowers. These popular houseplants also bloom well with 12-14 hours of fluorescent light a day.

TEMPERATURE: Day and night temperatures of 65-78°F are fine year round.

WATERING: Keep the potting mix moist but not soggy using water that is tepid, not cold. Watering too frequently will cause the roots, leaves, and base of the plant to rot. If the leaves look wilted even when the soil is moist, you may be overwatering. Let the top 1/2" of the potting mix dry out before watering again. Avoid splashing water on the leaves as water droplets that accumulate may cause scorching.

HUMIDITY: African Violets and Gloxinia need moderate humidity. To increase humidity around your plant, set the pot in a tray filled with pebbles or gravel. Add water to a level just below the tops of the pebbles (if the potting mix in the pots comes in contact with the water, the mix will draw water into the pot, which will cause the mix to become saturated, eventually leading to rot). Refill the tray as needed to replace water lost through evaporation.

FERTILIZER: Apply a water-soluble fertilizer that is high in phosphorus (such as 15-30-15) every 2 weeks, or use a 1/4-strength fertilizer at every watering.

CONTINUING CARE: Use scissors to cut off the stalks of faded flowers. Older leaves turn yellow and dry as they age, and these too may be trimmed off. Repot your African Violet or Gloxinia every year or so if it looks crowded, using a container that is about 1/3 larger than the diameter of the plant and a soilless potting mix designed for African Violets.

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