Care Tips for growing African Violets outdoors
Back in 1970’s to 1980’s, I had an African-Violets fever. I would travel for almost half a day to Camp Phillips, Bukidnon to get specimens or cultivars of Geraniums, Anthuriums and African Violets. I would buy these plants from the private gardens of Mrs. Lopez, Mrs. Male and others.
However, all of my African Violets (Saintpaulia) from Bukidnon suffer under my care. Most of them wilted or rot despite the care tips I got from books or fellow plant enthusiasts. I mean, the plants were not supposed to die because they’re easy to care. Fortunately, I was able save some leaves to propagate new plants, though. For tips on how to propagate African violets, see my article on Peperomias.
Presently, I have 2 rosette types of semi-miniature African Violets; one has double-petal purple flowers while the other produces single-petal blooms. From the leaf cuttings, I now have 7 potted young plant, two of which are currently in bloom (see the photos).
So far, these are some of the things I’ve learned in cultivating these herbaceous plants outdoors. First, plant them in a sandy-loam soil. Potting them is preferable than planting them on the ground; I’ve initially used black plastic bags on young plants.Second, place them in areas where they could get enough morning sunlight. Exposure to midday sun would scorch their leaves and dry them out. Also, aphids would infest on light-deprived African violets.
Third, water them regularly except on rainy days; African violets like to grow on moist soil condition. Last, these plants require a dose of complete fertilizer once a month. Plants need food too to grow strong and healthy; skipping on nourishment would often end up with disease-prone plants. So far, these are some of the things I’ve learned in cultivating these herbaceous plants outdoors.