Monday, January 5, 2015

African Violet and Ice

 In the dead of winter, my African violet is blooming. What great little plants!

 This plant has been happy living on a south-facing windowsill for the last several weeks. As the sun gets stronger, I will move it back from the window so the leaves don't get burned.  In the spring and summer, an east window is ideal for violets.  Or alternatively, they really like being under a fluorescent growlight.

 I like the way the light is making the petals glitter like snow.
I fertilize African violets when they have begun to set bud with a good all-purpose liquid plant food.  I prefer Plantprod which has a lot of micronutrients in it. One is advised to water violets by placing the pot in a saucer of water for 20 minutes.  That is certainly the ideal way, but I am too impatient for that so I just carefully pour the water on the soil surface making sure I don't get the crown wet.  Watering about once a week in the dry winter months is the schedule I follow.  It's better to err a little on the dry side rather than wet with violets as they are prone to rotting.
African violets are easily propagated.  Break a leaf off at the base and stick it in some sterile potting soil.  If you use rooting hormone, the rate of success will be higher, but even without it most leaves will root  in moist soil.
As usually happens at this time of year, we have been having crazy temperature swings. It made for some interesting ice shapes coming off our metal roof.

On the porch railing, the snow melted down leaving behind a skeleton of ice.
Now we are in for a stretch of clear cold weather.

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