African Violet – Beautiful Foliage No Flowers


Question: How can I make my African violet bloom? It has beautiful foliage but no flowers.”

Answer: One answer to this prevalent plea is to grow the saintpaulia (African Violet) in a plastic globe. The globe comes apart into two hemispheres so a plant in a pot may easily be set inside – basically a terrarium.

Once enveloped by the transparent walls, the plant will be growing in a miniature greenhouse. The air within this little plastic world will be more evenly moist than the air in the room outside and the soil will not ,dry out quickly. Both of these factors should help the saintpaulia to bloom.

blooming african violet

Any glass containers, such as large jars, brandy snifters or aquariums, may be used in the same way. African violets may be planted right in soil in the container if pebbles are filled in on the bottom for drainage to a 1/2-inch depth. A soil mixture of equal parts loam, peat-moss, vermiculite and sand may be used over this to a depth of 2 or 3 inches.

If the container is a glass globe or bottle with a small opening, start with small plants that will fit through the opening and plant them carefully with a pair of long slim sticks used like tongs or chopsticks. Take care to keep the walls of the container free of soil. Add water with a teaspoon, a little at a time, being careful to wet only the soil.

If the opening at the top of the container is large – as in an aquarium – it is best to have a pane of glass cut to fit so that moisture is retained within the glass walls. The cover may be raised slightly.

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