Indoor violet (the name according to the generally accepted international classification is saintpaulia), brought to Europe at the end of the 19th century and today there are more than 30,000 different hybrid varieties, is very popular among lovers of home flower breeding. These plants with bright inflorescences are able to decorate any room. In order for them to develop successfully, certain rules for caring for violets at home should be followed. We hope that these easy-to-follow recommendations on maintaining a favorable microclimate, watering methods and propagating saintpaulias will help beginner growers.
Basic rules for purchasing planting material
In order to start the successful cultivation and cultivation of violets, planting and care at home, you must first purchase it. Experienced experts do not recommend buying adult plants for these purposes during the period of lush flowering. Usually these bright decorative "potted bouquets" are mainly for single use.use. After the end of the flowering period, the plants may weaken or die. The likelihood that such a Saintpaulia will adapt well to the conditions of your apartment and subsequently serve as a good breeding material is very small.
It is best to purchase leaf cuttings or young plants (already transplanted into pots). It is better to buy such seedlings in specialized stores or from familiar flower growers who already have experience in home breeding this type of plant.
When choosing, special attention must be paid to the external state of the seedling leaf. It should be light green in color, without spots and extraneous inclusions. If the leaf stalk has a pronounced elongated shape, then most likely it was germinated in low light conditions. It is better to refuse to purchase such a seedling, since the plant is initially weakened. The best time of the year to buy young shoots is spring (in winter there is a risk of getting a plant with frozen roots, and in summer with dried ones).
By purchasing high-quality and he althy planting material, you just have to ensure safe transportation (in a plastic container or box of suitable sizes, as young cuttings are very fragile) and proper care of the violet at home.
Note! Do not forget to ask the seller the name of the variety of each cutting, and also whether they change their color when flowering.
For the normal growth of most varieties of violets, the air temperature should vary from +18 to +24degrees. Maintaining a temperature (quite comfortable for people) in such a fairly wide range is not particularly difficult.
During the summer months, ventilating the room regularly or placing water trays near the plants will help to cope with excessive heat. However, a significant decrease (below 16 degrees) in temperature in winter can have a detrimental effect on the he alth of these indoor plants. The exceptions are variegated violets, which bloom only at +16-18 degrees.
Proper care of violets at home involves creating sufficient lighting (both in time and intensity). These plants prefer soft diffused light and do not tolerate direct sunlight. The daylight hours needed by these flowers should last about 12-14 hours.
The best place for pots with violets is the windowsill (of course, if the window does not face south). In winter, when daylight hours are significantly reduced, artificial lighting (such as LED, halogen or fluorescent lamps) can be used.
Faded and lethargic appearance of plants, as well as leaves stretched upwards, indicate that the plant does not receive enough light for normal development. Therefore, the duration of additional lighting (and sometimes its intensity) must be increased.
Humidity forThe comfortable life of violets indoors should be about 70-80%. During the heating season, when the inclusion of various heating devices significantly reduces the value of this indicator, it is necessary to spray water in the room at least 1-2 times a day.
Important! Spraying the plants themselves with a spray bottle is strictly prohibited.
To increase humidity, you can install a container of water next to the pot or periodically hang a moistened rag on the battery (closest to the location of the plant). This will create a favorable microclimate.
Violets are very susceptible to the harmful effects of bacteria and microorganisms, so the use of soil from your own garden or vegetable garden for growing them is not recommended. The best solution is to purchase a special potting mix from a specialized store. The composition of such soils has the necessary density for the best development of violets, and all ingredients are already factory-cleaned from harmful microorganisms.
For self-preparation of soil mixtures, some flower growers recommend mixing ordinary garden soil (previously sifted) with a small amount of sand. Then the prepared soil should be disinfected by calcining in the oven. Before backfilling the homemade soil mixture, a drainage layer of expanded clay is laid on the bottom of the pot (to prevent stagnation of fluid after watering).
Another recipe for making your own soil for violets: 1 part earth, 2 parts peat, a small amountmoss and charcoal.
How to water properly
An important aspect of room violet care at home is, of course, watering. However, such a seemingly simple process for saintpaulia has a number of features. The ingress of moisture on the plant itself can lead to the development of decay processes and, as a result, to a reduction in the life of the flower. Experienced growers for this variety of indoor plants recommend two main watering methods:
- via pallet;
- self watering (through wick).
For the first method:
- Set the flower pot in the pallet.
- Then fill it with filtered and settled water (room temperature) so that the liquid covers approximately ⅓ of the height of the pot.
- Leave the plant in this position for 30-40 minutes.
- We take the pot out of the pan, let the excess water drain and set the flower in its usual place.
The frequency of watering depends on the season, but usually 1-2 times a week is sufficient.
To implement watering violets (when leaving at home) through the wick, it is necessary to make some technological improvements to the pot. In the process of plant transplantation:
- Through the hole in the bottom of the pot we stretch a special cord.
- Carefully place it in the ground (approximately ½ the height of the container).
- Place a container filled with water under the flower pot and lower the free end of the cord into it.
Photo of violet flowers when caring for at home (in pots equipped with aself-watering) you can see below.
When the soil (and naturally, the cord itself) dries out, water will rise up through the capillaries of the wick and moisten the soil around the roots of the flower. With this method, the grower no longer needs to monitor the condition of the soil and keep in mind the last date of watering. The plant will take the necessary amount of life-giving moisture from the soil and will itself regulate the moisture content of the soil around it. It is only necessary to change the water (once a week) and monitor its level.
Fertilizer and top dressing
Almost all indoor flowers when cared for at home (violet is no exception) need periodic feeding. During the period of intensive growth, special fertilizers with a high nitrogen content are introduced into the soil. In the process of flowering, compounds based on potassium and phosphorus are used. Feeding in autumn and winter is not required for the normal development of the plant.
You need to buy fertilizers only in specialized stores. Professional breeders have developed special balanced compositions (based on potassium, sodium, nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, boron, sulfur, molybdenum, zinc and other trace elements) for use at various periods of development of this plant species. Before buying, you must carefully read the instructions, then you will be sure for sure that you have added to the soil exactly the top dressing that the violet needs at the present time and in the right amount. Usually, fertilizers are dissolved in water (in strictly recommended proportions) and applied during irrigation.
Important! An excess of nitrogen in a pot of adult violets can cause a lack of flowering.
Necessary and sufficient size of pots
Despite the existence of a huge number of varieties and varieties of violets, all of them have a small root system. Therefore, for proper cultivation and care at home for room violets, flower growers use containers of fairly compact sizes. The use of large pots for these purposes can lead to the fact that Saintpaulia will grow for a long time, and the flowering period will not come soon.
For the normal germination of young seedlings, the diameter of the container recommended by experts is 5-7 centimeters, for an adult plant - 10-12 centimeters.
Repotting and complete soil renewal for violets should be done every 2-3 years. Experts recommend doing this in the spring or early summer. A plant transplanted during hibernation may not take root well in a new pot filled with fresh soil.
- Carefully remove the plant from the pot along with the soil.
- We release the roots from the old soil (at first, just shaking the plant strongly, then removing the remnants with our hands).
- Remove dried or diseased leaves, as well as rotten roots.
- Rub all the cuts with crushed charcoal (activated or charcoal).
- We wash the root system in the shower, trying to ensure minimal moisture on the leaves.
- We put it on the bottom of the pot (pre-carefullywashed) drainage layer and a small amount of potting mix.
- Install the plant in it, straighten the roots and fill the free space around the flower with fresh soil.
Irrigate every other day
Propagation of violets by leaf cuttings
Reproduction, as well as caring for violet flowers at home, will not cause any particular difficulties even for a novice indoor plant lover. The simplest method, which gives an almost 100% positive result, is growing from leaves cut from an adult plant. Everything is quite simple:
- Find a he althy strong juicy leaf on the mother flower.
- With a well-sharpened knife or scalpel, cut it off at the base (preferably at an angle to increase the area of root formation). It is better to disinfect the cutting tool before use.
- Place the cutting (you can have several at once) in a container with clean water at room temperature and place it in a warm and bright place (inaccessible to direct sunlight). Do not forget to periodically add fluid. The neck of the vessel should be narrow enough so that the leaf does not come into contact with the liquid.
- If you follow the rules of home care, a room violet (you can see it in the photo below) will form roots at the end of the stem in 2-4 weeks.
Now carefully (the roots are very fragile) we transplant the youngshoot into a pot (with soil mixture). To prevent a slowdown in the process of full development, the seedling leaf should not come into contact with the soil
Note! Cut leaves can be immediately planted in small pots with prepared soil (without prior germination in a container of water). Experienced flower growers say that this method also gives very good results.
With proper care at home, violets (photos do not convey all their beauty) will delight you with beautiful inflorescences in a year.
Reproduction by stepsons
This breeding method is used so that the young plant inherits all the external signs of the mother violet. It is this method that experts recommend for some hybrid varieties (especially chimeras).
The procedure is quite simple:
- Choose a he althy and strong plant, at the base of which a young stepson has sprouted (with at least 3-4 leaves).
- Carefully remove the plant from the pot and remove excess soil from the roots.
- Using a sharp knife or scalpel, we separate the stepson from the "mother", while trying to minimally injure the main rosette of the violet.
We plant both plants in separate containers
In order for the transplanted stepson to take root faster in a pot, when caring for a violet at home, it is necessary to create greenhouse conditions for the first 3-4 weeks.