What kind of soil do you need for an African Violet?
African Violet is one of my go-to indoor plants. The plant makes the best indoor decoration even in a small space. African violets need less attention and care while growing if you keep the plant happy by choosing the right soil. With a little knowledge about the soil for the plant, you can buy or better make your own soil for your violet plant. In this article, you will learn more about African violet soil, components, mix, and DIY soil to make on your own.
Also Read: What kind of soil is used for Calathea?
African Violet belongs to the genus Saintpaulia, belongs to the flowering family, and is a native to Africa. They bloom throughout the year with a common violet flower which can also be white, pink, red, blue, or purple. African violets thrive in partial sun and can’t survive in dry and shady places.
African violets are widely known for their beauty and ornamental use inside the house for decoration and are grown in pots. The plant can grow to 16 inches in height. The leaves are green with a velvet textured bunch of flowers. African violets can’t survive cold weather however some types can survive moderate weather. There are more than 10,000 species of African violets available around the world.
What is the Soil pH for African Violet?
The Ideal soil pH for African Violet is 5.8 to 6.3. African violets like to grow best in acidic soil. If the soil is too alkaline, it may affect the plant. To make your soil acidic, add peat moss to it. pH is tested to find the potential of hydrogen and uses a chemical scale to identify the nature of the soil. Testing for soil pH is the first step in getting to know the soil. Ph can range from 0 to 14. Any soil with a pH higher than 7 is alkaline and less than 7 is acidic. Do a pH test to find the soil pH level.
Testing the African Violet Soil
If you want to grow any plant, the first thing you should do is test your soil. Testing the soil at every stage of growth will make sure the soil is acidic enough for the plant. Starting from before planting a plant to the Flowering period, keeping a regular check on soil pH is a must. To do the soil pH test following are the options :
Litmus Paper Test– This traditional paper test is used to find if the soil is acidic or alkaline. Mix the water and soil in a container and dip the paper. If the Litmus paper turns red, then the soil is acidic.
Digital Tester– The Digital Tester is used in the soil to find the soil pH. This electronic device is made of metal, showing the mineral levels in the soil.
Lab soil Test– Send your soil sample to a nearby soil lab or extension office to learn about the soil. They also give more information to grow the plant along with the soil pH and contents in soil.
What kind of Soil do you need for an African Violet?
The best soil for African Violet is Sandy Loam soil. African violets need soil that holds moisture as well as nutrients. One should avoid succulent soil for the African violet in any situation as it does not have the right water retention for the tree. Also, avoid peat soil as it breaks the plant with too much draining of water.
Using peat in small quantities is best Potting soil which is used for other plants can be directly used for Violet. Using soil that gives the right drainage, is loamy and aerated as well as moisturized is the best soil for an African violet.
Components of Best Soil for African Violet
The main components that should be present in the soil to make it the best soil are:
Well-Drainage- A well-draining soil is essential for African Violet. If grown in a pot, it needs a drainage hole for proper drainage. Water sitting in the pot may lead to fungal disease and destroy the root. Adding mulch or hay in the pot with soil will help solve the problem. Adding coco coir will improve drainage in the mix of the plant.
Good aeration- African Violet is like light soil and should have good aeration. As they love dry and porous soil to get the proper aeration, giving that will help them grow. Providing extra aeration to the soil will boost the growth of the plant.
Water retention– Water retention should be enough for the need for water. Most varieties of African Violet ask for mixed soil while some need well-draining soil. Adding a combination of ingredients that have equal water retention and drainage will help in tree growth.
Texture- The texture of the soil for the African Violets should be from coarse light. The fruit prefers very light and loose soil which also holds enough moisture which helps in root growth. The texture of indoor and outdoor ground can vary as one will be in a pot and the other in the land.
How do I make African Violet Potting Soil?
To prepare the potting soil for African Violet, add Two parts of the Potting mix, one part of perlite or sand to One part of the manure, Vermiculite, or compost. Depending on the texture of the mix, add one or two parts of coco coir to it to improve the aeration. You can add perlite (volcanic rock) or gravel or marbles to increase the drainage of the soil.
The preparation of a potting mix for African Violet is easy and cost-efficient. Succulent, cactus soil is quite opposite to garden or potting soil. Succulent soil loves to have very good porous drainage but having that for African Violet might be a wrong idea. Adding potting mix directly for violet soil is not suggested. But adding the minerals and mending the soil to improve drainage and aeration will make the potting mix doable.
DIY Tips to make soil for African Violet at Home (Complete guide)
Soil for most plants can be made by mixing potting soil or some minerals and organic matter. But African Violet needs soil that is rich in nutrients as well as good drainage. African Violets are very picky about their choices to grow with a very light mix with no compaction. So, making a Do-it-yourself soil is your best choice. To make your own DIY soil for your African Violet plant,
- Collecting all the ingredients before making the soil.
- Take time to mix the ingredients.
- Learn other items like reading a pH tester, types of nutrients, and their uses.
Now you can start making the DIY with the below-given ingredients and follow up,
- Gear up with gloves to avoid dirt from the soil.
- Measuring cup or instrument to measure the ingredients.
- Bucket or vessel to make space to mix the soil.
- A small shovel/ Trowel to mix the soil.
- Dust mask.
- Perlite– Perlite is formed from volcanic emission. They make the best aeration for the succulent soil.
- Peat moss– This soil amendment is made from peat bogs. This active decomposing peat moss is used to hold water in the soil.
- Coconut coir– The coconut fiber is made from coconut husk and used for many purposes. They are used in soil to improve soil texture, drainage, and aeration.
- Sand– The sand is added to give a loose texture to the soil. The coarse sand is added to reduce the clay content in the soil.
- Compost– Compost is a mixture of organic waste formed and added to soil to enrich it.
- Pumice– Formed from volcanoes when they erupted explosively. The liquid explosion is formed to pumice rock making the aeration for the soil.
- 2 Parts Potting mix
- 1 part Perlite or sand
- 1 parts Manure or Compost
- 2 parts peat moss
- 1 Part perlite
- 1 Part Vermiculite
After collecting all the required ingredients and tools add the measured ingredients to the bucket with the help of a trowel and equal parts of sand, perlite, manure, and compost and mix it well with two parts of potting mix so all are mixed for mix 1. Add 2 parts of peat moss, 1 part of perlite, and 1 part vermiculite, and mix all well to make the best soil for your African Violet. If you are using a potting mix then add the required amount of porous to it and other nutrients to reach the pH requirement of the plant.
Where to Buy Soil for African Violet?
Soil for African Violet can be bought in a nearby commercial store or online. Store-bought soil is ready-made to use but may contain fertilizers. Online, you can make your choice based on your research with the review, rating, and the right mix mentioned in the label. With whatever way of buying the soil, adding some soil conditioner will help for the betterment of the plant as well the soil.
2 Best Commercial Brands to buy soil for African Violet
The miracle-gro indoor potting mix is best for indoor plants. This light and drain-fast mix contain coconut coir, fertilizers, and other products. The product is certified by the mulch and soil council for the standard. Adding perlite and decoratives to the pot with this mix is required to grow the plant. Miracle-gro gives value-for-money products at a reasonable rate with premium quality. They also provide various other types of potting mixes, all-purpose soil, and fertilizers at affordable prices for the garden. They are specially made for African violets.
The miracle-gro Garden soil for flowers is best for all flowering plants. They are very light and drain fast with moisture control which prevents over and under-watering. The mix contains peat moss, fertilizers, and other products. The product is certified by the mulch and soil council for the standard. Adding perlite and decoratives to the soil with this mix will help for fast growth.
Miracle-gro gives value-for-money products at a reasonable rate with premium quality. The soil comes in a bag of 1.5 cu.ft capacity and can feed plants for up to 3 months in the garden. They also provide various other types of potting mixes, all-purpose soil, and fertilizers at affordable prices.
Can I use Succulent or Orchid soil for African Violet?
No, you can’t use succulent soil for African violets. African violets prefer soil that is rich in nutrients and will hold moisture in it. But succulent soil is made to drain water which won’t be good for African violets. Succulent soil is specially made to drain water and keep the soil dry which is opposite to the soil for African violets.
Yes, orchid soil can be used for African violets. Orchid soil tends to have the right acidity which is suitable for the plant. Orchid soil has the right drainage and porous soil which make it the best substitute for African violets.
Selecting the Right Pot for African Violet
Picking the right pot for an African Violet is crucial because of its nature. The right pot for an African Violet is categorized with the size and material of the pot.
The pot for the plant can be plastic, ceramic, or wood. But the best one for African Violet is plastic because the plant needs soil to have soil that is porous and draining. Making holes in the plastic pots will prevent overwatering.
The size of any plant can not be fixed. There is no perfect size pot for plants. Giving the plant a pot that is one size smaller than the plant will be good. In that way, repotting can be done in a year or two.
When and How to Report an African Violet?
Repotting an African Violet once a year during summer will enrich the plant with nutrients in the new soil. Repotting can be done at certain times,
- When the plant has outgrown the pot or container in which it grows.
- When its plant is externally damaged due to any cause.
- Fungal or bacterial infections can damage the soil.
- Root rot is not a major problem and the plant can recover on its own. But at times, when it gets severe repotting should be done to save the plant and root.
- When the store-bought plant is in a small pot disregarding its size, repotting is a must.
Repotting should not be done in yellow leaves, dropping leaves, dryness, sunburn, and insect-invaded soil.
- Loosen the plant from the pot with a shovel or butter knife and lift it out.
- Remove the root from the pot to add it to a new mix.
- Place the plant in a new pot with a new mix and fill in the sides to make the plant straight.
- Adding nutrients or amendments to make up for the lost nutrients.
Pests in African Violet
African Violets are prone to pests and there should be a regular check on them. There are chances they are affected by Cyclamen mites, scales, mealy bugs, white flies, thrips, and bacterial or fungal disease. Treating the problem with fungicides and insecticides will help discord the problem. Insects-affected plants show signs with leaves. Keeping a check on moisture as well as plants in the soil will mostly prevent pests.
In Conclusion, after reading the above you know the best soil for an African violet. But the soil also depends on the nutrients in it to get a healthy plant. If it is the right type of soil for the plant, you will have a healthy flowering plant.
- Can I use regular potting soil for African violets?
No, you can use regular potting soil to grow the African violet.
- Are African Violets hard to care for?
African Violets are among the easiest-growing household plants.
- What is the Lifespan of African violet?
African violets can live for more than 40 years.