Summer Care of African Violets

As the temperatures rise and the sun shines brightly, your African violets may need a little extra TLC to thrive during the summer months. In this post, we’ll explore tips to help you care for your African violets and keep them flourishing throughout the summer months.

Watering Routines

During the summer, your plants will require more frequent watering, but it’s also essential to avoid both  overwatering and letting them dry out completely. African Violets possess delicate fibrous roots that are particularly susceptible to damage caused by alternating cycles of complete dryness and overwatering. As well as damaging the roots, allowing your pots to dry out completely can cause the mix to become hydrophobic, meaning it will resist rewetting and water will pass straight through the pots without being absorbed into the mix. A simple solution to combat hydrophobicity is to use a wetting agent or soil surfactant. A great option is this surfactant
My favourite surfactant for re-wetting soil with superior results

In a previous post, I discuss 3 techniques for watering your plants, including: top down, bottom up, and wick watering. For more information, see my blog post here

Sunlight Exposure

While African violets thrive in bright, indirect light, too much direct sunlight can be harmful. During the summer, be mindful of the intensity of sunlight in your location. Consider moving your plants to locations with filtered light or providing sheer curtains to diffuse the sunlight. Finding the perfect balance will ensure your violets receive the light they need without risking sunburn. 

Temperature & Humidity

Summer presents challenges for maintaining a stable room temperatures and humidity.  African Violets prefer temperatures between 21-27°C during the day and a slightly cooler range at night. Humidity should remain around 40-60%. High temperatures can lead to leaf damage, reduced blooming, root damage, and leave your plant more susceptible to pests and diseases.  High humidity can lead to mildew and fungus problems. For managing summer temperatures
  • Use a hygrometer to track the temperature and humidity in your growing room. I just love this Simple Hygrometer for less than $15
  • Ensure good air circulation around the plants to dissipate heat. My absolute favourite electric fan for my African Violet room is the Vornado Energy Fan. It’s pricy but does an extraordinarily good job, is cheap to run, and the dial makes it possible to adjust the strength.
Vornado Eco Fan
Digital Hygrometer
  • Shield your violets from sudden temperature fluctuations, such as drafts or air conditioning vents, to prevent stress.
  • On days of extreme sun, use window coverings such as outdoor or indoor blinds. Alternatively, consider moving your plant to a cooler location. 

Fertilizer

During the growing season, which typically aligns with the summer months, African violets benefit from regular, light fertilization. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half or a quarter of the recommended strength. If top watering, apply the fertilizer every 2-4 weeks to support healthy growth and vibrant blooms. If wick-watering, your plants may be constantly fed using premixed water and  fertiliser in the reservoir.

Pest prevention

Summer can bring about an increase in pest activity. Keep a close eye on your African violets for signs of common pests such as aphids, thrips, mites, caterpillars, or mealybugs. Regularly inspect both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves, and treat promptly with insecticidal soap or Neem oil plant spray  if necessary.

Conclusion

With these expert tips, you can ensure your African violets not only survive but thrive during the summer. By paying attention to their unique needs for water, light, temperature, soil, fertilization, and pest prevention, you’ll create an optimal environment for these charming plants to dazzle you with their delightful blooms. Enjoy the summer with your African violets and revel in the beauty they bring to your indoor spaces.

Ceramic African Violet Pot

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