African Violet Update

When I last left you in my African Violet saga I had ordered plants from Romania and the came in the mail.  (read about that here)I needed to re-pot them but Wal-Mart didn’t have African Violet potting soil so I ended up going on Amazon and ordering some.

It was time to take a good look at my plants.  This one is special to me and needs a new pot but it’s blooming now so it will wait.  This one our daughter Kayla bought for me at a thrift store.  The plant was in a styrofoam cup plant in dirt.  It was so small and not the best looking.  Check it out now!

First up to deal with were my three plants from Romania.  I like self watering planters…the only problem, they don’t come really small.  I’ve “learned” to make my own.  I went to Home Depot and here’s what I did…I bought two of the exact same plastic pots.  The pots were cheap…less than $1 each.  I had Hubby drill small holes in the bottom of one of the planters and none in the other.  I plant my plants in the one with the holes.  I put the water in the pot without holes and then set the plant into the water.  The plant uses the water as it needs.  My plants are much better looking with these self watering pots.


All three got these “homemade self watering pots”.  When getting plants to “adulthood” I try to gradually increase the planter size.  These are step one for the babies.

Next up on the re-potting session….

For Mother’s Day Kelli got me an African Violet.  One of the residents at the nursing home was crocheting covers for containers, putting a plant in them and selling them.  Kelli decided to buy one from her from me.

Well the plant had two “crowns” so was actually two plants in one pot.  I separated them and now have two plants. These are in my “next size up” planters.  These I’ve saved and have reused several times.  Years ago I bought a couple African Violet plants from Home Depot.  These were the pots they were in…again, self watering planters.

I saved the cover and container and put all of the leaves that had broken off in the replanting into the container and hope to start some new baby plants.


Originally I thought I would but these all under a grow light in the basement.  That’s not least not for now.  Instead I was at Goodwill.  I bought a tin shelf for 75 cents.  I put the shelf in the low window of my sewing room.  Right now, it’s a south window but is somewhat shaded from the neighbor’s tree.  I’m hoping the violets will be okay with this window.  If not, I’ll move them.


I love beautifully blooming violets.  I don’t know that I’ve even seen one I didn’t like.  I decided that I am going to try to always have one or two in my kitchen window that are blooming.  I’ll move the plants so that the ones upstairs are new, young or not blooming…the ones downstairs I hope will be gorgeous.

I have a ways to go on this goal but it’s one I hope I can achieve.  Even if I don’t, I know right now, I’m having lots of fun with it.


6 thoughts on “African Violet Update”

  1. Reminds me of my Mom. She had African violets in Alaska. They are gorgeous and as a child, I always loved the slightly fuzzy leaves.

  2. OMG….. So self-watering pots is the secret to growing African Violets. After years of trying only to fail, I am ready to start again – this time with self-watering pots. I guess I either over-water or under-watered. Jo, do you feed your violets and if so, what do you feed them and how often. Your violets look great and sooooo healthy.


  3. I really love reading about your life with violets! I was so inspired I went out and bought two today and will be purchasing self-watering pots tomorrow. My mom has a few violets and she has kept them going for some time now–including one that belonged to my grandmother that passed away in the early 1980’s. I know I am looking forward to your indoor garden update..

  4. Elizabeth McDonald

    I have enjoyed reading every post about your African violets, Jo! My grandmother had a huge bay window that went the length of her diningroom, with a wide shelf instead of just
    a sill. It was covered with blooming African violets. She was an avid gardener inside and out; I remember taking the cooled used coffee grounds out each morning and carefully placing them around the asparagus fronds. My father used to say that when he was a boy, if he and my grandmother were visiting and the lady had beautiful African violets, and one that she did not have at home, she would stand with her back to the plant and carefully pinch a leaf while she was conversing, and drop it carefully into her pocket to plant when she got home! I suspect Dad’s story was more amusing than factual. I can easily imagine my grandmother, who was charming and also generous, asking the hostess if she could have a cutting. Thank you for the explanation of self-watering pots! Perhaps I will try an African violet or two and use that tip to try to keep them alive!

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