Yes, African violets need a special potting mix. The potting mix should be airy, loose, and light while still holding an adequate amount of water. One can achieve this by adding a variety of ingredients to the regular potting mix.
African violets are wonderful plants. These plants are grown for their beautiful flowers. African violets have special potting mix requirements.
African violets are usually grown indoors. They have specific demands when it comes to watering. So, it’s only imperative that you plant them in the right potting mix.
African Violet Potting Mix Recipe
You can make potting mix for African Violets by using Perlite, Vermiculite; and peat moss. Most recipes have two or three of them as ingredients.
Potting mix 1
Mix houseplant potting mix with equal parts of coarse Vermiculite and Perlite. I used this mix to plant my African violets and the plant is healthy to date.
This mixture allows water retention without cutting the airflow to the roots. Alternatively, you can add Pumice to this mixture.
Potting mix 2
Add a cup of peat moss to a bowl. Add a cup of Perlite and Vermiculite (50:50 ratio) to the bowl and mix them well.
African violets would thrive in this mixture too. This mixture is porous, airy, and has sufficient organic matter in it.
Tips to make potting mix for African Violets
- You can add peat moss, coarse sand, Perlite, and Vermiculite to the regular potting mix.
- As you can notice, there is no soil in the potting mix. You shouldn’t add soil to this potting mix.
- You may also add earthworm castings, compost, and aged bark to the potting mix.
Note: Wet the potting mix when planting African violets in it.
What kind of soil do African violets need?
Below are the characteristics of the potting mix that are ideal for the health of African violets.
- The potting mix should be light, loose, and airy. Compacted, heavy, and dense potting mix deter root growth. Roots fail to penetrate through the potting mix efficiently.
- Make sure the potting mix drains excess water efficiently.
- You might also wanna choose the potting mix based on the indoor conditions. For example, low-humid conditions require a potting mix that has a lot of organic content.
Soil pH for African Violets
Maintaining a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5 is crucial. It optimizes nutrient absorption, ensuring lush foliage and vibrant blooms.
African Violets thrive in a soil/potting mix that’s slightly acidic. Too much acidity (low pH) or alkalinity (high pH) can spell trouble for your violets.
They become less efficient at nutrient uptake, and their growth and flowering can suffer. Test the soil pH regularly and amend it as required to keep your African Violets thriving.
Is Miracle-Gro potting mix OK for African violets?
Miracle-Gro has a specific potting mix that’s made for African violets. This potting mix is said to last for over six months.
This potting mix has nutrients that are essential for the growth of African violets. The potting mix helps the plant produce big blossoms.
I never tried this with my African violets but I can say it does the job well.
Note: Ideally, change the potting mix and re-pot in a fresh pot every six months.
Will African Violets grow in regular potting soil?
No, African violets won’t survive in regular potting mix. The roots will probably rot if you plant African violets in a regular potting mix.
Regular potting mix has too much organic matter for African violets’ preference. Such a potting mix holds water for longer than needed.
This creates waterlogged conditions around the plant’s roots. You need to amend the soil according to African violet’s needs to avoid this.
African violet’s potting mix is also slightly more acidic than the usual housing plant’s potting mix.
Can I use Orchid soil for African violets?
No, you shouldn’t plant your African violets in a potting mix that’s made for orchids. Orchid potting mix isn’t suitable for African violets at all.
Orchids and African violets, both might require a well-draining potting mix but they grow in different conditions.
African violets grow in rock crevices. The roots enjoy well-aerated yet adequately moist conditions.
Can you use succulent/cactus soil for African violets?
No, I wouldn’t advise using succulent soil for African violets. Succulent potting mix doesn’t hold as much water as African violets would like.
If you can water your African violets carefully, you can manage with this potting mix.
Miracle-Gro AV soil is too heavy for African violets. One can amend the potting mix using various types of additives.
I don’t recommend doing this if you’re an amateur gardener. Just make some potting mix according to the instructions above and you’ll be fine.
What compost should I use for African violets?
Add some free-draining compost to your African violet’s potting mix. Adding it in the right proportions helps the plant thrive.
Composted pieces of aged bark would fit perfectly in this potting mix. Earthworm castings would also be a great addition to this potting mix.
Add only a little compost to the potting mix. You ideally want the major portion of it to be Vermiculite, Perlite, and the regular potting mix.
Where to buy African violet potting mix?
You can buy African violet potting mix from Amazon, Lowe’s, or Walmart. Just make sure that the potting mix is labeled for African violets.
Miracle-Gro has a product that’s specifically made to use with African violets. It is available to purchase on Amazon.
You can also buy the regular potting mix and amend it like I said. It is cost-effective and you have full control over what goes into the potting mix.
You can make great potting mix yourself and it’s a nice way to get more involved in gardening!
Best potting mix for African Violets
Listed below are some of the ready-made potting mix recipes available in stores. You can’t go wrong with any of these.
- Espoma African violet soil
- Lowe’s African violet soil
- Black Gold African violet potting soil
- Schultz African violet potting soil
The best potting mix for African Violets is the one you mix at home. You know what goes into the potting mix and you can amend it any time later.
Can African violet potting mix be used for other plants?
No, and Yes. Depends on what plant we’re talking about. The potting mix has special characteristics and only suits certain types of plants.
Can I use African Violet soil for Succulents?
Yes, one can manage their succulents with a potting mix that’s made for African violets. This potting mix has all the characteristics succulents need.
Can I use African Violet soil for Cacti?
Yes, you can use African violet potting mix to grow cacti. This potting mix drains pretty well and has sufficient nutrients.
You can further amend the potting mix to reduce the nutrients to suit cacti’s needs.
Note: One can also use African violet potting mix for seeds/transplants.
Can I use African Violet soil for the Christmas cactus?
Yes, you can use African Violet soil mix for growing Christmas Cactus. African Violet potting mix is rich yet free-draining.
Can I use African Violet soil for the Snake plant?
Yes, you can use African Violet soil for growing the Snake plant. A snake plant needs a light, free-draining potting mix that’s slightly acidic, i.e., 5.5-7 on a pH scale.
Can I use African Violet soil for Peace Lily?
Yes, you can use African Violet soil for growing Peace Lily. A Peace lily plant thrives in light soil that’s slightly acidic. The potting mix should have the required nutrients too.
Can you use African violet soil for orchids?
No, don’t use African Violet potting mix for orchids. Even though the ingredients in both the potting mixes are the same, the proportions are different.
Happy Gardening 🙂