Yes, African violets need a special potting mix. The potting mix should be airy, loose and light while still holding 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 thrive in potting mix that has certain qualities.
They have specific demands when it comes to watering. So, it’s only imperative that you plant them in the right potting mix.
How is African violet soil different from regular potting soil?
Below are the characteristics of potting mix that’s 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 potting mix that has a lot of organic content.
Can I make my own African violet soil?
Yes, one can make a potting mix that’s suitable for African violets’ growth. One can prepare such potting mix by amending regular potting mix with some additives.
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.
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 regular potting mix.
Regular potting mix has too much organic matter for African violets’ preference. Such 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 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 kind of 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 little compost to the potting mix. You ideally want the major portion of it to be Vermiculite, Perlite and the regular potting mix.
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 type 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 fairly well and has the 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.
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 on 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!
Happy Gardening 🙂