Effects of Using Hard Water to Grow African Violets
Greg wrote: hello my name is greg and I would like to know the effects of growing
plants (violets). with hard and soft water. I need to know with works better,
and so forth. Thanx Greg
Violets do need many of the minerals found in hard water, however, the chlorine
used in public water systems can be deadly to many houseplants.
I strongly recommend that you fill your watering container, and let it sit
for a minimum of 24 hours. The chlorine will have dissipated by then, making
it somewhat more safe for your plants.
I keep several gallon milk bottles filled for watering, and use them as needed.
The water will be room temperature, which is much less of a shock to the plant.
It is wise to bottom water all house plants, but particularly African violets.
Watering from the top can cause crown rot in violets, which is fatal. Never
leave your plants sitting in water for more than a couple hours though. This
can also be fatal
African violets like a great deal of humidity, but not wet leaves and stems.
There are many commercial fertilizers especially for violets. For the best
plants, you must use one of these products, since violets have very definite
requirements for pH and trace elements.
If you have a chance, try growing violets under fluorescent GRO lights. The
colors of both the flowers and foliage will become more intense and bright.
Spent flowers should be removed as soon as they begin to fade. This will allow
the plants energy to be used to produce new blossoms rather than seeds.
A NOTE of interest
Originally I stated that distilled water was the best to use for your
violets, however I received a letter from Byron Borck 1998 National
African Violets Convention Vice Chairman, whom I am sure is far more
knowledgeable on this subject than I. OOPS! guess I blew it this
time....Thank you Byron.
Bill, Just read your response about using distilled water for African
violets. By doing this you are robbing the plant of needed nutrients
to promote healthy growth. It was explained to me that the minerals
in the soil will by pulled out by the lack of minerals in the water.
I top water my collection of over 300 plants each week. I have only
lost 5 plants to crown rot in the last 8 years. Bottom watering can
also cause crown and root rot by leaving the plants sit in the water.