Tuesday, January 18, 2011

30 Days of Photos: Day Five

It is day five of my 30 Days of Photos challenge (feel free to join me at any time).

Today's picture is of my African violets. I have loved African violets since I was a child. I'm not sure why but I think my favorite Aunt may have had them. I've also propagated them from an early age. I currently have eight rather large plants all but one originated from the same plant which has long since gone. I've had the current ones for as long as we have lived in the house so at least ten years.

There is a row of them above the kitchen sink where Jeff made a shelf for them and another row on a shelf on Jeff's desk. They usually flower twice a year (about every six months) but 2010 was a remarkable year for them. They would flower all bushy like above then as those blooms were dying off new ones would begin sprouting again. They were only without flowers for a few weeks last year. And as you might have guessed blue blooms are my favorite.

My care secrets? Don't water a lot, once a week to ten days. I don't abide by the water from the bottom cliche. I water from the top but just not over the leaves. They like to be warm but not hot. Bright but not scorching. And I use no special aids for propagating. If a leaf breaks off I just poke it in some African violet soil. Oh, and for some reason added fertilizer seems to kill them off. Again, not sure why I've just learned from experience not to use it.

What's your favorite house plant?