Fertilizing African Violets
African Violets respond best to a method of feeding where you give them a small amount of plant food at each watering. This is called the constant feed method. It eliminates the need to remember whether or not it is time to fertilize since it is always time. Whatever brand of plant food you use it can be used as a constant feed fertilizer. Just read the instructions, then cut the recommended amount in half and use the plant food at that strength at each watering. This is true whether you choose to wick water or water traditionally either from the top or bottom. The middle number of the three that tell the analysis of your fertilizer is the important one. It tells you the percentage of phosphorus which is important to heavy blooming plants such as violets. A fertilizer which has a middle number lower than either the first or last of the three numbers in the analysis is not going to help your violet produce as much bloom as a fertilizer that does have a higher middle number. Two popular brands of fertilizer are the Dyna-Gro brand line and the Jack's Classic brand lines of fertilizers. Dyna-Gro products are liquid fertilizers. Jack's Classic products are powders. Both brands make solutions that can be poured into wicking reservoirs or wicking trays.
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