African violets are excellent plants for beginning gardeners because they are easy to grow, produce flowers in a variety of colors, adapt well to local growing conditions and need little space to grow.
African violets thrive when receiving abundant light, but they should not receive more than 16 hours of light daily because African violets also must have eight hours of darkness to bloom. Avoid direct sunlight exposure. The African Violet Society of Syracuse recommends that plants be kept at steady temperatures of 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, with a minimum overnight temperature of 60 degrees.
Soil used to pot African violets should be porous so that extra water can easily pass through. This is essential because overwatering can be damaging to African violets, resulting in root or crown rot. African violets can also grow in a pasteurized soilless mix composed of three parts sphagnum peat moss, two parts vermiculite and one part perlite.
Do not overfertilize African violets. Only add fertilizer if growth rate decreases and leaves lighten in color; use a fertilizer specifically indicated for African violets with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Violet growers should also be mindful of common pests, such as aphids and mealybugs, as well as botrytis blight, a common fungal infection.