How to Grow African Violets Under Lights
African violets are popular potted plants that have dark green leaves and vibrant purple flower blossoms. They have a reputation for being hard to grow because of their specific water and light requirements. Like orchids, if not properly cared for African violets will refuse to bloom. These plants grow well indoors when placed near a window that receives sunlight. When natural sunlight is not available, artificial light sources provide the African violet with the light it needs to thrive.
things you’ll need:
- Select the right type of grow light for the African violets. Purchase lights that emit both red and blue spectrum light. Blue light is required for the green leaves to produce nutrients and red light is needed for the plant to bloom.
- Attach the grow lights to a wall, shelf or ceiling using the screws and wall anchors provided with the light. Position the lights so that they are at least 18 to 20 inches above the top of the African violet plant. Lights that are closer than 18 inches will burn the leaves of the plant. If the African violet is a miniature plant, the light should be no lower than 10 inches above it.
- Plug the grow light into a light timer and insert the light timer into an electrical outlet. Set the timer so that the African violet will receive no more than 16 hours of light per day. If the plants do not get at least eight hours of darkness per day, they will not bloom.
- Rotate the African violet plants by a quarter turn once per week. This ensures that all sides of the plant receive adequate light and prevents the plants from leaning toward the light source.
Tips & Warnings
If the African violet stops blooming or develops yellow leaves, this indicates that it is not receiving enough sunlight.
Do not use metal halide grow lights for African violets as they emit too much heat.
If your African violet’s leaves start to turn pink or are markedly paler in the areas that are directly exposed to the light, your plant may be suffering from a condition called "leaf bleaching," a condition that affects some African violets grown under lights. The only way to correct this problem is to stop using the grow lights and move the plant to a location that receives natural sunlight.