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The water-soluble fertilizer you use on other houseplants is fine to use on African violets. Fertilizing every four to six weeks is sufficient to keep the plant healthy. I don't see the need to store 10 different fertilizer formulations for 12 different types of plants. A general purpose fertilizer works well on most plants.
Besides tolerating low light, African violets also tolerate the lower humidity levels we find in our homes with forced-air heat. They can withstand a wide range of temperatures. Violets will perform well in temperatures that dip to 60 degrees at night or reach 85 degrees during the day. The mid-60 degrees I keep my home in the winter is the biggest detriment to many of my houseplants, yet it doesn't seem to affect the violet.
The cultural requirements of the plant make it a winner in my home, and to top off its fine qualities, it's easy to propagate. As easy as this plant is to start, everyone should share his or her favorite plant with a friend. Simply cut off a leaf with a section of the petiole. Run warm water over the stem and place it in wet sand. Like other plants I start, I place a clear plastic bag over the container. This acts like a miniature greenhouse and keeps the humidity level high. In about six weeks, you should have three to four new leaves on the plant. Then it's ready to be moved to a new home.
Don't let all of the African violet hoopla intimidate you. They are easy plants to grow, and I don't use any specialized products. I've never won any ribbons for them at the fair, but I enjoy them just the same.
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