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Care of African Violets

Question:

I have removed my plants out of the small containers that you buy them in and replanted in a much larger container. Is that good…or bad?  I use Miracle Grow liquid plant food every time I water. 7 drops per quart Lately I’ve notice bright yellow mushroom growing with my Violets. Now where did they come from….I guess I’m doing something wrong..the plants are in my bay window..on the east side..so they get the morning sun…no way to drain the extra water…but I try very hard not to over water…what is my problem?

Answer:

You have committed the most common of all plant care mistakes – repotting unnecessarily and incorrectly. Most all potted plants do best when kept moderately potbound, as they are at time of purchase. If you don’t like the appearance of the nursery pot, then purchase a decorative planter that is large enough for you to double pot with the nursery pot set inside the decorative planter.

It is also a bad idea to have a plant potted in a pot that has no drainage hole in the bottom. The hole is needed so excess water can escape. That will help prevent over watering.

The mushrooms are a result of your using non-sterile soil that contained fungus spores. Another reason NOT to repot!

I suggest that you undo the potting that you did. Remove all soil that you added, including the mushroom. Leave the original rootball intact and put it back into the original pot or one of comparable size.

A north or east windowsill is a good location. Water only when the top surface of the rootball feels dry.

Fertilize no more than once per month and at half the recommended strength.