|Basic African Violet Care: Water
which way is best. It seems like everyone has their own way of doing it. Some people
'water from the top', while others 'water from the bottom'. Some growers go so far as to
set up special watering devices that automatically water for them.
In this section, we'll discuss these various techniques; their merits and their
2) Wick watering
3) Capillary mat watering
4) Self watering pots
You pour water over the top of the mix until the mix has soaked up plenty of water. The water
that runs out the bottom of the pot is then discarded.
It's pretty much agreed that you never let your plant set in standing water for extended
periods of time.
This is method is pretty straight forward and used by a great deal of novice growers.
Hey - it works! It works, as long as you don't water too often or have a mix that's too
'heavy'. (See our section on potting and potting mixes).
Top watering has the added advantage of washing out any accumulated salts
(minerals in your water and fertilizer) that can build up in the soil and on the sides and
edges of the pot. That white crusty stuff on your pots and on top of the soil - that's
mineral build up. Mineral buildup can cause problems with your plants which is why it's
good to wash them out, or better yet, re-pot your violets and keep the mix fresh and clean
for a healthy happy plant.
means, setting the pot in a saucer of water and letting it soak up as much water as it can
and discard the remaining water from the saucer. Again: you don't want your plant to set
in the water for an extended period of time.
This method works well too. It helps to prevent the mix from compacting and
smothering the roots, which can happen when watering from the top. Having a 'light' and
open mix for your violets helps prevent this. African Violet Mixes sold commercially are
considered to be too 'heavy' with Peat Moss and are often amended with Perlite to
'lighten' or open the mix which allows better air flow through the mix.
|Top Watering vs. Bottom Watering