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Basic African Violet Care: Water
African Violet

    Watering your violets sounds like a pretty simple task, yet  growers love to debate
    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

    1) Top watering vs. bottom watering
    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.

        While top watering works just fine, many people like to water from the bottom:  This
    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.
(More to come.....)
Top Watering vs. Bottom Watering