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African Violets

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Essay title: African Violets

My science fair project is on the lighting conditions of the African Violet plant. The African Violet plant comes from Africa and dates back hundreds of years. It is one of the more difficult of the plants to grow because it is a plant that blooms flowers and needs to be treated as a bulb. It is a small house plant with thick, dark green leaves. The blossoms come in many different colors such as blue-violet, pink and white.

Upon starting the project, my mother and I took a trip to the Wal-Mart garden section in Plymouth. We looked at some of the more popular and simpler plants to care for but decided we should get one of the more light sensitive plants to put this project to the test.

The African violet plant requires ten to fourteen hours of light a day and sixteen maximum. I put Plant A in the window. There is only ten hours during the day of strong sunlight so I made sure that Plant B got the same amount of artificial light.

One of the hardest parts of the project was making sure to keep the temperature around 70 degrees. The plants can survive only a short time under 60 degrees and over 85 degrees. Prolonged exposure to these conditions and the plants will die. 40% - 50% relative humidity is usually ideal for the African Violet. You can raise the humidity by supporting these plants over water. This method is wick watering.

Potting these plants is the usual method for growth. Using clean, plastic or ceramic pots is the best way to prevent the collection of salts, pests, and harmful chemicals. You should not use a pot that is too large. Also, you should not move the plant to a larger pot until it is fully rooted. Violets tend to bloom when they are slightly rooted.

Fertilizing these plants is also complicated. The lack of fertilizer or over fertilizing is reason enough for them not to bloom. Most growers have leaned towards potting mixes which do not contain

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