Too Much Fertilizer
A good fertilizer is vital for the health of African Violets. A good fertilizer replenishes soil that has been depleted of the essential elements which make plants grow, while maintaining a fully-developed root system and healthy, green foliage. However, even the best African Violet fertilizers can be overdone. Too much fertilizer can cause serious problems and, in the most severe cases, can actually be fatal.
If your African Violet exhibits these symptoms, it is probably getting too much fertilizer.
Rinse the plant and pot with lukewarm water. If you see orange crystals on the leaves or other concentrations of fertilizer salts, rinse long enough to dissolve and wash away these crystals.
Drench the soil with lukewarm water to leach out any additional concentrations of fertilizers salts. To do this, water from the top until about of cup (8 oz.) of water has drained from the pot. Allow any excess water to drain.
Wait one week before fertilizing, again. After that, use a fertilizer that has been specifically formulated for African Violets. A good Violet Food should be fully-dissolving and contain approximately equal amounts of the primary nutrients, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Also, your Violet Food should not contain urea nitrogen, since urea causes Root Burn. For standard-sized African Violets (in 3-inch pots or larger), look for a Violet Food with an NPK of 14-12-14. For Miniature Violets, look for a fertilizer that has somewhat lower percentages, though with a slightly higher proportion of phosphorus. A good plant food for Miniature Violets will have an NPK of 7-9-5.
About every three months, drench soil with lukewarm water leach out any unwanted concentrations of fertilizer salts. To do this, water from the top until about a cup (8 oz.) of water has drained from the pot. Allow any excess water to drain.
Routinely examine the rim of the pot. Concentrations of fertilizer salts on the rim are an early sign of over-fertilizing.
Finally, only use a fertilizer which has been specifically formulated for African Violets. For specifications, see above, under Treatment.
For more about fertilizers and their effect on African Violets, see "Caring for African Violets."
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