8 Best African Violet Fertilizers And How And When To Use Them

There are few things more pleasing than happily flowering African violets sitting on a sunny window sill. These delightful herbaceous perennials may even conjure up fond memories of those who taught you how to appreciate them. With their soft, downy leaves they have some fairly unique nutrient needs and what you choose to feed them will make all the difference to their vibrancy and longevity.

When it comes to choosing the best African Violet Fertilizer for your particular plant’s needs, you’ll need to give consideration to a few environmental factors such as quality of soil and light exposure. You’ll also need to be mindful of any deficiencies in your plants such as the yellowing of leaves or a lack of blooms.

Best African Violet Fertilizers

This deep dive article will guide you through all of the whys and wherefores of choosing the best African violet fertilizer including how to increase their potential to bloom and troubleshooting any problems you may encounter along the way.

Slow-Release Vs Quick Release

Let’s start by taking a look at the different types of African violet fertilizer available and let me assure you that there are some flexible options available. The market really is awash with options that take into account the needs of your plants as well as your lifestyle and gardening schedule.

There are slow-release fertilizers that get to work at nourishing the soil as soon as they are administered and continue to provide goodness from the roots up for up to two months. Typically, these types of fertilizer are in either a granular or spike format and need digging in and then watering into the soil.

Quick release fertilizers are often liquid or powder formulas. These usually need to be diluted with water before watering into the soil and they get to work straight away to provide an instant boost of nutrients to the plant. These are great if your African violets need a little pick me if they are looking a little sad and tired. These types of fertilizer need to be administered more often throughout the growing season.

Liquid

As you’ll see in my list of recommendations for the best African Violet Fertilizer, most feeds that are specific to African violets come in a liquid or water-soluble form. The biggest benefit of the quick-release option is how fast nutrients get to the roots. Some are versatile enough to benefit other flowering houseplants as well, like orchids and bromeliads. Yet, caution is recommended, as accidental over-feeding is common and could lead to root burn.

Granules

Granules are an efficient slow-release choice. One that also allows you more flexibility in the feeding process. For example, based on your particular violet’s performance, you can apply less or more than the recommended dosage, as needed. Some are also water-soluble, changing it to a quick-release option if your plant is in need of an instant boost of nutrients. 

Spikes and Capsules

Again, liquid fertilizers do dominate the market but I find there are definite benefits to choosing slow-release spikes or capsules. They are less messy and easier to store plus they can actually revitalize beneficial, microbiome activity in the soil that can protect against pests and disease.

While these may be offered at a higher price point, they are well worth it. Slow-release feeds don’t leach out of the soil with regular watering or run the risk of root burn and plant failure due to overfeeding.

African Violet N-P-K Ratio

No matter which application type you choose, the best African violet fertilizer for your plants will have an NPK balance that supports their specific needs. The NPK ratio supported by experienced horticulturalists is 14-12-14. If you’re familiar with NPK, this ratio might seem a bit high. But, as fragile as African violets appear, it takes a lot of stamina for them to put on the kind of colorful, summer show we’d like to see. That comes from the right NPK balance. (If you grow miniatures or super-miniatures, these will need a lower to at least an N-P-K of 7-9-5, as a rule.)

But what is an NPK and what does it do? The NPK of every fertilizer is displayed as three numbers on the label. These numbers indicate the proportion of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the product. For example: A 14-12-14 NPK contains 14% Nitrogen (N), 12% phosphorus (P) and 14% potassium (K). All plants require these elements in order to thrive, just in different proportions, or NPK ratios.

In African Violets, nitrogen strongly supports new growth and is fundamental for overall plant health. If the leaves of your plant are yellowing, this may be a sign of a nitrogen deficiency. Phosphorus promotes an abundance of blooms – and who doesn’t want a dazzling display of blooms for their African violets? So if plants are not blooming, phosphorus is possibly the element that they need. Potassium creates the foundation for a flawless leaf, bud, and bloom formation. A malformed plant may be a sign of a lack of potassium.


Best Fertilizer For African Violets

Now that you’re aware of the different types of feed and the right NPK for your plant’s specific needs, it’s time to share the 8 best African violet fertilizers on the market. Based on price point, ease of use, and extensive market research in customer feedback.


1. Jobe’s Flowering Plant Fertilizer Spikes 10-10-4

Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes for Flowering Plants

These nutrient-packed plant spikes are perfect for potted plants that have consumed all essential elements in their soil. The higher levels of nitrogen and phosphorus will reinvigorate the soil, at root level, and jump-start all those internal processes necessary for healthy plants to grow lush and vibrant with color. Plus, because they are slow-releasing, there is less risk of these beneficial nutrients “rinsing out” with watering or causing root burn.

How To Use: Place the recommended number of spikes in the soil just below the surface of your African Violet plants every two months and water as usual. To buy Jobes Flowering Plants Fertilizer Spikes, click here.

Customer Reviews: Gardeners are delighted to see their African Violets burst with blooms after just two weeks of applying these spikes. They also reported seeing less wilting and higher resistance to heat stress when applied to their outdoor flowering plants during summer. Saving plants and money. Awarding Jobe’s spikes 4.5 / 5 stars.

Pros      

  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor pots
  • Slow-release means far less nutrient loss when watering

Cons

  • Some reviewers were disappointed with the condition of the packaging on arrival but this didn’t detract from the performance of the spikes

2. Earthpods Premium African Violet Plant Food .2-.2-.4

EarthPods Premium African Violet Plant Food

I am a big fan of these potassium-rich feed capsules from Earth Pods. With no measuring and no smell, you just pop the recommended number of slow-release caps into the soil around your violets for vigorous root growth and leaf formation. Click here to buy African Violet Fertilizer Earth Pods

These little wonders contain organic macro and micronutrients so you can be assured that the vivid color you get from the blooms is first-rate. They are not only a great African Violet Fertilizer, but they are also great for similar tropicals like primrose, amaryllis, poinsettias, and begonias. What could be easier?

How To Use: Insert the recommended number of capsules directly into the soil near the base of the plant, then water normally. Repeat every 14 days for best results.

Customer Reviews: Consumers all over the gardening spectrum are reporting seeing immediate results, especially with their long-season, heavy bloomers. And those that weren’t heavy bloomers before, certainly are now. This product’s ease and versatility of use for many different plants have earned it an impressive 4.6 / 5 stars. Earth Pods have a really extensive range of feed products to meet many other gardening needs. I especially love their citrus and fruit tree fertilizer formula.

Pros      

  • Easy to use on many different tropical bloomers
  • Eco-friendly with very little risk of overfeeding or root burn

Cons

  • These are at a slightly higher price point than other fertilizers but the results and reviews speak for themselves

3. Espoma Organic Violet Plant Food 1-3-1

Espoma-Organic-Violet-Plant-Food

If you have a significant indoor collection of blooming plants like I have, this is an excellent liquid option. Your African violets, orchids, and bromeliads will thank you! The higher percentage of phosphorus in Espoma’s violet feed means more robust root systems and an abundance of blooms, especially for plants that have not been performing well.

How To Use: Shake the bottle well before use to re-combine any settled bits, then mix one pre-measured shot for every quart of water used when feeding. Then repeat every 2-4 weeks. Buy Espoma Organic Violet Plant Food from Amazon.com

Customer Reviews: African violet enthusiasts are raving about how much their plants grow after just one dose. In some cases, twice the original size. Also being versatile enough for success with orchids and other indoor bloomers, Espoma’s African violet feed earns 4.6 / 5 stars.

Pros      

  • Fast results after just one feeding
  • Pre-measured for an easy, no-mess application

Cons

  • Always use the recommended dose as too much can cause root burn

4. Miracle-Gro Blooming Houseplant Food 0.5-1.-0.5

Miracle-Gro-Blooming-Houseplant-Food

For African violets and other flowering houseplants is this low NPK liquid option from Miracle-Gro. The built-in pump eliminates measuring and makes feeding your plants a time-saving snap.

The specially formulated combination of essential nutrients and a higher percentage of phosphorus promotes far more blooms and healthy foliage than unfertilized plants. Accentuated by an increased luster in flower and leaf color.

How To Use: Apply into the soil around the plant’s base or into the saucer for direct root feeding. For small pots: 2 pumps and for larger pots over 6”: 5 pumps. Then repeat with weekly waterings. Miracle-Gro Blooming Houseplant food is available to buy at Amazon.com

Customer Reviews: Even gardeners who inherited their precious African violets from their grandmothers have trusted this product to continue the tradition and happily report they were not disappointed. Ailing and non-performing violets and other flowering plants are instantly renewed after receiving a dose of Miracle-Gro Blooming Houseplant Food. 4.6 / 5 stars.

Pros      

  • Immediate results with non-performing African violets
  • Versatile enough for Christmas Cactus and other indoor, flowering plants

Cons

  • Pump may need occasional rinsing to avoid clogging

5. Schultz African Violet Plus Plant Food 8-14-9

Schultz African Violet Plus Plant Food

This unique “drop” application method from Schultz perfectly mimics how African Violets receive their nutrients in nature, directly from the phosphorus-rich soil they grow in. This well-known 7-drop formula sends just the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium directly to the roots to stimulate bud production and lush foliage growth.

How To Use: Simply stir 7 drops of this liquid feed into one quart of water every time you hydrate your plants and you’ll never have to remember when you last fed them. Buy Schultz African Violet Plus here.

Customer Reviews: Customers are so proud of the results they get using this product on their struggling violets and orchids. And those new to gardening have found renewed confidence with the super-easy application and the abundance of flowers on their plants.

Pros      

  • Famous 7-drop system makes for an easy to remember and mess-free application
  • Increased vigor and vitality in under-performing plants

Cons

  • It’s worth leaving out the fertilizer every 4th watering to flush away any build-up of product that may cause root burn

6. Bonide Liquid African Violet Plant Food 7-10-7

Bonide Liquid African Violet Plant Food

This water-soluble option from Bonide works especially well in larger, outdoor potted plants where the potting soil may already contain naturally occurring microbes that are highly beneficial to your plants. It is formulated without the presence of urea nitrogen which can often eliminate these biotic organisms from the soil, risking plant failure.

A little of this product goes a long way which is great if you have lots of plants to feed. Click here to buy Bonide Liquid African Violet Plant Food

How To Use: Only 1/8 teaspoon mixed into each quart of water is all that’s needed for each feeding. Then repeat once a week.

Customer Reviews: Consumers are reporting great success with this product. Even when used on plants in smaller, self-wicking pots or when saucer soaking. The low urea nitrogen levels certainly provide peace of mind, awarding Bonide’s African violet plant food 4.6 / 5 stars.

Pros      

  • Contains a low dose of urea nitrogen to help maintain a healthy microbe presence in soil
  • The 8oz bottle goes a long way with only 1/8 tsp needed per feeding

Cons

  • Avoid using if your soil is already phosphorus-rich

7. Jacks Classic Special African Violet Fertilizer, 8-Ounce 12-36-14

Jacks-Classic-Special-African-Violet-Fertilizer

This slow-release option is a nice change for gardeners on the go. When applied as directed, this blend of essential NPK nutrients is released directly to the roots for up to 4 months. Efficiently saving time while providing optimum support for strong, vibrant leaves and flowers growing from a robust root system. You’ll find Jack’s Classic African Violet Plant Food at Amazon.com

How To Use: For indoor plants, dilute ¼ teaspoon per gallon (4 liters) of water and mix well. (If plants are located in a space that’s flooded with bright, indirect sunlight, double this amount can be used for more vigorous growth.) For outdoor bloomers, mix 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. Then repeat every 7-10 days.

Customer Reviews: Master gardeners have been pleasantly surprised when trying this product for the first time on their African violet collections. Notably, this also applies to those growing in low light conditions. Plants are bursting with new blooms and leaves, granting Jack’s classic feed a generous 4.7 / 5 stars.

Pros      

  • Versatile enough for indoor and outdoor plantings
  • 1 tub can last up to 6 months

Cons

  • Avoid over-feeding as this may result in excess leaf growth with few flowers

8. EZ-Gro African Violet Food 10-30-20

EZ-Gro African Violet Food

A second urea-free option comes from EZ-Gro. Its 10-30-20 NPK ratio supports strong bud and leaf formation while protecting your plants from ammonium toxicity. This carefully formulated micronutrient combination feeds roots in an instant for healthy growth and greening and application is as simple as using the free measuring attachment. EZ-Gro Liquid African Violet Food is available to buy online at Amazon.com

How To Use: Using the included measuring cup, feed plants the recommended amount every 7-14 days during their active growing period.

Customer Reviews: Repeat customers are describing this product as a “game-changer”. The first time they used it, they saw exactly the results with their African violets that were promised and will never use anything else. Awarding Ez-Gro African violet plant food 4.7 / 5 stars.

Pros      

  • Urea-free to protect essential soil microbes
  • An abundance of flowers on seldom blooming plants

Cons

  • Measuring cup not meant to be used long-term

How To Get African Violets To Bloom

There are a few key components within an African violet plant that work together in producing those pretty, little blooms we all love. If your plant isn’t blooming, it’s most likely due to a lack of at least one of these key components.

  1. Make sure your violet is getting enough light. It requires a lot of energy to absorb nutrients and put them to work. Bright, indirect light allows for the kind of photosynthesis the plant needs to produce blooms. 
  2. Ensure that you use a well-balanced feed that contains enough phosphorus to promote an abundance of blooms.
  3. Deadheading (or removing) any spent flowers will encourage your plant to produce new ones.

How Often Do African Violets Bloom

In their natural habitat, African violets will bloom between late spring and late summer.  Triggered by the rise and fall of the surrounding temperature.

But, one of the allures of growing these old-school classic bloomers indoors, is that under the right conditions (light, temperature and feeding regimen) they have the ability to continue blooming, regardless of season. With each flower lasting between two and three weeks.

How Often Do You Water African Violets

African violets are native to the higher elevations of Eastern Africa where they have adapted to periodic rainfall. Which means they like to get somewhat dried out between each watering. They don’t like their “feet” to stay wet.

The simplest way to tell if they’re ready for another drink is to feel the soil around the plant’s base. If it’s dry, it’s ready. Easy-peasy. During warmer months, you might find this to be the case more often. But, whether you grow your violets in self-wicking pots, pots with saucers or just hand-water, overwatering is a common error and may lead to plant failure. So, caution is recommended.

Final Thoughts On African Violets Food

Sometimes, home gardeners find themselves shying away from the idea of growing African violets due to the misconception of them being delicate and hard to care for. But, now you have all the tools you need for success!

This best African Violet fertilizer list has covered quick vs slow release applications, NPK ratios, and lots of great product options for your plant’s particular needs, based on comprehensive market research and customer reviews from all across the gardening retail spectrum. All that’s left to do is pick the best African violet fertilizer for you.

Will it be the easy-to-use and mess-free fertilizer spikes from Jobes? Their consistent, slow-release supply of nutrients left our reviewers in a frenzy when they saw the resulting blooms and lush foliage. Or, will it be the potassium-rich goodness of EarthPods Premium African Violet Plant Food? That will not only produce vibrant African Violet blooms but are also great for other flowering tropicals too.

So, what are you waiting for? Place your order today and the world of happy, healthy plants is yours to enjoy!