10 ways to kill an African violet dead
Once you've chopped up a plant with an exacto blade, scattered the bits on some soil and they all grew into plants, you realize African violets mean to take over the world!
So here's some advice on how to curb their plotting:
1. Water, lots of it
This is probably the number one lethal practice of the home grower. Watering more frequently than necessary, or leaving the pot submerged for extended periods of time, leads to root rot, stem rot and dead plants. Rotted roots cannot absorb water - the plant dies of thirst whilst there is an abundance of water available.
Symptoms include droopy leaves, mushy stem and roots.
2. Dense potting mix
Holds water really well, therefore makes it much less work to water 'till it droops.
3. Lack of water
On this one, you have to be persistent. Unless it is brown and crispy, it may still bounce back!
Seriously, plants belong outdoors - if they can't survive a winter, then they don't belong here!
Best administered by placing them in sealed confinement (plastic bags, glass domes) within easy reach of sunlight - crispy fritters served in no time.
Honest plants don't burn!
7. No light
A slow, dwindling death akin to drying your plant. Works very well when topped off with a sun-soaked bath ;-)
8. Feed them to death!
Av's may not get clogged arteries, but too much fertilizer burns their capillary roots - which makes it impossible to take up water or food.
As creatures of habit, African violets don't deal very well with changes in their routine.
If all else fails, invite some guests into your home. Hoyas, cyclamens and most other house plants are attractive accommodations, and should make your new friends very comfortable. Place them near your collection for the most devastating, err, successful effect!
(WIP - Do you think it needs more detailed and graphic descriptions? I am thinking about adding pictures, but don't want to kill anything on purpose!)