Best fertilizer?

glacierdigitalOctober 25, 2012

I've been growing african violets for the last few years, however I'm always on the lookout for a new fertilizer to see if I can extend their blooms or make them stronger.

I was wondering if anyone has used this before: I've seen it on amazon and a couple of shops near my house but would like to hear feedback from others first.

Here is a link that might be useful: African Violets

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have not used this fertilizer. I am happy with the Miracle Gro liquid african violet plant food, I think it works well.

Though of course I have not tried any other fertilizer to compare it with. I am also looking forward to hearing any feedback for the JRPeters fertilizer.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irina_co(z5 CO)

Optimara - you can order it from their site, DynaGro, Plant Marvel - they have 2 types of urea free fertilizer - they are most economical.

The rest of fertilizers you mentioned has high content of urea, which is not utilized by inside plants, burns the roots and should be avoided.

Jack's and Peters AV Specialty recently changed their formula to replace other sources of nitrogen to urea - because it is significantly cheaper. Not Good!!!

Both Optimara AV fertilizer and DynaGro are not cheap, but you will see the difference in the growth and bloom.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Irina, that certainly helps me. Will try out the other fertilizer mixes for comparison.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If Jack's classic is the 12-36-14 formula, I have a container that I've never used, not so much for fear of urea but because research seems to show that violets do not need a fertilizer that is higher in phosphorus. A mix with even (or close to) numbers of nitrogen, phosphorus, & potash appears to work best.

Volumes seem to be written about which brand of fertilizer is "best." Maybe what is best is what works for you. Some growers wouldn't allow urea near their plants. Others maintain that urea grows stronger & larger plants with great bloom & they have the ribbons to show for it.

Regardless of which fertilizer you use, all seem to agree that it is best to offer the food in small amounts.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irina_co(z5 CO)

At some point "Pat's Pets" were selling the soil bacteria that actually converted urea into different compound which is plant friendly. I do not think they are in business anymore, but it is worth researching if we can find it somewhere else.

Probably the best course is to rotate the fertilizers, leach the pots every month and repot them on schedule - then we do not have issues of accumulating salts of unused fertilizer.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks for your input. it is so confusing. I have been using Miracle Grow AVf and read recently Peters is better!
I have only had violets since gifted one at Christmas and am just now propagating. I am reading everything I can and want to be suuccesful.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Part of being a successful grower is experimenting to find how best to grow in your conditions. You are doing well to read as much as you can but that will only take you so far. Jump in and start trying what has been successful for others. If that doesn't work, try something else. Don't be discouraged if you lose plants; we've all killed more plants that we care to acknowledge. But, that's how you learn to be a good grower.

I don't know that there is a "best" fertilizer. For many, many years, Peter's was the go-to fertilizer for violets. However, if the formula has been changed, as Irina says, this may longer be true. Buy a small amount of the recommended ones and experiment to see which is best for our growing conditions.
If you still feel unsure, come back here and ask. There is a wealth of knowledge here.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 11:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irina_co(z5 CO)

You look at any kind of fertilizer - and
1. you need to have about balanced - 10:10:10 or 20:20:20
proportion between the N:P:K. Never seen anything perfectly balanced so far yet - but just avoid the "bloom" with numbers like 10:50:10.

2. AVs cannot use urea - which is the cheapest source of nitrogen - so if all N comes from urea - do not buy it period.
If there are nitrate or ammonia salts type of nitrogen - plus 2-3% of urea - you can use it. Just leach the soil every so often to prevent accumulation of urea.

Peters AV specialty went from no urea - to 8% urea - so I am not going to buy it anymore.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 12:17PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Looking for miniature AV culture advice
Boy, that title should open me up to a comment or two....or...
Is my African Violet in Shock?
Last night my little sister accidentally knocked my...
Too much light?
I thought that my miniature AV was doing OK with a...
Larry Mayer
When will the leaf cuttings send out new growth?
I potted up 4 leafs in 4 small pots. Actually they...
Newbie at AV
I rescued this AV a few months ago, it was pretty sad...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™