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House Plants/care of African Violet's


Hi Will, I have removed my plants out of the small containers that you buy them in..and replanted in a much larger that good...or bad?  I use Miracle Grow liquid plant food every time I water..7 drops per quart....lately I've notice bright yellow mushroom growing with my Violets...Now where did they come from....I guess I'm doing some thing wrong..the plants are in my bay window..on the east they get the morning way to drain the extra water...but I try very hard not to over water...what is my problem...Thank's Judy

Hi Judy,

You have committed the most common of all plant care mistakes - repotting unnecessarily and incorrectly. Most all potted plants do best when kept moderately potbound, as they are at time of purchase. If you don't like the appearance of the nursery pot, then purchase a decorative planter that is large enough for you to double pot with the nursery pot set inside the decorative planter.

It is also a bad idea to have a plant potted in a pot that has no drainage hole in the bottom. The hole is needed so excess water can escape. That will help prevent over watering.

The mushrooms are a result of your using non-sterile soil that contained fungus spores. Another reason NOT to repot!

I suggest that you undo the potting that you did. Remove all soil that you added, including the mushroom. Leave the original rootball intact and put it back into the original pot or one of comparable size.

A north or east windowsill is a good location. Water only when the top surface of the rootball feels dry.

Fertilize no more than once per month and at half the recommended strength.

I have written detailed articles on repotting that I wish everyone would read that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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