Effect of Gas/Propane on African Violets

QuestionI intend to grow my plants in my basement, where I have my furnace and hot-water heater.  I’ve been told that the gas from these appliances can damage my violets.  Should I worry?

Answer:  No.  Your plants are in danger if there is a natural gas (or propane) leak but, at that point, you would be in danger too!  Many growers, including ourselves, have successfully grown violets for years in basements, sometimes even in enclosed rooms built around gas furnaces and heaters.  Actually, growing in a basement can be the ideal environment for your violets, especially if you have a furnace and/or hot water heater in the room.  Below ground-level basements rarely require cooling in hot summer months, unless you have a LOT of plant stands!  In the winter, it should only require minimal heating, and if you locate your plants in the vicinity of your appliances, may not require heating at all.  The residual heat from the light bulbs and fixtures, might be enough.  If your plants do show symptoms of exposure to gas, call your furnace repairman immediately–you have bigger problems!

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