Miniature Violets Not Blooming in Windows
Question: I grow all of my violets in windows. My standards do well, but I can’t seem to get my miniatures to bloom. Any explanation?
Answer: Most of today’s miniature varieties bloom just as well, or better, than do the standards. Miniatures do seem to prefer a bit more light than do standards, though most will bloom under the same conditions. For example, our miniatures are grown 10-12″ below two florescent bulbs (used 13 hours a day), while the standards are 18″ below the bulbs. When growing in windows, this means that plants should be arranged in a way so that miniatures receive more light than standards.
I believe the reason this is a common complaint among those growing both minis and standard varieties in windows is because minis often receive less light, rather than more. Space is always limited in a window, especially for those of us who always grow more plants than we have room for. Minis, because they are smaller, usually end up being placed between or beneath the larger plants around them. Also, plants are usually arranged so that they can be viewed from the interior of the room, not viewed from outside through the window. This means that small plants are placed in “front” closer to the room (and farther from the window), with the larger, taller, plants in the “rear”. This is an attractive arrangement, but one that means the small plants in front are being shaded by the larger plants nearer the window. Is it any wonder that minis don’t bloom as well as their larger neighbors? They’re always placed in the worst possible light! Remember, just because they’re small doesn’t mean they should be hidden or neglected–give them the same light and care as your bigger varieties and they’ll perform just as well.