To grow African violets, provide them with porous soil, regular watering and filtered light. Retailers sell soil mixes specially formulated for African violets, but gardeners can make their own potting mixes by combining peat moss, perlite and vermiculite in equal proportions. African violets require little room and thrive in small pots.
African violets are sensitive to over and under watering, so use care to ensure that the soil never dries out or is soggy. Water the plants with lukewarm water, and avoid getting water on the leaves, which can damage them.
Provide medium- to bright-intensity filtered light near a south- or west-facing window. African violets prefer eight or more hours of daily light, and gardeners can supplement this with fluorescent lighting if they do not receive enough natural light. African violets with darker foliage tend to require more light than cultivars with lighter foliage. Plants that do not receive enough light may not produce flowers.
You can purchase fertilizer specifically designed for African violets or use a general-purpose fertilizer with a high phosphorus rating, such as 15-30-15 fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer to one-fourth strength, and apply it with every watering. Increase the amount of fertilizer if the foliage color fades or the plant produces fewer blooms. Remove any spent blooms to encourage new growth.