these growing instructions are based on my experiences with the achimenes hybrids shown on these pages. with the natural form different conditions can apply.
the members of the genus achimenes differ from the related african violets not only by their growth and flowering: they form rhizomes (subterranean offshoots) and remain dormant during the winter.
the cultural conditions during the growth and flowering period, however, are very similar.
achimenes flourish best in a light location, with morning or evening sunlight, in the direct summer midday sun they should not be placed directly behind the window. a semi-shady location is also in order.
the usual flower or cactus compost can be used. the depth of the rhizomes is about two to four centimetres.
until the shoots draw back in the autumn, you can water freely. the achimenes hold as much water until the substrate can take no more. excess water will soak off into the saucer under the pot. please pour away this water after a few minutes. stagnant water can lead to rotting of the rhizomes. allow the substrate to moderately dry before watering again.
half diluted liquid flowering plant fertiliser or fertiliser sticks can be used. i use the liquid version once a month from april to september. new or freshly planted plants need no fertiliser for the first six to eight weeks.
if the achimenes start to yellow in the autumn, then reduce watering and stop fertilising. they can be cut down when they dry until the new growth in the next spring. the pot can be kept in a dark place at a temperature of between 10-15 °c/50-59 °f. during this time i just give them a drop of water about once a month.
when the new growth tips show in the spring, the plants can be brought back to their old location. now is a good time for re-potting.