How To Care African Violet

African violets are diminutive indoor plants that have fuzzy leaves and clusters of white, blue, or purple flowers. African violet care instructions are provided here!

About African Violets

African violets, as their name suggests, are indigenous to East Africa and come from the subtropical rainforests of Tanzania and Kenya. German colonial commander Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire recognized these plants in 1892 and returned to Germany with seeds. Saintpaulia became the name of the genus, although Streptocarpus, a new genus, has lately been assigned to the plants. They are not a species of violet, despite their common name, but they do have bright violet blossoms. Here is more information on these delicate plants.

In bright, indirect light, African violets flourish and produce the greatest blooms. Despite being typically easy to care for, they occasionally have fussy periods. Be not disheartened!

How to Plant African Violets

  • If the soil is well-draining, you can use an authentic African violet potting mix or an all-purpose potting soil. How to make your own blend is shown here.
  • African violets should always be grown in small pots, and every few years they should be repotted with new soil. African violets blossom more when they are somewhat constrained by their pots, so don’t be hasty to give them more room.
  • The soil should have a high organic matter content and be loose and well-drained. discover organic soil amendments.
  • African violets should not be replanted deeper than they were previously and the plant’s crown should not be buried. If kept overly damp, the stems of African violets are prone to rotting.

Watering

  • Maintain a light moisture in the soil, but watch out for overwatering because African violets’ fragile stems are highly prone to rot.
  • Use room temperature water instead of chilly water because the leaves may become marked.
  • African violets should only be watered from the bottom to prevent getting too much water on the leaves, which can rot and develop fungal patches if kept in an environment with excessive humidity.

Lighting

  • Bright, indirect light is preferred by African violets. Keep them at least a few feet away from bright south or west-facing windows and stay out of direct sunshine. The greatest illumination for them comes from a window that faces east or north without endangering the delicate leaves.
  • Artificial illumination also functions nicely. Use LED or fluorescent lamps in addition to natural lighting.
  • Leggy stems and thin, dark green leaves suggest that the plant is receiving insufficient light, while light green or bleached leaves show that it is receiving too light.

Fertilizing

  • Use a high phosphorus plant food to fertilize every two weeks during the active growing season (spring and summer). Only begin fertilizing when it looks that the plant requires an extra push (slow, thin growth; pale or yellowing leaves).
  • Since most soil mixtures already contain an abundance of nutrients, overfertilizing is an issue that occurs more frequently than underfertilizing.

General Care

  • Some kinds are more tolerant of cooler circumstances, but many prefer warm environments (65F/18C or warmer). In any event, avoid having them near drafty windows during the winter.
  • As they get bigger, plants should be moved to bigger containers, although keeping African violets slightly root-bound might help them blossom. Wilted leaves are one indication that your violet needs to be replanted.
  • The squishy leaves have a propensity to gather dirt and dust. Use a little paintbrush with sensitive bristles to gently scrub them away.

How frequently should an African violet be watered?

Consider fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lighting is the solution if you lack bright window light. I make use of four-foot lights that each have two cool white bulbs. I’ve successfully used one warm white and one cool white bulb in a fixture. unique plant bulbs, known as “A beautiful plant is also produced under grow lights. 8 to 12 inches is the ideal distance between the pot and the light.

How frequently should African violets be watered? “The most frequently asked question regarding African violets is how frequently they should be watered. The greatest indicator is to touch the surface of the soil; if it feels dry, it’s time to water. For best results, African violets should be given time to completely dry out in between waterings. An overwatered plant can die. A soggy, moist soil mass prevents air from penetrating the fine roots of an African violet, which they need. Half of your work is finished once you have learned the art of watering African violets.

Do African violets need to be watered from the top or bottom? Both are acceptable. It’s crucial to avoid using cold water; lukewarm or warm water is recommended. To prevent leaf spots, if you water from the top, take cautious not to get water on the leaves when the plant is in the sun. If you water from the bottom, you should dump any extra water once the plant has absorbed all that it requires. An African violet shouldn’t be left submerged in water for too long.

Are African violets sun-sensitive?

The vibrant African violet blossoms are particularly lovely. They’ll provide color right away to any space.

Even during the gloomier winter months, they have a reputation for continuing to bloom. Place them around the house so you may enjoy their vibrant hues and plush textures all year long.

Once you establish a routine for caring for African violets, you’ll discover that they expand with ease. But unless all of their fundamental requirements are satisfied, they won’t develop. Give them the proper temperature, light, and nourishment, and you’ll start to bloom right away!

How to Choose and Take Care of African Violets:

1. Start out strong. Select a plant with the desired blossom color and vivid emerald foliage. Make sure the pot has openings for drainage.

2. The ideal lighting. African violets frequently don’t blossom because they don’t receive enough light. Because direct sunlight can burn the leaves, African violets require indirect light. For optimal results, pick a window that faces north or east. Keep plants away from cold glass, and turn the container once every week to ensure that all the leaves get enough light. African violets can be grown under a grow lamp to extend the day throughout the winter.

3. Remain cozy. The most comfortable temperatures for most people are between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

4. Subsurface water. Water should be at normal temperature to fill the saucer. Pour off any extra water after letting it settle for about an hour. Between waterings, let the plant dry out completely.

5. Use the new liquid Violet from Espoma to fertilize! Every two to four weeks in the spring, summer, and fall, indoor houseplant food.

6. Be thoughtful before replanting. Only when a plant is root-bound will an African violet bloom. Use organic potting soil designed exclusively for African violets, such as Espoma’s African Violet Mix, when it comes time to repot your plants. Choose a pot that is about a third the diameter of their leaf spread in diameter because they flower best in compact pots.

African violets can they be grown indoors?

Because they require dry leaves, African violets are only grown indoors in North America. If you want the finest color and flowers, grow your plants in bright, indirect light. The optimal location for a plant stand is three feet away from a window that faces west or south. When placed directly next to north or east-facing windows, plants will still grow, but their leaves will be thin and spindly, and they will be less likely to flower. African violets can be grown indoors, 12 to 15 inches above the ground, under 40-watt fluorescent lights (also known as grow lights), if you don’t have a nice location near a window.

Brown Spots on Leaves

African violets should never have brown stains on them. By generating root rot, overwatering damages the root system and isolates the plant from the supply of nutrients.

If you do not provide magnesium or nitrogen, the leaves of your African violets will become discolored with brown and yellow blotches.

Edema, which is caused by the plant taking too much water, can occasionally result from overwatering. The African violet’s leaf cells are harmed by drinking too much water.

If your African violet has edema, you will observe brown, wart-like areas close to the base of the leaves.

Remove any leaves that have brown blemishes. Sadly, once brown patches form on the leaves, they are permanently damaged. Your African Violet will be able to produce new, healthy leaves more quickly if you remove them.

Root Rot And Foul Smell From Soil

If the soil does not entirely dry out between waterings or if the drainage system is not working properly, the fungus that develops will rot the roots.

Before replanting the plant, remove it from the pot and clear away any rotting dirt. Examine the stems and roots after that. To guarantee that your plants have robust, healthy roots, remove any brown or mushy ones.

After cleaning out the contaminated regions, disinfect the remaining roots by soaking them in a fungicide solution.

Your African violet has to be repotted in a fresh, well-drained bed of potting soil. (New soil is preferred, although cleaning the current soil should be sufficient if Root Rot is mild.)

Time is running out for us! Acting quickly will increase your chances of preventing root rot because it spreads swiftly.

It’s a good idea to remove any leaves that have brown patches on them. Sadly, the leaves won’t be able to recover once they start to show brown stains.

Your African Violet will have an easier time growing new, healthy leaves if you remove them.

Crown Rot

Similar to how Root Rot is identified and handled, so is Crown Rot. Where the rot has taken hold is what distinguishes them most.

Any of the roots could develop root rot, which could cause either mild or major damage. A condition called “Crown Rot” attacks the system’s top-most roots.

To treat Crown Rot, complete the Root Rot treatment procedures and apply a fungicide to the root system. Be mindful that your plant could not survive if it has severe Crown Rot.

Mold Growing on Soil

Mold in the soil is a certain indication that your African violet is receiving too much water. The top soil layer will develop moldy white specks.

Your African violet won’t be in danger from this mold (or your family). However, it is still crucial to get rid of it right away.

The mold may be completely removed if you scrape off the top layer of soil. Hydrogen peroxide mixed with a dilution can also be used to eliminate the mold.

Use five parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide. Repotting is necessary if the mold grows below the surface of the soil.

Shriveled Appearance and Mushy Stems

You are overwatering your African violet if the stems are mushy or the plant has become shriveled. A vigorous, vibrant plant will have solid stems and appear powerful and robust. When you squeeze them, if the stem gives at all, there is a problem.

A fungal infection brought on by an excess of water is indicated by mushy stems. Another indication that your African violet has perished is a shriveled appearance. In both situations, cut off the infected parts, clean the plant, and let it air dry. (Referring to Iowa State University)

Wilting

Three things can be inferred from an African violet that has withered. You are either not watering enough, watering too much, or there are bugs in your garden. Which one it is will be determined by the soil.

You are overwatering your African violet if it has wilted and the soil is moist. The African Violets can’t acquire the oxygen they require since this drowns the roots. After making any necessary repairs, let your African violet dry thoroughly.

Look for pests if your soil does not seem overly damp or dry. African violets are frequently attacked by mealybugs and cyclamen mites. Cleaning your leaves is necessary to get rid of bugs. (Source: University of Clemson)

Spraying neem oil or insecticidal soap on your leaves will smother the bugs.

If you have rubbing alcohol lying around your home, you can use it to clean each leaf of your African violet to get rid of mealybugs or cyclamen mites.

Yellow Leaves

Another indication of moisture stress from overwatering is yellow foliage. Remove any yellow leaves from your African violet plant before assessing the health of the remaining leaves.

You will need to take damage control measures if your leaves are yellow because it’s likely that your roots have rotted.

Wrinkled Leaves

Wrinkled leaves are a sign that your roots have been seriously harmed by over watering. If there are wrinkles, water cannot reach the plant tissue from the roots.

Examine your ancestry. White and hefty roots indicate good health. If your roots are mushy and brown, they must be removed. The majority of your roots may have decayed if the leaves are wrinkled.

It is worthwhile to clean and repot your roots if they are still healthy. Sadly, it is time to try again with a different African Violet if the roots all appear brown and mushy.

Curled Leaves

Overwatering is indicated by curled leaves. However, it’s also a sign that your African Violet is under stress due to the water’s temperature.

Your African violet’s roots will become chilled if you water with cold water. The leaves begin to curl downward as a result. The best water to use is at room temperature because it lessens the possibility of any temperature shock.

How old are African violets on average?

Because of their lengthy lives, repotting these flowers is crucial. Ryan McEnaney, public relations and communications specialist for Bailey Nurseries, advises consumers to keep in mind that African violets can live for up to 50 years. To avoid becoming overly root-bound, plants can be repotted into larger pots as they mature. It’s probably time to relocate your African violet when it has doubled or quadrupled the size of your container and the leaves are beginning to wilt, according to McEnaney.

However, you don’t have to repot your plants right away. If your African violet appears to have outgrown its container, don’t rush to relocate it, advises Brian Parker, senior merchant for Live Goods at Home Depot. “African violets are best when their roots are in a little bound condition,” he adds. “They will produce and perform for years and years with just a simple routine of the right light and food,” the speaker said.

What kind of light is ideal for African violets?

African violets require bright light to bloom, but they are unable to handle scorching, direct sunlight since it can easily scorch their leaves. The ideal range for violet blooming is between 65 and 75 degrees.

In a sunny window:

Violets thrive in windows that face south, east, or west during the winter. Move the plants away from the glass to a location that stays over 55 degrees on chilly winter evenings. Plants should be relocated to a cooler east or even north-facing window in the spring when the light becomes more intense.

To maintain symmetrical growth, spin each plant a quarter turn clockwise every several days.

Under grow lights:

Many lovers of African violets grow their plants under grow lights for the best flowering and growth. Depending on the strength of the bulbs and the size of the plants, place the bulbs between 12 and 15 inches above the tops of the plants. Set a timer for 10 hours of darkness and 14 hours of light each day. Advice: For African violets to bloom, there must be at least eight hours of darkness each day.

For African violets to bloom, there must be at least eight hours of darkness each day.