How To Care For African Violets Houseplants

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Where should an African violet be placed?

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.

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.

How is an African violet kept from blooming?

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.

Do African violets need to be misted?

Probably the most well-known flowering house plant of all time is the African violet. They are readily available year-round, small, simple to grow, frequently bloom, and have an astonishing range of colors.

Basic Care

TEMPERATURES should ideally range from 65 to 70°F at night and be a little warmer during the day. The plant may fully collapse or the leaves will droop and curl if the temperature is too low. A plant may collapse due to excessive heat, dry, spindly growth, or withered, lifeless leaves.

Direct morning or late afternoon sunshine, extremely bright indirect LIGHT, fluorescent lighting, or grow lights are all preferred by African violets. Avoid midday sun since it might turn leaves brown. Too high light levels can result in overly compact growth, whereas low light levels make plants grow erect instead of flat and circular and with very long leaf stems. Plants should be rotated once every week to promote symmetrical development (unnecessary if light source is directly overhead). When cultivating miniature plants, fluorescent and grow lights should be placed no lower than 18 inches above the plant.

use a temperature of room When the touchable surface soil is dry, WATER. The majority of violet growers like to water from the bottom, however watering from the top is acceptable as long as you take care to keep chilly water off the leaves. Before exposing leaves to any direct sunlight, always make sure they are dry. Wicking or a “self-watering pot” are the two methods of bottom watering that perform best. If you decide to submerge the pot in water, remove any water that does not reach the root ball after 15 to 30 minutes.

You should occasionally flow water through the soil for several minutes, whether you top- or bottom-water. This will flush out any salts that may have accumulated from tap water or fertilizers. The most frequent cause of African violet death is overwatering. Too much water can cause plants to become limp, lose their leaves or flowers, and develop crown and stem rot. Lack of irrigation results in the plant losing strength and color, the roots shriveling and dying, and finally the plant collapsing.

African violets can endure indoor humidity that ranges from 40 to 60 percent. If your home is excessively dry, spritz your violets every day with room-temperature water, but never at night or in the middle of the day. Placing your violets on a tray with pebbles and maintaining water in the tray at a level slightly below the surface of the stones is another method to battle dry air.

Every time you water, apply a diluted, balanced FERTILIZER. The majority of African violets are fed often and grown in soilless potting mixtures. Be careful to dilute the fertilizer more than the amount suggested on the package (often 1/4 strength will do), unless the fertilizer is specifically created to be used with every watering. Violets won’t flower well if they aren’t regularly fed. An overabundance of fertilizer can burn the plant, resulting in dark leaf margins and tips. The majority of violet fertilizers contain phosphorus (P), the center of the three numbers on the label, in their formula (e.g., 15-30-15).

Remove wasted blooms and dead leaves to groom your African violets. Washing leaves every now and again with just warm water and blotting them dry. Violets have leaves with hairs that attract dust. Between baths, clean up the leaves with a gentle brush. Your violets’ symmetrical shape can be maintained by removing suckersplantlets.

Regularly check for PESTS and disease. African violets are prone to powdery mildew, a fungus that appears on leaves and blossoms as fine, white talcum powder. This issue might be avoided by providing plants with adequate air circulation. Two insects that typically affect violets are mealybug and thrips. On stems and leaves (top or bottom), mealybug appears as white, cottony spots. Thrips can be identified by their dark blossom margins, bent leaves, and pollen trails on petals. Affected plants should be isolated and treated as necessary. Your violets will grow healthier and be less prone to pests and diseases if you take good care of them.

LEAF CUTTINGS ARE USUALLY USED FOR PROPAGATION. Cut the stem of a good leaf to about 1/2 inch. Insert the stem into the cutting mixture while keeping the humidity level higher. New plants grow near the leaf’s base. Additionally, violets can be produced from seed and the leaf can be rooted in water.


To keep your violet looking good and to give it new growing material, REPOT it once or twice a year. African violets lose their lower, older leaves as they develop. This process results in the formation of the “neck,” a naked stem that is unattractive and increases the plant’s susceptibility to disease. You may maintain the lovely, rosette-growing habit that a newly purchased violet possesses by repotting.

Remove your violet from the pot and take off a piece of dirt from the bottom of the root ball that is roughly equal to the length of the neck if it hasn’t yet grown a very long neck. Replant the plant in its container and cover the exposed root ball’s neck with fresh medium. The neck will send out new roots into the media.

It is better to cut the stem and root the leafy part of a plant if the neck has been allowed to grow long and curved. A new root system will develop when this short stem is placed into brand-new potting soil. Till fresh growth indicates the emergence of strong new roots, keep the potting soil moist but not waterlogged. Trailing violets should be allowed to sucker and trail freely because they do not preserve a symmetrical rosette shape. A trailer can be pruned and new plants can be established from the stem cuttings if it loses too many leaves and starts to look unappealing. When allowed to spread in the pot, little violets prefer to grow freely and retain their attractiveness.

Violets should not be over-potted. Standard African violets thrive in pots with a 4 diameter and require only periodic repottings to maintain the proper neck length. Small violets grow best in three pots. For violets to blossom, the pots must be gently constrained. Flowers that are in bud or bloom may drop off or fade fast if they are replanted, as even careful transplanting stresses the root system.

When should an African violet be repotted?

Every five to six months, or about twice a year, African violets should be repotted. When the plant has fully grown, this merely entails repotting it in a pot of the same size with some new soil. Use a pot no bigger than the plant’s root system at all times. This often refers to a pot no bigger than a 2 1/2 for minis and semiminis, and a pot around a 4 for standards. Your violet will eventually have lost (or had removed) its older, lower leaves, creating a “neck. Repotting is required to get rid of this.

With a first step, an African violet “neck. A “The neck is the trunk that resembles a palm tree and develops throughout time as the lower leaf rows are stripped away. The lowest row of leaves on a healthy violet should emerge from the trunk at soil level. The lowest row of leaves is well above the soil line and pot rim when there is a neck. This unattractive neck can be removed by repotting. The best results come from doing this frequently, roughly every 5 to 6 months.

Step 2: Remove the root ball’s bottom. Remove the plant from the pot and cut away the bottom of the root ball in a quantity equal to the length of the neck, for example, if the neck is half as long as the plant, cut away half of the root ball. Repotting is therefore best done on a regular basis, before the neck gets too long. For instance, in the most severe scenario, if a plant had a 2 neck, we would need to take 2 out of the root ball’s bottom. Nearly the entire root system must be cut out if the pot is only 2 1/4 deep! Repotting can be done with little to no root system removal and little to no negative consequences on the plant by doing it when the neck is still small.

Step 3: Replant the plant in the same size container. If the plant is mature, a larger pot is not necessary. The violet can now be put lower into the pot because a section of the root ball’s bottom has been cut away. The plant should be lowered until the bottom row of leaves is level with the pot’s rim (i.e. no neck will be visible).

Step 4: Include new dirt. Now that its lowest row of leaves is level with the pot rim, the violet should be lowered in its pot. Fill the pot with new dirt, filling the neck to the rim. New roots will grow into the extra soil from the neck.

The replanted violet is step five. After repotting is complete, the soil level and bottom leaves should be even with the pot rim and there shouldn’t be any visible necks. Give the plant a light watering and label the pot. This is crucial because the plant will need a little less water until it starts to grow new roots into the additional soil (it has a smaller root system). This is more likely to be the case the more extreme the repotting.

Other advice. The three most frequent reasons for ill violets among novice gardeners are probably improper pot size, bad soil, and too little repotting. Even though a tiny violet was utilized in this example, the same process applies to standard-sized types as well. Repotting doesn’t need entail placing violets in ever-larger pots; most standards (unless grown for show) are perfectly content in a 4 pot! Use only containers that are as big as the root system. The plant only benefits from adding soil if it can grow a root system big enough to use that dirt!

For the majority of growers, a very light, porous, soilless potting mix is strongly advised. When purchasing a commercial mix, consider the soil’s feel rather than the label. “The poorest soil combinations for violets are frequently African violet soils! Vermiculite and/or perlite should make up 1/3 to 1/2 of the mix in mixes with a light, frothy consistency. Do not mix soil that is heavy, black, or thick. A skilled gardener can produce stunning plants in nearly any environment, but a light, soilless mix is much more tolerant to over- or underwatering, infrequent repotting, and neglect.