Is An African Violet A Succulent

The African violet belongs to the genus Saintpaulia (Streptocarpus), which also comprises numerous other varieties of blooming perennials. Despite their common name, they are not related to violas; rather, the term was given to them because of the attractive flowers they produce. African violets can bloom in a range of colors, including blue, violet, lavender, pink, red-violet, lavender-pink, white, and purple, despite the fact that we often associate them with the color purple. African violets are indigenous to Tanzania’s high-elevation tropical rainforests.

The most distinctive feature of African violets, outside the blooms, is their fuzzy, succulent foliage. An adaptation to assist the plant collect water from the air is the fine hairs on the leaves. The decorative value of some cultivars is increased by the presence of ruffled or variegated leaves.

Depending on the variety, African violets can reach heights of 2 to 6 inches and widths ranging from 3 to well over a foot. The majority of the plants have flower clusters in the center, barely above the foliage, surrounded by layers of dark green leaves that resemble rosette shapes. Some varieties have blooms with bicolored petals, semi-double or double layers of petals, trailing growth patterns, or microscopic size. Plants that are properly cared for can bloom practically continually.

Do African violets belong in the family of succulents?

African violets, also known as Saintpaulias, are a genus of six flowering plants in the Gesneriaceae family that are indigenous to higher altitudes in tropical eastern Africa. Common indoor plants like Saintpaulia ionantha, which can survive in low light and flower all year round, are african violets. Numerous horticultural variations, including half-sized miniatures, have been created for their diverse flower colors and shapes.

Small perennial herbs called Saintpaulia have ovate-shaped leaves that are densely hairy and thick. These lengthy petioles (leaf stalks), which are dark green in color, are organized in a basal cluster near the base of the plant. The five-petalled, violet, white, or pink flowers resemble violets and are bilaterally symmetrical. A capsule is used to create the small seeds. Leaf cuttings make it simple to grow more plants.

Can I grow African violets in soil that is succulent?

African Violets can also be grown on cactus soil. These soils comprise sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and peat humus, the same elements found in combinations created for African violets.

These components guarantee proper drainage while maintaining the ideal humidity level for African violets.

You should be aware that African Violets prefer slightly acidic soil, though. You can amend the soil with adding limestone to maintain the pH equilibrium.

How is an indoor African violet cared for?

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.

Are your African violets deadheaded?

Popular indoor plants like African violets may add color to your space even in the absence of other blooming flowers. I know people who have grown stunning African violets effectively and with little work, but I am not one of them. My violets eventually die because no matter how hard I try, I can never get them to bloom once more. I wanted to share these suggestions with you after doing some study on how to properly take care of my new plant so that you can maintain the happiness, health, and bloom of your own plant.

Tanzania is where African violets were first found and recorded. There are many different color varieties of African violets, including pink, blue, purple, white, and bio color blossoms. Single and double flowering variants are available, and the petals can be smooth, ruffled, or frilled. The color of the leaves can vary from green to golden or from pink to white. There are also trailing and miniature varieties available. Despite their name, African violets are neither related to nor a true violet. The real violets (Viola) belong to the plant family Violaceae, whereas African violets belong to the plant family Gesneriaceae.


Utilizing the proper soil is the initial step. It is important to pick a soil that drains well. Plants won’t become overly damp and eventually develop crown or root rot in well-drained soil. For African violets, there are professionally prepared soil blends that are available, but a good potting soil would also work nicely.


Grow your violet in a container that isn’t wider than the leaves. The majority of growers discover that violets bloom at their best when the plant’s diameter is three times bigger than the pot. Transplanting your violet once a year is a smart idea.


Bright, indirect light is preferred by African violets. This is frequently found in windows with a north or eastward facing. The ideal windows are those that get early sunlight and less direct afternoon light. Observe how your violet responds to the light. It wants stronger light if the leaves have long stems and reach upward. The light is probably too strong if the leaves start to lose their color.


Overwatering is one of the main mistakes people make when cultivating African violets. Wilted leaves are one sign of overwatering, but you shouldn’t water if the soil is still damp.

African violets are highly prone to crown and root rots, which can develop in overly damp soil.

When watering violets from the top, flip the pot as you pour the room-temperature water into the top of the pot (neath the leaves). Pour enough water so that it flows through and drains into a saucer from the bottom of the pot. Empty the saucer after waiting 10 to 30 minutes. Fill a saucer with room-temperature water, place the violet in it, and let it remain there until the water is completely absorbed, up to 30 minutes. This method is known as “watering from the bottom.” Drain away any extra water. Never water the vegetation. Dieback, leaf spots, and other issues can be brought on by water on the foliage. Only water them when they feel dry to the touch or every 7 to 10 days.

Temperature and humidity

The ideal range for temperature is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can damage the leaves, resulting in what looks like soft, mushy leaves, if you are growing them in a window and it gets too cold in the winter. Remove any damaged leaves and set them away from the cool area if this occurs. They will thrive in environments with humidity levels of 40–60%. To maintain humidity, you can gather plants together or place them on trays with water and pebbles.


If you want your violet to flourish and produce healthy blooms, fertilize it. For indoor plants, a balanced fertilizer works well. There are commercial fertilizers on the market that are complete in what African violets require. Do not overfertilize.


Make careful to pinch or deadhead spent blooms if you are successful in getting your African violet to bloom. This enables the plant to focus its energy on developing additional buds, flowers, and lovely leaves.

Pests and Diseases

There are some pests that affect African violets, such as different species of mealybugs, thrips, and cyclamen mites. They are also vulnerable to root rot and powdery mildew.

Contact the Master Gardeners at (209) 953-6112 or visit our website at if you have any questions about gardening.

How may African violets be made to bloom?

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.

Why do the leaves of African violets turn yellow?

Typically, African violet leaves only last for about a year. The older leaves typically deteriorate and turn yellow before dying and falling off, making place for new growth. It’s time to look at a few possible causes if more leaves than just the lowest ones are beginning to turn yellow. African violet leaves becoming yellow may occur for a variety of causes, including cultural maintenance, illumination, or illness.

water problems

Inadequate hydration is one of the most typical causes of yellow African violet leaves. The foliage will respond by developing yellow or bleached, necrotic areas or ring spots because the leaves cannot withstand water being applied directly to them.

The cells within the leaf collapse and the leaf turns discolored when the water is warmer or colder than the leaf. The leaf cannot be cured, but you can stop further harm by watering underneath the leaves. For African violets with longer stems to reach the soil surface beneath the foliage, there are even specialized watering cans available. Utilizing water that is at normal temperature will also help to reduce damage.

LightingWhile African violet plants don’t do well in direct sunlight or intense heat, they do require light for energy production and flower formation. Southeast or west windows are the ideal locations. For optimal light, place the plant 3 feet (91 cm) away from the window.

Plants that are cultivated longer indoors or in an office with artificial illumination will develop yellow margins. This indicates that the plant isn’t receiving enough light. If you move the plant to a brighter spot with indirect light, the leaves will grow back.


Another reason why African violet leaves become yellow is a lack of sustenance. The state of the plant suggests that it would require further feeding in order to grow glossy, dark-green leaves. Use an African violet food that has been diluted in accordance with the instructions.

Once a month during the growing season, fertilize. Four times a year, drench the soil to eliminate extra salts to prevent overfertilizing.