What Kind Of Soil To Use For African Violets

The best soil for growing African violets is well-drained and somewhat acidic. Specially formulated Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix offers indoor plants like African violets the ideal growing conditions. African violet pots, which are tiny (4 to 5 inch) ceramic or plastic self-watering containers, are the finest option for growing African violets. These pots will give plants the right quantity of constant hydration they need to grow.

What kind of potting soil works best for African violets?

African violets are sensitive to changes in the makeup and composition of the soil. Utilize peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, coco coir, and coco peat as well as peat moss. The ideal mixture is peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite in a ratio of 50:25:25. African violets can be successfully planted in commercial potting mixtures like Miracle-Gro and Dr. Earth Organic Potting Soil for African Violets.

What distinguishes standard potting soil from dirt for African violets?

Numerous African violet soil formulas can be found online, but almost all of them call for peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. Each has a specific task to complete, and when combined, they produce the ideal conditions for your plant to flourish.


Hyper-lightweight perlite is made of glass that has been heated by volcanoes. This method of heating glass produces a popcorn-like substance that retains moisture without obstructing drainage. This keeps your plant moist without causing it to get waterlogged underground. The porous perlite gradually releases moisture into the air, increasing humidity and simulating the steamy, jungle-like conditions that your plant prefers.


The mineral vermiculite is flaky and frequently offered in pellet form. Because it is harmless and won’t decay or mold, it will keep pesky pests out of the container holding your plant. Additionally, vermiculite keeps potting soil sterile, extending the freshness of your African violet blossoms. Vermiculite also speeds up root growth and anchoring and helps soil retain nutrients like ammonium, potassium, and calcium.

Peat Moss

In mossy peat bogs, decaying plant debris is gathered to make peat moss. Over time, it keeps soil structure intact while assisting in increasing soil acidity. Similar to perlite and vermiculite, it may hold moisture several times its weight and release it to the plant over time. Peat moss helps reduce the process of leaching and maintains more crucial nutrients for your plant by absorbing water.

The Problem With Peat Moss

One of the most prevalent components in all varieties of potting soil is peat moss. Sadly, it’s not the best for the environment. Since peat grows slowly, harvesting peat moss depletes bogs that have been around for many years considerably more quickly than they can be replaced. Peat bogs serve as organic carbon sinks as well, and when they are damaged or lose their effectiveness, dangerous greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.

Think about these more environmentally sound options to peat moss:

  • Coconut coir is formed from dried fibers obtained from coconut husks and is widely regarded as the greatest peat moss substitute. This substance is substantially more environmentally friendly and holds water at least as well as peat moss.
  • Wood fiber: With less harm to the environment than peat moss, bark chips and wood shavings offer the same advantages for air and water movement. However, to make up for the nitrogen that this medium has sequestered, you need use a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content.

African Violet Soil PH

The required amount of acidity is another characteristic that distinguishes African violet soil. The pH of typical potting soil is typically very close to neutral (7.0). African violets prefer a pH range of 5.8 to 6.5, which is somewhat acidic. Your plant won’t be able to efficiently absorb nutrients in typical soil.

Peat moss is typically used to reduce the pH of potting soil for African violets. When used with conventional fertilizer, coco coir has also demonstrated the ability to supply an adequate pH. However, if you’re using wood fiber, you might want to amend the soil with a light organic compost or a 15-30-15 fertilizer with a high nitrogen content to balance it out.

Is it possible to grow African Violets in cactus potting soil?

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 should the soil be prepared for African Violets?

Here are three popular recipes for African violet potting mixture:

  • Vermiculite, two cups, two cups of peat moss, and one cup of perlite (50:25:25 ratio)
  • Peat moss plus vermiculite or perlite equals one cup (50: 50 ratio)
  • Vermiculite or perlite, one cup, one cup of peat moss, and one cup of AV potting mix.

Do African violets require a specific type of potting soil?

Actually, there is no soil (or dirt) at all in a decent potting soil for African violets. A good potting soil will be very light and porous, enhancing aeration and maintaining the soil’s moisture level without becoming wet. Such potting soil will be mostly composed of sphagnum peat moss that has been harvested in blocks.

Which types of containers do African violets prefer?

You want to plant some African violets in pots around your house because you are cultivating them. There are many various types of plant pots available, but which one is going to work best for your African violets?

I prefer pots with two layers since you can add water to the bottom of the plant without worrying about it becoming waterlogged. You can discard the remaining water until it is time to water the plant again once it has received enough to make the soil at the top of the plant moist. The flower will self-water itself if you leave a tiny bit of water at the base of the pot, which is a terrific tool to use when you have to travel and no one to water your plants.

You can select from a variety of materials, which include the following:

  • Clay vases Although these are not the prettiest pots, their high porosity can help your African violets drain their water.
  • Pliable pots
  • The majority of these pots are well-draining pots that your African violets will adore, but especially the ones with saucer bottoms. Just be careful not to let the plant’s base become wet.
  • Ceramic PotsThis kind of pot has two pieces, making watering simple. They are very vibrant, which can really enhance your growing area.

Clay Pots

African violets can also be grown in clay or terracotta pots. Clay pots have a lot of pores. This is excellent for preventing root rot when you water your plant by ensuring that the water doesn’t remain within the pot.

You might need to water your plant a little bit extra, though, because clay pots have such excellent drainage.

Clay pots often come in the current color trend of brown clay, which looks like clay. They are a great option for someone who wants to buy a pot without spending a lot of money because they are also quite affordable.

Plastic Pots

Another excellent alternative for your African violets is plastic containers. Similar to terra-cotta pots, they are frequently fairly affordable, making them a great option for someone who isn’t entirely confident in their plant knowledge. You won’t lose a lot of money if your plant dies quite early!

Plastic pots are versatile, light, and available in a wide range of designs and hues. Any type of decor can be easily matched with these!

Make sure the plastic pot you choose has drainage holes on the bottom. Since plastic isn’t porous, the drainage holes will guarantee that extra water won’t pool at the bottom of your pot and cause root rot.

There are built-in saucer bottoms on many plastic pots. This works well to let the water from your pot drain.

Ceramic Pots

People frequently mistakenly believe that ceramic pots are simply terra cotta pots that have been painted. They are incredibly different yet also very similar.

Usually, a lacquer glaze is applied to ceramic pots. The amount of moisture that can naturally escape your pot is frequently reduced by this process, which also reduces how porous your pot is.

You should definitely choose a ceramic pot with drainage holes, just like your plastic pot. Since ceramic pots hold water, this will allow the water to seep through the bottom and prevent root rot once more.

To avoid having your plant in this pot hold too much water, you’ll need to water it with additional caution.

Although they make a superb aesthetic choice, these pots are not the ideal choice for your African Violet because they are often much more attractive than your typical terra cotta pot.

Are African violets watered from the bottom?

Use only water that is room temperature because African violets are sensitive to temperature. Avoid soaking the plant’s fuzzy leaves or stem since water might get trapped there and lead to rot or fungus.

Watering an African violet plant is most effective when done from the bottom up. For 30 minutes, submerge your plant in a small tray of water and let the soil absorb the moisture through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. To prevent the roots from being soaked in water, let the pot drain in your kitchen sink or bathtub once the allotted time has passed. This will prevent root rot.

When 25% of the soil volume has dried out, Pangborn advises watering to maintain the soil continuously moist.

Will African violets thrive in succulent soil?

Your jade plant wasn’t necessarily killed with Miracle Grow. A succulent like a jade plant needs a light soil, and if you’re careful with your watering, Miracle Grow Cactus and Succulent soil will do. You have more flexibility if you lighten the soil even further.

However, Miracle Gro AV plain soil is too heavy for your African Violets. You can use it, however if you do, mix Perlite and it at least 1:1.

Vermiculite, peat, and perlite should be mixed in a 1:1:1 ratio when creating your own soil. (Or substitute premix soil with peat.)

I combine perlite and commercial AV soil (like Miracle Gro) at least 1:1, but frequently I add more perlite than that.

Is succulent potting soil suitable for African violets?

No, I wouldn’t suggest growing African violets in succulent soil. African violets need a potting mix that holds more water than succulents do.

With this potting mix, you can get by if you can water your African violets gently.

The soil from Miracle Gro AV is too dense for African violets. The potting mix can be modified using a variety of ingredients.

If you’re a novice gardener, I do not advise doing this. You’ll be OK if you simply prepare some potting mix in accordance with the aforementioned directions.

When ought my African violet to 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.