Why Are My African Violet Leaves Growing Straight Up

  • When African Violets are exposed to too little light, their leaves will curl or stretch upward.
  • The stems begin to lengthen and expand upward, as though seeking for the light.
  • Instead of growing flat as they normally would, the leaves are now also growing upward.
  • The result is a plant that is top-heavy with leaves and bottom-heavy with lengthy stalks.
  • African violet plants begin to develop their leaves upward when they are planted in low light conditions.
  • The leaves have a thin texture, a deep green hue, and fragile, lanky leaf stalks.
  • The outer leaf stems are covered by the rosette pattern of the inner leaves when a plant develops correctly.
  • In normal growing African Violets, the stems of the leaves are scarcely perceptible in this manner.
  • The stems, however, become clearly visible and appear “stretched and wider apart” when exposed to dim light.
  • Visit the blog post “Natural Light for African Violet Plants” for more advice on how to grow African violets in sunlight.

Why Do African Violet Leaves Curl

  • Naturally curled leaves can be found on several African violet plants, including the bustleback and Imps kinds. Visit the blog post “What Are The Different Leaf Types Of African Violet Plants? ” for additional details on the various African violet leaf types.
  • African violet leaves may curl or droop downward for a variety of reasons, including dry soil, root rot, a plant that is potted or compressed, excessive light, or freezing conditions.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Soil on African Violet Leaves?

  • If the African Violet appears visually droopy, dull, or limp, it may be time to water the plant. The presence of enough water is indicated by the firmness, crispness, and shine of the leaves.
  • The African Violet has to be watered if the top soil is dry and the leaves are drooping.
  • Gently insert your finger into the soil (about 1/2 inch deep) to feel for dry soil. No watering is needed if a lot of the soil clings to your finger and feels damp. It’s time to water the African Violet, though, if your finger is clean and there aren’t many dry spots on it.
  • Do not overwater the soil; just water it when the soil is dry. Overwatering is highly dangerous for African violets because it can cause crown or root rot.
  • Visit the blog page “How To Water African Violet Plants? ” for additional details on how to water African violet plants.

What are the Symptoms of Root Rot on African Violet Leaves?

  • The bottom leaves’ stems will turn dark and mushy, and the leaves will appear to droop downward.
  • The leaves could also squish together.
  • The hue of the leaves will start to appear faded.
  • The leaves won’t be solid; instead, they’ll feel soft and droopy to the touch and appear wilted.
  • Visit the blog entry titled “Root Rot On African Violet Plants” for additional details on the treatment for root rot.

What are the Symptoms and Remedy of Root Bound Soil on African Violet Leaves?

  • The leaves begin to cling to the pot’s rim as they become limp and droopy.
  • When the entire soil surface area is densely covered with roots, the roots are growing out of the pot holes underneath the pot, and the roots are visible on the soil’s upper surface, the African violet plant is entirely root-bound.
  • African violets prefer to have their roots somewhat restricted, which encourages flowering.
  • When roots begin to protrude from the pot holes beneath the pot or when roots are visible above the soil’s surface, the plant is said to be “root bound.”
  • The roots won’t be able to absorb water and nutrients if the soil combination is old.
  • The overall health of the African violet plant and its leaves will be impacted over time by this.
  • It is time to repot the African Violet if it is root-bound.
  • Every six months, African violets should be re-potted in new soil and kept in the same size container.

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)


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.

What is wrong with my African violet leaves?

One of the most serious fungal issues with African violets is crown and root rot, which is typically initially identified when the plant’s crown and roots become soft and mushy. The younger leaves in the middle of the plant appear stunted, turn black, and eventually die as the elder leaves droop. This issue can be brought on by the fungi Pythium and Phytophthora species, particularly when plants are watered excessively, have poor drainage, or are planted too deeply. The crown and roots of a plant may decay due to any of these situations.

Use sterilized potting soil blends and clean planting pots at all times to prevent disease. African violets shouldn’t be buried too deeply. Discard plants that have been badly harmed. Reusing plant pots requires first thoroughly cleaning them and then soaking them for 30 minutes in a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water.

Botrytis Blight: Botrytis blight is a fungal disease that typically starts off as tiny, water-soaked sores on the underside of leaves. The surface of the leaves, stems, or flowers often develops a fuzzy layer and appears blighted, turning from dark brown to gray.

Treatment & Prevention: Gather and get rid of any dead or dying plant matter. Don’t get the blooms and leaves moist, and improve air circulation. Controlling this pest helps to control this disease since botrytis frequently follows mite harm.

Does watering African violets from the bottom necessary?

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.

How do I determine the health of my African violet?

African violets (Saintpaulia) have a long history in the United States dating back to the turn of the century, but according to the Sunset book How to Grow African Violets, the violet only gained popularity in this country in 1927 after Armacost & Royston Inc., a Los Angeles nursery company, imported seeds from an English seed house.

The cheap, variety of colors, foliage varieties, and flowering styles of African violets continue to make them particularly popular in this region. Despite having an exotic appearance, the plants also have the advantage of not needing strange temperatures. The flowers are the ideal indoor flower since they flourish at the same humidity and temperature that people want.

Even if the maturity and variety of the plant dictate the freedom of flowering of your violet, there are a few cultural recommendations you should abide by to provide your plant the best possible care.


In the spring, fall, and winter, a western exposure is ideal for your violet, and during these seasons, it should receive as much sunlight as possible. The sun may be too hot for the plant in the summer and could burn the foliage. In terms of sunshine, a happy medium is ideal for the plants.

By examining the leaves, you may determine whether your violet receives enough sunshine. The edges scorch and the leaves turn yellow in excessive sunshine. The leaves will look to be a healthy green with too little sunshine, but there won’t be any blossoms. Check your African violet and change the amount of sunshine it receives as necessary.

A window with textured glass or one with sunlight that is filtered by tree branches is an excellent place for the plants.

If you set your violets in a south-facing window, Susan Noll of Jan Ferguson Inc. in Annapolis advises placing a sheer drape between the window and the plants in the late spring and summer.

Noll advises turning the plant 360 degrees every month, or a quarter rotation every week, to ensure a reasonably balanced, healthy plant. This will provide the violet with constant sunshine. If the leaves aren’t moved, they will grow toward the light, making the leaves on the side that receives shadow considerably shorter and smaller than those on the side that receives light.

If you’re growing violets under artificial light, position the fluorescent fixture about 10 inches above the plants. Another 8 to 10 inches above the plants, plant growing lights should be placed.

It will take some trial and error to find what works best for your plant, but a minimum of 10 hours (or eight hours on warmer days) per day of exposure is advised. To determine what works best, gradually experiment with the illumination schedule (up to 16 hours per day).

Ventilation and temperature:

African violets can tolerate temperatures as low as 65 degrees at night and between 72 and 75 degrees during the day. To keep plants above 55 degrees in the winter, keep them away from windowpanes.

Saintpaulian requires good airflow to grow. Avoid enclosed spaces with stagnant air, but keep the plant away from strong air currents. Opening a window in the adjacent room or, in the winter, using a small electric fan to keep the air circulating are the best ways to ventilate the plant. Plants can be grouped together, but don’t crowd them. Allow space around each plant so that air can circulate.

For your violets, a humidity range of 40 to 60 percent is ideal. Some methods for providing humidity include grouping, electric humidifiers, and placing plants on gravel trays filled with water (be careful of algae).


When to water a plant depends on its size, the weather, and the plant itself.

You can water the plant from the top or bottom, depending on your preference, but when watering from the top, you must use water that is at least room temperature and preferably warm. The plants will be shocked by the cold water, which will stop them from forming buds and leaf spots. To bring the water to the same temperature as the room, draw some from the faucet and leave it overnight.

The simplest technique is to moisten the bottom. Placing a pot with a drainage hole in a saucer of room-temperature water is all that is necessary. Through capillary action, the plant will draw the water upward.

Bottom-watered African violets can occasionally require top watering because salts from the water will build up in the soil and harm the roots. The salts will be washed out of the bottom by top watering. Once each month, water the tops of the violets, being careful not to damp the crowns since this will make them rot.

This makes frequent top watering more delicate because you have to be careful not to soak the plant’s tops. For maximum precision, use a pitcher with a long spout.


The soil must occasionally be fertilized to keep the balance of nutrients since roots deplete the earth of its nutrients. Choose a fertilizer with a moderate strength (about a 10-10-5), and follow the instructions on the packaging only half the time.

In the spring, summer, and fall, apply the fertilizer once a month. When the violet produces a great bloom of flowers or throughout the winter, avoid fertilizing the plants. Make sure the soil is moist before applying the fertilizer whenever you fertilize. Never fertilize sick or newly potted plants.

By following these straightforward instructions, you should end up with a gorgeous, robust indoor plant that will bloom all year long and give you years of gardening enjoyment.