One of the most frequent reasons of droopy African violet leaves is overwatering. They can’t handle soil that is saturated with water because of their sensitive root systems. Long-term overwatering can choke your plant, leading to the potentially fatal condition known as root rot.
How to tell if your African violet is overwatered
The unmistakable signs that your plant is suffering from too much water are droopy, squishy, and mushy leaves. These additional symptoms can help establish that your plant’s problems are being caused by overwatering.
- Wet soil: Dirt that is too moist for a plant to adequately absorb or soil that is too dense for a plant’s roots to properly absorb.
- Growth inhibition: If your plant is overwatered, it may drop its leaves, grow more slowly, or stop growing entirely.
- Root rot: Above ground, root rot results in yellowing and falling foliage. There are areas of the root that have gone black and wet beneath the soil.
How to fix an African violet with droopy leaves from overwatering
- Trim off any foliage that is dead, drooping, or mushy first. By removing these leaves, you give your plant the energy it needs to mend since they won’t grow back.
- After that, take your African violet out of the pot and carefully brush the soil from the roots. If the damage is severe, remove any dark or mushy root segments and treat the root rot.
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.
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
If you find mold in your soil that is a clear sign your African Violet is getting 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 strong, vibrant plant will have firm stems and appear strong 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 rotted 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.
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 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.
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.
My violet plant is drooping; why?
Your plant may be wilting for a few different causes. It’s possible that the plant needs water because it’s too dry. Of the other side, wilted leaves on an African violet could indicate overwatering. This can happen if a plant receives excessive watering, especially if the plant is housed in a plastic pot. Particularly during the low light and colder temperatures of winter, soil in plastic pots retains more moisture than soil in clay pots (or a cold room). When a plant is placed in a container that is too big for its root system, the soil retains moisture for too long, which leads to rot and overwatering.
Use of terracotta pots is one approach to lessen the chance of overwatering. If overwatering is a problem, especially in the winter, terracotta may be a better option because it is porous and dries out more quickly than plastic.
A fungus known as stem and crown rot or root rot, which results in wilting, can be brought on by overly damp soil. Water just the soil in order to avoid this fungus. Use a watering can with a long stem to keep the water as far away from the plant stem as you can. Never drink water after midnight. Never use cold water; only room temperature or warm water.
Although repotting might aid in your plant’s recovery, this rot is difficult to treat. Allow the soil to dry up before repotting. After that, take out the plant from its pot and use a sterile cutting instrument to remove any damaged foliage. Remove the dry, old soil with care. Repot with new potting soil and take good care of it. The plant ought to eventually bloom once more. Repot your violet once a year or every six months to maintain it blooming happily.
See our Plant Information Guides for advice on a number of gardening-related issues. – With permission from NYBG Plant Information Service
What can I do to revive my Violet?
Typically, drooping leaves mean that your plant is either thirsty or suffering from cold weather.
Give your African violet a healthy drink if you haven’t watered it in a while; the leaves should regenerate in 24 hours.
Check to discover if your African violet plant is near an air vent if, on the other hand, it is well-watered and still droopy. African violets don’t grow well when placed directly in front of heating or air conditioning vents, despite the fact that some air circulation is beneficial for the plant.
Professional Hint: African violets thrive best in environments with temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. As exposure to low temperatures can eventually cause plant collapse, be sure that nighttime temperatures don’t go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
How frequently do African violets need to be watered?
What about fluorescent light? 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.
Why do leaves turn soft, limp or mushy on my African Violet plants?
- Your African violet leaves may be turning mushy, limp, or soft for a number of reasons.
- The soil will retain too much water if your African violet plant was overwatered.
- The leaves and/or leaf stems will become limp, mushy, or squishy as a result of this water retention.
- The roots of your plant could develop root rot if it was overwatered (To learn more about root rot, can read the article, “Root Rot on African Violet Plants).
- The roots take in so much water that they finally lose the ability to retain it and decay.
- The leaves will become mushy, limp, or soft as a result of this. After developing root rot, the African Violet plant will eventually succumb to crown rot and die.
- If your soil isn’t overwatered and your plant still has floppy, limp, or mushy leaves, it’s possible that they’ve aged naturally, which happens to African violet leaves.
What to do if your African Violet leaves have turned soft, limp or mushy from overwatering?
- First and foremost, cease watering the plant if you notice soft, limp, or mushy leaves as a result of overwatering.
- After that, gently remove any limp, mushy, or squishy leaves, and take the plant out of the pot.
- Avoid removing too much soil, as the African Violet plant prefers to have its roots tied. Remove the old soil gently.
- Count the quantity of mushy or brownish roots to see if there are any in abundance. The good news is that root rot is not the reason of your leaf browning if only a few and the majority of the roots appear healthy (as shown below).
- However, if you do notice numerous roots that are mushy or brown in color (as shown below), root rot may be to blame for your violet’s soft, limp, or mushy leaves.
- Try to gently prune away any rotting or mushy, brown-colored roots.
- Read the article “Root Rot on African Violet Plants” for more details on root rot.
Can you preserve an African violet that is overwatered?
To produce a robust, long-lasting African violet (Saintpaulia ionantha), you must learn how to water it correctly. When overwatered, African violets are prone to root rot and crown rot, two diseases that can significantly harm or kill the plant. A lot can be done to avoid rot and extend the life of an African violet by growing it in a pot with bottom drainage holes and soil that allows both air and water to reach the plant’s roots without becoming soggy. However, it is possible to revive an overwatered African violet. African violets can survive all year in zones 11 through 12 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness scale, but they are typically planted indoors, where they can flourish in any zone.
Do African violets have a light limit?
In the worst circumstances, African Violets can really die from exposure to too much sunshine. Brown dots can be seen on the leaves. This symptom is known as Leaf Scorch, a type of necrosis, when it is brought on by excessive sunshine.