African Violet

9 Tips on How to Care for Your African Violet (Infographic)

African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha) is a popular houseplant with beautiful flowers and foliage. The flowers bloom all year long and come in a variety of colors. It’s a great addition if you need a pop of color in your house. African Violets are easy-to-grow flowering houseplants that will do well in humid spaces such as your bathroom. Here are tips on how to care for your African Violet at home.

African Violet Houseplant Infographic

African Violet Infographic
African Violet Houseplant Infographic

9 Tips on How to Take Care of Your African Violet

1. Your African Violet is Happiest in Bright, Indirect Light 

African Violet will be happy in bright, filtered light. Just make sure it’s not getting direct sunlight. You can filter the sun with sheer curtains and sheer blinds. Your African Violet will do well under fluorescent light (12 inches above the plant).

2. Moderate Water is Best for Your African Violet

Water your African Violet when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your African Violet is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. Don’t let the water get on the leaves or the flowers of your African Violet. It’s best to water from the bottom. 

3. Get the Soil Right for Your African Violet

Your African Violet needs a well-draining, organic African Violet potting mix. 

4. Fertilize Your African Violet

Your African Violet should be fertilized once every 3 months.

5. Don’t forget to Repot Your African Violet

Repot your African Violet when it outgrows its current pot. Repot your African Violet in a container with a diameter 1 inch larger than the current pot. African Violets have a compact root system so it prefers to be in small, shallow containers. 

6. Drainage is Essential for Your African Violet

Good drainage is important, you don’t want your African Violet to sit in soggy soil. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. After watering your African Violet and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your African Violet’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot! 

7. Get the Temperature Right for Your African Violet

Your African Violet needs to have a daytime temperature of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). The Nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C).

8. Humidity is Vital for Your African Violet 

Your African Violet is a houseplant that likes humidity. You should increase indoor humidity. Turn on the humidifier. You can also keep your African Violet in a room with high humidity such as a bathroom. Just don’t mist your African Violet because you don’t want to wet the leaves. 

Another way to increase humidity is to keep your African Violet in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your African Violet is not sitting directly on the water. 

Check out: Best Houseplants for Bathrooms

9. Don’t Wet the Leaves and Flowers of Your African Violet

When watering your African Violet, avoid wetting the leaves and flowers. Cold water on African Violet’s leaves and flowers will result in whitish spots. Best to water your African Violet from the bottom so you don’t wet the leaves and petals.

3 Common African Violet Houseplant Problems

The common problems for African Violet houseplants are mealy bugs, gray mold, and whitish spots on leaves.

Why are there Fluffy White Growth In Between the Leaves and Stems of Your African Violet?

Problem: There are fluffy white growths in between the leaves and stems of your African Violet.

Mealybugs
Mealybugs

Cause: Mealybugs are causing the fluffy white growth on your African Violet. It is a common houseplant disease. 

Solution: To get rid of mealybugs on your African Violet, wash your plant with water. You can also use soapy water. Spraying rubbing alcohol on affected areas can also get rid of mealybugs. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are also effective in getting rid of mealybugs.

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

Why are there Whitish Spots on the Leaves of Your African Violet?

Problem: There are whitish spots on the leaves of your African Violet. 

Cause: The whitish spots on the leaves of your African Violet are caused by cold water. If cold water drips on the leaves of your African Violet, white rings and lines can develop on the leaves of your African Violet. 

Solution: Water your African Violet from the bottom so you don’t wet the leaves. Make sure you don’t water with cold water, lukewarm water is ideal. 

Why are there brown spots on the Leaves or Flowers of Your African Violet?

Problem: There are brown spots on the leaves or flowers of your African Violet. 

Cause: The brown spots are a telltale sign of a fungus infection caused by Botrytis cineria. This is a common houseplant disease. 

Solution: Remove infected parts immediately to prevent the fungus infection from spreading to other parts of the plant. You can use baking soda spray to prevent future outbreaks.  

African Violet Houseplant Facts

NameAfrican Violet
Scientific NameSaintpaulia ionantha
LightBright, Indirect Light
Daytime Temperature70 to 80 F (21-26C)
Night Time Temperature60 to 70 F (15-21C)
WaterModerate Water
HumidityHigh Humidity
PottingWell-draining, organic, African Violet potting mix
FertilizerOnce every 3 months
African Violet Houseplant Facts

African Violet: Frequently Asked Questions

How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your African Violet?

Water your African Violet when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your African Violet. Water can damage the leaves, it’s best not to let water get on the flowers or the leaves. Water from the bottom. 

Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your African Violet?

African Violet can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your African Violet. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your African Violet. African Violet prefers lukewarm water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature. 

What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your African Violet?

Use a balanced fertilizer on your African Violet.

How Big Does Your African Violet Get?

The size of your African Violet will depend on the variety. The height ranges from 4-6 inches tall. The micro-miniature African Violet varieties will grow to less than 3 inches in diameter, miniature African Violet varieties will grow to 3-6 inches in diameter, the standard African Violet varieties will grow to 8 to 16 inches, and the large African Violet varieties will grow to more than 16 inches.

How Do You Propagate Your African Violet?

African Violet Plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate your African Violet via leaf cutting.

Below are steps on how to propagate African Violet Plant by leaf cutting.

1. Take a Leaf Cutting of your African Violet Plant

Cut a mid-sized leaf from your African Violet and include 1-2 inches of the leaf stalk.

2. Plant Your African Violet Leaf Cutting

Dip the leaf stalk into rooting hormone and then plant it into a pot that is a soil mixture of vermiculite and perlite (50/50 ratio). Make sure the soil mixture is damp by watering it thoroughly before planting the leaf stalk. You can plant more than one leaf in the pot.

3. Repot Your African Violet to its Permanent pot

The roots of your African Violet will grow in 2-4 weeks. You will see the baby leaves grow to about 1 inch long. When that happens, you can repot your African Violet to its permanent container.

4. Place New African Violet Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun

Place your new African Violet plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.

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