African Violet Plant Care (8 Helpful Tips)

The African Violet is a captivating houseplant that has graced many indoor living spaces with its vibrant hues and lush foliage. This is an incredibly popular plant thanks to its easy-care needs, so even novice gardeners can maintain them with relative ease.

To ensure that your African Violet lives a long, healthy life, make sure it receives adequate sunlight but avoids direct light, keep the soil moist by watering when the soil feels dry, and use a balanced fertilizer about every two weeks for best results.

With these simple steps in place, you’ll soon be rewarded with a dazzling display of beauty from this strikingly lovely flower.

African Violet plant

African Violets are lovely, small flowering plants that bring a hint of color and life to any room. As one of the most popular houseplants in the world, African Violets hold much significance beyond their beauty. These small plants can help purify the air and may boost mental health through the care they require.

Shopping for vibrant potting soil or unique planters, tending to the growth, and watching these little beauties blossom can be an enjoyable activity that brings relaxation. It’s not surprising why African Violets make great presents; their versatility and ability to improve living space make them ideal for practically anyone.

African Violet Plant Care

Types of African Violet Plants

Different varieties of African Violet plants

There are dozens of different varieties of African Violet plants that belong to the genus Saintpaulia. Some of the more popular varieties include

  • Abyssinian (S. ionantha)
  • Lemon Ball (S. ionantha var. discolor)
  • Blue Bird (S. ionantha var. violacea)
  • Silverleaf (S. ionantha var. argentea)
  • Blue Magic (S. confusa).

Description of each type

Abyssinian African Violets have deep green leaves with a velvety texture and single or double flowers in various colors ranging from white to dark purple or blue, while Lemon Ball African Violets have light-green leaves and bell-shaped yellow flowers with hints of pink throughout them.

Blue Bird African Violets have bright green leaves and single or double flowers in shades of blue and lavender, while Silverleaf African Violets have silver-green foliage with a fuzzy texture and single or double white or pale pink flowers, often with pink speckles at the edges.

The Blue Magic variety has stunningly vivid blue flower petals surrounded by silvery foliage, creating an eye-catching contrast in any space they’re planted in.

Characteristics of each type

Each variety of African Violet plant has its own unique characteristics that make it stand out from other types within the species:

Abyssinian Deep green velvet: like foliage and blooms in a range of colors including

  • white
  • dark purple
  • blue

Lemon Ball Light: Green leaves surrounding bell-shaped yellow flowers with hints of pink
Blue Bird: Bright green foliage surrounding single or double blooms in shades from blue to lavender
Silverleaf: Silvery foliage surrounding white to pale pink blooms often with speckles around the edges
Blue Magic: Stunningly vivid blue petals surrounded by silvery foliage for unique contrast in any space

African Violet Plant Care

Ideal temperature range for African Violet Plant

The best temperature range for African Violet Plants is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is important to avoid drastic changes in temperature, so a spot away from windows with direct sunlight or air conditioning vents is recommended.

Ideal lighting conditions for African Violet Plant

African Violets prefer bright, filtered light. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, so it’s important to keep the plant out of the direct sun.

Fluorescent lights are ideal and should be placed 12-18 inches above the plant. Place the plant near a south or east-facing window if natural light is available.

Growing Conditions for African Violet Plant

Soil requirements for African Violet Plant

Use a potting soil mix rated for African Violets specifically, or create your own mix using equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. An acidic soil pH (between 5.5 and 6) will help encourage the healthy growth of these plants.

Water requirements for African Violet Plant

Water your plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Drip irrigation systems or self-watering containers are great options if you’re away from home often. Make sure your container has drainage holes to avoid waterlogged soil, which can cause root rot in these plants.

Water requirements for African Violet Plant

Humidity requirements for African Violet Plant

These plants prefer moderately humid environments that have humidity levels of around 40%. One way to increase humidity is by misting them regularly with room-temperature water or placing them on a tray of pebbles filled with water.

If necessary, you can purchase an inexpensive humidifier to increase humidity levels around your plant.

Potting and Repotting

Choosing the right pot for African Violet Plants

When selecting a pot for your African Violet plant, it is important to choose something that is appropriate size-wise and that allows for adequate drainage. Pots should be between four and six inches in width and no more than two times the diameter of the root ball.

It should also have drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape. If you are short on space, consider using a shallow bowl or an azalea pot to save some.

Choosing the right soil for African Violet Plants

In order to ensure healthy growth, it is important to use a soil mix specially formulated for African Violets.

The ideal mix will contain peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite with a pH balance of 5.5-6.2 for optimal results. Avoid soils that contain high levels of nitrogen as this can encourage excessive leaf growth rather than flower buds or blooms.

Potting African Violet plants

Begin by preparing your pot by adding a layer of gravel at the base followed by some of your chosen soil mixes before gently positioning your plant in place so that its crown is just above the soil surface.

Backfill with some more soil up around the sides while being careful not to cover any foliage or flower buds if present and water lightly until moistened throughout but not soggy wet.

Place in indirect light for best results and avoid direct sunlight which can burn delicate leaves quickly!

Repotting African Violet plants

When repotting an African Violet plant, begin by removing as much of the old soil as possible without damaging any roots before gently turning out into your hands and inspecting them carefully for signs of pests or diseases such as wilted leaves or discolored spots on stems/leaves, etc.

Once these are removed, repeat the steps outlined above but be sure to add some fresh soil before placing back into the new pot and water lightly until moistened throughout again but not soggy wet!

Fertilizing African Violet Plants

Nutrient Requirements of African Violet Plants

African Violet plants require several nutrients for optimal growth and health. They need Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron in order to thrive.

To these macronutrients, African Violet plants also need micronutrients such as Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Boron, and Molybdenum for successful germination and leaf expansion. Adequate levels of air humidity are also essential for proper growth and health.

Fertilizing African Violet Plants

Types of Fertilizers

The most common type of fertilizer used for African Violet plants is slow-release fertilizers such as granules or spikes. These can be found in both organic and synthetic forms.

Water-soluble fertilizers can also be used but should be applied with caution as they can cause root burns if over-applied or not mixed properly with water before application.

A balanced fertilizer (one that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) will provide the best results when caring for African Violets.

How Often To Fertilize The African Violet Plants?

African Violets should be fertilized every two to three weeks during peak growing season (spring through summer), usually at half the recommended strength listed on the fertilizer label.

During fall and winter months when the plant is dormant, it’s important to reduce feeding frequency to once a month instead. If a liquid fertilizer is being used, it should be diluted by half so as not to overwhelm the plant’s roots with too strong a formula.

It’s important not to feed too frequently as this can lead to nutrient imbalances which can damage the plant’s leaves or roots over time.

Propagating African Violet Plants

Propagation by leaf cuttings

Propagation by leaf cuttings is an easy and inexpensive way to reproduce African violets. To propagate via leaf cuttings, remove a healthy leaf from the mother plant with a sharp knife.

Cut the petiole (the stem of the leaf) off and dip the bottom of the petiole into a rooting hormone powder, if desired. Plant in a pot of moistened African violet potting soil and place it on a windowsill or under fluorescent lights to promote growth.

Water lightly as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy, and mist occasionally to create humidity. When roots form and new leaves appear, transplant into its own pot filled with fresh potting soil.

Propagating African Violet Plants

Propagation by stem cuttings

Propagation by stem cuttings is another means of reproducing African violets that are similar to propagation by leaf cuttings.

Gently remove a healthy stem tip from the parent plant along with 3-4 leaves near the tip of the stem.

Dip the bottom of the stem in rooting hormone powder if desired, then place it in moistened African violet potting soil in a pot or tray with drainage holes.

Place under fluorescent lights or on a windowsill where it will receive indirect light and keep slightly moist until roots appear and new foliage starts to grow from the stem tip.

At this point, you can transplant it into its own container filled with fresh potting soil.

Propagation by division

Propagation by division involves separating established clumps of African violets into individual plants for replanting elsewhere.

This method works best for mature plants that have multiple crowns (clumps) growing together in one pot or flower bed; each crown should contain at least two sets of leaves and healthy root systems.

Gently separate each crown carefully being sure not to damage any part of either plant during the separation process.

Dip each divided piece into rooting hormone powder if desired before planting them individually in pots filled with fresh African Violet Potting Soil and placing them on window sills or under fluorescent lights to encourage further growth.

Once they are established, they can be repotted as needed into containers of their own once they reach maturity.

Common Pests and Diseases of African Violet Plants

Common pests

Common pests of African Violet Plants include aphids, mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, and spider mites. These pests can cause damage to the plant’s leaves and roots by sucking up nutrients or causing physical damage. Other pests such as scale insects and fungal gnats may also feed on African Violet plants.

Symptoms of pests and diseases

Signs of pests and diseases in African Violet plants include wilting or yellowing of leaves, brown spots or discoloration of leaves and stems, stunted growth, webbing on the underside of leaves and small bugs crawling around the plant.

Prevention and treatment of pests and diseases

Preventative measures for dealing with pests and diseases in African Violets include removing dead foliage regularly to reduce insect breeding grounds, making sure the soil is well-draining to discourage root rot, good air circulation to prevent fungal infections, and applying natural predators like ladybirds or lacewings to control pest outbreaks.

If a pest infestation does occur, chemical solutions are available from garden centers as spot treatments for affected parts of the plant but should be used with caution due to their potential toxicity.

For fungal infections such as powdery mildew, it is important to make sure the environment is kept dry at night by avoiding overhead watering during this period.

If an infection has already occurred then fungicides may need to be applied for treatment but again use caution when using these chemicals as they can be hazardous if not applied correctly.


The African Violet plant is a delightful addition to any home. Its vibrant blooms of purple, pink, and blue bring life to any room both figuratively and literally.

Its care may seem challenging at first, but with a few simple steps such as keeping it in a space that mimics its natural habitat, providing regular watering without soaking the soil, and making sure to keep it out of direct sunlight, you can ensure that your African Violet will stay beautiful for years to come.

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