Beginner's Tips for African Violet Care

Updated on April 5, 2016
African violet
African violet | Source

Tips for Growing African Violets

Most beginners can successfully grow African violets and care for African violets using these simple tips. African violets are beautiful, long-lived flowering house plants that thrive in a variety of conditions. They're relatively inexpensive, and easy to propagate from cuttings. One African violet plant can yield many daughter plants over the years with proper care. These beginner's tips for growing African violets may help newcomers to the world of growing Saintpaulia ionatha (the Latin name for the African violet) successfully.

African violet propagation
African violet propagation | Source

10 Tips for Growing African Violets

African violet care begins with selecting the right location to grow your African violets indoors. Next, you need to learn about the proper way to water African violets. Many beginners kill their African violet plants with kindness when it comes to watering, over-watering their plants or using improper watering techniques that can ruin the beauty of the plant. Selecting the right soil, pot size and fertilizer will keep African violet plants looking beautiful for years to come. Lastly, after you've fallen in love with growing African violets, you'll want to learn how to create new plants. This is called plant propagation and African violets are fairly easy to propagate.

10 Tips for Growing African Violets

  1. Plant selection: Start with a healthy plant. Choose a plant from the greenhouse or nursery that has dark green leaves and healthy buds.
  2. Plant requirements: African violets are house plants. They need to be kept indoors. Some people take them outside during the warm summer months, but this can lead to insect problems. It's best to keep them inside year-round.
  3. Light requirements: African violets like bright, indirect sunlight. Place your African violet plants on a windowsill facing east or west. A north-facing windowsill can work if other windows in the room provide additional sunlight.
  4. Water: African violets can be tricky to water, and gardeners recommend different watering techniques. The soil should be kept evenly moist without being soaking wet. Some people prefer to place their African violet pots inside a dish of water and allow the plant to soak up the water from below. This offers an added benefit of increasing the humidity near the plants. Try not to get water onto the leaves; this causes spots.
  5. Humidity: Most homes have low humidity, but house plants such as African violets require high humidity. You can achieve this by using a dish of water placed underneath the plant as noted above, or keeping your pots of African violets on a tray of pebbles. Keep the pebbles moist. This can increase the humidity near the African violet plants.
  6. Temperature: African violets thrive inside the home because they like temperatures around the same range that people like. Common indoor temperatures from around 65 degrees to 75 degrees are fine for violets.
  7. Potting soil: Commercial growers use a mixture of sterile potting soil and perlite to create a well-drained mixture that African violets like. If you need to replant your African violet, choose a sterile, bagged potting soil. Drainage is important.
  8. Containers and pots: African violet containers and pots should include drainage holes, both to allow excess water to run out and to allow watering from below to seep up to the plant's roots. You can slip an ugly plastic pot into a decorative ceramic container or another pretty pot to add to the décor of your room. That's a better idea than planting the African violet directly inside a ceramic pot which lacks drainage holes.
  9. Fertilizer: African violets don't need a lot of fertilizer. If you notice the plant hasn't bloomed for several months or it isn't growing, a commercial fertilizer especially created for African violets can be used. Always use fertilizers according to the label directions, and do not over fertilize.
  10. Propagation: African violets like to be snug in their pots, but if they grow too big, they will create daughter plants. When you look down at the pot, you may notice one or more crowns - the central portion of the plant from which the leaves emerge and grow outward in a circular form. The plant can be removed from the pot and the two crowns very gently separated. Each new plant should be planted in new potting soil in a separate container of the appropriate size. New African violet plants can also be started from leaf cuttings. You can cut a leaf near the base and place it into a glass of water, being careful that the water doesn't cover the leaf. Roots will form near the base. Another method is to cut a leaf off the parent plant, leaving plenty of stem, and dipping the end into rooting hormone. Place the stem dipped in rooting hormone into a small pot of sterile potting soil. Keep moist, and eventually a new plant may grow.

Starting an African Violet Collection

Beginners often start their African violet collection with a single plant, perhaps a gift from a friend or a plant that caught their eye at the garden center. But African violets are funny things. Once you acquire one, you'll suddenly want more! You'll find yourself propagating violets, trading cuttings, and scoping out the garden center for new varieties.

There are many beautiful African violets to choose from if you're starting an African violet collection. The traditional purple-hued African violets offers a great starting point. Double flowering violets, violets with variegated foliage, miniature violets and trailing violets are also available.

These beginner's tips for growing African violets are only the start. Explore the world of African violet care, propagation and collecting using the links in the resource box. Most of all, enjoy your beautiful African violet plants.

African violet
African violet | Source

Questions & Answers

  • Can I plant my African violets with other types of plants such as Purple Passions?

    African violets are indoor house plants, so if you are asking about planting them outside with other plants, then the answer is no. Keep them inside in pots on a sunny windowsill.

  • Do you trim the dead flowers?

    Sure! Trimming dead flowers is called dead-heading. Just pick them off with your finger tips.

  • My violet leaves are turning yellow. When I water it I usually sit it in a bowl of water until I can feel the top of the dirt is moist. Is this too much water?

    Yes, it might be. You can try reducing the water and seeing if it helps.

  • The flowers on my violet plants hang down. What can I do to prevent this?

    Depending on the variety of violet, that may be normal.

  • Can a yellow leaf be used to propagate a violet?

    No. Pick the healthiest leaf you can find, preferably a green one, to try to propagate your violet.

© 2012 Jeanne Grunert

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Beverly Ondarcho 

      3 weeks ago

      My Africa violet has Depot leaves that get old but stems contain water so they died

    • profile image

      MARA 

      2 months ago

      How can a Miniature Miniature Violet African beautify?

    • profile image

      Ruth Sokel 

      2 months ago

      I replanted my African violets and they now have extremely long stems and have not produced any more flowers? They are healthy enough, but no flowers?

    • Jeanne Grunert profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanne Grunert 

      2 months ago from Virginia

      It's probably fine. They do rest between blooming periods. If the plant looks healthy, it will eventually bloom.

    • Jeanne Grunert profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanne Grunert 

      2 months ago from Virginia

      Yes, you can. They should be fine!

    • profile image

      Lorette Yonkin 

      3 months ago

      Can I plant different species of African Violets in the same container ? I have 4 plants of different colors . Right amount of water , bright light . They are ready to transplant . Need to also be trimmed back to make new plants . So far I think I'm doing everything right . If I haven't confused you to much , can I pot different species of African Violets in same containers ?

    • profile image

      Betty McCammon 

      3 months ago

      my African violet was doing great but I think I over watered it, and now it looks sick. What can I do to save it?

    • profile image

      blord56 

      3 months ago

      My African Violet has beautiful leaves and is growing but, it has no blooms. How do I get blooms?

      blord56@comcast.net

    • Jeanne Grunert profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanne Grunert 

      4 months ago from Virginia

      The legginess happens when they need more light. Try moving them to a brighter location. When they grow out of the flower pot they do need to be transplanted.

    • profile image

      HH 

      5 months ago

      Just bought 4 pink African Violets for a new 4 pot. I am hoping to have a large collection.

    • profile image

      nicholas will 

      8 months ago

      thank you for the helpful tips. I bought a purply white African violet for $5.98. Its so beautiful!

    • profile image

      nicholas will 

      8 months ago

      thank you for the helpful tips. I bought a purply white African violet for $5.98. Its so beautiful!

    • profile image

      Linda 

      8 months ago

      My beautiful giant AV rapidly grew to a foot wide with about 70 leaves! So intransplanted it to larger pot. When needed water leaves would ride up and relax back down after I watered it. But in last 4 months all but 8 leaves have rotted off. I’m so devastated! What did I do wrong?

    • profile image

      Beverly Longcor 

      9 months ago

      Have issues with my leaves wilting and curling up. I have my violets on my back porch in good sun well heated what am I doing wrong?

    • profile image

      Linda Baran 

      13 months ago

      I have a question. My African violet plant go put out in the direct sun and the leaves have curled up. What can I do to help it? I hope I didn't kill it. Should I give it food?

    • profile image

      Kymi 

      13 months ago

      Thanks for the tips. I picked up a little baby plant at a rummage for 1$. It's a bit sorry and lonely looking but I am hoping to give some TLC and return it back to its natural beauty!

      Any special tips?

      FIRST TIME VISITOR....

    • profile image

      Roberta oliverio 

      14 months ago

      My violets keep on losing leaves. Just get limp and rot. HELP

    • profile image

      Susann 

      14 months ago

      My one African violet's leaves is turning to yellow. It gets enough sunlight and I gave it some organic fertilizer. What can the problem be?

    • profile image

      Marion Grieco 

      18 months ago

      I was given an African Violet plant as a gift. I got an african violet pot from a friend in ceramics that is sp=upposed to let the plant bring up water from the bottom. the dirt on top seems very dry and the plant is not flowering. I have placed the pot on the window sill, *the only window sill in the house on a North East window. I dont know where else to put the plant. Can you help me?

    • profile image

      Amanda Atkinson 

      18 months ago

      Hi my name is Amanda and i have an African violet that hasn't bloomed or grown in 2 yrs its still alive but not doing much. any advise thanks

    • profile image

      Ann 

      19 months ago

      Thanks so much for the tips. I hope to repot my 2 AV plants 1 with flowers & 1 none abt 2 yrs old. Bought 4 mini fr a well known store on line fr New York & all didn't survive. Got 10 pots fr a discount store for $10 & in a poor state. Hoping to follow all these steps & be successful in growing them.

    • profile image

      Lise-Marie Dejean 

      20 months ago

      I always have been fond of African violets; and last spring I purchased one which did not come through; Knowing my love for these blooms my sister just gave me one with your tips I realized I was watering it wrong Many thanks, I am sure I will succeed in growing it.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      2 years ago from Georgia

      I love African violets and luckily I have the right places for them to grow in my home. However, I do have a problem with them becoming "leggy" and I lose them when this happens. What do I do when they seem to grow out of the flower pot? I have tried replanting but have not had the best success with that. Thanks

    • profile image

      Anne 

      3 years ago

      Grear tips, never had good luck probably over watered and did it incorrectly. Plus needs direct sun light. Thanks

    • Jeanne Grunert profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanne Grunert 

      4 years ago from Virginia

      Thank you for your kind comment, fpherj48

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Jeanne....Such beautiful photos of this sweet, romantic plant. This took me back to my mother's indoor Sun Porch (as we called it) and her table covered with African Violets. She loved and babied them and they were so healthy & beautiful. She followed in her mother's footsteps with her love of these plants.

      These care tips are so helpful and complete. Thanks for sharing and for the "memories."....Up+++

    • lhale profile image

      lhale 

      4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the tips! I have one African violet, and it lives just fine. But has never had a bloom! My grandmother always had tons of them, so would really like to be able to make one bloom. Hopefully your suggestions will help!

    • profile image

      sharmapk752 

      4 years ago

      Nice tips! I love African violets.

      Thanks for sharing it.

    • Jeanne Grunert profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanne Grunert 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Hi Rogene, try placing it in a slightly smaller container. How much light is it getting? They do fine in moderate to low light....

    • profile image

      Rogene Robbins 

      5 years ago

      I think I found this too late. My poor little African Violet has seen better days. I think I put it in too big a pot and I don't get much light in my apartment.

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe Payne 

      5 years ago from USA

      I love African violets..Unfortunately haven't had good luck with them..I think I will try again , using your tips..I can see I had the watering all wrong as well as the light..

      thank you for your helpful tips.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      What great information about African violets! They are such dainty and beautiful little flowers and your photos are beautiful and compliment them so well. I don't always have luck with these flowers as I'm not good with indoor plants but it seems with your directions perhaps I might try again!

      Voted up, useful and beautiful for those photos.

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      I love African violets. They are so beautiful and also easy to propagate as you pointed out. Enjoyed your hub. Voted up and useful.

      Thelma

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)