Mastering the secrets of growing stunning African violets

The African violet is a beloved flowering houseplant. And it is popular for a reason. Year after year, it captivates hearts with its stunning beauty, thanks to the continuous efforts of plant breeders who introduce new hybrids of incredible splendor to the market. With such a diverse array of African violets available, it's almost certain that everyone can find one to suit their taste and preferences.
Another compelling reason to consider adding an African violet to your indoor plant collection is its non-toxic nature and ease of care. It's a plant that thrives with minimal attention, making it an excellent choice for individuals leading busy lifestyles. Even if you find yourself constantly on the go, you can still relish in the beauty of African violets adorning your windowsill.
So let's delve into the aspects of growing African violets and explore the subtle nuances that contribute to their successful cultivation.

Growing conditions

To ensure the longevity of the blooms of your house violets, it's important to give them proper care. Although violets are tolerant of many conditions, let's take a look and see what conditions are ideal for your African violet:


Violets thrive in bright light, but it's crucial to protect them from direct sunlight, which can cause damage to the leaves and flowers. The best location for your violets is a north-, northeast-, or northwest-facing windowsill.

African violets require about 13-14 hours of light per day to thrive and bloom consistently. If you want your violet to bloom throughout the year, it's recommended to provide extra light for your plant. However, if additional lighting is not feasible, don't worry. Your African violet will simply slow down its growth during the winter months, but it will not suffer or die.
To make sure your plant is getting the right amount of light and to find the perfect spot, you can use the Light Meter feature.

Temperature and humidity:

Maintaining the appropriate temperature and humidity levels is crucial for the successful growth of violet flowers. When temperatures dip below 60ºF (15ºC), the development of violets slows down significantly. Therefore, it's important to keep the indoor temperature moderately warm during the summer and moderately cool during the winter months. Ideally, the African violet thrives at temperatures ranging from 64-75ºF (18-24ºC).
In addition to temperature, air humidity plays a vital role in the well-being of violets. It is advisable to maintain a high humidity level, around 50%. However, it's essential to ensure that water doesn't come into direct contact with the flowers or leaves when the plant is exposed to light. Excess moisture on the delicate parts of the plant can lead to damage or disease. Striking a balance between humidity and protecting the flowers and leaves is key to keeping your violet healthy and vibrant.


Violets are quite particular about the soil composition, so it is important to choose wisely. While ready-made soil mixtures are available in stores, it is generally better to prepare the soil yourself.

A suitable soil mixture for violets consists of a combination of turf, leaf soil, sand, and humus in a ratio of 0.5:2:1:1. It is crucial that the soil is loose, has the ability to quickly absorb water, and offers good air permeability. These qualities are essential for the proper growth and health of the violet.
Before filling the pot with the soil mixture, it is advisable to place a layer of drainage at the bottom. This drainage layer acts as a barrier, preventing the roots from sitting in stagnant water, which can be detrimental to the violet's health and potentially lead to its demise.


To keep African violets thriving indoors, regular watering is essential. One of the most effective methods is the bottom watering technique:
Once a week, prepare a deep bowl filled with room-temperature water that has been tempered to avoid shocking the plant. Submerge the pot containing the African violet into the bowl, ensuring that the water level reaches near the edge of the pot but doesn't overflow into it. Allow the pot to sit in the water for approximately half an hour. During this time, the moisture will gradually soak through the soil, ensuring that the top layer becomes adequately moist.
After the designated time, carefully lift the pot out of the bowl, allowing any excess water to drain off. It's important to avoid leaving the pot in standing water for prolonged periods, as it can lead to overwatering and potential root rot.
Don't forget to water your plant. To always remember, set a Care Task on watering.


African violets greatly benefit from regular fertilization. It is recommended to begin fertilizing the violets at the start of the growing season (March), and continue this practice every week and a half until the plant enters its dormancy period in the fall.
When it comes to choosing a fertilizer, opt for liquid complexes specifically formulated for flowering houseplants. These fertilizers are well-suited for the nutritional needs of African violets.

The most effective method is to add the fertilizer to the water used for bottom watering. This approach works well since the frequency of watering aligns with the frequency of fertilization. However, it's important to be cautious with the concentration of the fertilizer. Dilute it to half the strength recommended on the instructions to prevent any potential harm or root system burns.

Choosing a pot for your African violet:

When it comes to African violets, it's best to use small pots since their roots don't require much space. These plants truly come into their full blooming glory once their roots have fully occupied the available soil. Therefore, if you opt for a larger pot, you might find yourself waiting longer for the violet to bloom.
For young violets, a pot with a diameter of 2-2.5 inches (5-6 cm) is sufficient, while mature violets can thrive in pots with a diameter of 2.7-3.5 inches (7-9 cm). Only very large African violets will require pots measuring 4.3-5 inches (11-13 cm) in diameter.
Selecting the right pot size is a straightforward process: aim for a container whose diameter is approximately three times smaller than the diameter of the leaf rosette. This calculation helps ensure a suitable proportion between the plant's size and the pot, promoting optimal growth conditions for your African violet.

Pruning and forming the rosette:

Another crucial aspect that is often overlooked is pruning and maintaining the proper shape of your African violet. It plays a significant role in ensuring the plant's health and appearance.
A well-maintained violet rosette should ideally have three tiers of leaves. You can trim off the lower leaves without leaving any petioles, especially if they appear faded or lifeless. Promptly remove wilted flowers, deformed leaves, or yellowed foliage to keep the plant looking neat and tidy. 

It is also important to regularly check for suckers that form inside the rosette. If left unattended, these suckers can lead to multiple violets growing from a single root. While the green mass of the plant may multiply, it will likely hinder blooming. Therefore, it's recommended to inspect your violets monthly and remove any unwanted suckers.
Additionally, periodically rotate the pot to ensure that the leaves within the rosette are evenly arranged. Over time, as you remove the lower leaves, the violet's stem may become exposed. This can affect the plant's decorative appeal, especially as it ages. There are two ways to address this issue: either transplant the violet by burying the stem into the soil or cut off the entire rosette, leaving a stub of the stem up to 1 inch (2 cm) high. Place the trimmed rosette in water, wait for roots to develop, and then transfer the violet back into the soil.
Don't be afraid to perform these procedures, as violets have a rapid and easy root development process. It’s important to remove any flowers from the plant, allowing it to focus its energy on root development rather than flowering.

These are the fundamental principles that are crucial for maintaining the health of your African violet and ensuring the emergence of beautiful blooms. However, if you've diligently followed all the guidelines but are still eagerly awaiting blossoms, it's possible that your plant may be afflicted by a disease or pest infestation.
To ascertain the well-being of your plant or to seek guidance on identifying and treating any issues it may be facing, we recommend utilizing our Plant Doctor feature. Our Plant Doctor can provide expert advice and assistance, helping you diagnose any problems and offering tailored solutions to nurse your violet back to optimal health.
Remember, by incorporating these essential care practices and seeking expert advice when needed, you can cultivate thriving African violets that will reward you with stunning blooms and a flourishing presence in your home. Enjoy the journey of nurturing these captivating plants and revel in the beauty they bring to your surroundings.