Caring for African violets – tips about the classic

African violets are classic houseplants with long and reliable flowering. The name violet can be traced back to the originally violet-colored flowers, because the plant is assigned to the Gesneria family and has no connection to the violet. The velvety leaves form a harmonious rosette and are arranged picturesquely around the flowers on stalks. If the site conditions are right, the popular plants grow and bloom almost all year round. According to the origin of the Saintpaulia, a warm, humid climate without direct sunlight is ideal and essential for the tropical plant to thrive. The distinctive, delicate flowers can be one color or multicolored, through breeding, varieties have emerged with filled or fringed flowers or wavy leaves. Depending on their age, the plants are available from mini plants to solitary plants and will delight as a decorative pot plant for many years. African violets are the houseplants that produce the most oxygen relative to leaf size. The flowering potted plants thus contribute to a good indoor climate.

Worth knowing Site care Watering Fertilizing Pests & diseases FAQ

Interesting facts about African violets

Botanical name: Saintpaulia ionantha hybrids Other names: African violets, Saintpaulia Use: flowering houseplant, table decoration Origin: Usambara mountains, Tanzania Flowering period: all year round Flowering colours: violet, pink, red, white, two-tone Special features: convince with a long flowering period, require evenly warm temperatures and the location should be shaded.

In which location does the African violet feel most comfortable?

African violets do best in a sunny spot in the house. It is important that the indoor plants are bright but not exposed to direct sunlight. A location on a windowsill facing east or west is ideal. A “warm foot” and high humidity are important. Therefore, the popular indoor plants can also be in the kitchen or bathroom. Drafts and intense sunlight damage the velvety leaves and unsightly burns are the result. Temperatures of 18 to 24 °C all year round are ideal. African violets are not hardy and do not tolerate phases with lower temperatures.

Our gardening tip: A bowl of water next to the plant or a location next to an indoor fountain helps to increase the humidity.

How do I care for my African violets?

African violets prefer a rather limited root space and rarely need to be repotted. Plants in pots that are too large are often less floriferous. Repotting is necessary as soon as the root ball is completely rooted. Use structurally stable quality soil for indoor plants.

If the Usambara leaves are dusty, it is advisable to clean the leaves carefully with a dry brush.

Our gardening tip: It is important that you only twist off withered leaves and flowers and do not cut them. Rot would occur at the interfaces.

How do I water my African violets properly?

Only water your African violet from below, because the leaves of the decorative houseplant are sensitive to watering from above. To do this, fill the coaster with low-lime water if possible and pour away the excess water after 15 minutes. In this way, the popular flowering plant receives enough water and stays vital. If available, rainwater can also be used for watering. The watering rhythm depends heavily on the location, the room temperature and the size of the pot. Allow the top layer of soil to dry slightly between each watering, as it is important that there is no waterlogging.

Our gardening tip: When watering, make sure that the hairy leaves never get wet, because the moisture on the leaves leads to unsightly stains and rot.

How do I fertilize my African Violets?

African violets prefer loose, humus-rich soil and regular fertilizer application. From March to October, fertilize your African violet every 2 to 3 weeks with a high-quality flower fertilizer with guano or a flowering plant fertilizer. In this way, you provide your flowering potted plant with the best care and the nutrients it contains are conducive to a rich abundance of flowers and good growth. In winter, you can fertilize at intervals of 6 to 8 weeks.

What pests and diseases can African violets get?

African violets are floriferous houseplants that are less susceptible to diseases and pests if they are well cared for and given the best possible site conditions. Possible problems can be:


Flower buds are often attacked by aphids. Remove the affected parts of the plant. Since the plants should not receive any direct watering from above, combating it is somewhat problematic. However, if the initial infestation is low, you can eliminate the pests with a light jet of water. You should also strengthen the houseplant with organic active agents. In most cases, suboptimal site conditions are responsible for an aphid infestation.

mosaic disease

The leaf surface is discolored like a mosaic and the plant is weakening. The existing chlorophyll damage is usually a result of draughts, water that is too cold or too intense sunlight. The only way to contain mosaic disease is to change site conditions and maintenance measures.

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about African violets

Why isn’t the African violet blooming?

African violets are considered to be permanent bloomers par excellence. Nevertheless, it can happen that the houseplants take a break from flowering. First, check site conditions and fertilization. A wrong location, too little fertilizer or drafts are usually responsible for the failure to flower.

Can African violets be left outside in the summer?

African violets should be in the house all year round. The sensitive leaves suffer from intense sunlight and temperatures below 15 °C lead to stunted growth. The flowering plants also suffer in strong winds.

Are African Violets Poisonous?

The plant does not contain any toxic components, either in the original wild form or in today’s breeds.

How can African violets be propagated?

The easiest way is to propagate via leaf cuttings. Tear off healthy leaf stalks from the mother plant and place them up to the edge of the leaf in pots filled with potting soil or in a propagation set with a transparent cover. Temperatures above 20 °C and high humidity are important for root formation. After 4 to 6 weeks, the first roots have formed and the young African violets can be repotted in pots with houseplant soil.

Another method of propagation is sowing. It is important to note that the seed must not be covered with soil, because African violets belong to the group of light germs.

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