Caring for African Violets

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African Violets are a rewarding and easy-to-grow houseplant, given the right location and proper conditions. (Actually, almost all houseplants fit that description — some are just a little more particular than others!) For most people, the problem with these beauties is deciding which of the spectacular blooms you want, and then finding a place for all of your specimens in your home.

Follow these simple guidelines, and you'll have African Violets that will be the envy of all who see them.


Bright, indirect light is preferred. An east or north exposure is ideal. Grow lights can also be used successfully in dark corners.


Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. African Violets, like most plants, do not like soggy feet. Try to avoid splashing water on the foliage. The fuzzy leaves can be "burned" by drops of water when the sunlight hits them, leaving unattractive brown spots.


Use a good quality African Violet food, and follow the directions on the package


Overwatering is probably the most common problem. Use of a moisture meter can be very helpful in handling this dilemma. Mealybugs are the most frequently seen insect problem. A tender, gentle plant spray such as Insecticidal Soap for African Violets can help control these pests.

(If you develop problems with your plants, bring in a sample of the plant, in a sealed jar or plastic bag, and we'll see what we can do to get your plants back in the pink of health.)

African Violet: By Wildfeuer (Own work (own photo)) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons