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African violets closeup flowers

How to take care of African Violets

African Violets are the perfect plant for you and your house if you love colorful flowers and have pets. These plants stay small, so they're great for those space limited areas in your house. With the right care, you can help your African Violets flower all year round! Just a heads-up, the African Violets are considered to be difficult to care for plants, but the tips in this guide will make it much easier to help your plant thrive.

In this plant care guide, we're going to look at how you can best take care of your African Violet. These are the topics we're going to look at in this plant care guide:

  1. Watering your African Violet
  2. Sunlight for your African Violet
  3. The perfect soil for your African Violet
  4. How and when to repot your African Violet
  5. Fertilizing your African Violet
  6. Toxicity for your pets

Let's dive right in to explore everything there is to know about your African Violet to help it thrive and grow its beautiful flowers.

Watering your African Violet

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African violets in bottom watering pot

Watering your houseplants is one of the most important thing to keep your plant happy, so let's figure out how to water the African Violet properly, to keep it happy. African violets are plants that, like its name suggests, are native to the African continent. They grow in the tropical rainforests of Kenya and Tanzania. This gives us a clue about the watering needs of the plant.

The African Violet likes its soil to stay lightly moist at all times, just like it would in its natural habitat. However, the African Violet is also quite sensitive to overwatering, so don't let the plant sit in wet soil. To prevent your plant from sitting in water, make sure to use a pot with drainage holes. Further on in this guide, we'll look at the type of soil that makes it easier to prevent overwatering your plant.

Another important part of watering your African Violets is that it shouldn't get any water on its leaves when you water it. These water drops will leave brown marks on the plant's leaves. The easiest way to water your plant is through bottom-watering. This lets the plant soak up moisture through the drainage holes and doesn't get any water on the leaves. Make sure the water you use to water your African Violet is room temperature, as its roots are sensitive to cold temperatures.

Sunlight for your African Violet

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The second most important thing to keep your African Violet happy is the right sunlight exposure. The African Violet can grow flowers all year round, but for it to do that, you'll need to provide it with plenty of indirect sunlight. The African Violet doesn't do well if you expose it to direct sunlight, but it loves bright indirect sunlight. The direct sunlight will leave burn marks on the sensitive leaves of your African Violet.

You know you've got the right sunlight exposure if your plant doesn't get any direct sunlight, but your hand can still cast shadows. The perfect place for your African Violet is a spot in the middle of a room with a south or west facing window.

Sunlight exposure for your African Violet in the winter

In the winter, when the sun isn't as strong, you'll need to move your plant a little closer to a window. This type of sunlight is too harsh during the spring and summer, but is fine during the fall and winter. When you move your plant closer to the window, you give it a little extra sunlight exposure during this darker time of the year.

The perfect soil for your African Violet

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African violets planted in soil

Let's get to the best soil for your African Violet! Earlier, in the section about watering, I've mentioned that the African Violet likes the soil to always be lightly moist. However, the plant is also quite sensitive to overwatering, so the soil we use should do two things: Retain moisture for multiple days, drain excess water to the bottom of the pot quickly. The best mixture of soil for this type of plant would be: 1/4 potting soil, 1/4 coconut coir, 1/4 perlite, and 1/4 sand. This provides the plant with nutrient rich soil, plenty of water retain properties, and excellent drainage through perlite and sand. However, you can also buy pre-mixed bags at your local plant shop or order them online , which will save you quite a bit of time.

How and when to repot your African Violet

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African Violets are plants that don't grow very large, so you wouldn't expect to repot it very often. And you'd be right! The African Violet actually likes to grow in a pot that's too small for it's roots, because this helps it to grow flowers. It's a good idea to repot this plant once every 2 years, because this gives you the opportunity to refresh the soil and give it a slightly larger growing environment. When you repot your plant, only repot in a pot that's slightly larger, because a container that's too large won't promote flower growth.

Fertilizing your African Violet

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African violets with fertilizer sticks

You already know that the African Violet is a flowering plant. It grows flowers in many different colors. Flowering plants use a lot of energy to grow these beautiful flowers.

During the spring and summer, when this plant grows the most, you'll need to fertilize it once every 14 days. This helps the leaves to stay healthy, while also gives the plant plenty of energy to grow its flowers.

If you've just repotted your African Violet, or you recently bought one from the store, you won't have to fertilize your plant yet. The fresh soil is full of nutrients and when you over-fertilize, this can kill the plant. You know when it's time to fertilize your plant when the growth is slowing down and the leaves seem pale.

Fertilizing your African Violet in the winter

In the winter, when your African Violet is getting less sunlight and it's not growing as quickly, you shouldn't fertilize your plant. Your plant won't really use the fertilizer during these darker days and it's very easy to over-fertilize your plant.

Toxicity for your pets

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In the introduction, I've already mentioned the African Violet is pet safe, so you can keep it around your cats and dogs without worrying for their well-being. Even if your pets decide it's a great idea to eat the leaves or stems on your African Violet, they won't be harmed.


In this plant care guide, we've looked at how you can take care of your African Violet. We've looked at how to water your African Violet, the best sunlight exposure for your African Violet, the best soil for your African Violet, how to best fertilize your African Violet, and whether your African Violet is safe for your pets and kids. The African violet is one of the most popular flowering houseplant in the world for a reason! It can be a tricky and fussy plant at times, but if you follow the advice in this guide, you'll surely help your plant to thrive!

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: moisture-loving

Posted on: Jul 15, 2022

Other common names for this plant

  • Streptocarpus

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Frequently asked questions

How often should you water the African Violet?
The African Violet thrives in soil that's lightly moist. On average, you should water your African violet once per week.
How much sunlight does the African Violet need?
The African Violet thrives in indirect sunlight. You shouldn't put it in a spot where it gets direct sunlight as this might cause sunburns to show up on the African Violet. It needs the bright indirect sunlight to grow its beautiful flowers.
What is the best soil for the African Violet?
The soil for your African Violet should hold onto moisture for a few days, but drain any excess water to the bottom of the pot. The best soil contains a mixture of perlite, coconut coir, potting soil, and sand. This provides moisture retaining properties and excellent drainage.
How often should you fertilize the African Violet?
Your African Violet needs fertilizer to stay healthy throughout the year. During the spring and summer, you should fertilize your African Violets once every 14 days. In the fall and winter, you shouldn't fertilize the plant at all to prevent over-fertilizing.
Is the African Violet toxic for pets?
The African Violet is not toxic to your pets and is completely safe to have around them. Even if they chew on the leaves or stems, they won't be harmed.

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