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African Violets

Deer Resistant Perennial Plants at Burpee.com!  BURPEE.com 

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 of 5 (16 votes)

Botanical name: Saintpaulia

Plant type: Houseplant

Sun exposure: Part Sun

Flower color: Pink, Purple, White

African Violets are small, easy to grow houseplants with clusters are small flowers over fuzzy leaves. They will bloom with lower light, though medium to bright indirect light is best.


You can use an actual African Violet potting mix or an all-purpose potting soil.  Keep them planted in small pots and re-pot once a year to allow fresh soil.


  • Keep the soil lightly moist every day and avoid getting the leaves wet. 
  • Fertilize every 2 weeks with a high phosphorous plant food.
  • Many varieties prefer warm conditions (65 degrees F or warmer) though some varieties can grow in cooler conditions


Cyclamen mites can occur.  They are very hard to remove so dispose of plant and and isolate other plants that may have been surrounding the African Violet.

Wit & Wisdom

Water African violets from the bottom, and try avoid getting any water on the leaves. Dust the leaves with a small, soft brush.


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I received a cutting 4 months

By Shawna00123 on August 23

I received a cutting 4 months ago; it rooted beautifully in a jar of water and I planted it in African violet soil about 2 months ago. The single leaf is doing well, green and plump but I don't see any sign of more leaf growth. What can I do to help it along? Is it normal to take this long?

It sounds like you are doing

By Almanac Staff on August 26

It sounds like you are doing everything right, Shawna. You might need to give it a little more time. The African Violet Society of America advises that it could take "a period of months."
You might consider doing for your plant what the AVSA advises for starting in soil, especially if you are in an area of relatively low humidity: Put your starter container (with the plant in it, in moist soil) into a zip-lock bag, blow into the bag (adding carbon dioxide) until it puffs up, then close it tightly. The "air" is good for the plant and will help to keep the bag from sagging and touching the leaf. Put the package into a place that gets bright light, but not direct sunlight. That method—a sort of greenhouse—might encourage growth of your cutting.
Or you can wait a while longer.
We hope this helps.

Just have patience!! I did

By Suzi T on August 24

Just have patience!! I did this about 6 months ago. Single leaf looked healthy for many months and finally a teeny tiny leaf emerged..others followed more quickly and now I have a healthy small violet! I kept it watered with Violet fertilizer the sameness I do for my mature plants.

I have had an african violet

By karen mango on August 23

I have had an african violet for a couple of years now. Plant is doing beautifully and has grown alot, but I have never had any flowers on it. I do give it fertilizer and I did just repot it for the first time. What to do?

Mine flowers terrifically.

By Bob Brancato on August 23

Mine flowers terrifically. It's in a north facing window and receives 2-4 hrs. of direct light per day. Wish I had more insight, just stupid lucky with this one.

Put them in an east window or

By Garden Suitor on August 23

Put them in an east window or make sure they receive early morning sun and that should stimulate blooms.

Mine all do well in east

By Suzi T on August 24

Mine all do well in east window too!

With mine I have found that

By Kathleen Lilly on August 23

With mine I have found that when they do not flower they do not seem to be getting enough light.

Not direct light... just more light... then they bloom a lot...

I moved mine to a window ledge and that made all the difference.

I have been given an African

By Audrey West on August 22

I have been given an African Violet plant; and dont know the first thing about this plant. Iwill enjoy browsing you information. What a pretty flower!!!

I have received an African

By Melyssa on August 7

I have received an African Violet as part of a living flower arrangement. Can I leave it in there or should I remove it and re-pot before the roots from the other plants tangle up with it? The current container is about a foot in diameter and it looks like there are about 6 others plants in the container.

African violets have special

By Almanac Staff on August 10

African violets have special needs as they are jungle natives. They tend to do better in their own pots--with special African violet soil and fertilizer (or any good potting soil with peat moss plus perlite to keep the soil porous). The pot should be small. A good rule of thumb is to choose a pot that is a third of the diameter of their leaf spread. They like more humidity so it helps to use warm water and set them on small gravel-filled saucers with enough water to keep humidity high as it evaporates. They don't like cold temperature so keep them away from A/C. Just keep soil moist, not soggy nor dry.

I want to grow African violet

By Office plant grower

I want to grow African violet on my desk at work. There are no windows. what type/watt light work best?

African violets grow well

By Almanac Staff

African violets grow well under artificial light, such as in an office. Try it out!

My African violets were great

By Nancy Monroe Clifford

My African violets were great when I received them as a gift, but now there are no flowers and lots of big leaves. I had them in the right light and used African violet plant food. Can I cut away the large older leaves to encourage new flower growth? I have a feeling the plant food is now just making the older leaves bigger!

Try watering from

By ddribeyre@gmail.com

Try watering from bottom!
Mine hadn't bloomed for 2 years watered from bottom and bam beautiful purple blooms

If you are using African

By Almanac Staff

If you are using African Violet plant food, that's a good thing; it's fertilizer that's high nitrogen content which causes leaf growth at the expense of blooms. If you have old leaves, it's OK to remove them.

The usual reason African Violets do not bloom is lack of light. They could do with 12 hours of bright light! You say your plant is getting plenty of light, however, fall is approaching and the daylight hours are lessening. If you really wanted blooms in fall/winter, you could consider inexpensive “cool white” fluorescent lights. Here are more reasons for lack of blooms:


my flowers on my white

By s norman

my flowers on my white African violet keep going brown the plant is on the window sill what is the problem?

If your African Violet

By Almanac Staff

If your African Violet flowers turn brown, it's possible that your plant has Botrytis blight which is caused by a fungus from too much humidity and poor air circulation. Isolate the infected plant
and remove the diseased leaves and blooms. Increase air circulation by spacing plants at least 1 foot apart. You can also apply a fungicide. We would suggesting taking a sample to your local cooperative extension or garden nursery.

Nice flowers

By bradbaraka

Nice flowers

Today I refreshed my violets

By hancockk

Today I refreshed my violets by changing the soil. You know no one has ever mentioned the fact that if the leaves are a bit wilty it is time to water deeply. I thought they were dying until I read on the back of the Miracle Gro African Violet soil bag that if the leaves wilt, it is time to water, water, water and drain, drain. I have read many articles on Violets and nothing has ever been mentioned about leaves wilting. Glad I read the back of Miracle Gro bag.

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