Growing African Violets

How to Care for African Violets


African Violets are delightful houseplants and will brighten up any room with their purple, pink, or white colors.

Pennsylvania State University

African violets are small, easy-to-grow houseplants that produce clusters of white, blue, or purple flowers over fuzzy leaves. Here’s how to care for African violets in your home!

African violets will bloom with lower light, though medium to bright indirect light is best. They can be a bit fussy, so check out more tips on how to make sure your African violets bloom.



  • Keep the soil lightly moist, but avoid getting the leaves wet, as they are susceptible to rot. Use room temperature water.
  • Fertilize every 2 weeks with a high phosphorous plant food, but only during the summer growing season. Only start to fertilize when the plant appears to need an extra boost. Over-fertilizing is a more common problem than under-fertilizing.
  • Many varieties prefer warm conditions (65 degrees F or warmer) though some varieties can grow in cooler conditions.
  • Thin, dark green leaves tell you that the plant is getting too little light.
  • Plants should be shifted to larger pots as they grow. The optimal time for repotting is after some leaves have wilted a bit.

For more information on African violets, visit the website for the African Violet Society of America at

African violet flowers


  • Cyclamen mites can occur. They are nearly impossible to remove completely, so disposal of the infected plant and isolation of nearby plants is recommended.
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Various forms of rot and blight

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

  • Water African violets from the bottom, and try to avoid getting any water on the leaves. Dust the leaves with a small, soft brush.
  • Violets are one of the February birth flowers, so a potted African violet can make a bright gift for a February birthday.
  • African violets originally come from Tanzania. Find out more about these dainty flowers here. The violet also symbolizes loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness. Find out more flower symbolism here.

Growing African Violets

Botanical Name


Plant Type Houseplant
Sun Exposure Part Sun
Soil Type
Soil pH Slightly Acidic to Neutral
Bloom Time
Flower Color Blue, Pink, Purple, White
Hardiness Zones
Special Features