Natural Light for African Violet Plants

Natural Light for African Violet Plants
  • African Violet plants can be grown year round in natural light (i.e.) sunlight.
  • They prefer indirect or filtered sunlight as direct sunlight can be too intense for African Violets.
  • Direct sunlight can scorch the plant leaves, leaving brown spots.

Below are commonly asked questions about growing African Violets in natural light.

Do African Violets need direct sunlight?

  • No, African Violets do not need direct sunlight to thrive.
  • They need bright to moderate indirect or filtered light to thrive.
  • They can grow in direct light, but only early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
  • If you place your hand over an African Violet receiving sunlight and can feel the heat or its too warm, then the light is too intense for the African Violet.
  • Also, if you place your hand over an African Violet receiving sunlight and a shadow falls over the African Violet then it’s a sign of too much light.

How much sun do African Violets need?

  • African Violets require at least 8hrs of light per day and at least 8hrs of darkness per night to thrive.
  • For long lasting blooms, 12hrs a day of natural sunlight is ideal. African Violets need bright light during the day.
  • During hot afternoons of spring, summer and fall its best to provide filtered bright light by using shades or sheer curtains.
  • During the winter, bright light is fine, even in the afternoons.

How many lumens of light do African Violets need?

  • For African Violets to bloom they require from 5000 to 13,000 lux for at least 12 hours per day.
  • One lux is defined as Lumens per square meter.
  • An older plant needs between 10,000 and 15,000 lux to be happy.
  • A younger plant needs less light from 5000 to 8000 lux.
  • You can measure the amount of light your African Violet is receiving using a light meter or also downloading a light meter app on your phone.

Where can I put my African Violet for optimum growth?

  • African Violets are best when placed in a south or west facing windows in the winters.
  • During summers they are best when placed in a north or east facing windows.
  • When the heat starts to strengthen during the spring, its best to draw the sheer curtains or adjust the blinds to lessen the bright light.
  • It’s best to also rotate or turn the African Violet plant a quarter-turn once a week to maintain their symmetrical rosette form.
  • For more information about the rosette shape of African Violets, can visit blog post, “What are the Different Types of African Violet Plants?“.

What happens when African Violets are exposed to too much sun?

  • The first initial telltale signs will be drooped down leaves and curling inwards.
  • Then if African Violets are still left in the bright sun, leaves start turning yellow.
  • They start to develop brown spots and scorched marks.
  • For other reasons why African Violet leaves turn brown, can visit blog post, “Brown Leaves on African Violet Plants“.
  • The blooms will start to fade and eventually drop.

What happens when African Violets are not getting enough sun light?

  • Too little exposure to the sun can cause stunted growth in African Violet plants.
  • They leaves are stems will become elongated and leggy.
  • The leaves will start turning upwards towards the light.
  • The plant will stop blooming.
  • For more information on low light, visit blog post, “Growing African Violets Under Low Light: Symptoms?“.

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4 thoughts on “Natural Light for African Violet Plants

  1. Thanks. This is helpful. I’m a newbie and am growing both ‘babies’ from play in the dirt days from my local AV chapter; and from leaf cuttings. I am having about 1/2 success. I finally thought of downloading a light meter on my phone and it looks like I had too strong flourescent lights on the plants! I’ve since raised the lights and re-meaured the lumens.

    1. Hi Melora,

      Thanks for your kind words, appreciate it! Yes, sometimes we can forget about the lights, hanging up there. I too make the same mistake, of focusing too much on fertilizer, soil and water and ignoring my light set up. I recently am trying LED shoplights, they seem to be working well, but maybe too early to switch out my whole flourescent light set up yet. Glad to hear your finding the blog posts helpful! Happy Growing! BV

  2. I have a pink violet that is 10 inches across. Normally it has about 20 blooms. I changed my soil and perlite mix to peat moss and perlite. It has much less blooms, only 6. Probably due to repotting. It’s on a wick system. A few leaves on the third and forth rows are starting to turn brown. Any suggestions?

    1. Hello,
      Brown leaves could be a sign of overwatering. For now, remove plant from wicked container, let it air dry. Dont let the soil get bone dry, but dry enough, so the pot feels light when lifted. You can remove the brown leaves. Does the soil mix have enough drainage? Next time can increase the amount of perlite. If the temperatures are cold, that can also cause the leaves to turn brown. If you have just recently re-potted, you can put the plant in a ziploc baggie, as long as the soil / pot doesnt seem to wet/moist or heavy. Leave plant in baggie for 2 weeks, keep an eye on it, see how it does. If it perks up, open up the baggie, leave plant in for another week and then place african violet back to its original location. Usually when you repot, the plant does go through a “settling down” phase, give it some time, it will bloom back, once its comfortable in its new soil mix. Hope this helps, BV

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