Growing African Violets Under Low Light: Symptoms?

Growing African Violets Under Low Light: Symptoms?

What Happens When African Violets Are Not Getting Enough Natural Light?

  • When African Violet plants do not receive enough sunlight there growth slows down.
  • The leaf stems start to become elongated/leggy.
  • The leaves start to grow upright/upwards as if trying to reach for the light.
  • The plant will be eventually stop blooming and no new buds or flowers will emerge.

Why Is My African Violet Plant Leggy?

  • African Violet plants become leggy when the light they receive is too low.
  • The stems start growing longer in size and growing upwards as if they are reaching for the light.
  • The leaves no longer grow flat as they usually should, but grow upwards too.
  • This causes the plant to become top heavy full of leaves and just long stems at the bottom.

Why Are The Leaves On My African Violet Plant Growing Upwards?

  • When African Violet plants are grown under low light the leaves start growing upwards.
  • The leaves become thin in texture, deep green in color and the leaf stems become leggy and weak.
  • When a plant grows normally, the rosette pattern of the inner leaves will cover the stems of the outer leaves.
  • This way the stems of the leaves are barely visible in normal growing African Violets.
  • However, under low light exposure, the stems appear “stretched” and further apart and become distinctly visible.
  • For more information on rosette pattern of African Violets, can visit blog post, “What are the Different Types of African Violet Plants?

Is My African Violet Plant Not Blooming Because Of Low Light?

  • Low light exposure of African Violet plant will eventually cause them to stop blooming.
  • The plant will first become leggy, weak and then slow down growth.
  • Once plant growth slows down, new flower bloom growth also begins to slow down.
  • In some cases, the plant may bloom, but only a low number of flowers and not profusely.

How To Control Natural Light When Growing African Violets?

  • The best option when it comes to low natural light, is to move the plant to a location which receives indirect bright light.
  • Remember to rotate or turn the African Violet plant a quarter-turn once a week to maintain their symmetrical rosette form.
  • If a different location is not an option, you can move the plant slightly away from the window or natural light source.
  • 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.
  • For more tips on growing African Violets in natural light, can visit blog post, “Natural Light for African Violet Plants“.

How To Control Fluorescent Light When Growing African Violets?

  • If the light intensity is too low for your African Violet plants, you can move them closer to the fluorescent lights.
  • Either move up the shelf or lower the lights down closer to the plants leaves.
  • You can adjust the distance between the plant and bulb, till the plants starts to grow like a flatter rosette shape again.
  • You can also move the plants towards to the center of the plant stand, as light intensity is stronger in the center of the fluorescent bulbs compared to the ends of the bulbs.

Will My African Violet Plant Die From Low Light Exposure?

  • No, your plant will not always die from low light exposure.
  • Certain times, if the light is low, the African Violet plant will adjust to these conditions.
  • The violet plant may start to grow slightly larger leaves in size.
  • The rosette shape of the plant wont be tight, the leaves will grow slightly apart from each other.
  • However, other times, the plant growth will be stunted so much, that it will eventually lead to the plant dying.
  • If your African Violet leaves are variegated, they require low light and can develop brown spots if grown under bright lights.

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.

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