How Often To Change African Violet Potting Soil Mix & Why?

How Often Should You Change African Violet Potting Mix?

  • If you have just acquired a new African Violet plant, I would recommend you re-pot it into your own fresh soil, to avoid any contamination from the original soil into your growing area.
  • Also after re-potting, it’s best to still keep this plant isolated in a sealed Ziploc bag or in an area separate from your growing area.
  • For existing African Violets in your collection, re-pot once every 6 months in fresh soil. For more information on African Violet potting mix, please visit our post, “African Violet Soil/Potting Mix“.
  • Its best to use plastic pots for African Violets, as you can control the watering better in these pots.
  • When re-potting African Violets, remember to use the same size pots.
  • If the rootball is still small in size, you can even use a smaller size pot.
  • When the African Violet plant is completely root-bound and overgrown its original pot, you can-pot into a larger pot, to provide more breathing room for the roots.

African Violet, perlite, coco coir and other potting mixes shown below:

Do We Need To Re-pot African Violet Plants?

  • Yes, African Violets should be re-potted in fresh soil every 6 months and kept in the same size pot.
  • Do not re-pot to a larger pot.
  • African Violets like to be slightly root bound which promotes flowering.
  • Root bound is when the roots start to grow out of the pot holes underneath the pot or when roots show on the upper surface of the soil.
  • An African Violet plant is completely root-bound, when the whole soil surface area is tightly covered with roots, the roots are growing out of the pot holes underneath the pot and the roots are showing on the upper surface of the soil.
  • If plants are completely root-bound, its time to re-pot the African Violet.
  • Below is an image to help you figure out the optimum or ideal pot size for African Violet plants when re-potting them.
Optimum Pot Size for African Violet Plants

Examples of 2″ & 3″plastic pots, great to keep a few extra in your growing tools:

Why is African Violet Potting Soil Mix Important?

  • The soil or potting mix in which an African Violet is planted is very important for the overall survival of the plant.
  • This is because the plants roots spend all of their time within this soil mixture.
  • If the soil mixture is old, the roots will not be able to absorb water and nutrients.
  • This will over time affect the overall health of the African Violet plant.
  • Healthy soil promotes healthy root growth which in turn will lead to a healthy African Violet plant.
  • Healthy roots also ensure the efficient uptake of water and nutrients from the soil.
  • Once you have re-potted the African Violet plant, remember not to immediately resume your normal fertilizing schedule.
  • Wait at least 2 weeks, for the plant to settle down in its new pot, before you start fertilizing again.

Examples of commercially available African Violet fertilizers below, also my favorite African Violet fertilizer, optimara.

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15 Responses

  1. Do you have suggestions of where to buy the 3 inch size pot? Would be nice to have a source that had all pot sizes available. Thanks

  2. Thank you for all your helpful tips on growing African violets, it was one of my mother’s favorite. Her name was Violet and so is my sister. I think they are absolutely stunning, beautiful to look at. I only have one but it is really large
    (13-14”) wide so I just repotted it in a 8” pot for it outgrown the 6” pot. Unfortunately I fertilized it with the first watering. Will this hurt the plant? Also I used Miracle-Gro potting soil mix and not the African Violet soil mix. Please advice.
    Thank you, Alice

    1. Hello Alice,
      thank you for your question. I think its ok that you fertilized with the first watering, it should be fine. Its fine if you just potted your soil in Miracle Gro mix, it will be ok for now. The soil is a little dense, in another 4-5 months when your repot, you can add coarse perlite to your miracle gro mix to loosed it up. If you have used up your miracle gro soil, I would recommend making your own soil mix with Pro Mix (peat moss) and coarse perlite in equal quantities each. A 50: 50 mix of peat moss to perlite will work well. This is the Pro Mix, and perlite The perlite comes in a huge bag, can try to find a smaller bag or this one will last you a few years.
      Hope this helps,

  3. I just bought a pretty African Violet. I learned here it should be repotted from the soil it is in now. Can I use cactus/succulent soil for it? If not, I’ll buy some AV soil.
    It’s been a long time since I’ve had an African Violet plant. Hoping it will thrive for me.

    1. Hello Elizabeth,
      thank you for your question. Yes, you can re-pot your violet in succulent soil, it should work well. No need to buy special AV soil, as long as your succulent soil has perlite and peat moss in it in equal amounts, it will work. Welcome to the world of African Violts. Enjoy!

  4. First, thank you for this great resource!
    If repotting into the same size container, how much of the old potting mix do you remove and how? Doesn’t this adversely affect the plant since so many of the roots are torn, broken or damaged. Or do they grow back quickly. If the goal is to replace the old mix, then is it better to wash the old mix off so as to avoid damaging the roots. I’m using a 50/50 peat/perlite mix. Thanks again!

    1. Hello Steven,
      thank you for your question. Happy to hear the blog posts have been useful. When repotting into a same sized container, any old soil attached to the roots should be kept. The roots shouldnt be disturbed too much, you can remove excess soil from bottom of the pot, top of the pot and any excess stuck to the root ball. But closer to the roots, the soil should be left alone. If you have a large root ball taking up all the space in the pot, you can trim the lower / side roots, to reduce the size of the root ball. Then can re-pot. I have personally not washed off the old soil, it may make the roots soggy and cold. Its best to moisten your new soil, then add to the same pot. Yes, a mix of 50-50 is great to use.

  5. I use Miracle Gro AV soil. My question is what is the ratio of this soil and perlite? 50:50? I have babies I need to plant so want to start them off healthy. Thank you very much for sharing your expertise.

    1. Hello Karen,

      thank you for your question. Yes, you are correct, the ratio is 50:50 (soil : perlite). So 1 cup AV soil and 1 cup perlite. I would also add a thin layer of perlite at the bottom of your pot and then add your soil mix on top. Hope this helps, BV

    1. Thank you Neil, absolutely agree when working with large quantities and if you are exposed to perlite mixing / handling for extended periods of time. BV

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