Ideal Conditions to Grow African Violet Plants

These are a few general points on how to grow /maintain African Violet plants.

Pot Size:

Optimum Pot Size for African Violet Plants

Below are examples of plastic pots of different sizes:


Potting Mix for African Violets

Watering: Add water from side of pot or into dish/tray/saucer/container the pot is sitting in. For more details on wick watering African Violet plants, can visit blog post, “Wick Watering for African Violet Plants“.

How To Water African Violet Plants?
How Not To Water African Violet Plants

Try to use long thin spout watering cans as shows below, its easier to give water to the potting soil this way.

*Will discuss capillary matting in another blog article.
** If you are planning to clean / wash the plant, then it’s fine to gently shower the plant. After pouring water, make sure to wipe clean all the water from the surface of the leaves. Do not allow pools of water to sit on the top of the leaves or in the crown area. Once the water has been cleaned off, allow the plant to air dry away from direct sunlight.
***While watering, if water does splash onto the leaves, then immediately wipe the water away and clean the leaf of any water residue. After the plant has been watered, remember to remove any excess water from the dish / saucer, do not let the plant sit in water overnight. Once the soil is moist and drenched in water, empty the water from the dish/saucer the pot is sitting in.

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11 Responses

  1. Just have always wondered, in nature, growing outside in the wild, how do African Violets get watered? Presumably by rain? If so, how do they get their leaves all dry afterwards, no water in the crowns? I’ve seen what water does if left on the leaves, not good! But it’s just always been a mystery how they get water in nature without getting their crowns and leaves wet. I’d love an answer, if you know.😊

    1. Hello Marilyn,
      thanks for your question. I think in nature where they were originally found in the mountainous region of Africa, the atmosphere has a very high humidity. So any water that is found on the leaves, get evaporated quickly due to the high humidity and the leaves dry out/faster exchange of water between the leaves and outside atmosphere. I am not 100% sure, but maybe this is what is happening. Great question, did get me thinking too. I think our houseplants, dont really have this high heat and high humidity, so the water just sits on the leaves for a long time before it can evaporate. Hope this helps, BV

      1. Actually, in terms of the science, things in high humidity situations will not dry as quickly as things in low humidity. If you live in a place where ambient humidity varies considerably over the year, as I do – high humidity in the summer, sometimes very low in the winter – you’ll notice for instance that dishes left to air dry take forever to get done in high humidity, but dry very quickly in the low humidity of winter time. Ditto for, say, forest fire situations: low humidity dries out foliage and dead debris really fast, whereas fire fighters have a better chance to get ahead when humidity rises. This is because when the air is dry there’s more “room” for water molecules to disperse into.

        I have nothing to offer re how African violets get their water in their natural environment. Just to say I’m pretty sure it’s not a higher humidity thing that dries their leaves faster.

        1. Hello Joan,

          Appreciate your feedback and for clearing things up with regards to humidity. Yes, I felt like I was not knowledgeable on that subject and wasn’t sure about humidity and drying. Thank you!

      2. Hi I don’t have an answer to your question, and I am not knowledable on AV ( Hence why I’m here) But I think I have a decent theory to your question:

        My guess would be that AV typically found in the wild would not be pleasing to look at such as a store bought. Similar to how a wild apple tree will not produce the quality fruit you are used to.

    1. Hello Debbie, thank you for your question. Yes, you can try to bag your new violet, to see if it helps the leaves. It can also act as an isolation method too. If these stiff leaves are part of the outer ring of leaves and they dont change after 2 weeks, you can consider removing them. regards, BV

  2. I enjoy your knowledge and I have some of your Violet’s.
    I wish you the very best on your move.
    JoAnn Beam

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