What Are The Best Type Of Pots For African Violets?

Choosing a pot for your African Violet plant is personal preference, however, you can keep in mind some basic guidelines to help you choose the right pot.

What kind of pot material is optimum for growing African Violet plants?

  • The most fuss free material is plastic, you don’t have to worry about the soil drying out.
  • They are also long lasting.
  • They are available in variety of sizes and colors.
  • Below is a 4″ in diameter plastic pot, this is a good size for standard or large African Violet plants.

Examples of 2″ & 4″plastic pots, great to keep a few extra in your growing tools:

What kind of pots for baby African Violet plants or leaves?

  • For newly potted African Violet baby plantlets or putting down leaves for propagation, I would recommend small plastic mouthwash cups.
  • They come in 2″ or 3″ sizes.
  • You can drill 2-3 holes underneath for drainage.
  • Below are images showing African Violet plants and / or leaves in mouthwash cups.

Examples of plastic dixie cups, great for starter plants and putting down leaf cuttings of African Violet plants, remember to poke holes in the base part with a sharp tool to allow for water drainage:

Can I use ceramic pots for my African Violet plants?

  • The other material is ceramic, these look pretty and you can get lovely vintage varieties in different sizes, shapes and designs.
  • You can pot your African Violet plant directly into the ceramic pot, if it has adequate drainage and is the correct size.
  • To learn more about what size pot to use for your African Violet plants, check out, “What Pot Size To Use For African Violet Plants?.
  • Otherwise, you can hide your plastic potted African Violet plant in a slightly larger ceramic container. This is just for decorative purposes. Below are two images of a potted plant displayed inside a ceramic pot.

Ceramic pots with different designs, can be used as a nice outer container for your African Violet plants, as shown below:

Can I use clay pots for my African Violet plants?

  • You can use clay pots, but those are least recommended.
  • You would have to continuously monitor the watering in clay pots, as they dry out quickly.
  • The cycle of wet/dry soil can stress out the African Violet plant roots.
  • Also they can break, if you are not careful.
  • They can also develop mold in and around the pots.

Recommendations of terracotta pots for African Violet plants shown below:

Self-watering pots for African Violet plants?

  • Self-watering pots can also work well for African Violet plants.
  • I would recommend using self-watering pots for well rooted plants.
  • I don’t think plants with a smaller or weaker root system would work well with a self-watering pot.

Examples of self watering pots for African Violet plants as shown below:

What kind of pots to use for trailing African Violet plants?

  • Trailers like to grow in shallow pots.
  • A pot with minimum 2″ depth would work well.
  • Azalea pots work well.
  • Even bulb pans work well too.
  • You can drill holes in shallow plastic dishes / pans too.

Examples of shallow pots / bulb pans for African Violet trailing plants as shown below:

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14 Responses

  1. I have 3 mini trailing violet.
    I’m having trouble finding a shallow plastic pan to plant them in. I can only find terracotta ones.
    Do you have any suggestions on what to do please.

    1. Hello Sharon, thank you for your question, there is this shallow bulb pan, which can work, https://amzn.to/3fck9zd. Otherwise, can use a shallow plastic doggie bowl or similar bowl and drill holes in it. You can also use a regular sized wide pot and add perlite at the bottom, 2-3 inches and then top off with soil. Hope this helps,

  2. hi there, i’m successfully propagating violets at this point…but your mouthwash cup suggestion is genius! can you tell me what you’re using besides the cups? just a string/wick of some sort through the holes in the bottom (does it run in and out, or up to the plant) and what do you use underneath–just water or some kind of mat on the tray? i’ve just been reusing plastic violet pots, sometimes with a ziplock around them, but i’m running out of those. i’d like to start a large tray of them now that i’ve got some more soil. thank you for any additional information!

    1. Hello Lauren,
      thank you for your question and kind words. I used to use mouthwash cups, I have now graduated to 2″ plastic pots, similar to these, https://amzn.to/3bEIlIQ. Yes, I string my wick through the pot drainage holes, it dangles out from the bottom. However, I have stopped dangling it out from the top of the soil, I know tuck in the wick into the soil at the top, it doesnt stick out of the soil from the top. This way the top wick is not dry and not always trying to absorb moisture from the air, it remains moist in the soil. I use both capillary mat fabric on my trays, similar to these in white, https://amzn.to/3g5JMBC and also canning jars filled with water (the medium sized one). A 2″ pot will sit perfectly inside a medium sized glass canning jar. Yes, you can start a large tray on capillary matting or with canning jars sitting on the tray. I use boot mats, similar to these for trays, https://amzn.to/33IPBQm and also the standard 1020 plant trays, similar to these, https://amzn.to/2WznO2O. Hope this helps, regards, BV

  3. I grow my violets in 4-inch plastic pots with drainage holes. But I like to set them inside a 4-inch plastic pot without a hole to protect the surface where they are displayed. Often they are sold inside such a pot. But anyone know where I can buy more? That is 4-inch plastic pots with no drainage hole?

    1. Hello Van,
      thank you for your question. I buy my plastic pots with no drainage, from Ikea. They come in a variety of muted colors and textures. Hope this helps, regards, BV

  4. I have a african violet that is growing. Its leaves are starting to flow over the sides to bottom of vase. What do I do next ? This one is first one I have had luck with. It has had beautiful flowers.

    1. Hello Sharon, thank you for your message. If its healthy & growing fine, you dont need to do much at the moment. If the plant has 4-5 rows of leaves and it seems like its total diameter is getting over 4-6 inches, then you can remove a few leaves from the outer ring. Regular grooming (that is removing the older/yellow/brown/stiff/faded leaves from the outer ring of leaves) will keep your plant growing healthy. Hope this helps, regards, BV

  5. I’m going to try self-watering pots but I need a recipe for the for the soil mix. I use the mix you recommend in your Baby Violets Guidebook for regular potted violets I know I need to amend it for the self-watering pots. Can you help?

    1. Hello, the soil should work well as is. You could put down a thin layer of coarse perlite at the bottom of your pot, this can help with drainage. Then you can use the soil as recommended, make sure to pre-wet the soil mix before re-potting. Add water to soil mix, let sit for 20 min, mix with hands, make sure its properly moist, can add more water if needed. Also for self watering pots, make sure your plant is older and has a good root system. Sometimes, for younger plants if the root system is delicate and not that well developed, it doesnt do too well in a self watering pot, as it can absorb too much water, which can clog the roots. Give it a try with a few plants and see how it goes. Hope this helps,
      regards, BV

  6. Dear baby violets,

    I have three leaves that I put in water and have roots so they are ready to be planted.

    What kind and size of pots do you suggest and should I plant all three leaves in one pot?

    1. Hello Lorraine,
      Can use a small 2″ pot for each leaf. Better to pot each leaf in separate pots, just in case. You can gently remove the rooted leaf from the water, being careful not to damage the roots. Moisten your potting mix first, do not use dry soil, add the moist soil to a pot, make a small hole in center. Place the rooted leaf into the soil, making sure that the roots are covered by the potting mix. Do not water initially, once the top soil seems dry, can add a little water. Hope this helps, regards, BV

  7. What size pot should a baby African violet trailer be planted in? Does it matter how many crowns it has to the diameter size of the pot? The pot’s depth? Thank you

    1. Hi Mary,

      thank you for your question. My trailing violets stay in the same 2-3″ pot, I dont have any special pots for trailers. The depth can be the same as regular violets, again around 2-3″. If the crowns seems to spill over the small pot, can groom the plant and remove/repot any extra crowns. Trailers are definitely fun to grow, they can become really big. regards, BV

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