Yellow Leaves on African Violet Plants

Why do leaves turn yellow on my African Violet plants and how to prevent it?

The main reasons are:

  • Normal growth: As the plant grows, some of the older leaves on the outer ring will turn yellow and it’s time to remove them as part of routine grooming the plant.
  • Water deficiency: the soil is too dry, which also leads to limp yellow leaves
  • Root deficiency: the plant is outgrowing its pot, tell-tale signs; roots are growing out from below and sticking out above the soil. It’s time to re-pot the violet
  • Nutrient deficiency: plant is sitting in old soil, time to re-pot in fresh soil, keep pot-size the same.
  • Nutrient deficiency: Yellow leaves on the top part of the plant may be due to lack of fertilizer, time to fertilize the plant.
  • Light deficiency: If the plant is sitting in a dark corner or is not getting enough light, it can lead to yellowing leaves. This first begins in the lower ring of leaves.
  • Cold drafts: If the plant is continuously experiencing a cold draft (like near an open window or AC vent), then leaves will turn yellow and start to become limp/mushy.
  • Infection/disease: If yellowing occurs in patches or blotches on all leaves it may be a sign of disease or insects/pests.
  • Other reasons: overwatering, intense light or overfeeding

Why do you have to remove the yellowing leaves from African Violet plants?

  • To maintain a healthy plant it is important to remove yellow leaves.
  • If the yellow leaves are not removed it can affect the health of the entire plant.
  • The plant will spend energy in maintaining the health of the yellowed leaf which will deprive the rest of the plant of vital nutrients.
  • Yellow leaves can also make the plant appear extremely unsightly!!

What do yellow leaves on African Violet plants look like?

Yellow Leaves on African Violet Plants (Persian Lace, Emerald Pink, Rob Hopscotch & Noid)

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11 Responses

  1. My violets crown leaves are turning yellow and the crowns getting tight, I dont see any bugs, we do use natural gas for heating so I was wondering if it could be that, or maybe a magnesium deficiency.
    my PH in 7.

    1. Hello Merril,
      thank you for your question. I dont think natural gas could be an issue, have not heard of that. Yes, it could be a magnesium deficiency which can lead chlorosis (yellowing of leaves). Chlorosis can also be due to poor drainage or root bound soil. When was the last time the plant was re-potted- every 6 months is the norm, maybe re-potting may help. The pH 7 seems ok, it should be on the lower side for african violets. It could also be a nutrient deficiency, if the potassium or nitrogen level is low in your fertilizer, it could cause yellowing, however, if only the crown leaves are turning yellow, then that may not be the cause.

  2. Thanks for the info re yellow outer leaves on my otherwise very healthy African violet! Will trim and feed asap.

    1. Hello Suzanne, thank you for your question. It may be that the leaves are old and they need to be removed. Has the temperature suddenly dropped or is it near a cold window, that can cause leaves to yellow too. Also if the plant recently dried out and then water was added, that can cause the issue too. Yellowing in lower outer leaves is normal to a certain extent, as the plant grows and the leaves move from the center row to the outer row, they will start to fade and become yellow/hard/brittle. Hope this helps, regards, BV

  3. Good morning. I am a very recent beginning African Violet owner. The original blooms died and seemed to be dormant for about 4 months, it is in full bloom again. Recently I’ve noticed yellowish leaves on the lower rim. There are are tiny new leaves under them. I do not have an automatic watering pot. It is in a 4″ pot and has been happy (I thought.) I give it water about every other week. I have no idea if this is correct. My mother always kept beautiful a.v. and I have recently decided to try them. Seeing the new tiny flowers appear and grow with others following has been such a joy. Thank you for the reply you may send. I appreciate you.

    1. Hello Diane,

      thank you for your question. It seems like you are doing everything correctly. The yellowish leaves at the lower rim, are ok to have. If the tiny leaves under them are also ok. You can remove the yellowish larger leaves, if they are older. This will give light and air for the tiny leaves underneath. However, if the yellowish leaves seem healthy and still younger, you can remove the tiny leaves under them. This way the energy of the plant will focus on the top row of leaves. Alternatively, if the plant is still young and only had a few set/rows of leaves (2-3), I would leave both yellowish leaves and the tiny leaves and see how it goes. The plant can still be happy with both sets of leaves. Hope this helps, regards, BV

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