African Violet

How to Care for an African Violet


Have you ever wondered how to care for an Afican Violet?  In this guide, we will talk about just that.

African violets are popular houseplants for their compact size and delicate, colorful blooms.  Their five-petaled flowers come in various colors, including shades of purple, blue, pink, red, and white, as well as multicolored varieties.

They can be a little quirky. However, once you understand how to care for them, they will reward you with vibrant blooms throughout the year.


African violets are native to Tanzania and southeastern Kenya.  Their scientific name, Saintpaulia, comes from a German colonial official named Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire (whoa, that’s a mouthful!) who discovered them in the late 19th century.


LIGHT​: African violets need 11-14 hours of bright, indirect sunlight to flower. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight which can burn their leaves. 

TEMPERATURE​: They like temperatures between 65-75°F during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night.

HUMIDITY​: Higher humidity will help these plants stay moist and happy. A humidifier might be necessary during the drier winter months to keep them happy, but humidity trays work well, too.

SOIL: Plant your African violets in a potting mix designed specifically for them as they prefer more acidic conditions.  We like ferti-lome® African Violet Mix.


WATERING​: Maintain even moisture, and do not let your African violets dry out completely. African violets prefer to be watered with room-temperature water from the bottom since water droplets can cause damage to the leaves. Set the pot in a tray of water until the top soil is wet or use a self-watering African violet pot to ensure the soil stays consistently moist but not overly saturated.

FEEDING​: Regularly feed your African violets to keep them blooming during spring and summer.  Use ferti-lome® African Violet & Blooming Plant Food every time you water or at least once or twice per month during the blooming season. Discontinue feeding during the dormant period in fall and winter. 

PROPAGATION:African violets can be propagated from leaf cuttings or offsets. To propagate from leaves, cut a leaf that is 2-3” long near the base of the plant. Dip the end in rooting hormone and plant in African violet soil or a similar media. Water the cutting thoroughly. Offsets (new plant shoots that grow up from the mother plant) can be cut off and potted independently. This will also help the mother plant produce more blooms.


  • Blooming can be triggered by ensuring your African violet several hours of darkness at night. Make sure your plant is in a place where there are no lights at night.
  • African violets prefer temperatures between 65-75°F. Do not let temperatures get below 60°F or above 80°F.
  • Pinch off spent blooms to encourage further blooming.
  • African violet-specific soil, pots, and fertilizer are encouraged for best plant health.
  • This website is full of great information about African violets if you’re looking for even more info: African Violet Resource Center

Now that you know how to care for an African violet, what are you waiting for?  Get growing!