African violets are exceptionally popular houseplants all over the world and are famous for the fact that, in the right conditions, they can bloom throughout the year.
With their delicate leaves and flowers, available in hues of violet, lavender, pink, and white, it’s easy to see why these beauties are so well-loved.
As a bonus, they are also among the easiest houseplants to grow!
They’re incredibly good at indicating when they are not receiving adequate care, so that makes it easy to know when they need some love.
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Why is my African violet not blooming?
An African violet that isn’t blooming could mean that it’s receiving less than 8 hours of indirect sunlight or that its planting location’s too cold. Other reasons could be incorrect watering and soil, incorrect pot size, overcrowded growth, or pests and diseases.
Main Reasons why my African Violet’s not Blooming
Inadequate Sunlight Exposure
They should be kept away from cold windows and walls and turned occasionally so that all their leaves can benefit from the light they are receiving.
8 hours of light per day is a good measure, but up to 12 hours per day will keep your violets blooming for longer.
At night, they enjoy 8 hours of darkness.
During the hot months of the year, I like to diffuse harsh, hot light with sheer curtains or shades.
Too Low Temperature and Humidity
African violets enjoy warm temperatures, and as they are predominantly grown indoors, it’s relatively easy to regulate their environments. They enjoy the same temperatures that humans enjoy.
African violets thrive in places with about 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 – 27 degrees Celsius) temperatures during the day and 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 – 21 degrees Celsius) at night.
But, the temperature isn’t the only factor that comes into play here, however.
Humidity also influences these plants and should definitely stay above 55% in their growing areas. They are happiest at a humidity level of 75%.
When my African violets start to display old, wrinkled-looking leaves, I take it as an indication that they are not receiving enough humidity.
Together with this, they will stop blooming.
If one is unable to regulate the humidity in their environment, possible solutions to this are grow domes or humidity trays.
If that’s not an option, an African violet can be covered with a plastic bag to keep in some additional warmth and moisture.
Simply ensure the bag is not touching any leaves, blow into it and fasten it. Waiting 5 – 7 days before unsealing the bag will give the plant a fighting chance at recovery.
Other factors causing my African violet to Stop Blooming
Access to light and inadequate warmth are the main reasons that African violets struggle to bloom, but watering and soil can also stay their flowering cycles.
An African violet’s soil should always be kept moist, and neither drenched nor dry.
As with most plants, soggy soil can lead to root rot, whereas dry roots can cause a lack of energy – energy that they need to bloom.
Another reason for a delay in flowering could be the size of the pot they are housed in.
These plants do not enjoy a large amount of space in their pots, preferring to stay root-bound to smaller areas.
Although it is good to occasionally refresh their soil and replant them, be mindful not to place them in pots larger than one-third of the plant’s total diameter.
On the other hand, as much as they like their confined space, overcrowding can also cause flowering issues.
African violets produce offshoot plantlets, which also expend a lot of the plant’s energy.
If this is what is preventing a plant from blooming, it is a good idea to propagate the offshoots into their own pots, or simply to trim the plant.
Finally, another possible threat to the African violet is the presence of pests or diseases.
One can either use insecticidal soap or, if the infection is bad, harvest whatever healthy parts of the plant are left for propagation and throw the rest out.
As mentioned, root rot is also potentially fatal to African violets, so they cannot be overwatered.
Similarly, too much humidity can cause grey mold. This should be dealt with by removing diseased areas of the plant and rectifying the humidity levels in its environment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Why My African Violet’s Not Blooming
Should I fertilize my African violets?
A gentle fertilizer can be beneficial to African violet plants. A deficit of nutrients in their soil can have a direct impact on their ability to bloom, so it’s good to give them a bit of a boost of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, particularly around springtime.
What soil type should you plant African violets into?
These plants don’t do well with dense soils and prefer to be planted in looser, well-draining mixes that are slightly acidic. A pH level between 5.8 and 6.2 is a great start.
Why are my crown leaves growing so close together?
Crown leaves growing too close to each other can mean you are over-fertilizing your plant. If the violet is also displaying rusty edges on its leaves, you might want to cut back on feeding them, and allow them to enter a recovery phase by moving them away from bright light.
African violets can be wonderfully gratifying with the right care. They can bloom all year long in the right conditions, with each little flowering lasting between 2 and 3 weeks.
Indeed, keeping them happy isn’t difficult, but as is always the rule with plants, keep an eye out for any warning signs that growth issues are afoot.
Fortunately, these little beauties can make an excellent recovery from delayed blooming with just a little extra care.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.