The consistent blooms and lush foliage of an African violet probably make it one of your favorite houseplants.
You might use it as a centerpiece on your table or have a few scattered throughout a room, each in a planter by a windowsill.
Their brightness lends a festive air to the room and each morning, you get to see springtime blooms regardless of the season.
At the first signs of wilt, you might spring into action. You want to save this gorgeous purple plant that lights your room.
While everything in nature dies eventually, you could potentially save your violet. You just need to know the signs of each problem and treat it accordingly.
How to Save an African Violet from Dying?
If the signs of a dying African Violet are wilting flowers or flowers falling off your plant either needs more water, less light, or a nutrient-fortified growing mix. If the stem or crown looks rotted have a look at the roots and change the potting soil. Dry leaves and leaf tips as well as droopy leaves are a sign of underwatering. In that case water the plant. White leaves are most likely a sign of pests or fungus. In that case, spray your plant with a fungicide and repot it. If your African Violet has brown spots on its leave it might be sunburnt. Change the location of your plant where it gets indirect light.
Six Signs of Illness in an African Violet
These six signs may occur together or separately. At the first sight of any of them, you should spring into action to save your flower.
Bloom Limpness or Lost Flowers: plants show distress through wilting flowers or flowers falling off of the plant.
Your violet either needs more water, less light, or a nutrient-fortified growing mix. Yes, your violet could need to take nutrients. Provide indirect sun and water a little less.
Stem or Crown Rot: The violet’s middle looks ill. It may openly show fungus growing on it. It may appear decayed.
Once you see this, investigate its roots. You will find evidence of the problem beneath the topsoil and growing mix you use.
You are probably over-watering. Switch your plant to a well-draining, coarse potting mix in a self-watering pot.
This moves the plant roots to a drier growth medium and the pot will take care of distributing water as needed.
Dry or Burnt Leaf Tips: Your dear African violet needs water when you see dry leaves and leaf tips forming.
Brown leaves signal drought. In a houseplant, that means you forgot to water.
At the first brown color to appear, water your plant to stave off cell damage called necrosis that cannot be reversed.
Switch your plant to a self-watering pot and place it in indirect sunlight. Also, check the humidity of the room.
A room that is too dry can hurt plants. Try putting it on a humidity tray for a few days.
Leaves Turn White: The leaf color should always remain a verdant, healthy green. If your African violet’s leaves start to take on a powdery, white color, they probably developed mildew, a fungus.
Repot your plant first and foremost. Use the self-watering planter pot described above. Lay off watering it for a few days.
Spray it down with a safe fungicide you can pick up at your nearest home improvement store or nursery.
Leaves Develop Brown Spots: Your African violet has a sunburn. Yes, plants can get these, too. Instead of Noxzema for this leaf scorch move the plant to a room with tons of indirect sunlight.
You can also hang curtain sheers over the window in the room its lives in now. This diffuses the sun it gets and makes it feel better.
Drooping Leaves: Your poor leaves tell most of the tale, as you probably noticed. If leaves start drooping, your plant needs water, or it got cold.
Water the African violet and check it in 24 hours. It should improve. If there’s no change, check around the plant for an air vent.
These plants do not like sitting near ducts and vents. Finally, check your thermostat. Your African violet likes a constant of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius), even overnight.
If your air conditioning makes it drop below that, especially down to a chilly 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius), your plant will wilt. It got cold.
You need to ensure that it gets to stay in a constant 70F environment, even if that means moving it outside to sleep.
How Do You Know if the Plant Gets Too Much Light?
It can be tough to tell direct from indirect light for a new gardener.
You need to learn how to tell how much light is too much. Here’s a trick that works for me. In its current spot, hold your hand over the plant in a cupped fashion.
Essentially, it will look like you made an umbrella of your hand. If your hand throws a prominent shadow, you have your plant in too much light.
Move it around the room or to another room. When your hand throws only a light shadow, you have the lighting correct.
A Quick Recap
Despite the many signs, you probably noticed that the health of your houseplant comes down to three overarching items:
- Proper watering,
- The right lighting,
- Healthy, well-draining soil.
The pot you use can help or hurt matters. If you do not reside in an area with a nursery or home improvement store, you can find appropriate pots online. I
n a couple of days’ shipping time, you can have a pot and fertilizer that can help you regulate your plant’s nourishment.
Your plant either has too much or too little water, too much or too little light, or poor soil. Your potting mixture changes will also help with its water absorption since good soil drains well.
Examining your plant for symptoms provides you the means to diagnosis its problem and return it to health quickly.
You can do it! Most items on this list once addressed will allow the plant to start looking better overnight.
The rot and mildew fungus take a little longer than that, but your plant will still begin to look better quickly after proper treatment begins.
As a part of treatment, you should pinch off the unhealthy bits of leaf. The brown goes. The mildewed goes.
You throw them away in the trash can rather than leaving them in the pot to spread their problem. You may find that your plant has nothing but a stem remaining and that is okay.
It will grow back if the violet survives just as it did for one gardener separated from her plants for three weeks due to a hurricane and its damage to her area of residence.
Plant Doctors Exist
As humorous as it may sound, most nurseries employ a plant doctor. You can take your plant to this individual if your efforts fail and you want to save the life of your African violet.
Look for an arborist or botanist locally. Your state’s agricultural extension office may be able to help you find someone or they might have advice for you on plant care.
Above all, don’t feel bad. Plants, like people and animals, just get sick sometimes. It could be your violets time to go.
It isn’t your fault, and you can always buy a new plant and try gardening again with another violet or a different plant.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.