How to Care for African Violet Plants


African violets are one of the most popular and easily recognized of all house plants. Although African violets may look like hothouse flowers, with only minimal care, they will bloom for at least 9 months out of the year. African violets are available in both single and double varieties and in a wide range of colors ranging from delicate pink to vibrant purple.

Step 1

Place African violets where they will be exposed to bright, but indirect light for at least 14 hours each day, or supplement available light with grow lights. Although African violets will benefit from being placed in a warm, sunny window during the winter, direct sunlight will be too hot on sunny summer days.

Step 2

Make sure African violets get at least 8 hours of darkness at night. Without a regular period of darkness, African violets won't bloom.

Step 3

Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, then water African violets from the bottom, using room temperature water. Put a small amount of water in a saucer and allow the soil to wick up water until the soil is slightly damp. Don't leave the bottom of the pot standing in water, and don't allow the soil to become soggy, because African violets are susceptible to root rot.

Step 4

Put African violets in a room that will be between 70 and 80 degrees F during the day and about 60 to 65 degrees F at night. Avoid daytime temperatures above 80 degrees F because high temperatures can cause African violets to rot.

Step 5

Feed African violets a water-soluble fertilizer formulated for blooming plants. Use the fertilizer according to the directions on the label, except dilute it to half strength. Don't fertilize African violets during the winter unless they are kept under grow lights.

Step 6

Groom African violets as needed. Pinch off faded blossoms and dead leaves as they appear. Remove dust and soil with a soft brush or a damp sponge.

Things You'll Need

  • Grow lights (optional)
  • Saucer
  • Water-soluble fertilizer for blooming plants
  • Soft brush or sponge


  • University of Rhode Island: Caring for African Violets
  • Purdue Extension: In the Grow
  • University of Nebraska: Caring for African Violets
Keywords: African violets, house plant care, violets

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.