African Violet Flower Care


African violets offer garden enthusiasts an indoor flowering plant with vibrant green leaves and a host of different colored blooms. Violets come in a range of purples and pinks from light to dark as well as white. These traditional houseplants look beautiful when displayed on windowsills and thrive in the indoor environment. African violets have few requirements to be successfully grown by even a novice gardener.

Step 1

Rinse the inside of the container to remove dust and old potting soil. Scrub white mineral deposits off the side of the container using a pot scrubber.

Step 2

Check the bottom of the container for adequate drainage holes. Holes should be spaced at least 1 inch apart on the bottom of the pot to allow for free water flow out the bottom of the container. Punch holes in the container using a Phillips screwdriver and hammer if necessary.

Step 3

Fill the planting container halfway full with African violet potting soil. This special soil contains peat moss, perlite and sand to allow for adequate drainage. Garden dirt or regular potting soil should never be used for violets. These types of soil thicken when dampened and don't release water freely.

Step 4

Grasp the African violet where the stem meets the dirt in the temporary pot. Gently wiggle the plant to remove it from the pot. If the plant won't budge, squeeze around the outside of the planting container to loosen compacted dirt. Shake off loose soil hanging to the plant roots.

Step 5

Position the violet in the new pot, making sure not to touch or snap off leaves. Placement should allow 1 inch from the pot rim to the soil immediately above the root ball.

Step 6

Fill in around the stem of the flower with potting soil and firm lightly with the back of a spoon. Press gently to avoid breaking or damaging the foliage.

Step 7

Place the pot into a drainage tray. Add water sparingly at the base of the plant or pour small amounts of water into the drainage tray. Soil should feel slightly damp to the touch but never soggy. Pour extra water out of the drainage tray after 10 to 15 minutes to avoid soaking the roots. Do not allow water to touch the leaves of the violet since this will cause spotting on the thick foliage.

Step 8

Choose a location inside the home featuring indirect light. Placing the African violet in direct sunlight will result in yellowed leaves. If you home doesn't have indirect northern light, consider purchasing a growing lamp to provide adequate light to encourage blooming.

Step 9

Apply water-soluble African violet fertilizer every two months to aid blooming. Violets placed in optimal light with regular watering may produce blooms without the aid of fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting containers
  • Scrubber
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Plastic drain trays
  • African violet potting soil
  • Spoon
  • Violet fertilizer


  • Purdue University: African Violet Care
  • University of Rhode Island: Caring for African Violets
Keywords: violets, African violets, growing violets

About this Author

Currently studying for her Maryland master gardener certification, Sharon Heron has written professionally since 2006. Her writing includes hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics including gardening, environment, golf, parenting, exercise, finances and consumer how-to articles.