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How to water African violet plants (Watering Methods & FAQ)

How To Water African Violet Plants (Watering Methods & FAQ)

One of the most popular indoor blooming plants is the African violet. As its name implies, it is native to the warm, tropical rainforests of eastern Africa, where it naturally grows along forested riverbanks and shaded forest floors.

These vibrant beauties need particular attention even though they have evolved into successful indoor plants. Water is one of the most crucial things that African violets require. This article will explain how to water African violet plants and discuss some often-asked questions about this wonderful plant.

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    African violet plants

    How to water African violet plants

    African violets often require just the right amount of moisture in the soil—never soggy. African violets that receive too much water become vulnerable to dangerous infections, including Pythium, Root Rot, and Crown Rot. Additionally, excessive watering might result in denitrification, which inhibits plants from absorbing the nitrogen they require.

    African violet flowers in pot

    Water quality for African violet

    1) The water should be at room temperature or as close to the surrounding air as possible. African violets’ roots become chilled by excessively cold water, which causes the leaves to curl downward when the plant absorbs the cold water. Cold water can also result in leaf spots when watering plants from the top. Such spots are a type of necrosis and cannot be removed as such. 

    Note: It is always crucial to avoid getting water on the leaves of African violet, regardless of whether the water is at the right temperature or not. The only time this does not apply is when you are spraying your plants to quick-feed them or raising the humidity level in the area. Such misting will not leave behind large water droplets.

    spraying on African violet

    2) Avoid using soft water. The soil’s saline content rises when soft water is used. This will change the soil’s pH and electrical conductivity. As a result, African Violet’s capacity to absorb water and nutrients will be reduced.

    3) Do not use highly chlorinated water. Although some chlorine is required for photosynthesis to take place, African Violets only require a small amount, approximately 70–100 ppm. Small traces like these in the water will not be detectable by smell. 

    If you can smell chlorine, it means that your water has too much chlorine. Utilizing high-chlorine water can result in leaf burn and reduced flowering. If there is no available alternative supply of water and you have highly chlorinated water, pour the water into a container and leave it overnight to allow the chlorine gas to escape.

    checking african violet plant

    How to know when African violets need to be watered?

    It’s easy to determine when to water your African violet. Gently press into the soil with your finger. Water should be added if the mixture feels extremely dry. Allow your African Violet to sit for a few days if the mixture feels damp, and then check back.

    The African Violet may also need to be watered if its middle leaves appear limp, dull, or droopy. 

    african violet flower

    Note: Do not overwater the soil; just water it when the soil is dry. African violets that receive too much water may develop crown or root rot.

    african violet and cactus

    Best African Violet Watering Methods

    There is no reason to be afraid of watering African violets. There are several watering techniques that may be even simpler than standard watering. Check out these four watering techniques to learn how to water African violet plants.

    how to water African violet plants

    1. Self-Watering Pot

    This is one of the most widely used techniques for watering African violets since it lets your plant take care of itself. This is how it works:

    • Self-watering pots are made of two parts. The first container, which is deeper, is filled with soil and the plant, and the second container, which is filled with water, is positioned below the first one.
    • African violet takes up water through the bottom of the first pot, which prevents over-watering.
    • As the water runs out, you need to refill it (usually every two to three weeks).

    commercial self watering pot

    Source: Amazon website

    1. Bottom Watering

    This technique includes submerging your plant in a saucer of water so that it can absorb moisture through the drainage pores in its pot.

    For 25 to 50 minutes, submerge your plant in a shallow saucer of water. If you check on it and there is still water in the dish, it means that your plant has absorbed all the water it requires. If the water is gone completely, add a little extra and give your plant another 10 to 15 minutes to absorb.

    watering African violet - bottom watering method

    1. Wicking Method

    This technique is similar to self-watering pots. In fact, it is a DIY self-watering pot. By using this watering method, the African violet’s root ball receives consistent moisture without the soil becoming excessively saturated.

    All you need to do is to thread a special watering wick through the drainage hole before putting the soil and plant in the pot. The wick draws moisture from the air within via the drainage hole and into the water reservoir.

    watering African violet - wicking method

    1. Top Watering

    If you decide to top water your plant, You must use long, skinny-necked watering cans. By aiming the nozzle beneath the leaves, you may water your soil while keeping your plant leaves dry.

    Watering tip:  Fertilizer salts may accumulate in your plant’s soil as a result of bottom watering. If you want to use the bottom watering technique, it is better to water the African violet with a long-necked watering Once every 3 to 4 months. This is necessary to flush away the accumulated salts.  

    top watering African violet

    Watering African violet FAQ

    Except self-watering techniques, other strategies necessitate that you water your plant yourself. Wait until the African violet is completely dry before watering again. Start irrigating your plant if the soil feels dry and abrasive when you press your finger into it.

    African violets are prone to root rot. This usually happens as a result of over-watering. If left untreated, root rot can lead to various issues and ultimately destroy your plant. Here are the symptoms of African violet over-watering:

    Symptoms of Over-watering

    • leaves turning wilted and brown
    • Lower leaves turning mushy and squishy
    • Pale or discolored leaves
    • The base and plant separate.

    Remove your plant from the pot and carefully brush the soil from the roots if you observe any of the abovementioned signs. Trim any plant sections that appear to be rotting, and think about using a root rot spray to deal with this problem. Repot your African violets in specific potting soil, and change your watering plan if necessary.

    In the wild, the forest canopy shields the African violet's leaves from the sun's glare. That is why African violets produce fantastic low-light plants. Unfortunately, this also makes their leaves extremely sun-sensitive. When exposed to sunlight, African violet leaves that have been wet will turn brown and form white rings.

    If you have any experience regarding this topic, please share your experiences and views in the comments section below.

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