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6 Signs African Violet Is Dying (Here’s How to Revive It)

If you’re finding your beloved African Violet looking less than vibrant, seeming to slowly wilt away, you might be feeling a bit helpless or unsure of the root cause. There’s no need to worry, as this article brings good news for you.

African violets can start dying due to dehydration, variations in light, humidity, or temperature, overwatering, or exposure to direct drafts from air conditioning. Root rot, often caused by poor drainage, can also cause wilting. It’s important to identify and correct these factors to revive the plant.

How Do I Know If My African Violet is Dying?

African violets are also great communicators and will display the following apparent signs and symptoms when they’re distressed or dying.

Does Drooping Leaves Indicate an African Violet is Dying?

My African violet’s leaves recently started to wilt and soften, despite receiving regular watering. With the flowers still blooming beautifully, it left me scratching my head: what could be causing this issue and how could I solve it? I feared the worst, as wilting often signals a dying African violet.

If you’re encountering a similar predicament, your African violet might be dehydrated or stressed from light, humidity, or temperature variations.

Perhaps you’ve neglected watering for a while. If so, a thorough watering could bring it back to life within a few hours or a day.

Surprisingly, in my case, the villain was the air conditioning. Even when we’re doing everything right, we should still check for drafty areas.

While African violets appreciate good air circulation, they can’t handle direct hot or cold drafts from open doors, windows, or air vents.

Another less noticeable cause for wilting leaves is root rot. It might not be visibly evident right away, but by the time it reaches the upper parts of the plant, it’s often too late.

If your plant blooms but the leaves droop, root rot is a less likely culprit. In such cases, the stems soften and leaves wilt due to insufficient moisture and nutrient supply from the roots.

There are several factors which may contribute to fungal diseases like root rot:

  1. Your plant lives in a pot without drainage holes.
  2. You’re watering too often.
  3. The soil isn’t well-draining.
  4. The soil temperature is too low.
  5. You’ve overwatered after a prolonged dry spell.

Furthermore, as the plant ages, the lower leaves, stem, and roots become more susceptible to root rot.

Unlike other plants, if you don’t trim the older leaves and roots or repot the plant, these aged parts may start to decay.

I’ve found that 75% of the time, if an African violet is sick, root rot is likely to blame. So, what steps should you take if you discover your African violet is battling root rot? Here’s my action plan:

  1. Gently remove the plant from its pot.
  2. Rinse the roots in water. If they aren’t white and firm, they’re probably infected.
  3. Discard the older, lower leaves – it won’t harm the plant.
  4. Trim off the soft, black, rotten roots, preserving as much healthy root as possible.
  5. Also, trim the affected parts of the stem, leaving the healthy portions intact.
  6. Soak the entire plant and root system in a fungicide solution to eliminate any remaining fungal agents.
  7. Place the plant in fresh soil, and cover with a transparent plastic bag.
  8. Store the plant in a cool room with plenty of light. If possible, place it under an LED grow light.
  9. Once new roots develop, replant your African violet in a permanent pot with high-quality potting soil.

However, if the entire root system and stem are severely infected, it’s best to discard the entire plant and its soil.

African Violet Seedlings Dying

I once encountered a situation where my African violet seedlings were dying shortly after transplantation. Despite my efforts to keep the soil on the drier side to prevent root rot, the seedlings couldn’t be revived within ten days.

It dawned on me that the seedlings were being exposed to direct sunlight through the window, which African violets dislike.

These delicate plants thrive in environments that humans find comfortable in terms of temperature.

By ensuring adequate sunlight and creating a cozy room where you live, you can enjoy year-round blooms.

Additionally, African violet seedlings are sensitive to excessive humidity. If you water them with cold water or water that isn’t at room temperature, the seedlings may die, and the adult plants might even drop their flowers.

Considering the sensitivity of the situation, I took extra precautions to safeguard my seedlings.

I kept them in my room, away from drafts, and maintained a comfortable room temperature to create a cozy environment and it slowly bounced back to life again. 

So, remember not to place your African violet seedlings in the entrance or too close to a chilling window. Keep them at a slight distance to protect them.

To promote growth and revive struggling seedlings, the first step is to increase the number of leaves on each plant.

This allows the plant to produce more food and supports the production of new buds, ultimately bringing the plant back to life.

New Growth in African Violets Turning Brown and Crispy: What’s Going On?

Have you noticed that your African violet is wilting and the new growth in the center is turning brown and crispy? Are you struggling to understand what could be wrong, especially when its roots seem perfectly healthy?

If you notice the top center growth turning brown and crispy, the air might be too dry, or there might be too much direct sun exposure.

Sometimes, it’s a combination of both. You can combat this by using a lace curtain to filter direct sunlight and allow in a gentle breeze and outdoor humidity.

When the air in your home is too dry, a simple solution is to use a humidity tray or place a humidifier near the plant.

A too-dry soil situation can also cause problems. It can prevent water from reaching the plant’s deep root system, causing further drying.

When this happens, try immersing the whole plant in a bucket of water (about a gallon or 3.8 liters) to help it soak up all the water it needs.

Submerging the plant pot in the water will create bubbles, a good sign that the water is seeping into the soil. Let it sit for a few minutes to ensure maximum absorption.

Once your plant has had a good soak, place it in a brightly shaded area with plenty of airflow. This will help the soil surface dry out.

If despite these efforts your plant still appears to be dying, it might be time to let it go. But remember, African violets are resilient!

There’s a chance that new buds might sprout not from the center, but from the sides. After implementing these steps, monitor your plant for a while longer. Don’t lose hope, it may still bounce back!

Leaf Tips and Edges Turning Brown

Have you noticed your African violet’s leaf tips or edges looking burnt, dry, or turning brown? If so, it could be a sign you’ve applied too much fertilizer recently.

Brown leaf tips can result from several causes such as exposure to direct sunlight, extreme dryness, or low humidity. Additionally, the type of water you’re using might be a factor.

If you’re watering your plant with city tap water, it might contain chlorine and fluoride, which can harm your African violet’s growth.

Over time, this “hard” water can significantly slow down your plant’s progress and damage other parts. 

Unfortunately, once a leaf is damaged, it can’t be returned to its former state. However, you can prevent this from happening in the future.

When fertilizing, I recommend applying half of the package’s recommended amount as a rule of thumb.

As for watering, consider using rainwater or melted snow. If you must use tap water, ensure you filter it first or let it stand overnight in a jar for at least 24 hours.

This allows the salts and heavy metals to settle at the bottom. Then, gently use the water from the top without shaking the jar, to avoid stirring up the settled elements.

With these small changes, you can help your African violet thrive and prevent browning leaf tips and edges.

Keep in mind, the key to a healthy plant is balance in all aspects, from fertilization to hydration and exposure to light. 

Stem and Crown Rot in African Violets

Stem and crown rot is a severe form of stem rot in African violets, caused by a fungus known as Pythium ultimum. This disease can be devastating for your plant, often resulting in its irreversible decline if allowed to progress too far.

This rot typically thrives in conditions of overwatering and consistent moisture, first infecting the roots before ascending through the stem.

Recognizing an infected stem isn’t complicated — it exhibits a soft and soggy texture, spreading from the base to the top.

In the case of crown rot, the African violet’s roots turn dark and soft. Sadly, since the roots are tucked beneath the soil, this alarming symptom often goes unnoticed.

The most visible sign of this disease is the wilting and yellowing of leaves, ultimately leading to leaf drop.

African Violet eaves Turning Yellow

The key to managing rot in African violets is prevention. Never allow the soil to become too dry, but let it dry to the touch between waterings.

Unfortunately, if your plant is already infected with crown rot, there’s no known effective treatment.

It’s best to discard the plant and its growth medium. Remember to sterilize the pot thoroughly before reusing it to prevent the fungus from spreading to new plants.

African Violet Losing Flowers

Your plant’s vibrant, healthy blooms tell you it’s thriving and happy. But if those lovely flowers start dropping off, it could be due to a variety of issues – maybe it’s a sudden change in temperature, a lack of specific nutrients, or an issue with watering.

If you notice your plant is shedding more blooms than usual, chances are it’s feeling parched. Give your thirsty friend a hearty drink; it’ll thank you for it.

A surefire way to keep your African violet robust and blooming is by treating it with some ‘Blossom Booster Fertilizer’.

Apply it to both leaves and roots – this nutrient-packed treatment will promote lush, continuous blooming. Just imagine, you’ll have a little piece of nature’s wonder right there in your home, brightening your space and your day.

Key Takeaways

  1. Your African violet might be wilting due to dehydration, light, humidity, or temperature changes, and root rot is a common culprit that can be remedied by repotting and treatment with a fungicide.
  2. Direct sunlight or cold drafts can harm African violet seedlings, so keep them in a comfortable room with indirect light for healthy growth.
  3. If your African violet’s new growth is turning brown and crispy, it could be a sign of too much direct sunlight or low humidity, both of which can be managed by adjusting the plant’s location or using a humidifier.
  4. Brown leaf tips or edges may signal an excess of fertilizer or the use of “hard” water, so it’s recommended to cut back on the fertilizer and use rainwater or filtered tap water instead.
  5. A sudden loss of flowers in your African violet could indicate a change in temperature or a lack of specific nutrients, and you can encourage blooming by using a ‘Blossom Booster Fertilizer‘.

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