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Why Are My African Violet Leaves Turning Yellow?

The colors of African Violet can vary from purple, pink, or white. However, sometimes due to some reason, the African Violet leaves might turn yellow.

I faced an issue last summer when a few of my leaves of African Violet turned yellow.

It is depressing when these enchanting-looking African Violet leaves turn yellow.

However, despite our proper observation, we might be unaware of certain things that can lead to yellowing in African Violet’s leaves and worsening more.

African Violet Plant (Source: Unsplash)

In general, the reasons your African Violet leaves turning yellow could be due to issues with watering, lighting, humidity, nutrition deficiency, pests, and old soil.

This article will give you insights into how your African Violet leaves turn yellow and the solutions and preventive measures behind it.

As you might be seeing African Violet leaves turn yellow for varied reasons, we will cover the possible reasons and solutions below.

Reasons and Solutions for African Violet Leaves Turning Yellow

You might be seeing the leaves of African violet leaves turning yellow due to some reasons. Let us check each one out in detail below.

The reasons and solutions for yellow African Violets in a nutshell.

ReasonsSolutionsFavorable Condition
Lighting Issues Place your plant near the window and rotate them once every 1 to 2 weeks.Avoid overlighting or underlighting.
Watering IssuesSupply room temperature water with 68 °F. Make sure not to water the leaves directly.Avoid underwatering or overwatering with appropriate water temperature.
Lack of NutritionProper fertilizers and compost mattersFertilizing the soil once a month.
Humidity IssuesUse a humidifier or place a saucer with water underneath the flower potNot too high or low humidity. 50 to 60 percent would be best.
Old SoilRepotting the plant once a yearRejuvenated healthy soil.
Pest InfestationKeep away infested plants from other plants. Apply neem oilPest-less plant.

1. Lighting Issues

Lighting plays a vital role in your African Violet turning yellow.

Harsh weather, exposure, and direct bright lights are not suitable for your pretty African Violets. Similarly, dim natural lights are also not helpful at the same time.


Keeping your African Violet plants outdoor in the sunlight for a very long time is not a good idea.

Direct scorching sunlight affects the plant leaves badly, leading them to turn yellow in color.

The strong rays can be very destructive when exposed to African Violet for a long time period.


Placing your African Violets in a dark or semi-dark room is not recommended too.

The inappropriate low lighting system can lead to the poor condition of the plant. As a result, leading to yellowing of the leaves.

A dark and dull environment depresses your African Violets more without adding value to their development and growth.

Placing your plants indoors in the bathrooms, offices, or bedrooms at the corner can also unknowingly destruct your thick plant leaves of African Violets to turn yellow.

Natural lighting is necessary. Whereas, unnatural lighting can disrupt the plant and cause yellowness at the tip of the leaves.

Best Lighting for African Violet

Abundant and optimal lighting is necessary to form flowers and energize their nutrition in the plant.

Moreover, light and wind follow well in a ventilated room with open doors. Proper air circulation adds a plus point for your African violet leaves.

If you place your plant near the window, remember to keep them at a distance of 3 feet (1 meter) away from the window.

Plants based near the window and facing the window get more sunlight. It is best if you rotate your African Violets once in a while with a one-quarter turn once every 1 to 2 weeks.

The best lighting direction for your purple African Violet babies is in the west or the southeast direction.

Natural sunlight is the best form of lighting for your African Violets to blossom. It affects both the flowers as well as leaves for its rich, bright colors.

Exposing your African Violets to the sun depends on what time of the year they are planted too.

In the winter season, they might be needing more sunlight than in normal times. While in the summer season, they should not be exposed to the sun for long since the rays can be very punitive.

You should remember to rotate your plants in every direction for them to receive enough sunlight. It is usually recommended for plants whose only one side is facing the sun.

2. Watering Issues

African violets can make a fuss when it comes to watering. Therefore, a correct approach needs to be performed.


Overwatering is an issue when most of us are too kind to our plants. The adverse effect of your kindness can bring a problem to your African violet plants.

Along with yellowing leaves, you will also see spots on your plant leaves. The issue arises when the soil is too damp for a long period of time.

Like overeating causes vomiting to humans, a similar theory applies to plants when they are excessively watered.

You might also face fungal problems due to overwatering. Other similar issues like root rot, Pythium, and crown rot can happen too.

Ultimately, these problems affect the leaves of the plant, making them yellow in later stages too.

One of the ways to avoid these fungal deposits is to change the water every 3-4 days from the saucer of the flowerpot.


Underwatering can also be another issue. Drying out the soil completely is also not recommended, which causes the leaves to be yellow.

Therefore, watering correctly needs to be taken care of properly.

You can test your plant for underwatering with your finger on the soil. If the soil is dry, you have the green light to feed them some water.

Optimum Water Temperature

When the water temperature is too hot or too cold, it can give a shock to your plants and, of course, the leaves.

This is definitely not a good sign of proper care. As a result, it leads to yellowing of the leaves.

However, room temperature water (68 °F) is highly preferred.

Water African Violet Leaves Properly

Be mindful never of watering your plant leaves directly. This can create foliage damage due to the different temperature levels of the water and the leaves.

Hence, leading it to create leaf discoloration, ring spots, or yellowing in color.

Try to water the soil directly rather than on the leaves. You can use watering cans with long stouts so that the water directly gets in the soil, under the leaves.


Watering Can
Watering cans (Source: Pixelbay)

Here is a link to the watering can, I recommend.

3. Nutrition Deficiency

Lack of nutrition and fertilizers causes the leaves to turn pale yellow in color.

Proper food in the form of good fertilizer injection is essential for the African Violet plants. Only with optimum nutrition will they be able to produce healthy, dark, green leaves.

Adding enough fertilizers (Source: Pexels)

Fertilizing Guidance

Be mindful of using the right amount of fertilizers. Not too less or not too much.

As much as underfeeding turns the African Violet leaves to yellow, overfeeding is also a big NO.

I would recommend fertilizing your plants once a month.

However, if you end up overfertilizing your plant, soaking the soil around 4 times a year removes superfluous salts in the soil.

4. Humidity Issues

Too much or too little humidity is not good for your plants.

Less humidity leads to dryness and yellowing of the African Violet leaves. At the same time, high humidity leads to the formation of powdery mildew on the surface of the leaves.

The powder coating then slowly spreads, creating spots on the leaves, yellowing the leaves, and ultimately falling off.

This powdery mildew and botrytis are fungi that accumulate in your plant if there is a lack of proper air circulation along with high humidity leading to a damp atmosphere.

In African Violet’s natural habitat (Usambara Mountains of Africa), they have 70 to 80 percent of humidity.

While this can be difficult to replicate in most homes, they should have at least 50 to 60 percent of humidity.

Solution for Low Humidity

To improve low humidity, you can use a humidifier in the room. This can be advantageous for yourself as well as your plants.

You can also add a little water to the saucer pan underneath the flower pot. It will help the African Violets keep their soil moist.

Solution for High Humidity

Move the plant to another room or area in the open space and encourage more air circulation inside the room.

5. Old Soil

Soil ages just like us. As years pass by, they will lose their strength and nutrient level.

The old, soggy, and weak soil will not have the strength to absorb enough nutrients and water when supplied to the plant.

Repotting the plants (source:

There are chances your African Violet leaves are turning yellow when you are not aware of changing your soil or repotting your plant for many years.

Repotting once a year or two can also help a lot. It will help to boost the nutrients of plants again with fresh soil.

Hence, it is essential to revitalize them once in a while.

6. Pest Infestation

Some pests can suck up your plants’ nutrients and water, leaving your African Violets frail.

They usually attack the leaves of your plants. Taking out all the necessary nutrients, the leaves become dry, yellow, and ultimately fall off the plant.

It is always good to be well aware, observant, and precautionary for any pest infestation.

Any spots that are dark, ringed, or fuzzy need to be well alerted. Here, you should try to control it before it reaches other parts of the plant, ruining the whole plant.

Various pest attacks can come from mealy bugs, scale bugs, cyclamen mites, thrips, or aphids.

Once pests attack your plant, there is a high chance of shifting to other plants nearby too.

Therefore, it would be great if you isolate your particular infested African Violet from the others inside the room or garden.

Control Pest Infestation

Neem oil is the perfect answer for this problem! You can find various neem oil cans in the market.

Try to spray the neem oil once a week on your African Violets after you get a notion of pests taking charge.

My best advice, as per my experience, would be to spray it during nighttime. It will help the spray dry out before the sun shines upon your African Violets.

Pro Tip: Try to keep them away from the sun until it is dried out from the neem oil.

Tips To Take Care of Yellow African Violet Leaves

Some of the ways to take care of your African Violets from getting their leaves yellow have been described above.

Also, let me share some more tips and tricks to help you with your yellow African Violet leaves.

1. Pinch Out Old and Wilted Leaves

Matured leaves and flowers of African Violet leaves with not a good-looking state can be removed off.

This helps supply the nutrition in other necessary parts of the plants rather than giving off the weak ones.

It is worth noting that pinching off the old blossoms will also help to grow new blooms flowers.

2. Pluck Off Yellow Leaves

It is best to pluck out all the yellow leaves in your African Violets as soon as you see them.

This will let other parts of the plant bloom healthily.

Either way, the plants will not be able to transport the needed nutrients. The yellow leaves do not add any value to the plants.

Hence, it is better to take them off and let the new ones grow.

3. Using NPK Fertilizers

Well-fertilized plants help not to create yellowing of the leaves. Provide enough nutrients to your plants by following the below tips.

NPK stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.

They need to be mixed in the right amount together. It helps in providing enough fertilizers to the plants.

For example, mix the fertilizer with a ratio of 15:30:15 of NPK.

Hence, the mixture can be used while watering the plant every time for a green leafy plant.

The below three elements improve the strength of your African Violets.

  • Nitrogen (N): Accelerates the growth of your plant leaves.
  • Phosphorus (P): Contributes more towards the growth of the plant’s fruits, roots, and flowers.
  • Potassium (K): Helps in the overall betterment and functioning of the plant rightly.

Preventive Measures

There are ways to avert the yellowing of African Violet leaves before it happens.

You can apply the following preventive measures for the above sections causing yellowing of leaves.

  • Set up a proper lighting system for your African Violets.
  • Water the plants correctly: do not overwater or underwater it.
  • Timely check on the pests.
  • Supplement enough nutrients.
  • Maintain the humidity level of the surrounding.
  • Repot and change the soil in intervals.


When your African Violet plants are healthy, automatically, the problem of yellowing the leaves will also not prevail.

Yellowing on leaves is one of the common problems for many plants, not just African Violets.

If you followed the article thoroughly, first, thank you, and second, now you should know the reasons and the actions you can take to eradicate the yellowing on leaves.

I hope this article helped you to extract some good knowledge regarding your problem.

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