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Why won’t my African Violets Bloom?

You bring the African Violets home, hoping to witness their small, delicate-looking, beautiful bloom but end up with a dreary plant.

Although it is a pretty low-maintenance plant, its basic requirements still need to be fulfilled if you wish to see this plant blooming year-round.

An insufficient amount of light is the most common reason why your African Violet is not blooming. Other environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, watering, fertilization, frequent repotting, and pest invasion are vital in making your African Violets bloom. 

You’ll need brief insight, tips, and tricks to get the blooming right. 

How Often do African Violets Bloom?

African Violets are loved for their year-round blooming ability.

Whether winter, autumn, or summer, your African Violet always has a few flowers to spare.

A well-cared plant can continue producing new flowers regularly every month of the year. In other words, African Violets blooming season is all through the season, especially during the spring and summer.
Top angle view of the a beautifully blooming African Violet placed on a wooden table.
Not just violet, but these plants range from blue to lavender to reddish mauve to pinkish white blooms.

The healthy flowers last roughly for two or three weeks.

And when you fulfill the proper care requirements, the Violets bless you with rebloom in not more than six to nine months. 

Why Won’t my African Violets Bloom?

Like many other tropical plants, African Violet hails from the rainforest, thriving in the shade of other vegetation with low-growing habits.

While it is an easy-to-care plant, it can withhold its beautiful blossoms even if just one of its essential requirements is not met.

1. Insufficient Light

African Violet despises locations where the light is not adequate. As a reaction, too little light can cause African Violets not to bloom.

Normally, a 1,000-foot candle of light for 6-8 hours a day works best for inducing flowering in the plant.

Along with ample bright daylight, a dark period of 8 hours is equally important for the florigen, a flowering hormone produced in the day, to run its magic.

Place your African Violet towards an East or West facing window to provide it sufficient sunlight without the risk of getting it sunburnt.

Likewise, set it under the shade to avoid the harsh sunlight.

When winter strikes, use artificial growth light for at least 10 hours. Place the lights 12 to 15 inches above the plant.

Pro Tip: Rotate your pot a quarter turn every week to help your African Violet grow an even crown.

2. Over or Under Watering

For a tropical plant like African Violet to thrive, watering takes practice.

Water too much, and the root starts to rot. Water too little, and the plant starts showing signs of drought stress and eventually dries off without flowering. 

The ideal condition for your African Violet is when the soil feels like a wrung-out sponge.

Once you over-drench the soil, the root fails to uptake and transfer nutrients to the plant out of suffocation.

The roots start getting mushy and rot, inhibiting the plant’s growth and a reason for African Violets dying.

Similarly, underwatered plants are evident with the faded frailing foliage.

So, to fix the watering issue, you may simply allow the plant to sip in the required amount of drink via bottom watering

And if you wish to top water your plant, avoid water accumulation on the leaves, as it can attract mold and pest growth.

Pro Tip: As African Violet is sensitive to teperature fluctuation, make sure to only use room temperature water. 

3. Low Humidity

In low humidity, evaporation, and transpiration in plants speed up. As we sip water through the straw, the plants pull water from the roots as vapor flows out.

Eventually, the leaves, flowers, and entire plant dry out for being unable to replenish the evaporated water amount.

Generally, the African Violets need humidity of at least 70-80% for happy bloom. However, maintaining moisture at this percentage is challenging for an average room without any external source.

The best you can do is get a humidifier for your room or simply group your indoor plants together to create a small pocket of slightly higher humidity that helps initiate bigger blooms.

You may also like misting your plant, but we don’t recommend that for African Violets.

First, the plant doesn’t prefer wet leaves, and second, it would just provide a brief burst of humidity that quickly evaporates unless you keep drizzling the plant every 30 minutes.

Further, placing your plant over a pebble or humidity tray can also help retain its moisture and make African Violets bloom.

4. Extreme Temperature

There is not much when it comes to providing the right temperature for your African Violet.

If you think the room’s temperature suits you, it’s the same for your African Violets, i.e., 70-80°F during the day and around 65°F at night.

Although your African Violet loves bright light, it can’t handle extreme temperatures. 

They usually show their struggle due to temperature fluctuation by withering the existing buds and delaying to no blooming, including yellow leaves.

For that, remember to put your plant out of the direct line of heaters and air conditioners.

When in winter, shift the plant away from the windows to prevent cold drafts.

5. Improper Fertilizer Application

African Violets are flowering plants that long for proper nutrients throughout their growth. 

During the summer and spring, the plant is at its active growth phase, and it is essential to add the required nutrients once every 3-4 weeks.

Although with the intent to help the plant, sometimes we gardeners tend to go overboard when adding a feed.

Contrary to doing good, overfertilization damages the roots of the plant. The poor root structure decreases the number of flowers, and correcting excess fertilizer is anything but easy. 

plant fertilization tips
Avoid fertilizing your plants in winter as they stay dormant in winter to avoid overfertilization issues.

In such cases, place your plant under running water to leech out the excess fertilizer component.

Moreover, it is best to use fertilizer especially curated for African Violets, with a 10-30-20 NPK, but only half the suggested amount.

If you want everything to be organic, you can use worm castings, fish emulsion, blood meal, or compost tea as organic fertilizer sources for your African Violets.

6. Wrong Pot Size

You see, African Violets love to be snug in their pots in a slightly root-bound state. A 4-5 inch ceramic or plastic pot suffices the condition.

If you happen to repot your plant to a bigger pot, it might be why it stopped blooming. Conversely, in an extremely small size pot, chances are that the plant will outgrow the pot quickly.

The developing roots of plants will run out of space, and growth is stunted, with no new twigs, leaves, or flowers.

Even when situations like overwatering and over-fertilization persist, where repotting African Violets becomes mandatory, use a pot only an inch large than the current one.

That is how to make African Violets bloom again.

And, if you wish to get the pot size right, plus no watering hassle, you may go for self-watering pots

7. Excess Crown or Suckers

African Violets grow haphazardly, with excess crowns, suckers, and other random leaf formations.

This is a normal growth process but takes away a lot of the plant’s energy and interferes with its blooming ability.

The only solution to this problem is to prune the plant every once in a while. Further pruning the unwanted growth helps your plant maintain its charm for longer. 

Several crown of African Violets developed from the initial crown.
A single crown gives rise to several African Violets, giving a bushy appearance to your plant.

Unlike other plants, African Violets don’t require sophisticated techniques or extensive tools for pruning. A sharp, sterilized scissor or simply using your fingers is enough for pruning.

You should start pruning from the base, as the leaves at the base of the plant are the oldest.

Pro Tip: Trimmed leaves can be used to propagate a healthy new African Violet plant.

8. Pests and Diseases

African Violets’ slightly ruffled, star-shaped flowers are at constant risk of pest and disease invasion. 

Excessive air and soil moisture are the major causes of the onset of pests and diseases, having both direct and indirect damage to the plant.

Here are the most common pests and diseases that can make your African Violet suffer.

Make sure to follow the solutions to encourage African Violets bloom.

Cyclamen MitesFeed on the sap, inject toxic chemical that disrupts normal growth pattern.

Greying of the leaves and leaf curling.
Prune the affected plant parts to refrain further infestation.

Spray neem oil as an insecticides 2-3 times at three days intervals.
Mealybugs Waxy deposit on plant.

Stunted growth, distorted leaf shapes.
You can eradicate mealybugs by dabbing them with cotton dipped in rubbing alcohol or spirit.

In case of sever infestation use diluted acetamiprid or cyfluthrin.
Crown and Root RotThe crown and roots of the plants start to go soft, mushy, and smelly.

Old growth will grow limp as the younger leaves start to appear stunted, discolored, and eventually die.
Repot it in a clean pot with fresh potting mix.

Place the plant in bright, indirect light.

Avoid watering your plant too frequently.
Botrytis BlightSoft, wet, rotten lesions on the underside of the leaves.

Progresses to developing a fuzzy greying coat on the surface of the leaves.
Provide better air circulation to your plant.

Place it in a location with brighter indirect light.

Should you trim dead bloom from African Violets?

Trimming dead flowers or deadheading is important to caring for your African Violets. 

This diverts the plant’s energy towards new twigs and petals, encouraging fresh blooms and extending the flowering period. Moreover, dead blossoms can become unsightly and detract from the plant’s overall appearance. 

In addition, dead blooms and old foliage are more likely to harbor pests and diseases.

There are two ways you can trim the dead flowers. You can use sterilized scissors to make a clean cut, or as some people do, pinch off the dead flowers with your forefinger and thumb.

Before trimming the dead blossoms, keep your African Violet in a stable environment, i.e., in a sterilized place without windy drafts or excess heat.

Further, try removing the flowers as close as possible to the base to avoid any jerking or tearing motion that can damage the main stem.

From Editorial Team

Give Regular Care!

There may not be an instant-fix solution for your African Violets to bloom.

Before you take a bold step to get the plant out of your collection, adjust the lighting, watering, and temperature to give the plant a new life.

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