Why Does My African Violet Have Yellow Spots?

Are you seeing yellow spots on your African violet but you don’t know what causes this issue? If so, then we have got some advice for you. Just read this article fully and you will find answers to all your questions regarding this topic.

Yellow spots on an African violet can appear because of various reasons including watering from the top, heavy soil, and lack of some nutrients such as magnesium and zinc.

In this article, we will go through each factor that causes yellow spots on African violets as well as the solutions to implement in each case scenario.

Let’s get started!

African violet with yellow spots

Why Does My African Violet Have Yellow Spots?

Incorrect Watering

Watering your African violet from the top will cause water to get in contact with the leaves which causes them to swell up and get wet, which in turn, causes the leaf to yellow. This happens more frequently with people who use a hose to water their plants.

Misting can also leave water droplets on the leaves of African violets which can cause yellow leaves later. In fact, this plant thrives in a high-humidity environment. But when gardeners can’t afford to get a sophisticated solution to maintain a stable and high humidity level, they opt for misting.

The problem with misting is that you can’t know exactly how much moisture you are giving to your plant. Therefore, you may end up causing damage to the leaves.

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Inadequate Water

Watering African violet using hot or cold water can also damage the foliage. This can cause a cold shock to the plant resulting in leaf spots and discoloration.

Additionally, watering this plant using tap water can also cause yellow spots. In fact, tap water contains chemicals that are harmful to plants such as chlorine and nitrates. These chemicals prevent the plant from absorbing nutrients which causes the leaves to turn yellow.

Lack of Nutrients

Nutrient deficiency is a major cause of yellow spots in African violets, especially the lack of manganese. In fact, manganese plays a big part in the production of chlorophyll in plants. It is necessary for healthy growth and it helps regulate the process of photosynthesis.

If the plants aren’t getting enough manganese, they will begin to grow slowly and yellowish. Over time, the leaves will eventually turn orange, and this can cause permanent damage to the plant.

Inadequate Soil

If you grow African violet in heavy soil, this can also cause the leaves to develop yellow spots. In fact, heavy soil can easily become waterlogged, which results in low oxygen content. This, in turn, leads to the yellowing and browning of the leaves. 

Example of Heavy Soil that is inadequate for African violets

Also, when you don’t change the potting mix of your African violet for more than a year, it will automatically turn yellow because the soil has become depleted.

Generally, this plant is known for being a heavy feeder. Therefore, any delay in repotting can result in nutrient deficiency in the soil which in turn slows down plant growth and cause leaf discoloration.

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Insufficient Light

Light is the source of energy for all photosynthesizing organisms. It provides the necessary energy for plants to grow and allows them to develop. But too little light leads to stunted growth and unhealthy plants.

When there is not enough light for plants, they cannot use the energy that comes from the sun to produce chlorophyll which is the pigment responsible for the green color. In this case, the plant will automatically change its color from green to yellow or brown.


Yellow leaf spots in African violets can also be caused by different insects and other pests. The leaves can curl and turn yellow as a result of sucking or chewing.

Aphids and whiteflies are all examples of sucking insects that can cause this issue.

Plants are living things and their presence is natural as long as they don’t harm the plant. However, pests that suck the juices from the leaves can have a negative impact on the plant’s health. 

If a pest is sucking juices from your plants, the leaves will begin to curl, wilt, and even drop. Leaves may also have holes and black spots left behind by the insect.

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Leaves that have yellow spots on them can also be infected by diseases such as powdery mildew, downy mildew, or rust. In general, when a plant becomes infected by one of these diseases, it begins to weaken and eventually dies. These diseases can be transmitted through contact with infected plant material or by air-borne particles.

Powdery mildew is very common, and it can grow in many colors. It usually starts out as a small spot, and over time it spreads to larger areas. Downy mildew is a similar disease, but it tends to develop more quickly. 

If you found this content helpful, don’t hesitate to check our latest article about droopy African violet.

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