Are you wondering why your African violet keeps dropping leaves? If so, then we can help with this. Just read this article fully and you will find answers to all your questions regarding this issue.
The main reasons behind a droopy African violet are high temperature and underwatering. But, other factors such as low humidity, pests and overfertilizing may also contribute indirectly to this issue.
In this article, we will provide you with a list of all the factors that cause African violet to droop as well as a solution that goes with each case scenario. Additionally, we will give you some steps to follow in order to prevent leaf droop from happening again to your African violet.
Let’s get started!
What Causes African Violet to Droop?
African violet can become droopy for a variety of reasons. For example, high temperatures and underwatering can cause water levels to droop significantly inside the plant tissue which will cause the leaves to become droopy.
Additionally, root rot, pests, and low humidity can also contribute to this issue. Let’s go over each factor that causes African violet to become droopy and try to understand it separately.
High temperatures over time, especially for a prolonged period of time, can cause the leaves of African violet to droop. This happens because water becomes no longer available to the plant as it should be. Additionally, high temperatures can make African violet suffer from heat stress.
Plants that are exposed to higher temperatures will begin to develop heat stress symptoms. The first symptom is wilting. As the temperature rises, the leaves droop downward until they touch the ground. The leaves then darken and turn reddish.
If you live in a hot, dry location and your African violet seems to be thirsty, it may be that it’s not getting enough water. Check the soil around the plant to see if it feels moist. It should be moist at a depth of about two inches. If the soil feels dry, then water the plant immediately.
If you live in an area where the temperatures regularly exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit, be sure to monitor your plants’ conditions. If they begin to suffer from stress, bring them inside and use a fan that runs at low speed. Fans circulate air throughout the room and keep the temperature down.
Did your African violet change color recently? Here is a quick explanation and fix to this problem.
Cold temperatures have a negative impact on the growth of African violet. They slow down their metabolic rates, which slows down the rate of cell division.
This ultimately means that new leaves will grow very slowly and will be very tiny when they do come out. Older leaves will shrivel and lose their color as the plant begins to shut down.
A sudden drop in temperature will slow down the flow of nutrients through the plant and can also damage the root system, which will lead to stunted growth.
If the weather is extremely low, water will freeze inside the roots and the plant will stop the uptake of nutrients and water from the soil. This can cause the plant to die completely.
If you are growing African violet in a cold area you will need to bring it inside in winter and keep it in a room where the temperature does not get below 60°F. If this temperature range is not achievable inside your home, then you can use a heating pad to keep the plant warm.
Additionally, if you bring African violet inside during winter, you should place it near an artificial light source and give it enough water and fertilizer. This plant does not go dormant during cold days, so you should not cut back on watering and fertilizing it during winter.
Do you want to know exactly how much light African violet needs? Click here to get the answer.
Underwatering can cause your African violet to look weak, sickly, and droopy. In extreme cases, underwatering can cause this plant to lose all its leaves and die.
The first sign of underwatering is that you may have noticed the leaves of your plant looking limp. A more noticeable symptom is that the stems of your plants are bending or drooping toward the ground.
Underwatering usually occurs during the summer months when the temperature reaches the highest levels possible. During these days, water evaporation increases and leads to a reduction of soil moisture.
If you notice your African violet turning yellow, wilting, and looking droopy, then it’s time to change your watering habits. In this case, you should start checking the soil of your plant more frequently. If it is dry, water the plant immediately. If the soil is damp, you should water your plant less often.
Low humidity can lead to drooping leaves for a plant such as African violet. If the air in the room is too dry, the leaves will dehydrate and cause wilting. The plant will also not be able to breathe properly if the air is too dry.
The environment around your plant is just as important as the amount of water it receives. When you have a low humidity level, your plant will often experience wilting or leaf yellowing. On the other hand, when the humidity is high, a plant such as African violet will tend to grow quickly and will produce more healthy leaves.
If you notice that your African violet is looking droopy and wilting, you should check the air in the room and make sure that the humidity level is high enough. You can use a humidifier to increase the humidity level in the room or mist the plant occasionally with a water spray bottle.
A variety of insects can cause the leaves of African violet to become droopy. The most common one is spider mites, which are tiny, oval-shaped creatures. They live on the undersides of the leaves, feed on the juices of the plant, and create webbed clusters around their home.
Other insects that can cause leaves to droop include aphids, whiteflies, and thrips. Thrips are microscopic insects that look similar to aphids but can be distinguished by the presence of three pairs of wings.
It is important to remember that your plant will always try to fight back against pest infestation. A weak plant will have a harder time fighting these pests off, so be sure to give your plant plenty of water and nutrients to help it stay immune to pests.
If your African violet has been infested by pests you should think about organic pest control methods first. The easiest and most common method is to bring ladybugs to your garden. This kind of bug is an excellent natural insecticide. They eat aphids and other insects that can harm your plants.
Another natural pest control method that you can use if pests are causing your African violet to look droopy is spraying with organic oils. For example, neem oil can be used to repel insects and aphids because it has antibacterial properties that can deter pests.
When the roots of African violet start root rotting, a fungus starts living in the root system. Once the fungus takes hold, the plant cannot absorb any water from the soil, resulting in the plant becoming droopy and dying.
Root rot can be caused by over-watering, over-fertilizing, or improper soil drainage.
The symptoms of root rot include browning or softening of the soil, discoloration of leaves, a pungent smell, and, if it’s indoors, mold growing on the soil.
If any of these symptoms mentioned above appear, remove your African violet from the pot and change the potting mix immediately. You should also remove any dead or infected roots then wash the plant and let it dry completely before planting it in the new potting mix.
Additionally, you will need to disinfect the pot before adding the fresh potting soil to it. This will ensure that the plant will grow in an environment that is not contaminated with any harmful bacteria.
How big can an African violet get? Read our article to get the answer.
How to Prevent African Violet from Dropping?
To prevent African violet from drooping you will need to provide them with an environment that is similar to their native habitat. This plant is native to the regions of Tanzania in Africa where sunlight is available in abundance, the temperature is warm all year long and the humidity is around 70%.
Let’s see how you can provide these conditions for African violet no matter where you live in the world.
African violet thrives when it gets exposed to bright but indirect sunlight. These conditions will cause the leaves to burn and turn brown.
It is best to find a shady spot in your garden that is out of direct sunlight. If you have a south-facing wall or trellis, then that is an ideal place.
If you don’t have a south-facing window where you live, you can use any type of window screen, including plastic ones that open on one side, or even a thick piece of cloth cut to fit over the window.
If sunlight is not available consistently where you live you can replace it with artificial light. When you set up a fluorescent light fixture, it is recommended that the fixture be placed about 12 inches from the top of the plant. This way the plant will grow upright without any risk of burn.
A well-draining soil is essential for growing a healthy African violet. This plant doesn’t enjoy wet soil because it likes to stay moist but not soggy.
To provide this plant with the best drainage possible you should grow it in a pot that is made from a porous material or at least a plastic pot with drainage holes. Additionally, you should add peat moss to the soil to help it drain water quickly.
African violet doesn’t like overwatering. Therefore, this plant should be allowed to dry before we give it water again. The best way to assure that the soil is dry before watering is to use a moisture meter. This device is inexpensive and easy to use.
All you have to do is to dig the prob of the moisture meter inside the soil and wait a few minutes to get an accurate reading. If the device indicates that the soil is wet then you can water your plant.
When watering African violet, make sure that water does not get in contact with the leaves. In fact, water droplets that touch the leaves during watering can cause brown spots and attract pests and bacteria. Therefore, it is better to water these plants from the bottom rather than from the top.
Temperature and Humidity
African violets are considered a “warm weather” plant, and they require moderate warmth and humidity to thrive. They prefer temperatures between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. At temperatures below 50, they become stressed and begin to decline.
African Violets are extremely sensitive to low humidity. It is necessary that the plants grow in an environment that provides 80% humidity level. The idea is to have a humidifier near the plant or a misting system in the room so that the humidity can be adjusted throughout the day.
African violets prefer to be fed every two weeks, especially during the spring and summer. During the cold months, they should be fed less often but you should not cut back on fertilizing them during this time of the year.
A 14:12:14 NPK ratio fertilizer in a liquid or powder form is the best choice for this plant. Before using any fertilizer try to read the product description carefully because some products need to be diluted before use while others can be used following another protocol.
If you found this content helpful, Click here to read our article about how to fix yellowing African violet