The Q&A Archives: African Violets

Question: For about three years my African Violet continually bloomed. All of a sudden the leaves went limp. What could have caused that to happen?

Answer: African Violets are a study in contradictions. The plants prefer moist soil, but they are quite susceptible to crown rot caused by overwatering and wide fluctuations in temperature. Crown rot disease is difficult to control and it is infectious, so be sure to remove and destroy the affected plant. If you decide to replace your ailing African Violet, the following guidelines will help you avoid similar problems: African Violets like average household temperatures, minimum 60F in the winter, and do not like cold drafts or sudden changes in temperature. They like bright light, but not hot sunshine. Keep the potting soil barely moist; let the top dry out a bit before watering. Try not to get water on the leaves or the crown of the plant - apply water to the soil only. African Violets like high humidity so place the pot on a tray of pebbles in which you keep a half-inch of water. Hope your next plant lives long and prospers!

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