African Violet Leaves Curling & Dying - Knowledgebase Question

Avoca, IA
Question by bonsai4
October 14, 1999
My African violets leaves start to curl under on the edge and steadily get more limp, lose all firmness, get soft and mushy, die and dry up.I cannot find any bugs or anything that looks like a mold. I'd appreciate your suggestions.

Answer from NGA
October 14, 1999


There are several possible reasons for the symptoms you describe: dry air, too much sun, and incorrect watering. If nothing around your plants has changed, I'm puzzled. What about drafts, hot or cold? Anything new there? African Violets don't like drafts. Have you changed the location of the plant? Even if the light is the same, they sometimes respond negatively if moved at all. Have you changed fertilizers or changed fertilizing routine? That could be the problem. Have you repotted recently? There could be a problem there as well. They enjoy being somewhat rootbound. Is there any possibility of pests on your violet? Inspect the leaves again, looking for any residue, webbing, mold, insects, etc. It sounds like you have been a perfect caregiver but let's go over it one more time: Try to provide even temperatures, bright light, (but not strong sunlight), keep the soil moist but not soggy, and use tepid water at the soil line rather than pouring water directly over the leaves. They need high humidity, so place the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and put water in the tray once a week. Or, mist with a fine spray regularly. You can feed them about every two months with a complete houseplant fertilizer (read and follow the label directions), or with a special African Violet fertilizer. Hope this helps.

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