African Violet Leaves Curling & Dying - Knowledgebase Question

Avoca, IA
Avatar for bonsai4
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.

Avatar for jasper4354
A comment from jasper4354
February 10, 2018
May be that you have watered it to much and that you have root rot.

Avatar for kyletourtois
Answer from kyletourtois
February 10, 2018
I have raised African Violets for over 50 years. I would say that your's are either underwatered or overwatered which causes Crownrot. The thing to do is lift it and if it seems very light to you, it needs to be soaked in a bowl or bucket of water, until it sinks or the bubbles quit.This will rehydrate the peat in the potting mix and keep it from drying out in the future. This can be done with any plant that has become to dry, especially hanging pots on a hot summers day!...........Kyle T.

Avatar for Ludowesec
A comment from Ludowesec
February 10, 2018
Good succinct advice!

Answer from NGA
October 14, 1999
Photo by Paul2032
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.

Avatar for LenCorcione
A comment from LenCorcione
February 10, 2018
I thought that African violets leaves were not suppose to get wet?

Avatar for PropaGator
A comment from PropaGator
February 11, 2018
Holy Smokes. The African Violet sounds like the parrot of the plant world. I guess a light misting is different than getting them wet? Now I have to google where they naturally grow.

Name: Will Creed
Prof. plant consultant & educator
A comment from WillC
February 14, 2018
Of course in nature, AV leaves do get wet whenever it rains. The problem is COLD water on the leaves or water droplets that are then exposed to direct sunlight that will burn holes in the leaves.

As is often the case, there is a kernel of truth to this conventional wisdom, but it then gets exaggerated and promoted. BTW, this is true of other fuzzy-leaved planys, as well.

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