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African Violet Leaves are Turning Yellow – Causes & Solutions

African Violets come in many colors, not only violet. They come in different shapes, like double petal varieties as well.  No wonder they are so popular in almost every household.

With the proper care, they can be very thankful by growing cute, tiny flowers all around the year and velvety, bright green leaves.

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Plant Index

African Violets are not difficult plants, but they have few things they are fussy about, like the watering technique. And sometimes, if things are not going well, African Violets can become unhappy.

If something is wrong, their leaves will become yellow. This is how an African Violet is signalling that something is missing or is in excess.

In this article, I will talk about the reasons why the leaves of the African Violets can turn yellow.

Yellow Leaves on African Violet

Yellow leaves on African Violet are usually a sign that the plant is lacking or has an excess of something vital.

However, if the outer leaves are getting yellow, that can be normal, as this is an ageing process and it is natural.

But if you see younger leaves are getting yellow, you should revise the plant’s vital necessities, such as watering, fertilizer or light, because something is wrong.

– Watering Problem

When an African Violet has yellow leaves, in most cases, the watering technique is the problem.

African Violets don’t tolerate water on their leaves. If you don’t water the plant from under the leaves, as close to the soil as possible, then the leaves will turn yellow.

When using too hot or too cold water, and this touches the leaves, then ring spots or necrotic spots can develop.

The temperature difference leads to these spots because the water damages the cells of the leaves and these are becoming discolored.

Water your African Violets from under the leaves or from the bottom, to avoid yellowing leaves and ring spots.

You can also opt for a self-watering pot, that is designed especially for plants that need watering from the bottom.

– Strong Sunlight

However, African Violets need lots of light, they don’t perform well in direct sunlight. When exposed to direct sunlight, the leaves of African Violets may lose color and turn yellow.

The best place for an African Violet is in a bright room, 3 feet/91 cm away from the window, or if you put it on a window sill, that should be a southeast or west window.

Not sufficient sunlight can also lead to yellowing leaves. These leaves are a signal that the plant hasn’t got enough energy, but they can recover if you move the plant to a brighter place.

– Fertilizing

Fertilizing is very important for African Violets if you want them blooming and thriving.

If an African Violet has yellow leaves, can mean that it needs more nutrients. Lacking the vital nutrients, your plant will fail to produce bright green leaves and lovely flowers.

You should fertilize your African Violets regularly, every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the fertilizer you are using.

However, you should also read the label of the fertilizer solution, and use it as directed. Because too much fertilizer can cause yellow leaves.

– Disease (Botrytis Blight)

Another problem that can cause yellowing leaves is Botrytis Blight. This is a fungal disease that is caused by the Botrytis Cinerea fungus and it is very contagious.

When an African Violet gets diseases by Botrytis Blight, the flowers and the leaves will fade in color and then turn yellow.

It should be isolated from the other plants, as it can spread to your other houseplants, and be treated with fungicide. The diseased leaves should be removed.

Botrytis Blight can appear because of too much water in the plant’s soil, or high humidity in the air.

What to Do with the Yellow Leaves?

If your African Violets’ leaves are turning yellow, first, you should find the problem that is causing it.

Once you solved the problem, there comes the question: what to do with the yellow leaves?

Yellow leaves can be removed from your African Violet. This will help the plant to restore energy and grow new leaves.

Removing yellow leaves also stops the spreading of pests or diseases, if that is the case.

You can repot the plant if this is diseased or infested with pests, but unnecessary repotting can stress the plant.

African Violets are blooming when they are root-bound, so repotting it, blooming can be delayed.

TIP: Use sterilized tools and work with clean hands when removing the leaves from your plants. This can prevent further infestation or damages to your African Violets.

Wrap Up

If your African Violet’s leaves are turning yellow, that means the plant is trying to tell you something. Usually, there is a problem with it.

But sometimes, if the older leaves are getting yellow, can mean that the plant is just ageing, and new leaves will come soon.

Try to avoid yellow leaves by watering the plant from the bottom with room temperature water, fertilizing it regularly and adequately, and paying attention to its needs of light.

African Violets should get enough indirect light, so they can have the energy to thrive.

Paying attention to different diseases and pests can also save you from some trouble.

Acting fast and adequately can save your African Violets. As soon as you observe yellowing leaves, you should assess its soil and environment, also the whole plant, to find out which factor is causing the problem.

Updated: September 28, 2021

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