How Much Light do African Violets Need?
Many people think that African Violets are fussy houseplants that are difficult to grow and keep alive. This is not exactly true. However, African Violets do need some attention to keep them healthy.
The truth is that these lovely houseplants need specific care, but you need to know exactly what their requirements are.
One of the main factors that can decide whether your African Violet will thrive or die, is the light provided.
In this article, I will introduce you to the exact light requirements of the African Violets.
How Much Light do African Violets Need?
African Violets grow best in indirect sunlight. That means African Violets can get burn spots on their leaves if are placed in direct sunlight.
Place your African Violet in a bright room, or on an east- or north-facing window sill, where this can get at least 8 hours of indirect sunlight.
It is important for this plant to get enough sunlight for photosynthesis and its overall health. However, the darkness is also important for African Violets.
You should make sure that your African Violets can rest in the darkness for at least 8-9 hours every day. This acts as a bloom signal for the plant.
Can African Violets Grow in Low Light?
Above I said that African Violets can get damaged by direct sunlight, but what if they don’t get enough light?
African Violets will not grow healthy in low light conditions. Their growth will stunt and the leaf stems will become leggy. The leaves will start to grow upright trying to reach for the light.
Blooming will also be delayed, as the African Violet will not have enough energy to produce flower buds.
In some cases, your African Violet might bloom even in low light conditions, but this will grow only a few flowers and once these are spent, the plant will not grow new buds.
Most of the time, your African Violet will not die from low light exposure, as this can adapt to its new conditions.
However, sometimes, the growth of the plant can become so slow, as this will eventually die.
Do African Violets Need Direct Sunlight?
African Violets need a proper amount of light to ensure healthy growth and to bloom well. However, too much light can be a “no, no” as well.
An African Violet that receives too much light, especially direct sunlight, becomes stunted and produces small, crinkled, yellow leaves that are grown on short leave stems.
In many cases, direct sunlight can also cause sunburn to the plant. This will cause brown spots on the leaves and flowers.
Curling leaves are also a sign that your African Violet gets too much direct sunlight. However, the curling leaves can be a sign of the presence of mites, so you should check the underside of the leaves as well.
Is Grow Light Good for African Violets?
Yes, you can use grow light for African Violets. For good growth and flowering, many growers are using grow light with a timer set for 14 hours of light and 10 hours of darkness every day.
If your home cannot offer the perfect light requirements for your African Violet, you can also use grow lights. But use one that covers both blue and red spectrums.
Make sure you put the light far enough from the plant so this will not burn, but close enough to best effectiveness.
Depending on the plant’s size, place the grow light about 12-15 inches/ 30-38 cm above the plant.
If you put your hands above your African Violet, and you feel the heat of the grow light is unbearable, that means, the light is too close to the plant and this will burn. In this case, adjust the distance.
Why are My African Violets Not Blooming?
The most common reason why an African Violet is not blooming is that it doesn’t get enough light.
Obviously, there can be many other reasons, such as overwatering or the pot being too big. But you should check all the factors that could be the problem. And you should start to assess the light conditions first.
If your African Violet doesn’t get enough light, this doesn’t have enough energy to grow flowers.
Too little light leads to leggy leaf stems and upright growing leaves.
African Violets also need darkness, as I said above. The flowering hormone, called florigen, is produced while there is enough light, but this triggers blooming only when there is enough darkness.
So, if you live in a climate where there is light for more than 16 hours or you are using a grow light, make sure your African Violet can enjoy some darkness as well.
African Violets need at least 8 hours and a maximum of 16 hours of indirect sunlight. In case of not enough light, the plant will refuse to bloom, as this will not have enough energy to produce flower buds.
Direct sunlight isn’t good for African Violets either. Direct sunlight can burn the plant and can cause growth stunts.
The best place for optimal light, that an African Violet needs, is a north- or east-facing windowsill. If you cannot provide enough light for your plant, you can use a grow light with blue and red spectrums.
So, if you are wondering why your African Violet doesn’t bloom, you should first think about its light conditions. Does it have enough sunlight? Does it have sunlight for long enough?
If you think the light cannot be the problem, then you should think about other factors that might be the cause of an unhealthy African Violet.
African Violets need a bit of love and attention, but with the proper care, they can bloom all around the year and can decorate your home all along with your life.