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How Long Do African Violets Live?

African Violets are beloved houseplants because of their ability to bloom all around the year and because they can live for many years.

When I say many years, that means your African Violet can be by your side for all of your life. African Violets can live at least 50 years with the proper care.

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In this article, I will present an overview of how to care for African Violets to keep them going for as long as possible.

Lifespan of African Violets

According to the Bay State African Violet Society, the lifespan of an African Violet can be indefinite. But this can be achieved only with the best care.

According to other sources, an African Violet can live up to 50 years.

To keep an African Violet healthy and help it live for as long as possible, you have to follow a few instructions and rules, otherwise, your plant can die.

Make African Violets Live Longer

To make an African Violet live for many years, you should pay attention to a few factors.

These factors can help an African Violet to thrive or die.

You should pay attention to your watering technique, fertilizing, repotting, and light conditions when it comes to these lovely houseplants. You should also be vigilant in regards to diseases and pests.

Any infestation can easily kill your African Violet.

– Watering

Watering is one of the most important factors that can ensure a long life for your African Violet.

An inadequate watering technique can kill your plant easily.

African Violets hate to be watered from above. Wet leaves can lead to diseases and/or pests, also rotting leaves.

You should always water your African Violets from the bottom. Place the pot into a container that has 2,5 cm/ 1 inch of water and leave it for 20 minutes.

Then remove the pot from the water and leave the excess water to drain.

Overwatering your African Violets can also be a killer to the plant. Before watering it, always check the potting mix with your finger. If the mix is still moist, then leave it for another few days.

The best is to leave the mix to dry out slightly, but not completely, as this can also damage your plant.

You should also pay attention to the temperature of the water. Too hot or too cold water can damage the plant’s roots, and this can lead to diseases and an unhealthy plant.

Better to leave the tap water to sit overnight so this can get a room temperature and the chlorine will also evaporate.

However, from time to time, it is ok to water your African Violets from the top, because this way you can wash away the built-up salt. But be careful to dry the leaves with a paper towel after washing them.

– Fertilizing

Fertilizing also helps to elongate an African Violet’s life. But only if it is done in the right way.

These plants don’t need too much fertilizer. Every 4 to 6 weeks is enough to be fertilized. Do not over-fertilize, as this can damage your plants.

You should always use a fertilizer that is made especially for African Violets because these plants need a certain percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The best ratio for these houseplants is 14-12-14.

Not only the quality of the fertilizer is important, but the way you are using it as well. Always read the label and dilute it or use it as directed.

Do not fertilize your African Violets during winter. Some of the growers say that they shouldn’t be fertilized while they are in bloom, while others say that it is good to add some nutrients. Especially because the flowers can be huge energy consumers.

– Diseases and Pests

If you want healthy African Violets, you should avoid the diseases and pests’ infestations.

Whenever you get a new plant, first you should quarantine it to observe if any pests are present.

Avoid overwatering and over fertilizing, as these can cause fungal diseases and rotting.

Also, using too hot or too cold water when watering your plants, can cause Ring Spots. These spots can appear overnight and are the cause of the damaged tissues. The tissues are getting damaged when a too big temperature difference between the plant and water is present.

So, try to water your African Violets with room temperature water.

If you have been unlucky and your plants got diseased or pests are present, you should act and treat the problem as soon as possible. The quicker you stop the spreading of the disease and pests, the higher the chances are that you can save your African Violets.

– Repotting

Repotting is another factor that will influence your African Violet’s general health.

Most of the plants need repotting because they have outgrown their pot. However, African Violets are those plants that need repotting only to refresh their potting mix.

At least once, but even twice a year, refreshing the potting mix will make wonders and will keep your African Violets healthy and compact.

Whenever you repot your plants, you should also refresh and rejuvenate them by removing old, broken, limp, or damaged leaves and roots.

The main stem can be also scraped. This way you can prevent having a leggy African Violet.

– Lighting

The light factors are also important for African Violet to stay healthy and to bloom for a long time.

African Violets need a fair amount of bright light. That means, these plants will not survive in a dark room, but the direct sunlight will also kill them.

Direct sunlight can burn the leaves of the plant. However, not enough light, stops the plant to bloom and this becomes pale and leggy, and eventually will die.

The best window sill for African Violets is a north- or east-facing one. If you don’t have a perfect spot to ensure the required light for your plants, you can use a grow light for this purpose.

How Long does African Violet Bloom Last?

The blooms can last depending on the environment and the care the plant gets. A flower can last between a few days to several weeks.

But if we speak about the blooming cycle of an African Violet, then the answer is: all year long.

With proper care and a good environment, your African Violet can bloom nearly constantly.

Once the bloom is spent, remove it to prevent pests and diseases. Also, by removing the spent flower, you will encourage the plant to grow even more flowers.

To ensure long-lasting flowers and blooming cycle, water your African Violets from the bottom, ensure the right light requirements and make sure the plant has a good-sized pot and this is not too big.

African Violets will bloom only when they are root-bound.

Conclusion

African Violets can live for an indefinite time. But this can be possible only with the proper care and the perfect environment.

African Violets are very fussy about their watering and fertilizing. They need fertilizer only every 4-6 weeks and watering should be done from the bottom.

These plants prefer a north- or east-facing window sill, as the direct sunlight can burn them.

When you repot your African Violet, make sure you refresh it, by removing the old, diseased, and dry leaves, and make sure you are using a pot that is not too big. African Violets love to be root-bounded.

Posted in African Violets - Updated: November 18, 2021

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