How to Grow African Violets Outdoors?
African Violets are known for their vibrant colored flowers and their fizzy, velvety leaves. These plants are the world’s most popular indoor plants. But have you ever wondered how to grow African Violets outdoors?
Unfortunately, there are not too many places where these plants can be grown outdoors. If you are lucky enough to live in a climate where this can be possible, this article helps you to learn how to grow African Violets outdoors.
Can African Violets Grow Outside?
African Violets are native to Tanzania and they can live happily outdoors if the climate is the same as the Tanzanian climate.
However, if the climate where you live is too hot, too cold, too humid, or too dry, your African Violet will not survive if you plant it outside.
African Violets need a daytime temperature between 70-90°F/ 21-32°C and a night-time temperature between 65-70°F/ 18-21°C. Any extended time outside of these temperatures will damage your African Violets.
Direct sunlight can also damage the plant’s foliage. African Violets have sensitive foliage and this can burn permanently in direct sunlight, especially if it gets wet. What cannot be eliminated once the plant grows outside.
So, to answer your question, most places are not suitable to grow African Violets outside. It is possible but challenging.
However, many growers say different things. Some of them say that there are certain regions where the African Violets can grow just fine.
Others say that African Violets should be houseplants only, and growing them outside would be a bad decision.
Some other growers prefer to grow their African Violets part-time outdoors and are placing their plants outside when the condition is just fine for them.
Growing African Violets Outside
Although African Violets grow easier and can remain healthy easier indoors, you can still challenge yourself to try and grow them outdoors.
If you accept the challenge, here is what should you do.
First of all, I advise you to grow your African Violet in a pot. This can help you to move its place later on if you think the previous place isn’t suitable for the plant.
Another reason why should you grow the African Violet in a pot is that you can control what type of soil the plant gets. African Violets love loose, well-draining soil and a compact pot.
These plants are blooming only when they are root-bound. Planting them into the ground would be too much soil for their roots.
Watering is another important factor to keep your African Violets alive outdoors. You should keep the soil always moist, but not too soggy. And never leave it to dry out completely.
As I mentioned earlier, African Violets hate getting wet on the leaves. So, try to put your plant on a porch or where this will not be touched by the rain.
African Violets also hate direct sunlight. A shady, but bright spot on your terrace would be perfect for your plant.
What really makes it difficult to grow African Violets outside, is the humidity. This needs to be high and constant. African Violets love high humidity; however, it needs to be combined with a temperature range between 65-90°F/ 18-32°C.
Most of the places that have this temperature range are low in humidity, and those places where it is high enough, are too hot for African Violets.
You should also be vigilant with pests, as African Violets can be easily attacked by a lot of different pests. These plants are like a candy cane for the pests.
Can African Violets Survive Outside in Winter?
African Violets would definitely not survive outside during a cold winter. These plants need warm weather all year round.
As I mentioned above, African Violets are not happy with temperatures below 65°F/18°C.
So, even during the winter nights, African Violets need to have these temperatures as a minimum, otherwise, they will die quickly.
Do African Violets Like Direct Sunshine?
No, African Violets do not like direct sunshine, as this can damage their foliage.
African Violets do need lots of light, but this must be bright to moderate indirect sunlight.
However, the early morning sunshine or the late afternoon direct sunlight will not damage the leaves because the sun is not too hot at these times of the day.
The hot, direct sunlight can harm your African Violets. If exposed to too much sun, African Violets will start to wilt and turn yellow. Later, they will start to develop brown spots and then the blooms will start to fade and drop.
Can African Violets Grow Outside in Australia?
Depending on the area where you live in Australia, you might get lucky and can grow African Violets outside.
As African Violets don’t like too hot or too cold weather, some parts in Australia, such as Sydney, for example, can be suitable for these lovely plants to grow outside.
The summers in Sydney are warm and partly cloudy, while the winters are short, cool, and sunny. But the temperatures vary from 47°F/8°C to 80°F/27°C.
As long as the temperature remains between 65-90°F/ 18-32°C and the humidity between 40%-60%, your African Violet can stay happily outside.
However, I would keep the plant in a pot on a terrace, away from the direct sunlight and rain, and to be able to move it indoors during the winter nights when the temperatures drop.
Can You Grow African Violets Outside in Florida?
Florida is another place where African Violets can be grown outside. This state is the warmest American state, which has a humid subtropical climate in its north and central parts, and a tropical climate in the south.
The average high temperatures in Florida are between 90°F/32°C and 95°F/35°C, while the average low temperatures are between 40°F/4°C – 45°F/7°C in the northern part. The average minimum temperature in the state’s southern part is between 60°F/15°C to 65°F/18°C.
You might think, that these temperatures are out of the mentioned temperature range that African Violets like. You are right; however, you should check the climate in the area where you live, to make sure, you know what to do in case of too hot or too cold weather.
The average range of humidity in Florida state is between 60%-71%. So, this is slightly high for the African Violets, but if it is not combined with the highest temperature, this humidity is still safe for your plant.
Growing African Violets outdoors in Florida might seem impossible because of the high temperatures and humidity, but many people are doing it. That means it is possible.
Can be challenging, yes, however, if you pay close attention to your African Violet needs, you will succeed.
If you want to grow African Violets outdoors, first you should check the climate where you live.
African Violets love a daytime temperature between 70-90°F/ 21-32°C and a night-time temperature between 65-70°F/ 18-21°C. In terms of humidity, they need it between 40%-60%.
If the temperature in the climate where you live is too high or too low, you probably will fail in this project. However, you could grow your African Violets outside just temporarily.
That means when the environment is just fine for the plant, take it outside, and bring it back indoors when the humidity and temperatures are dropping or rising.
If you live in Australia or Florida, you might get lucky and could succeed in growing African Violets outdoors all year round.
But remember, grow them in pots, so they can be rootbound and can have well-draining soil. Also, be careful not to put them in direct sunlight and give them shelter when the rain comes.
Correct watering is also essential: keep the soil always moist, but not soggy, and do not let it dry out completely.