Struggling with African violet leaves drooping and unsure what is causing this to happen?
Drooping leaves on African violets are most commonly related to overwatering or underwatering. They can also be due to other factors like improper lighting, temperature fluctuations, and much more.
This guide will cover the ten main reasons for African violet leaves drooping, as well as what to do to prevent it from happening in the future.
Keep reading to learn more.
- 10 Reasons For African Violet Leaves Drooping
- 1. Overwatering
- 2. Underwatering
- 3. Improper Lighting
- 4. Too Hot/Cold
- 5. Temperature Fluctuations
- 6. Too Much Fertilizer
- 7. Nutrient Deficiencies
- 8. Pests and Diseases
- 9. Cold Water Shock
- 10. Old Age
- Reviving Droopy African Violets
- In Summary
10 Reasons For African Violet Leaves Drooping
Here are the ten most common reasons for African violet leaves drooping, along with tips for avoiding each problem.
Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for African violets to experience drooping leaves.
African violets prefer moist soil, and too much water can make it difficult for moisture and nutrients to reach the leaves, causing them to droop.
Extended periods of overwatering can also lead to root rot and stem rot, so it’s super important to get this part right.
Only water when the top inch of soil dries out, and make sure your soil mix drains well. It’s also important to have drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out.
A regular potting mix with added coco coir or perlite is a great option.
Just as overwatering can cause drooping leaves, so can underwatering.
African violet leaves will start drooping when they aren’t receiving enough water. Make sure you regularly check the moisture level of the soil and water your plant accordingly to avoid dehydration.
Similarly to overwatering, make sure to only water when the top inch of soil dries out.
Make sure your soil mix drains well, but not excessively.
3. Improper Lighting
African violets need plenty of indirect sunlight to thrive.
Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, causing them to droop and eventually die.
A lack of sunlight, on the other hand, reduces the overall growth rate as it is needed for photosynthesis to produce nutrients and causes all of the leaves to droop as well.
Providing The Right Type Of Light
It’s important to find a good balance of indirect, bright sunlight.
African violets need at least 10 hours of sunlight per day to bloom properly, so during the winter, you may need to supplement their sunlight needs with a grow lamp.
If you notice signs of sun-scorched spots on the leaves, then move your African violet to a new place with less intense sunlight.
4. Too Hot/Cold
African violets are sensitive to temperature.
If the temperature is either too hot or too cold, it can affect the health of the plant and cause the leaves to droop.
Keep the temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and aim for 70 degrees Fahrenheit as an optimal temperature.
5. Temperature Fluctuations
As previously mentioned, temperature fluctuations can negatively impact your African violets.
Consistency is key when it comes to temperature, so do your best to maintain a stable environment for your plants.
Avoiding Temperature Fluctuations
Avoid drafty windows or doors, and keep your African violet in a space with a consistent temperature.
Temperature fluctuations at night are not as problematic as long as they are not severe.
6. Too Much Fertilizer
Overfertilization is another potential cause for drooping leaves.
Using too much fertilizer can overwhelm your African violets and lead to poor growth and drooping leaves.
How To Fertilize Properly
Over-fertilizing is quite common because most potting mixes contain a lot of nutrients.
You only need to start fertilizing when the plant starts showing signs that it is struggling and do this sparingly.
Once or twice per month during the growing season should be more than enough.
7. Nutrient Deficiencies
African violets still require nutrients to thrive.
Although this is much less common, if your plant isn’t receiving the necessary nutrients, it can lead to drooping leaves and other issues.
How To Avoid Nutrient Deficiency
Make sure your soil mix contains lots of organic material and fertilize during the growing season to boost the nutrient content of the soil.
8. Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases can also cause African violets to experience drooping leaves, as well as other symptoms like discolored leaves, slow growth, and eventually death in severe cases.
Common pests include spider mites, cyclamen mites, and aphids. Some pests are much easier to get rid of than others.
Common diseases include root rot, powder mildew, and various types of leaf blight.
How To Avoid Pests & Diseases
Avoiding pests and diseases entirely is very difficult, but there are things you can do to make them less likely to affect your plant:
- Avoid watering the leaves as this promotes disease growth and attracts pests.
- Ensure you don’t overwater the soil, as this can cause root rot and attract pests.
- Provide good circulation around the plant.
9. Cold Water Shock
African violets are very sensitive to cold water, and it can chill the plant and mark the leaves, causing them to droop.
How To Avoid Cold Water Shock
When watering your African violet, make sure to water the soil and not the leaves and use room temperature water rather than cold water.
10. Old Age
Finally, it’s important to remember that plants, like all living things, have a natural life cycle.
As African violets age, it’s normal for some leaves to droop and eventually fall off. If your plant is otherwise healthy, this may simply be a sign of old age.
Can Age-Related Problems Be Avoided?
Leaves drooping and falling off due to old age cannot be avoided.
As long as there isn’t a pattern to this, then you can be confident that age is the reason.
Reviving Droopy African Violets
If you aren’t sure where to start with your drooping African violet, the steps below outline a procedure you can follow to get your plant back to health.
Check The Soil
First, you need to examine the soil your African Violets are in. If it’s too dry or too wet, your plant may experience drooping leaves as a result.
If the soil is completely dry, then underwatering is very likely causing the leaves to droop, so you need to water the soil generously.
If the soil is saturated with water, you will need to repot and examine the roots.
Deal With Any Visible Pests Or Disease
If any of the leaves are infested with pests or suffering from diseases like powdery mildew or blight, they need to be pruned.
The rest of the leaves will then need to be safeguarded with an insecticide or fungicide, depending on the problem.
Repot If Necessary
Repotting is necessary if the soil is overwatered.
To check the roots, remove your violet from its pot by digging around the roots and pulling on the base gently.
If any of the roots are discolored, mushy, or smell foul, then they are rotten and need to be removed with sterilized pruning shears.
Treat the rest of the roots with a fungicide and repot into a fresh, well-draining soil mix.
Make sure the pot has drainage holes as well to allow excess water to escape.
Repotting is also a good idea if you haven’t done so for a few years or if you suspect the soil mix you are using lacks nutrients.
What If The Stem Is Rotten?
If the stem has also rotten, then you won’t be able to save the main plant.
The only option here is to propagate cuttings.
Make Sure Other Care Factors Are Correct
After repotting, water the soil until it is moist.
From there, it’s a case of monitoring your plant over the next few weeks to help it recover, making sure the other care requirements are met:
- Temperature – Aim for a temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit at all times and aim for 70 degrees Fahrenheit as an optimal temperature.
- Sunlight – Bright, indirect sunlight is best. Aim for 10 hours per day to encourage flowering, and consider using a grow light over winter.
- Humidity – Keep the humidity high, around 70-80%, with good air circulation.
- Fertilizing – Fertilize once or twice monthly in the growing season if the plant shows signs of struggling.
African violet leaves drooping can happen for many reasons, and it’s important to find out the cause to make sure it isn’t something serious like overwatering.
If you aren’t sure where to start, follow the steps above to identify the problem and get your plant back to health.
Drooping leaves affect lots of other plants as well. Check out some of our recent articles on this topic below: