Nothing is more frustrating than bringing home a showy African violet that drops its beautiful blooms. What was the nursery doing that you got wrong? Or maybe your plant bloomed reliably for ages and then suddenly shed its pretty petals. How do you figure out the issue when you haven’t changed your routine?
If you’ve found yourself in distress, fear not! There’s a pretty good chance you can get your African violet to bloom again. You just need to know a few good tricks. First, we’ll take a look at what’s normal, and then we’ll dive into solving what isn’t.
How Often Do African Violets Bloom?
One of the reasons African violets are so well-loved is that they can bloom nearly year-round with the right care. Each healthy flower will last two or three weeks. A happy plant can continue producing new blossoms regularly for 10 to 12 months out of the year.
Although they’ve got a reputation for being a little finicky, African violets are actually quite low maintenance once you get the conditions right. Learning more about African violet care will help you set your plant up for success (AKA perpetual bloom!).
A note on genetics: The one thing you can’t control are your plant’s genes. Some are born showboats, while others will struggle with stage fright their whole lives. However, if it has bloomed in the past, chances are you can coax even the shyest plant back into blossom.
Let’s take a look at how.
Why Has My African Violet Stopped Blooming?
So, your plant dropped its flowers and hasn’t produced new ones. What’s gone wrong? Although African violets aren’t fussy, they’ll withhold their beautiful blossoms if even just one of their key needs isn’t met.
Luckily, most of the things that make your plant stop flowering are pretty easy to remedy. Read on for a few common culprits—and how you can get your African violet to bloom again.
Why Are My African Violet Blooms Dying?
- Inadequate lighting
- Low humidity
- Insufficient fertilizer
- Temperature extremes
- Improper soil
- Pests & disease
- Wrong pot size
- Crowded top growth
8 Ways to Get Your African Violet to Bloom Again
If your plant has stopped blooming, or is struggling to produce healthy flowers, take a look through this checklist to see if you need to make any changes in your routine.
1. Let There Be Light
Inefficient lighting is one of the main reasons African violets drop their blooms. These African natives love bright light; they’re just sensitive to heat. In the summer, place your plant in a north-facing window or somewhere it is protected from the harshest rays of the midday sun. In the winter, an east-facing window gives your plant full light without the risk of sunburn.
Houseplant Pro Tip: A quarter turn once a week helps your African violet grow an even crown.
2. Turn Up the Humidity
These tropical plants need more moisture in the air to reach their full potential. Grouping your plants together boosts humidity; just keep the leaves from touching to prevent the spread of pests and disease. Placing your pot on top of a plate of pebbles and water (or a humidity tray) can also do the trick.
3. Replenish Essential Nutrients
Just like you, your plant needs food to function. You simply won’t be able to get your African violet to bloom again if it has depleted all of the nutrients in its soil. We recommend using a gentle formula every time you water for a steady boost that goes soft on sensitive roots.
Want to learn more? Our guide to African violet fertilizer tells you everything you need to know.
4. Keep it Pleasant
African violets thrive around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If your plant is either too hot or too chilly, it will stop using energy to bloom. The fix for this one is simple. Drafty window? Move it somewhere warmer. Plant taking a beating from the sun? Pull it back and cool it down.
5. Choose the Right Soil
Your African violet will struggle if its soil is too dense. That’s because its delicate root system is better suited for a fluffy, well-draining mix. Check out our guide to African violet potting mix to learn how to select or mix a soil that’s just right.A soil test kit is a helpful way to measure the pH levels.
6. Protect From Pests & Disease
Your plant won’t have the energy to produce new blooms if it’s fighting off outside intruders. Learn about common African violet problems to determine if pests or disease are to blame for your plant’s sudden stage fright.
7. Constrict the Roots
If you’ve recently repotted your plant, it may be overwhelmed by too much space. African violets are happiest when they’re slightly root-bound. The diameter of your plant’s pot should be about ⅓ the diameter of its leaves.
8. Crowded Top Growth
African violets have a habit of growing haphazardly. You might notice extra crowns, suckers, or random leaf clusters shooting off from the main plant. These satellite growths take up energy your plant could use to bloom and should be trimmed.
Houseplant Pro Tip: Trimmed leaves can be rooted into new plants. Check out our guide to African violet propagation to learn how!
Should You Cut Dead Blooms Off African Violets?
Go for it! If your African violet is blooming year-round, it will regularly have petals that are ready for the great greenhouse in the sky. Your plant will continue to send energy to old and dying leaves and petals, so deadheading preserves precious energy for new blooms.
How have YOU gotten your African violet to bloom again? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!
Join the African Violet Club!
Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned grower, African Violet Resource Center has everything you need to help your plant grow vibrant and strong. Explore our other articles, visit our online shop, and connect with other houseplant lovers in our Facebook group to learn everything you need to know about this rewarding hobby!