Master the Elements for “Vroom-Vroom!” Blooms
African violets are beloved for their vibrant blooms. With the right care, they’ll provide a rainbow of fuzzy foliage up to 10 months out of the year—brightening even the darkest winter grays. That’s why it’s alarming to see African violet flowers dying, dropping, or ceasing to grow.
You may ask: How do I get my African violet to bloom again?
Luckily, getting your African violet to bloom again is all about mastering your caretaking routine. This guide digs into the care and maintenance that will keep your plant thriving (and blossoming!).
6 Possible Issues Preventing Your African Violet From Blooming
If your African violet is struggling, it’s usually because something is out of balance in its environment. Let’s take a look at some common issues that can hinder your plant’s ability to bloom—and how to fix them.
Problem 1: Inconsistent or Insufficient Lighting
The most common reason African violets stop blooming is that they’re not getting enough sun. Fearful of scorching their delicate plants in direct sunlight, some growers place them in full shade; unfortunately, this isn’t the “sweet spot” either.
So, how do you get your African violet to bloom again? With consistent, indirect sunlight. Place it in a well-lit room, ideally with north- or east-facing windows, a few feet away from the windowsill. If your plant seems to struggle in the winter months, consider supplementing the limited UV rays with gentle grow lights.
Problem 2: Temperature Swings & Fluctuations
African violets are a true Goldilocks plant. They love pleasant conditions between 75-80ºF during the day and 65-75ºF at night. Usually, indoor temperatures will be just right, but drafty hallways or rooms that retain heat on sunny days can cause your plant to panic and drop its buds. Relocate it to a stable, temperature-controlled room and it should bounce right back.
Problem 3: Prolonged Water Woes
Improperly watering your African violet can seriously stress it out for two reasons. First, overwatering can choke its sensitive root systems and lead to root rot (Spoiler: that’s bad for blossoms!). Second, traditional top-watering methods result in wet leaves, which magnify the sun’s rays and cause leaf burn. Both of these ailments can cause your plant to drop its blooms.
Get your African violet to bloom again by mastering bottom-watering techniques. Our post on the best African violet watering methods will help you pick the perfect approach.
Problem 4: It’s Nutrient Deficient
Your plant will deplete the nutrients in its soil over time. When this happens, it won’t have the energy to power new growth—beautiful blooms included! That’s why it’s important to continuously replenish the right nutrients with fertilizer. We recommend using a gentle African violet-specific fertilizer every time you refill the water receptacle.
Want more? Check out our guide to fertilizing your African violet for a novice-friendly primer.
Problem 5: Too Much Space Below Ground
You might think you’re being a primo pal by giving your African violet a spacious pot, but the truth is, that’s not really the case. That’s because African violets bloom better when they’re a little root-bound. With too much room below ground, they put more energy into expanding their root system than producing new blossoms.
The fix? Get your African violet to bloom again by repotting it in a container about ⅔ the diameter of its leaf span. Master the migration with our step-by-step guide to African violet repotting.
Problem 6: Your African Violet Is, Well, a Dud.
African violets are a product of their environment—and their genes. Some simply produce more flowers than others. You can provide perfect, expert care and some individual plants will still be reluctant to bloom.
To have the best shot from the get-go, select a plant with robust blossoms and supple, deep-green foliage. Avoid leaves that look dull or muted and plants with any sign of disease or pest invasion.
Basically: Start by buying a healthy plant.
Maintaining African Violet Foliage
Sometimes the answer to “How do I get my African violet to bloom again?” comes down to maintaining its existing foliage. Your plant is continuously sending energy to all of its flowers and leaves—but it has a limited supply!
If your African violet depletes its energy reserves on existing foliage, it won’t have any left to generate new blossoms. (Not to mention, running on empty is stressful!) That’s where pruning and deadheading come in. Here’s how to master these techniques for a healthy, full-blooming plant.
How to Prune African Violets
African violets can produce a lot of leaves. Thin clustered growth by removing excess leaves with sharp scissors or pruning shears. Take care to cut the stem as close to the stalk as possible, without digging into your plant. Alternatively, you can pinch the leaves off with your fingers.
African violets grow from the crown out, meaning the leaves closest to the soil are the oldest. Don’t hesitate to prune leaves that appear to be close to the end of their life cycle. Your plant will produce new leaves consistently; removing dead and dying ones frees up energy for new growth.
Houseplant Pro Tip: Healthy leaves can be propagated to produce new African violets—here’s how!
How to Deadhead African Violets
When your plant is struggling to bloom, it can be tempting to cling to whatever flowers it has. But this actually inhibits its ability to produce new blossoms. Enter: Deadheading. This easy process involves removing dead and dying flowers to free up energy for more useful functions. If you see African violet flowers dying, simply pinch them off with your thumb and forefingers.
Grower Beware: When pruning leaves and blossoms, pinch or cut, don’t rip or tear. This can put your plant at risk of infection.
There you have it! Everything you need to know for blooms with serious “vroom-vroom!” Happy growing!
Still wondering “How do I get my African violet to bloom again?” Hit us with your pressing questions in the comments below!
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