African Violet is a beautiful flowering houseplant. The flowers look vibrant and the foliage is always lush. But sometimes due to lack of care African violets start dying.
Old green leaves turn yellow and fall off the plant then you see new tiny leaves. This is a natural process of the plant life cycle.
But if there are black/ brown spots on leaves, the top part of the plant is turning yellow, releasing a foul smell, stunted growth, and stem and leaf fungus is present.
All these are signals saying that your African violet is in danger. It is dying and needs your immediate attention.
Generally, lack of care, overwatering, over-fertilizing, lack of humidity, spraying too much water on plant leaves, and contaminated soil are the common causes of dying African violet plants.
Below are the complete steps of saving a dying African Violet plant.
First of all, you need to make sure that your plant is really dying (not sick). Because African violet leaves have a life span of 10 months.
Older leaves turn yellow and fall off the plant, giving space to new leaves. People confuse this natural leaf shredding process.
Therefore, inspecting your plant before attempting the solution is important.
Below are the early signs of a dying African violet plant.
Brown leaves tell us about the current health condition of the African violet. Green shining leaves turn brown when they lose their moisture.
Direct sunlight, overuse of fertilizers, and lack of water results in brown leaves.
Because the direct sunlight increases the temperature of the plant. The plant starts using extra water stored in leaves to keep it cool.
When leaves go out of the water, they turn yellow then brown and die.
Overuse of fertilizers blocks the water absorption in the root zone. Your plant gets insufficient water and starts wilting and dying.
Generally, African violet leaves stay green for more than 10 months. Then the old leaves turn yellow and fall off the plant. This is the natural process of shredding.
But if the top part of the plant is yellow then this is a 100% sign of a problem.
Overwatering, root fungus, injured leaves, pest attacks, and fungal diseases are responsible for the early yellowing of leaves.
In this case, you need to fix the problem ASAP or your plant will die in a few weeks.
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An African violet plant with damaged and wilted flowers is about to die. In this case, dehydration is the main cause of the death of flowers.
To reverse the damages, you must give it plenty of indirect bright light and a good amount of water.
The water must be clean and free of heavy minerals. If possible then use filtered water until your plant regains its health.
Also, use liquid fertilizer to give a nutritional boost to your dying African violet.
Brown and Burned Leaf Edges
African violet leaf edges turn brown and burnt when you overuse the fertilizers. The salts build-up in the root zone blocks the water absorption.
Direct sunlight and lack of water are also responsible for dying African violet plants.
Sometimes tap water is the cause of plant death. Because the city water contains chemicals like fluoride, chlorine, and sodium.
They are not required for plant growth. When watered they get collected at the root zone and block the normal root functions.
Plants with damaged roots die in a few days.
When your African violet comes near its end, it starts drooping its leaves. This is a sure sign that tells your African violet is dying.
Lack of care is generally responsible for all this.
Keep your plants hydrated by supplying a good amount of water to your plant. They will thrive again in a few days.
On the other hand,
If the soil has a good amount of moisture but still your plant is drooping leaves. Then lack of fresh air might be the cause.
African violets need good air circulation.
Warm weather, high humidity, and lack of air increase the chance of fungus diseases.
Root rot and leaf rot are two common diseases that often catch violets in this type of environment.
If your African violet leaves have a white powder-like substance on them. This is an alarming condition because it is a fungus called powdery mildew.
If you do not fix it on time, you will lose your plant in a few days.
To fix it you must repot your plant in fresh potting soil and remove the white powder from your plant. Also, use good plant fungicide to kill the fungus.
How to save dying African Violet (Causes and Solutions)?
1. African Violet Root Damage
Root rot is the common cause of African violet plant death. Overwatering is the main cause of root fungus in African violets.
Poor draining potting soil is the second common cause of root rot.
When the soil holds too much moisture it invites fungus bacteria.
This fungus-causing bacteria is not easy to kill. It can survive in hard cold weather and hot summer days.
Below are the signs of overwatered African violet plant
- Foul smell from the soil
- Wilting leaves
- Leaf drop
- Fungus on stems and bottom part of the plant
- Too much water in the soil
Take the plant out of its container and check the roots. Cut the infected part of the root ball and repot it in a new pot and new soil.
The new pot must be sterilized before repotting. This will increase the speed of healing.
Once you finish repotting then spray some water on the soil to keep it slightly moist. Then wait for 24 hours and limit the use of water.
By using less water, you can prevent root rot in plants.
2. Crown rot in African violet
African violet crown rot is triggered by too much-wet soil or when you spray too much water on the plant on low humid days.
Lack of fresh air is also responsible for crown rot. Because it increases the formation of fungi called Pythium Ultimum, Rhizoctonia Crown rot, and Phytophthora crown rot.
The first step toward the treatment is cutting and removing the infected leaves. But in case your entire plant is infected. Then you must dispose of it.
- Give time to potting soil to become dry between watering
- Stop spraying water on the plant leaves
- Use a fungicide to treat your plant and use fresh soil to repot it
3. Bacterial Blight
This is a deadly disease for African violets. It spread in the process of propagation. When you use infected stems.
The infected part of the plant becomes greasy and yellow.
You must act fast to save your plant because this fungus disease can eat the entire plant in a week.
The best bet is to avoid this problem. You must use sterilized potting soil and a sterilized plant pot. Also, use healthy stems for propagation.
Too much humidity, warm weather, and lack of fresh air are perfect for bacterial blight.
After infection immediately separate your plant from other plants. And use a fungicide to save its life.
4. Botrytis Blight
It is a fungus that attacks the leaves. Then later it spread to the flowers and the petals turn gray.
The fungus growth increases in warm and humid places.
In case there is an injury to the plant, fungi can enter the plant from damaged pores. It starts eating internal tissues.
As a result, your African violet starts dying. Therefore, you need to act fast to save your infected plant.
- Remove all the infected parts of the plants.
- Use a copper-based fungicide to kill the remaining fungus.
- Move your plant pot to an airy place.
- Keep it separate to save other healthy plants.
5. Pests attack African Violet
Three houseplant pests are commonly found on African Violets. They are Aphids, Cyclamen and Mealybugs.
They eat and lay eggs on the plant leaves. The honeydew secreted by these pests invites another big problem for ants.
Mealybugs are tiny white bugs with a wax-like coating. They are generally found on the undersides of the leaves.
These bugs live on the sap of the plant and damage the internal plant tissues.
(b) Cyclamen Mites
These are mainly found around the buds and new flowers.
The infected parts of the plant turn dark in color.
African violet leaves develop blotched and dark spots on them.
Aphids cannot kill your plant but they can make it weak. Because these pests live on the plant juice. As a result, your plant stops growing and making new leaves.
Generally, common aphids are light green and creamy white color.
- Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, always inspect your plants while watering them.
- Use neem oil spray twice a week to prevent pest infestation.
- In case of infestation use rubbing alcohol to wipe African violet leaves.
- For serve damage, you can use insecticidal soap and rinse your plant.
6. Problem with Potting Soil
The wrong selection of potting soil can also kill your violets. African violets need potting soil with good draining power and balanced nutritional values.
Fast-draining soil is necessary to save your plant in case of accidental overwatering.
The pH of the soil must be between 5.7 to 6.5. Slightly acidic soil is preferred for the best growth of flowers.
The pH of the soil directly affects the nutrient absorption rate of the plant.
To avoid soil-related issues, you must repot your African violet once in 2 years. The pot must have a few draining holes.
The soil must be well-draining and rich in organic matter.
Do not use garden soil because it became heavy and waterlogged when used in plant containers.
There are many different African violet potting mixtures available on Amazon. You should buy online to crack the best deal on African Violet potting soils.
How to Revive African Violet Health?
If you are on a budget and do not have many options then you must follow the below tips to save your dying African violet.
Repot your plant immediately to correct issues related to rooting rot, overwatering, depleted soil, and soil fungus.
Move your plant to indirect bright light to prevent burned leaves and water loss.
Let the top 2 inches of the soil dry before the watering session.
Cut the infected parts of the plant and dispose of them.
Check your plants on daily basis to keep your African violets healthy and vibrant.