African Violet Dying (Causes & Solutions)

African violets are vibrant flowering houseplants with lush foliages. But African violet leaves and flowers are vulnerable to problems under improper care routines. If your African violet is dying, take the time to investigate it and identify the cause.

So, why is my African violet dying? African violets may die due to overwatering, wrong soil type, lack of humidity, under-watering, and extreme temperatures. Other possible causes are over-fertilization, pests, and diseases.

How to save a dying African violet may sound simple, but you should learn one or two things. Keep reading this article to identify the signs and reasons for a dying African violet plant. We have also shared tips to save a dying African violet.

Signs of a Dying African Violet Plant

African violets are among a few flowering houseplants with a short lifespan. Below are the signs and symptoms of a dying African violet:

Stunted Growth

Stunted growth occurs due to malnutrition, inconsistent watering habits, pest infestations, and overwatering. The root-bound effect is also characterized by distorted growth among African violets.

Leaves Drooping

A dying African violet experiences drooping leaves. Plant death is caused by dehydration, direct sunlight, low humidity, and extreme temperatures. Drooping African violet leaves may also be due to overwatering, cold and hot drafts.

Stem and Crown Rot

A dying African violet is characterized by stem, leaves, and crown rot problems. The stems and crowns usually develop spots or lesions before turning dark brown. Stem and crown rot occur due to overwatering and fungal growth.

Leaves Turning Brown

If you notice your African violet leaf tips and margin are turning brown, there is a high chance the houseplant is about to die. Direct sunlight, over-fertilization, and low humidity are the factors to blame for the demise.

Leaves Turning Yellow

African violets stay healthy and vibrant for about ten months. Older leaves are vulnerable to turning yellow naturally. They will wilt, die and fall off the plant after turning yellow. Other possible causes of yellowing African violet leaves are overwatering and pest infestations.

Brown Spots on Leaves

Bacterial or fungal leaf spot disease could also be the reason for a dying African violet plant. The lesions grow and merge to form larger ones before killing your houseplant in the long run. These leaf spot diseases occur due to overwatering and plant diseases.

Wilting Blooms and Foliages

African violets bloom under bright indirect sunlight during spring and summer. But failure to supply the water with water, the lush leaves and vibrant flowers will wilt. A dying African violet is characterized by wilting.

Droopy Blooms and Loss of Flowers

Vibrant flowers are indicators that your African violet is healthy. African violets with wilting blooms are signs of distress or maybe a dying plant. Flowers falling off your African violet are also a red flag to consider.

10 Reasons for African Violet Dying

Mistakes are inevitable when growing African violet plants. Below are the common causes of a dying African violet:

Too Little Water

African violets are tropical flowering plants that prefer a moderate watering routine to thrive well. An underwatered African violet is characterized by leaves turning brown and wilting.

We recommend watering your African violet every week during the spring and summer (warmer months). It will help reduce the characteristics of a dying African violet. But reduce the watering frequency during the winter due to the dormancy effect.

Too Much Water

Overwatering is another cause of African violet death. Excess potting soil moisture enhances root rot and fungal growth that inhibit water and vital nutrients uptake.

Leaves turning yellow and brown are signs of overwatering. Severe root rot may lead to plant death. We recommend re-potting your African violet to save it from dying. The golden rule is to trim and sterilize the affected root regions before the transplant.

Lack of Humidity

African violets are native to tropical zones where environmental humidity is high. But the indoor growing conditions are vulnerable to fluctuations. The average indoor humidity levels will force your African violet to experience dying symptoms.

Installing an electric humidifier will help alleviate these symptoms since it will increase the humidity level around the plant. Low humidity causes African violet brown tips and edges.

Wrong Soil Type

African violets thrive in light and well-draining soil. The roots experience adequate aeration to foster their physiological activities. Heavy and compact soil will enhance root suffocation and result in an African violet dying.

Heavy and compact soil has poor drainage systems that facilitate sogginess. African violet roots are sensitive to excess moisture and might experience root rot. Severe root rot will kill your potted African violet plant.


African violets are among a few flowering houseplants that require minimal fertilizer application to flourish. But too much fertilizer application will result in excess salt buildup that can burn the roots.

African violet leaves drooping and turning brown are early signs of dying. We recommend flushing the potting mix with distilled water or transplanting your African violet plant. Another option is to consider using homemade fertilizer for houseplants.

Pests and Diseases

If you notice some signs of a dying African violet, consider investigating the plant while watering to determine the exact cause. Pest infestations and leaf spot diseases could be the reason.

Use an insecticidal soap or neem oil spray to eliminate the insects and fungicide to treat the leaf spot disease. We also recommend isolating your African violet from other houseplants to prevent the pests and diseases from spreading.

Root Bound Effect

African violets are fast-growing tropical houseplants since they increase by two inches every month. If your African violet has overgrown the current pot, it will experience root-bound effects.

Leaves wilting and flowering dropping are the leading symptoms. We recommend transplanting your African violet to a larger container with fresh potting soil. It is the best way to save a dying African violet plant due to root-bound.

Extreme Temperature

African violets are the only tropical plants sensitive to temperature changes. The houseplant thrives under a temperature range of 60-80oF (16-27oC). Any temperature above or below will force the plant to experience dying symptoms.

Keep your plant away from drafts, air conditioners, and heating vents. Install a digital thermometer in your indoor space to detect temperature changes. Besides that, ensure the living room experience adequate ventilation.

Nutritional Deficiencies

African violets are low-feeders compared to other tropical houseplants. But this tropical houseplant requires nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to enhance vibrant lush and blooms.

Lack of nutrients can also be the reason for a dying African violet. We recommend feeding your houseplant every spring and summer. Do not apply fertilizer to your African violet during the winter since it is in a resting season.

Incorrect Lighting Condition

African violets prefer bright indirect sunlight to thrive well. These tropical flowering plants grow under the canopy in their native habitat. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will scorch the leaves and cause wilting.

If you notice sunburned leaves on African violets, relocate the plants to a location with bright indirect sunlight. We also recommend rehydrating the houseplant to save it from dying. Early morning or late evening direct sunlight is safe for African violets.

My Final Thoughts

African violet dying can cause concern among beginners and season houseplant enthusiasts. We recommend learning legit tips on how to care for African violets and avoid the above symptoms.

African violets are among a few temperamental tropical houseplants that require ultimate care to thrive well. Any slight mistakes could be the reason for a dying African violet plant.

We hold the information that will help you identify the early symptoms of a dying African violet and tips for saving it. Feel free to share your views or suggestions in the comment section.

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