How Often Do You Water An African Violet?

Many successful houseplant owners find it challenging to water African violet plants since they are fragile and sensitive. Therefore, mastering how to water these indoor plants is a great deal.

So, how often do you water an African violet? 2-3 times a month though it depends on the prevailing weather. We recommend watering African violets when 2-3 inches of topsoil is dry. Too much or little water is harmful to these delicate houseplants.

Watering African violet plants may sound simple, but you need to know a thing or two to become a successful grower. We wrote this detailed guide to provide insights about watering African violet plants.

How Often Do You Water An African Violet?

African violets need water to stay hydrated and promote flowering. But too much or little water might be harmful to them. We recommend testing the potting soil moisture before watering your favorite houseplant.

Water your African violets 2-3 times a month during the spring and summer seasons. It is the period when these plants experience vegetative growth and flowering. Water helps facilitate energy synthesis and other physiological activities.

Reduce the watering frequency during winter and fall since these houseplants tend to become dormant. Maintaining the summer and spring watering rate will result in overwatering problems.

Too much water in the potting soil will result in root rot and this might kill your houseplant in the long run. We recommend watering African violets once a month during winter.

But the golden rule is poking your index finger in 2-3 inches of potting soil to test the moisture level. If the soil is dry, soak the potting mix until excess water drains through the drainage holes.

How to Tell If African Violets Need Watering?

African violets are sensitive to overwatering and under-watering. The sensitivity makes it easier to detect if they need watering or not. Below are quick tips to tell if your African violets need watering:

Droopy Leaves

If the African violet leaves look droopy, dull, and limp, it spells that your houseplant needs watering. Leaving the plant unattended will result in brown and crispy leaves.

Dry Top Soil

Stick your index finger in 2-3 inches of the topsoil; if it comes out clean with few specks then your African violet needs water.

African Violet Wilting

If your plant looks droopy and limp, it may be time to water. Insufficient water will make your houseplant dehydrated and this may lead to wilting in the long run.

How to Water African Violet Plants

African violets are vulnerable to crown rot and root rot due to inappropriate watering techniques. We recommend exercising precautions to become a successful grower in the long run. Below are two ways for watering African violets:

How to Water African Violet from the Bottom

Step 1: Place the potted African violet plant on a tray or saucer filled with water. Ensure the water covers the pot up to an inch after immersion.

Step 2: Let the pot sit for about 20 minutes or until the topsoil becomes moist. The period will allow the houseplant to absorb adequate water and become hydrated.

Step 3: Discard the leftover water in the tray or saucer. Place your African violet in a spot that receives bright indirect sunlight.

How to Water African Violet from the Top

Step 1: Fill a watering can with distilled water or rainwater. Ensure the watering can has a long skinny spout to avoid splashing water on the leaves.

Step 2: Water the potting soil only from the top. If your African violet is bushy, push the leaves aside to access the soil.

Step 3: Water the potting mix until excess water drain through the drainage holes from the bottom of the pot.

Step 4: Allow the houseplant to sit on the tray to eliminate excess water. Place your African violet in a spot that receives indirect sunlight.

Factors that Impact Watering Frequency of African Violets

Multiple factors impact how often you should water African violets. Let us now discuss these factors impacting African violet watering frequency:

Pot Size

Pick a pot that perfectly fits your African violet to avoid overwatering or under-watering problems. Larger pots take forever to dry out and this may cause root rot among your African violets.

Plant Size

Larger African violets need more water than their smaller counterparts. If you have juvenile African violet, increase watering frequency since they are actively growing.


Humidity affects the rate of water evaporation from the soil and transpiration from the African violet foliages. Your African violet will need more when the indoor humidity level is low.

Pot Type

Terracotta pots lose water faster than plastic containers. Increase watering frequency if your African violets are grown in porous materials and vice versa.


The season plays a crucial role in determining how often you should water your African violet plants. These houseplants need more water during the spring and summer seasons than winter since they are dormant.


An indoor space that experiences adequate air circulation will increase the evaporation rate from the potting mix. Therefore, your African violet will require more water to stay healthy and hydrated.


The higher indoor temperature will encourage evaporation rate and faster metabolic rate among your African violets. The potting soil will dry out faster forcing the African violet to require more water.

Potting Mix Type

Potting mix with a higher amount of organic material and tightly packed particles will hold water for an extended period. We recommend adding perlite or sand to improve water drainage.


African violets are susceptible to crown rot and root rot due to inappropriate watering routines. Every houseplant enthusiast needs to exercise precaution when watering an African violet plant.

Besides that, use room temperature water to hydrate your African violet. Otherwise, cold water will cause yellow spots or blotches on African violet foliages. Be sure to use either rainwater or distilled water to soak the dry potting mix.

Determining how often you should water an African violet plant can be tricky for beginners since this houseplant is fragile and sensitive. We recommend undertaking a soil moisture content test before watering the plant.

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