Why Do My African Violet Leaves Have Spots?

African violet plant has delicate leaves and stems. But the houseplant is hardy when grown under appropriate conditions. African violet leaf changing color implies the need for little tender loving care (TLC).

So, why do my African violet leaves have spots? Mineralized water, natural aging, direct sunlight, overwatering, leaf misting, extreme temperature, over-fertilization, pests, and diseases are the possible causes.

Keep reading this article to get detailed insights into black, brown, or white spots on African violet leaves. I have also shared African violet leaf problems pictures for easy identification and treatment.  

Reasons for Spots on African Violet Leaves

African violet plants are beloved houseplants due to their bright blooms and fuzzy leaves. Spots on the African violet leaves are signals of something wrong with its growing environment. Below are the possible causes with their respective solutions:

Water Quality

Watering is a crucial element to master when growing indoor African violet plants. I recommend using distilled or rainwater to irrigate your houseplant over tap water.

Tap water contains chlorine and fluoride minerals that cause brown spots on African violet leaves. Leaf spots will restrict African violet from blooming and growing healthy.

Allow the tap water to sit overnight and settle the minerals at the bottom of the container. Decant the water slowly and irrigate your houseplant.

Rust on African violet leaves is also an indicator of low water quality. If you love your African violet, endeavor to use distilled or rainwater for irrigation.

Natural Aging Process

Each leaf on the African violet plant will live up to 12 months with an adequate supply of nutrients and other vital minerals. The fuzzy leaves make the African violet stand out from other plants.

The plant will stop sending nutrients and essential minerals to the leaves nearing their life cycle to save energy for higher functioning foliages.

If you notice the leaves turning yellow and developing spots, feel free to trim them. It is an indicator of the natural aging process that is inevitable.

Over-watering Problem

African violet plant thrives in a slightly moist potting mix. The soil condition allows the houseplant to stay happy and healthy.

Too much soil moisture due to over-watering could lead to brown spots and drooping leaves. The damp environment will suffocate the roots and kill them.

Use fertile and well-draining potting soil to resolve the overwatering issue. The potting soil ideal will also help inhibit African violet leaves from developing brown or white spots.

Ensure the pot for growing your African violet plant has drainage holes at the bottom to get rid of excess water. Follow a strict watering routine to avoid under-watering and overwatering.

Leaf Misting with Cold Water

Leaf misting is a crucial practice when growing indoor plants. It helps increase the humidity level around the houseplant and fosters better growth.

Applying cold water over the African violet leaves will result in brown and black spots when exposed to the sunlight.

I recommend using lukewarm water to mist the leaves. It creates a favorable growing condition for the African violet plants. Ensure the area receives a free flow of fresh air to avoid pests.

Extreme Temperature

Potted African violet prefers a temperature range of 65-80oF (18-27oC). The condition allows the houseplant to stay happy and healthy.

Any temperature below 55oF (13oC) and above 85oF (30oC) is toxic to the African violet. It will cause crown rot, leaf spots, turning the top leaves brown and mushy.

Use a digital thermometer to monitor the indoor temperature changes. Try to regulate the temperature and create a suitable growing condition.


African violet plants are among light-feeder tropical houseplants. The fertilizer nutrients help nourish the plant and foster the lovely fuzzy leaves.

Too much fertilizer application will cause leaf rot in the long run. The condition will result in brown spots and mushy leaves.

Too much boron and nitrogen or too little calcium and potassium in the soil can also cause dry, brown, and crispy leaf tips on the African violet plant.

I recommend flushing the potting mix every three months to avoid excess salt accumulation. Be sure not to fertilize your houseplant during the winter season.

Pest Infestation

African violet plants are less susceptible to pest infestation. But this does not mean that the houseplant is invisible to insect infestation.

Pest drains vital nutrients from the leaves by piercing and injecting venom. The poison causes brown spots on the leaves after healing.

Use an insecticidal spray to eliminate the pests from your houseplant. Be sure to examine your African violet during every watering session for pests.

Plant Diseases

African violet plants are less vulnerable to common plant diseases. But every houseplant enthusiast needs to provide appropriate growing conditions to avoid these diseases.

Leaf nematodes are a fatal condition that causes shiny brown spots underside the African violet leaves. These microscopic worms are due to inappropriate growing conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes White Spots on African Violet Leaves?

Powdery mildew is the leading cause of white spots on African violet leaves. Isolate the plant from other houseplants to avoid spreading this nasty fungal infection.

What Causes Black Spots on African Violet Leaves?

Leaf misting with cold water and pest infestation are the possible cause of black spots on African violet leaves. Avoid misting the leaves with cold water and use an insecticidal spray to kill pests.

Why Are My African Violet Leaves Turning Pink?

Genetic instability issues when creating variegated African violet could be the reason behind the leaves turning pink. Besides that, slight changes in temperature and water can cause African violet leaves to turn pink.

Why Are My African Violet Leaves Turning Yellow?

Incorrect watering practices are the leading cause of yellow African violet leaves. The leaves do not tolerate direct watering and can respond by turning yellow or bleached.

Why Are My African Violet Leaves Turning Dark Green?

Too little light is the leading reason for African violet leaves turning dark green. African violet plants thrive in bright indirect sunlight.

Final Word

Growing and caring for African violet plants is easy. Every houseplant enthusiast needs to learn how to care for the African violet plant and avoid common leaf problems.

Brown spots on African violet leaves are due to direct sunlight, mineralized water, diseases, pests, and watering problem.

I hope this article will help you identify the exact problem and fixing tips. Feel free to share with your friends or other houseplant enthusiasts in your communities.

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