I used African violet soil and am keeping the water level high enough
to touch the 'pot' part. The bottom row of leaves is turning yellow
and then brown. Please advise on what I need to do to fix this
E.W. from NC
There are several possible reasons for the yellowing leaves on your African violet. The most frequent causes are; dry air, too much sun, incorrect watering or overfeeding. From your description, it sounds to me like your violet may be getting too much water.
Here are some general guidelines for watering African violets:
Don't try to rely on a regular watering schedule for African violets. It won't work. Light, humidity, soil makeup, and temperature all play a role in when to water them and how much water they need.
Always use your finger to test the soil before watering. The goal is to keep the compost moist (not wet), but let the surface soil dry out in between watering. If you leave the top half of your pot standing immersed in the bottom half, you will saturate the soil. It's better to fill the bottom reservoir to the point of submersion, wait a few minutes and then pour off the excess.
Avoid getting the leaves wet by watering from below. Splashing water can cause unsightly blemishes on the leaves and invite mold problems.
Use tepid water-not too hot, not too cold. Also, avoid water that has been run through water softeners as well as distilled water, which lacks important trace minerals.
You can make an easy self-watering system by inserting a water wick into one of the drainage holes of the top pot (a old pair of braided nylon stockings will also work). If using a self-watering system, periodically water your violet from the top pot (under the leaves) to flush accumulated minerals from the soil.
Leaves usually turn yellow when a plant is over watered. (02/05/2008)
I was given a couple of African Violets a few months ago. I often forget to water them until they are bone dry. I keep thinking they are going to die but they are blooming beautifully. Maybe you should let them get very dry. (02/06/2008)
I agree that water may be the cause. Also, limited winter light means limited need for water. Good call on the soil and special pot. I had one blooming nicely till I knocked it over. My blooms took off, as noted here by others, when I let it dry, dry, dry, then watered sparingly. Good luck. (02/07/2008)
You may need to change the amount of light they receive. Too much light will make the leaves turn yellow. Good luck, and God bless you. (02/07/2008)
I usually let the water dry out before I refill the base. Too much water will turn leaves yellow. Drying out will often force it to bloom. Don't over dry, but over watering can kill the plant. Keep it in indirect light, direct light will harm it too. Google African Violet care and find a website that you can join, it will give you a place to find out more about your plant and most have a Q and A area. Good luck! (02/07/2008)
Like deebomb, I don't water my violet until it gets so dry the bottom leaves start to droop. Then I set it in a pan of water overnight so the soil can absorb the water through the bottom holes in the pot. I feed it with special violet food every watering, and it sits in a west window where it gets a few hours of direct sun every day. It is also pot-bound, which I've read is necessary for the excellent blooming it does. (02/07/2008)
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