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HomeGardening11 Widespread Pests and Illnesses That Love African Violets

11 Widespread Pests and Illnesses That Love African Violets

While you first bought an African violet, it was most likely in full bloom and seemed incredible. However what if, over time, your once-healthy African violet begins to look droopy, broken, or deformed? Many potential culprits might trigger issues for African violet house owners, together with insect pests and fungal illnesses.

The easiest way to cease the unfold of pests and illnesses is to stop them from taking place within the first place. While you buy a brand new plant, at all times examine it fastidiously for indicators of pests or poor well being. While you carry a brand new plant house to your assortment, isolate it for just a few weeks, ideally in a separate room from the remainder of your houseplants, to make sure it has no insect pests that might simply unfold from one plant to a different.

Among the finest methods to maintain pests and illnesses away is to supply the perfect care you possibly can in your crops. African violets have particular rising circumstances the place they are going to take pleasure in optimum well being, and the nearer you get to those preferrred circumstances, the more healthy your crops might be.

  • Gentle – 12 hours of vivid however oblique daylight every day
  • Water – Permit soil to dry barely between waterings, water solely after the soil has dried
  • Temperature – Heat, between 65°F and 80°F, ideally round 70°F
  • Soil – Free, gentle, well-drained, with loads of natural matter
  • Fertilizer – Fertilize recurrently with African violet plant meals

A well-cared-for African violet is a ravishing plant to take pleasure in and develop. They keep comparatively compact, with neat rosettes of sentimental, fuzzy leaves, they usually can bloom all year long with showy, colourful flowers.

If you happen to ever discover bugs feeding in your African violet, or should you see any indicators of sickness, act shortly. The earlier you possibly can accurately establish the issue, the earlier you possibly can assist your violet again to peak well being. Let’s now check out 11 frequent pests and illnesses it’s possible you’ll encounter together with your African violet crops.


There are a number of illnesses that may infect African violets. Search for drooping leaves, mushy leaves and stems, slowed development, moldy spots, or seen deformities. On the first signal of any plant misery or sickness, isolate your plant and attempt to establish the issue.

Root Rot

Close-up of a potted African violet in a small brown pot affected by root rot. The plant has dry, rotten, brown-rusty leaves and stems.
African violets are vulnerable to root rot, which begins with the roots and might unfold to different components of the plant.

Root rot is without doubt one of the commonest issues that African violet house owners might expertise. Because the identify implies, root rot begins with the roots however can unfold to the stems, leaves, and flowers. If not corrected promptly, root rot will in the end kill your plant.

Root rot is attributable to a mixture of moist soil, saturated roots, and a fungus that causes the plant to rot. The commonest causes of saturated soil are overwatering, poorly draining soil, and utilizing a pot with little or no drainage.


Although root rot begins with the roots, wilting leaves are the primary symptom you’re more likely to discover. When you’ve got any cause to consider that your African violet has been sitting in moist soil, and you then discover limp or wilting leaves, there’s a excellent probability your plant has root rot.

Extra superior levels or root rot might be indicated by mushy stems and leaves, and at last, your entire crown of the plant turns into mushy and jelly-like.


Don’t overwater your African violet. Since damp soil circumstances can simply result in root rot, be very cautious to not add extra water in case your plant doesn’t want it. Really feel the soil’s floor together with your fingertip. If the soil feels fully dry, it’s often a superb time to water.

If it feels damp, maintain off some time longer. It’s also possible to choose up the pot to really feel how heavy it’s. If the pot could be very gentle and the soil feels dry to the contact, this can be a good signal that your plant wants water.

Use the fitting soil. Select a soil combination formulated particularly for African violets. The soil ought to be free and light-weight with ample natural matter. Most significantly, use a well-drained soil combine. Heavy soils that maintain onto the water is not going to permit sufficient air to flow into by way of to the roots, and your plant will find yourself sitting in soggy soil.

Use a pot with good drainage. African violets want well-drained soil, however that gained’t matter if the pot doesn’t have a drainage gap. You should utilize a pot made from any materials, however it will need to have respectable drainage. This enables any additional water to empty safely from the underside of the pot.


In case your violet has had moist soil and begins exhibiting any signal of wilting leaves, it’s a good suggestion to verify the roots. Gently take away the plant from the pot and look at the roots. Trim off any roots which can be brown and mushy, as these have rotted and won’t get better.

After trimming rotten components, repot your plant in recent soil. Water the soil sufficient to make it damp, then permit it to dry briefly between waterings.

Petiole Rot

Top view, close-up of an African violet plant affected by Petiole Rot. The plant has a rosette of oval bright green leaves covered with fine hairs. The stems near the crown are soft, brownish, rotting.
This illness is attributable to saturated soil and fungal an infection, resulting in plant decay.

Petiole rot, or crown rot, is nearly at all times deadly for African violets. Petiole rot is attributable to a mixture of saturated soil circumstances and a fungus that causes the plant to rot.

The roots are affected first, however the rot shortly spreads to different components of the plant and finally to the crown. Whereas petiole rot can’t be cured, it may be prevented by correct care and watering strategies.


In case your plant experiences crown rot, you’ll discover a development of signs:

  • Wilting leaves.
  • Leaves flip darkish gray-green in shade.
  • Sluggish or stopped plant development.
  • Leaves turn into mushy and seem like dying or useless.
  • Middle of plant (crown) turns into comfortable, mushy, or floppy.
  • The whole plant sags in its pot and appears limp and useless.


In the beginning, don’t overwater your African violet. Observe the identical pointers as above underneath “Root Rot.”


Sadly, if the crown of your African violet has rotted, there isn’t any method to save your plant. As soon as the crown has turn into comfortable and jelly-like, the one hope you could have is to attempt to salvage a wholesome leaf. If any leaves nonetheless look recent, agency, and vivid inexperienced, you possibly can take a leaf reducing, permit it to develop roots, and begin a brand new child violet.

Botrytis Blight

Close-up of a flowering African violet plant affected by Botrytis Blight. The plant has oval, velvety dark green leaves with brown spots due to a fungal disease. The flowers are small, solitary, purple in color with yellow stamens in the centers.
This fungal an infection can hurt African violets in humid and poorly ventilated circumstances.

Botrytis blight, also called grey mildew, is a fungal an infection that may have an effect on African violets. This fungus thrives with a mixture of excessive humidity and poor air circulation.

It’s simpler to stop Botrytis blight than treatment it, so take note of the environmental circumstances and any early indicators of fungal development. An untreated case of Botrytis blight will finally kill your plant.


Crops contaminated with Botrytis blight will shortly develop a grey fuzzy mildew on leaves, stems, and flowers. As well as, it’s possible you’ll discover that flowers and leaves wilt, turn into mushy, or develop brown spots. Leaves will finally lose their wholesome inexperienced shade and turn into darker and weak-looking. If allowed to progress, the plant development will gradual, and the plant will finally flip brown and die.

Some signs of root rot and Botrytis blight are related. Botrytis blight will trigger your plant to develop a fuzzy grey moldy-looking development, whereas root rot causes leaves to show comfortable and mushy with out seen mildew.


The easiest way to stop Botrytis blight is to maintain your crops in a brightly lit and ethereal location. Permit loads of area between crops to extend air circulation. Promptly take away any useless or dying leaves in your plant to maintain it in prime type and reduce decaying plant matter which may appeal to fungal development. Preserve your planting instruments clear, and at all times use clear pots when transplanting.


In case your crops are affected by Botrytis blight, isolate any contaminated crops promptly to assist stop the unfold of illness. Take away any useless and dying leaves, stems, and flower stalks. Some fungicides may be useful in controlling extreme instances. If you happen to go for chemical remedy, at all times fastidiously comply with the utilization instructions on the product label.

Powdery Mildew

Close-up of a flowering African violet plant in a white pot on a window sill infested with powdery mildew. The plant has beautiful lush oval leaves of dark green color, with a velvety texture, covered with a gray-white powdery coating. The flowers are tiny, double, purple.
A standard houseplant illness, powdery mildew can have an effect on African violets.

Powdery mildew is a fungal an infection generally identified to gardeners. Luckily, it doesn’t usually have an effect on African violets, however it may shortly turn into an issue if the circumstances are proper for it. Powdery mildew is most prevalent in humid circumstances with poor airflow; as soon as it develops, it may be troublesome to take away.


Powdery mildew will trigger patches of grayish-white mildew in your African violet’s leaves and flowers. A gentle case could also be laborious to acknowledge, whereas a extreme case might be very apparent. Search for a powdery-looking coating on leaves and flowers.

It could seem as small inconspicuous patches or cowl your entire leaf floor. It could seem as tiny white speckles on the floor of a leaf, or it could look extra like a thicker white mildew, relying on how lengthy it has been current.

Mildew is not going to solely be seen on the plant but additionally have an effect on plant development. Your African violet might decelerate or cease rising altogether. Contaminated leaves will lose their vigor and switch yellow or barely brown. Contaminated flowers might flip brown and die prematurely.


Powdery mildew is attributable to a fungus that thrives in heat, humid circumstances. Preserve your crops in an space that has respectable air circulation. It’s also possible to enhance airflow by permitting some area between every of your crops or offering a mild fan to assist flow into the air.

Crowded crops in a moist setting could be a breeding floor for fungal development. If you happen to do discover any fungus on a plant, isolate the contaminated plant instantly to stop the unfold to close by wholesome crops.


Powdery mildew may be handled, however it could take some persistence. First, isolate any contaminated crops and deal with them individually out of your wholesome crops. At all times wash your arms and instruments after dealing with contaminated crops as a result of powdery mildew can unfold simply.

You possibly can create your individual anti-fungal resolution by mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 gallon of heat water. Spray your crops with this resolution till the mold seems to be gone, which can take just a few weeks. Take away any badly broken leaves and concentrate on serving to the healthiest components of your plant get better.

Water Spots

Close-up of a potted African Violets plant on a white background. The plant has a beautiful rosette of oval dark green velvety leaves with brown dry spots due to watering the plant from above. The plant blooms in clusters of beautiful solitary pale pink flowers with fringed petal edges.
Whereas innocent initially, water spots could also be one thing extra critical.

Water spots on the leaves of your African violet are unpleasant, however they don’t seem to be an indication of a pest or illness. It might, nevertheless, be simple to confuse water spots with one thing extra critical.

African violets are very delicate to chilly water, and splashing chilly water on the leaves could cause your plant to develop spots or blotches the place the tissue turns brown and dies. As soon as your plant has useless spots, these is not going to get better, however the excellent news is that it is extremely easy to stop water spots.


Yellow or brown spots, blotches, traces, or streaks seem on the leaves of your African violet. Leaves are in any other case inexperienced and wholesome, stems and leaves are agency, and the plant continues to flower usually.

You’ll see water spots on the leaves solely when you have watered your crops from the highest or by accident splashed water on the leaves of your crops. If the plant leaves haven’t been straight uncovered to water, they won’t develop water spots.


The easiest way to stop water spots is to water your crops from under with tepid water and never permit any water to splash onto or sit on the leaves.

  • Chilly water – African violets are delicate to chilly water, so be particularly cautious of splashing chilly water on the leaves (and don’t water your crops with chilly water).
  • Chemical publicity – African violets are delicate to chemical compounds like chlorine, so permit water to face for twenty-four hours earlier than utilizing it to water your crops.
  • Moist leaves burn within the solar – Don’t permit moist leaves to be uncovered to vivid daylight, as this could trigger burn spots.

If you happen to do by accident splash water on the leaves, don’t fear. Permit your crops to dry completely in a well-ventilated place. Use a tissue or towel to softly blot the water from the leaves. Transfer a moist plant away from vivid daylight till the leaves have dried fully.


Sadly, as soon as a leaf is broken by chilly, chemical compounds, water, or solar, you possibly can’t repair the harm that has been achieved. Take away any severely broken leaves and stems, particularly in the event that they turn into comfortable or mushy. Take precautions to maintain moisture off the leaves to stop additional harm sooner or later.

Insect Pests

Insect pests of African violets differ from nuisance to lethal. Taking precautions to stop infestations can probably prevent numerous time, cash, and trouble. Observe just a few fundamental guidelines to stop (and get better from) insect infestations:

  • Isolate new arrivals for a number of weeks earlier than incorporating them into your plant assortment.
  • Test your crops incessantly for any indicators of sickness, harm, and illness.
  • As quickly as you discover bugs or insect harm in your crops, isolate any contaminated crops to stop additional unfold.
  • At all times wash your arms, instruments, and pots which have come into contact with contaminated crops.

Cyclamen Mites

Close-up of a leaf of a plant affected by Cyclamen Mites. The leaf is rounded, velvety, pale green in color, covered with a thin cobweb.
This microscopic insect pest is frequent for African violets and can trigger seen harm.

Cyclamen mites could also be some of the frequent insect pests to contaminate African violets. Sadly, these microscopic mites can’t be seen with the bare eye. The primary signal of a cyclamen mite infestation is when the plant begins to point out seen harm. Keep watch over your crops so you’ll acknowledge early warning indicators that one thing could be flawed.


Since you possibly can’t see cyclamen mites, you’ll have to diagnose an infestation by trying fastidiously at your plant’s signs. Contaminated crops might start to seem dwarfed, deformed, or in any other case misshapen.

The youngest and smallest central leaves flip brown, wither, and die. Generally the smallest central leaves die fully whereas the outer leaves nonetheless look comparatively wholesome and recent. In extreme instances, your entire plant will finally die.


If you happen to suspect cyclamen mites, isolate contaminated crops as quickly as potential to stop additional unfold. Cyclamen mites may be very troublesome to manage, and badly infested crops ought to be discarded. If you wish to take away the mites, you will need to buy an insecticidal cleaning soap or miticide spray.

Whichever product you select, comply with the instructions fastidiously and wait till you’ve got eradicated the mites earlier than shifting your contaminated crops close to another houseplants.


Close-up of many mealybugs on a plant stem indoors. Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects that parasitize plants. They are coated with powdered white wax, which gives them the appearance of cotton.
This simply identifiable pest feeds on plant juices, inflicting stunted development.

Mealybugs are acquainted houseplant pests which can be pretty simple to establish. Mealybugs pierce the plant’s outer protecting layer and suck the juices from inside. Contaminated crops will seem stunted and will develop slowly. Heavy infestations can finally result in plant dying.


Search for little white fluffy bugs clinging to leaves and stems. They might seem like little oval balls of cotton. They notably wish to be in corners and bends however may be discovered on any plant floor. As they feed, they secrete a sticky, wet-looking, sugary substance.

If you happen to see shiny spots in your plant, accompanied by tiny cottony-looking bugs, your plant has an infestation of mealybugs.


Isolate any contaminated crops as quickly as you see mealybugs. Insecticidal soaps are comparatively protected to make use of and likewise efficient in opposition to mealybugs. Observe the directions on whichever product you select. As a result of you’ll most likely be spraying droplets in your plant, take additional care to maintain your plant away from the chilly and away from direct daylight throughout remedy.

As soon as you’re positive the mealybugs are gone, you may give your plant a mild bathe in heat water to take away any soapy residue and the residue left from the mealybugs themselves.

Scale Bugs

Close-up of Scale Insects on a green leaf. Scale insects are small, immobile pests that have an oval shape and a protective waxy coating that resembles a shell or scales.
These frequent pests hurt houseplants by draining their vitality by sucking their juices.

Scale bugs are one other all-too-familiar insect pest that generally assaults houseplants. Though tiny, scales can do appreciable harm to your African violet. These pests suck the juices from the plant’s leaves and stem, draining the plant of vitality. Affected crops will begin to look sickly and might finally die if the bugs are allowed to persist.


Scale bugs are very small, about ⅛ inch lengthy, easy, and flat. They seem like little waxy ovals caught to the leaves and stems of your plant. As they feed, they excrete a sticky substance that seems as shiny moist spots on the leaves.

Search for flat-bodied scales, in addition to wet-looking shiny spots. Mealybugs additionally launch secretion as they feed, however the bugs look distinctly completely different, though they’re one other kind of scale.


On the first signal of scales, isolate any contaminated crops. Scales may be troublesome to take away as a result of their flat our bodies are nicely protected by a waxy coating. They are often handled with focused houseplant pesticides or by dipping a cotton swab in soapy water or rubbing alcohol and eradicating every scale you see. Repeat this remedy recurrently till all scales are gone.

The whole elimination course of can take a number of weeks as a result of eggs will proceed to hatch. Wipe down the pot and surrounding space with rubbing alcohol to assist kill any eggs or wandering bugs.


Close-up of an aphid swarm on the red hairy stems of a plant indoors. Aphids are tiny soft-bodied insects with green oval bodies and thin proboscises with which they suck the juice from plants.
Isolate and deal with crops with aphids promptly, utilizing insecticidal cleaning soap and repeated spraying.

Aphids are a well-recognized pest to many gardeners. Aphids are remarkably frequent on outside crops and infrequently come indoors to feast on houseplants.

These bugs are extremely cell, however they like to assemble in massive numbers on their favourite crops, making them very simple to see and establish.


Search for particular person bugs or clusters of aphids gathered on leaves and stems. Aphids are small, about ⅛ inch lengthy, and may be inexperienced, pinkish, or brownish coloured.

They are often discovered on all plant surfaces however typically congregate on the undersides of leaves and in tight locations resembling crotches and bends. Aphids will seem as tiny bugs sitting on the plant floor, however they’re additionally extremely cell and can transfer when disturbed.


If you happen to see any aphids in your crops, isolate contaminated crops instantly to attenuate unfold. Aphids may be killed with insecticidal cleaning soap, however you have to be persistent and spray repeatedly for a number of weeks to kill all life cycle levels.

Aphid prevention is the perfect type of pest management.

Wipe down the pot and surrounding space to kill off any wandering bugs or egg clusters.


Close-up of thrips on a green leaf. Thrips are tiny thin insects belonging to the order Thysanoptera. It is small, yellowish-brown in color, has a narrow elongated body with long narrow wings.
Controlling thrips is difficult attributable to their excessive numbers, speedy multiplication, and mobility.

Thrips are as a lot a nuisance as a trigger for concern. Thrips may be extremely considerable, though nearly microscopic in measurement. These are tiny sucking bugs that may trigger an excessive amount of harm if not managed.


Thrips are not apparent to the bare eye, however they are often seen. These bugs are tiny (1/16 inch or smaller) with very slim our bodies. They’ve wings and might fly, however simply as typically, they scurry from one location to a different. Place a chunk of paper underneath your violet and provides it some light shakes. Search for thrips falling onto the paper under.

Proof of thrips might be sightings of tiny bugs shifting about on the leaf floor, notably when disturbed. You might also see pollen spilling from flowers onto the leaves as thrips nibble on the pollen sacks. If you happen to discover pollen scattered about on the leaves, leaves with white or brown spots on them, and broken flowers, you may be moderately positive you’re coping with thrips.


Thrips may be very troublesome to manage. They’re extraordinarily quite a few, multiply shortly, and are extremely cell. When you’ve got one plant with thrips, all crops within the neighborhood are seemingly contaminated. As a result of thrips love African violet flowers, you can begin remedy by eradicating all of the flowers.

You’ll most likely must spray your crops with both neem oil or a typical insecticide that targets thrips. Observe instructions fastidiously and use your chosen product till you’re positive that the thrips have been eradicated. Additionally, disinfect all pots and trays which have are available contact with the contaminated crops.

Foliar Nematodes

Close-up of a woman's hands in blue gloves holding a damaged African Violet plant by Foliar nemotodes. The plant has a rosette of thin purple hairy stems with oval velvety leaves of pale green and brownish colors.
Nematodes can infect leaves, inflicting plant harm.

Foliar nematodes infect the leaves of African violets. These microscopic worms unfold from contaminated crops and from soil contaminated with nematodes or their eggs. These tiny worms feed on the plant juices and can trigger pale, wilting leaves and gradual development. If left untreated, contaminated crops will die.


You gained’t really see a nematode, however you will note proof that they’re harming your plant. Harm begins with pale-looking or brownish patches on the leaves that slowly enlarge and unfold.

You’ll first discover these shiny brown spots on the undersides of the leaves, and specifically, alongside the veins. If allowed to progress, your entire leaf will look broken, and different leaves will quickly turn into contaminated.


Nematodes are very troublesome to eradicate. As a result of these pests spend their lives contained in the plant, pesticides are ineffective. The very best remedy, sadly, is to discard contaminated crops. You possibly can attempt taking a few healthy-looking leaves to start out new crops from cuttings.

Use leaves provided that they present no indicators of nematode harm, and maintain the rooting leaves separate out of your different crops for a number of weeks till you may be positive they don’t seem to be contaminated. If you happen to see any indicators of nematode harm, discard the leaves and the soil.

Remaining Ideas

It could really feel overwhelming to know there are such a lot of pests and illnesses that will infect your African violets. Prevention is at all times the perfect plan of action.

Select wholesome crops, isolate new crops earlier than introducing them into your assortment, and deal with contaminated crops on the first signal of sickness. When you be taught the indicators and signs to search for, you possibly can act shortly to stop additional unfold of pests and illnesses. Giving your violets the perfect care potential can even maintain them wholesome and vibrant.


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