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HomePlant Problems11 Frequent Pests and Illnesses That Love African Violets

11 Frequent Pests and Illnesses That Love African Violets

Once you first bought an African violet, it was in all probability in full bloom and appeared implausible. However what if, over time, your once-healthy African violet begins to look droopy, broken, or deformed? Many potential culprits may 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. Once you buy a brand new plant, at all times examine it fastidiously for indicators of pests or poor well being. Once you carry a brand new plant dwelling to your assortment, isolate it for a couple of 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.

The most effective methods to maintain pests and illnesses away is to offer the perfect care you’ll be able to in your vegetation. African violets have particular rising circumstances the place they’ll get pleasure from optimum well being, and the nearer you get to those very best circumstances, the more healthy your vegetation will probably be.

  • Mild – 12 hours of brilliant however oblique daylight every day
  • Water – Enable 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, mild, well-drained, with loads of natural matter
  • Fertilizer – Fertilize usually with African violet plant meals

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

Should you ever discover bugs feeding in your African violet, or for those who see any indicators of sickness, act shortly. The earlier you’ll be able to accurately determine the issue, the earlier you’ll be able to assist your violet again to peak well being. Let’s now check out 11 widespread pests and illnesses you might encounter along with your African violet vegetation.


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

Root rot is likely one of the most typical issues that African violet house owners might expertise. Because the title implies, root rot begins with the roots however can unfold to the stems, leaves, and flowers. If not corrected promptly, root rot will finally kill your plant.

Root rot is brought on by 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.


Despite the fact that root rot begins with the roots, wilting leaves are the primary symptom you’re prone to discover. You probably have any cause to imagine that your African violet has been sitting in moist soil, and then you definately discover limp or wilting leaves, there’s a excellent probability your plant has root rot.

Extra superior levels or root rot will probably be indicated by mushy stems and leaves, and at last, the complete 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 along with your fingertip. If the soil feels fully dry, it’s often a very good time to water.

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

Use the correct soil. Select a soil combination formulated particularly for African violets. The soil must be unfastened and lightweight with ample natural matter. Most significantly, use a well-drained soil combine. Heavy soils that maintain onto the water won’t enable 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 need to use a pot manufactured from any materials, however it should have first rate 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 displaying 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 are brown and mushy, as these have rotted and won’t get better.

After trimming rotten components, repot your plant in contemporary soil. Water the soil sufficient to make it damp, then enable 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 brought on by saturated soil and fungal an infection, resulting in plant decay.

Petiole rot, or crown rot, is sort of at all times deadly for African violets. Petiole rot is brought on by 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 ultimately to the crown. Whereas petiole rot can’t be cured, it may be prevented by correct care and watering methods.


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

  • Wilting leaves.
  • Leaves flip darkish gray-green in colour.
  • Gradual or stopped plant progress.
  • Leaves change into mushy and seem like dying or useless.
  • Middle of plant (crown) turns into gentle, mushy, or floppy.
  • All the plant sags in its pot and appears limp and useless.


Initially, don’t overwater your African violet. Observe the identical tips as above below “Root Rot.”


Sadly, if the crown of your African violet has rotted, there isn’t any option to save your plant. As soon as the crown has change into gentle and jelly-like, the one hope you could have is to attempt to salvage a wholesome leaf. If any leaves nonetheless look contemporary, agency, and brilliant inexperienced, you’ll be able to take a leaf chopping, enable 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, often known as grey mould, 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 progress. An untreated case of Botrytis blight will ultimately kill your plant.


Crops contaminated with Botrytis blight will shortly develop a grey fuzzy mould on leaves, stems, and flowers. As well as, you might discover that flowers and leaves wilt, change into mushy, or develop brown spots. Leaves will ultimately lose their wholesome inexperienced colour and change into darker and weak-looking. If allowed to progress, the plant progress will gradual, and the plant will ultimately 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 progress, whereas root rot causes leaves to show gentle and mushy with out seen mould.


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


In case your vegetation are affected by Botrytis blight, isolate any contaminated vegetation promptly to assist forestall the unfold of illness. Take away any useless and dying leaves, stems, and flower stalks. Some fungicides could be useful in controlling extreme instances. Should you go for chemical remedy, at all times fastidiously observe 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 typical houseplant illness, powdery mildew can have an effect on African violets.

Powdery mildew is a fungal an infection generally recognized to gardeners. Happily, it doesn’t sometimes have an effect on African violets, however it might shortly change 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 mould in your African violet’s leaves and flowers. A light case could also be laborious to acknowledge, whereas a extreme case will probably be very apparent. Search for a powdery-looking coating on leaves and flowers.

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

Mildew won’t solely be seen on the plant but in addition have an effect on plant progress. 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 brought on by a fungus that thrives in heat, humid circumstances. Preserve your vegetation in an space that has first rate air circulation. It’s also possible to enhance airflow by permitting some area between every of your vegetation or offering a delicate fan to assist flow into the air.

Crowded vegetation in a damp atmosphere generally is a breeding floor for fungal progress. Should you do discover any fungus on a plant, isolate the contaminated plant instantly to stop the unfold to close by wholesome vegetation.


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

You’ll be able to create your individual anti-fungal answer by mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 gallon of heat water. Spray your vegetation with this answer till the mold seems to be gone, which can take a couple of weeks. Take away any badly broken leaves and give attention to 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 severe.

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

African violets are very delicate to chilly water, and splashing chilly water on the leaves may 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 won’t get better, however the excellent news is that it is rather easy to stop water spots.


Yellow or brown spots, blotches, strains, 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 you probably have watered your vegetation from the highest or by accident splashed water on the leaves of your vegetation. If the plant leaves haven’t been instantly uncovered to water, they won’t develop water spots.


The easiest way to stop water spots is to water your vegetation from under with tepid water and never enable 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 vegetation with chilly water).
  • Chemical publicity – African violets are delicate to chemical substances like chlorine, so enable water to face for twenty-four hours earlier than utilizing it to water your vegetation.
  • Moist leaves burn within the solar – Don’t enable moist leaves to be uncovered to brilliant daylight, as this could trigger burn spots.

Should you do by accident splash water on the leaves, don’t fear. Enable your vegetation to dry totally in a well-ventilated place. Use a tissue or towel to softly blot the water from the leaves. Transfer a moist plant away from brilliant daylight till the leaves have dried fully.


Sadly, as soon as a leaf is broken by chilly, chemical substances, water, or solar, you’ll be able to’t repair the injury that has been executed. Take away any severely broken leaves and stems, particularly in the event that they change into gentle or mushy. Take precautions to maintain moisture off the leaves to stop additional injury sooner or later.

Insect Pests

Insect pests of African violets fluctuate from nuisance to lethal. Taking precautions to stop infestations can probably prevent a variety of time, cash, and trouble. Observe a couple of 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.
  • Examine your vegetation regularly for any indicators of sickness, injury, and illness.
  • As quickly as you discover bugs or insect injury in your vegetation, isolate any contaminated vegetation to stop additional unfold.
  • All the time wash your arms, instruments, and pots which have come into contact with contaminated vegetation.

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 widespread for African violets and can trigger seen injury.

Cyclamen mites could also be one of the vital widespread 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 injury. Regulate your vegetation so you’ll acknowledge early warning indicators that one thing is perhaps improper.


Since you’ll be able to’t see cyclamen mites, you’ll have to diagnose an infestation by wanting fastidiously at your plant’s signs. Contaminated vegetation might start to look 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 contemporary. In extreme instances, the complete plant will ultimately die.


Should you suspect cyclamen mites, isolate contaminated vegetation as quickly as potential to stop additional unfold. Cyclamen mites could be very troublesome to manage, and badly infested vegetation must be discarded. If you wish to take away the mites, you could buy an insecticidal cleaning soap or miticide spray.

Whichever product you select, observe the instructions fastidiously and wait till you’ve eradicated the mites earlier than transferring your contaminated vegetation close to every other 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 progress.

Mealybugs are acquainted houseplant pests which are pretty simple to determine. Mealybugs pierce the plant’s outer protecting layer and suck the juices from inside. Contaminated vegetation will seem stunted and should develop slowly. Heavy infestations can ultimately result in plant demise.


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

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


Isolate any contaminated vegetation as quickly as you see mealybugs. Insecticidal soaps are comparatively protected to make use of and likewise efficient towards mealybugs. Observe the directions on whichever product you select. As a result of you’ll in all probability 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 delicate 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 widespread pests hurt houseplants by draining their power by sucking their juices.

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


Scale bugs are very small, about ⅛ inch lengthy, easy, and flat. They appear to be 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 totally different, though they’re one other kind of scale.


On the first signal of scales, isolate any contaminated vegetation. Scales could be troublesome to take away as a result of their flat our bodies are properly 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 usually till all scales are gone.

All the removing 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 vegetation with aphids promptly, utilizing insecticidal cleaning soap and repeated spraying.

Aphids are a well-recognized pest to many gardeners. Aphids are remarkably widespread on out of doors vegetation and sometimes come indoors to feast on houseplants.

These bugs are extremely cell, however they like to assemble in giant numbers on their favourite vegetation, making them very simple to see and determine.


Search for particular person bugs or clusters of aphids gathered on leaves and stems. Aphids are small, about ⅛ inch lengthy, and could 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 similar to 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.


Should you see any aphids in your vegetation, isolate contaminated vegetation instantly to attenuate unfold. Aphids could be killed with insecticidal cleaning soap, however you should 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 as a result of their excessive numbers, speedy multiplication, and mobility.

Thrips are as a lot a nuisance as a trigger for concern. Thrips could be extremely plentiful, though nearly microscopic in dimension. These are tiny sucking bugs that may trigger an excessive amount of injury 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 slender our bodies. They’ve wings and may fly, however simply as typically, they scurry from one location to a different. Place a bit of paper below your violet and provides it some light shakes. Search for thrips falling onto the paper under.

Proof of thrips will probably be sightings of tiny bugs transferring about on the leaf floor, significantly when disturbed. You might also see pollen spilling from flowers onto the leaves as thrips nibble on the pollen sacks. Should you discover pollen scattered about on the leaves, leaves with white or brown spots on them, and broken flowers, you could be fairly positive you’re coping with thrips.


Thrips could be very troublesome to manage. They’re extraordinarily quite a few, multiply shortly, and are extremely cell. You probably have one plant with thrips, all vegetation within the neighborhood are doubtless contaminated. As a result of thrips love African violet flowers, you can begin remedy by eradicating all of the flowers.

You’ll in all probability have to spray your vegetation 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 in contact with the contaminated vegetation.

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 injury.

Foliar nematodes infect the leaves of African violets. These microscopic worms unfold from contaminated vegetation 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 progress. If left untreated, contaminated vegetation will die.


You gained’t truly see a nematode, however you will notice proof that they’re harming your plant. Injury 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, the complete leaf will look broken, and different leaves will quickly change 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 most effective remedy, sadly, is to discard contaminated vegetation. You’ll be able to attempt taking a few healthy-looking leaves to begin new vegetation from cuttings.

Use leaves provided that they present no indicators of nematode injury, and maintain the rooting leaves separate out of your different vegetation for a number of weeks till you could be positive they don’t seem to be contaminated. Should you see any indicators of nematode injury, 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 vegetation, isolate new vegetation earlier than introducing them into your assortment, and deal with contaminated vegetation on the first signal of sickness. When you study the indicators and signs to search for, you’ll be able to act shortly to stop additional unfold of pests and illnesses. Giving your violets the perfect care potential may even maintain them wholesome and vibrant.



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