What Happens if African Violet Leaves Get Wet?


Caring for our plants can sometimes be challenging, especially if they are relatively sensitive, like the African Violet. Without proper care, environmental hazards and conditions can create issues for this plant. One common issue is exposure to water. 

When African Violet leaves get wet, stains and circles may appear on their leaves. It is best to water African Violets from the bottom with room temperature water. If your African Violet does get wet from natural causes, it’s best to let your plant dry out in diffuse sun. 

If you are like me, you love your indoor plants, and African violets are a beautiful addition to any home. Please read on to learn about what happens when African Violets get wet and how you can properly care for this sensitive plant. 

Why Are African Violet Leaves Sensitive to Water?

All plants need hydration on a daily basis. Without water, they may begin to dry up and wither away. However, the wrong type of water can put certain plants like the African Violet in harm’s way. 

African Violets are sensitive to water because water can attract harmful pathogens and diseases, weakening the overall strength of the plant. Additionally, cold temperatures and water that sits on the plant for long periods can harm and spoil your African Violet leaves. 

Like other variations of plants, the African Violet needs water and can handle water relatively well. The African Violet comes from a humid climate where rain is readily available. 

However, water can also negatively impact the appearance of African Violets, and it can also attract and bring about unfavorable conditions for this plant. 

When watering and caring for your plant, there are a few essential things to pay attention to:

Keep the Water at Room Temperature and Avoid the Center of the Plant

Water can touch the leaves of this plant, but it must remain at room temperature. Cold water can create harsh conditions for the African Violet. If you live in a cold climate and rain happens to land on your plant’s leaves when outside, you should take action. Brushing off the water or letting it dry is recommended.

Water Your Plant From the Root Up Rather Than From the Top

Most plants do not have issues with how they are watered, but the African Violet is sensitive, as we now know. When watering your plant, it’s best to make sure water stays away from the leaves and the center of the plant. You can water their plants through alternative methods, like bottom watering.  

If Water Gets on Your Plant, Make Sure To Dry the Spill

The biggest concern with watering the African Violet is when water puddles and pools in the plant’s center. This pooling can attract harmful diseases and weaken the plant. You can use a soft cloth to gently soak the spilled water on your plant, taking care not to damage the sensitive leaves. 

Use Diffuse Sun To Dry Your Plant

Water can be detrimental to this type of plant, but sunlight can help manage it.

The sun can dry the plant and help remove water quickly. It can also help warm the water’s temperature and make it less potentially harmful for your Violet.

Take care not to place your plant in direct sun if it is used to diffuse indoor light as the sun may also damage the plant. Water can magnify the sun and cause leaf burn. Instead, choose a sunny, warm area in your home to pace the Violet until it dries.  

Water Your African Violet From the Bottom 

If you ask any professional, they will recommend that you water your African Violet from the bottom rather than pour water on the soil’s top. Although this may appear odd, there is an excellent reason for it. 

Watering from the bottom is most familiar with containers and pots, so it is such an excellent solution for the African Violet. 

Individuals can place room-temperature water in a tray under the bottom of the container and punch drainage holes in the container. The soil will drink up the water from the bottom container. 

The main reason why this method is recommended is that this plant is delicate. If watering through other methods, you should monitor the direction and amount of water given. 

The African Violet is prone to root rotting and over-watering. When too much water is given to this plant, it can suffocate easily. You should give this plant just enough water, so the soil remains moist and hydrated. 

Other Watering Methods 

Apart from watering from the bottom up, you can use some other watering methods with your African Violet. 

Luckily, other methods of watering your plant will not harm your African Violet if conducted appropriately. What’s most important is that your African Violet receives the right amount of hydration and proper drainage. 

Here are a few great alternative methods to consider: 

  • Top watering is the process of watering your plant at the top of the soil. Individuals can utilize this but should practice caution and take it slow. 
  • Utilize a self-watering pot. A self-watering pot is a pot that works hand-in-hand with your plant to give it the water it needs. 
  • A watering wand drips water into the roots easily. 

If using other methods, individuals should ensure that drainage is available for their plant’s soil. 

How Does Water Harm My African Violet?

Water is necessary for all types of plants, so it can appear odd when experts recommend practicing caution with the African Violet. The African Violet is delicate to environmental conditions, and water can create messy situations for individuals to handle. 

Water harms your African Violet by ruining the leaves and wilting them, attracting many diseases and pests, and destroying the aesthetics of your plant. Cold water will harm your plant, and too much sunlight can interact with water by creating white spots. 

At first, your plant might not show negative symptoms when exposed to water. However, if the water stays on your plant or if your plant is given the wrong mix of environmental conditions, issues will come to light. 

The most valuable thing that owners can do is watch over their plants and care for them appropriately, ensuring that cold water is not on the leaves or in the center of their plant.

If given too much water and sunlight, the following pathogens and symptoms may show up in your African Violet plant:

  • Your plant may become droopy and dull. Sometimes, too much water or the wrong type of water can lead to suffocation and other negative symptoms in this plant. Water can harm and suffocate the root system and ruin the appearance of your plant. Individuals should make sure their plants look vibrant and strong. 
  • The leaves have white rings or are decaying. If cold water is on your plant when exposed to light, rings may appear. Although this does not harm the overall plant, it can impact the aesthetic of the plant. 
  • Bacterial Blight. This disease will show up as black or brown rot on your plant. Luckily, this plant can mend with time, nutrients, and proper space. 
  • Foliar Nematode. This pathogen can ruin your plant entirely. Your plant may stop growing and have sunken areas and spots on it. Individuals may not be able to recover their plants from this type of pathogen.
  • Powdery Mildew. This pathogen can come from water, and a fungicide can fix it. The leaves will dry up and die, and a white powder will appear on the plant. 

What Happens if My Plant Has Received Too Much Water?

When an African Violet plant is exposed to water through rain and other methods, it can be in harm’s way. However, water does not only impact your plant from top exposure. It can also affect your plant from rotting and over-watered soil. Overwatering is one of the most prevalent causes of decay.

If your plant has received too much water, your plant will begin to wilt and shrivel up. The entire root system of your plant will appear weak, and your plant will look mushy. Individuals can mend their plants if caught in time, but not always. 

The African Violet does not require a lot of water to survive. Instead, individuals should give this plant just enough water to have moist and hydrated soil. 

As previously mentioned, bottom watering is a fantastic way to care for this plant. If using other methods, individuals should make sure their soil is in proper condition, and they should watch over their plants often. 

When watering, individuals can also test out the soil by touching it. If it is moist and soft, your plant is most likely in great condition. If it is dry, your plant may need water and nutrients. Dried-up African Violets can be a good sign of needing hydration and moisture. 

If your plant is receiving a considerable amount of water, the following may occur: 

  • Mold may grow in the soil. 
  • Brown spots on your plant.
  • The stems and roots of your plant are mushy and weak.
  • Discoloration of your plant. 
  • Your leaves are weak, wilting, and wrinkled. 
  • Pathogens are present. 
  • Your plant is shriveled up and looks as if it is dying. 
  • There is an unpleasant odor in the soil of the plant. 

Final Thoughts 

The African Violet is a very popular plant for many. It is an excellent addition to your home and can last for a long time, especially if cared for appropriately. However, you should observe your  plants closely and ensure you ditibute the water correctly.

If not, issues can occur and negatively impact your plant. Luckily, the right knowledge and skill can help individuals and plants of all kinds thrive.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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