African violets or Streptocarpus/Saintpaulia are a popular choice due to their multi-colored flower clusters and fifty-year lifespan.
They are grown as indoor plants, but in some areas people also grow their varieties as outdoor plants.
African violets make excellent houseplants, but are difficult to grow outdoors. If you have high humidity and the temperature in your area is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. With the perfect potting soil and watering routine, you can get the results you want.
But on the other hand, African violets are normally kept as houseplants. But with certain techniques, you can grow them outdoors. But if you have annual temperatures below 60 F, you may need to winterize or take other precautions.
Let’s discuss each of the factors in whether or not you can grow African violets in your garden.
Can African Violets live outdoors?
Naturally, African violets live outdoors. African violets are native to the tropical regions of East Africa. Specifically, they are found in the Tanzanian forest.
They grow in the shade of large trees and take advantage of high humidity to develop impeccably. Winter and summer in Tanzania do not harm African violets.
They get enough water from rain which is necessary for growth. Likewise, the soil is enriched with the nutrients that African violets never lack. So technically if you live in Tanzania you can grow them outdoors.
But the most likely answer to this question is “No”, you cannot grow African violets outdoors, but it depends on where you live. The harsh outdoor climate and constant weather changes will destroy your plant.
Intense light, temperature, low humidity and other natural factors affect your plant’s growth.
But the tragedy behind the question is can you grow African violets outdoors? The answer lies somewhere between yes and no.
To find the correct answer, you need to look at the weather and the environment. So, let’s start with the different parts of the world.
Can African Violets live outdoors in the United States?
America has a different temperature USDA area. Some parts of the United States have temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. While others are over 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in or near Hawaii, Florida, and Puerto Rico, chances are you have perfect multi-colored flowers with thick, fuzzy green leaves.
In this case, you should be able to grow African violets outdoors if you meet the other requirements.
In contrast, in the United States, where the USDA zone is less than 10, it will be difficult to grow African violets there. In USDA zone 10, you can try growing African violets outdoors, but results are not guaranteed.
Can African Violets live outdoors in Australia?
It is very difficult to sustain African violets outdoors. But if you have the required temperature in your area, you can try it.
In Australia, many areas have annual temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Like Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and many more.
So, if you live in these climates, you can opt for this option. With little care, you will get the results.
How to grow African violets outdoors?
Growing African violets outdoors is demanding, but the results can be worth it. African violets are houseplants for most people.
In order to add this plant to your garden collection, you need to provide a few items for this plant. We will discuss each of them in detail.
temperature and humidity
It is impossible to maintain the healthy internal and external mechanism of African violets without real adjustments in temperature and humidity level.
African violets need 60 F to 90 F with humidity up to 80%. When the temperature drops, flower growth is stunted and plants suffer from the cold.
A higher temperature will scorch the leaves and cause discoloration throughout the plant. The leaf blur will be distorted. On the other hand, the plant will show growth, but it will not be as desired.
As a houseplant, African violets do not like direct sunlight. Direct sunlight damages the whole plant. African violets need bright, but not direct light.
If you are going to put the African violets outside, you should find a place where they will not be exposed to direct sunlight. It is beneficial to grow them under tall trees, in fully shaded arbors, or other shady areas.
If you are going to grow them outdoors, they may need special care.
First, never let the soil dry out between waterings. Add water when you feel the soil is dry within two inches of the surface. Now how do you add water?
Add water to the soil immediately, also be sure not to add extra water all at once, which shows that the plant lives in water.
Always add enough water to meet the needs of the soil and do not let water float on it. The most important thing is that your sheets do not get wet.
If you plan to grow African violets outdoors, don’t even think about burying them in the ground.
Because weather changes sometimes come suddenly and bad weather will force you to be extra careful.
Therefore, it is advantageous to place your plant in a spacious pot. Use potting soil that drains well so water doesn’t pool in the pot.
You may also be interested in: How Often Do African Violets Bloom?
Pros and Cons of African Violets Living Outdoors
There is no doubt that the advantages of African violets outweigh the disadvantages. Let’s take them out one by one. The benefits of African Violets outdoors are:
- Neither you nor your guest can pass without seeing them. The seductive appeal lies in the flowers of African violets which cannot be denied.
- Add the beautiful outdoor decoration to your garden. Your garden will be more charming with these flowers.
- Take only a small space in your garden and leave a big space for yourself, so you can develop your creativity in your garden.
- It shines all year round. With little care, you’ll get the bright multi-colored flower and thick, hairy green leaves.
The downsides of growing African violets outdoors are the extra care and attention. The water routine will be different outdoors. You need to keep an eye out for weather updates and watch out for pests and other diseases.
Can African violets be left outside in winter?
An African violet cannot be left outside in winter. African violets do not tolerate winter temperatures.
Introducing African violets long term at temperatures below 60 F will cause frostbite and many other problems with the plant.
The best way to maintain the aesthetic beauty of African violets in winter is to bring the plant indoors and place it under fluorescent or artificial lighting for up to 6 hours a day.
Put artificial lighting on the African violets and the distance between them should be 16 to 18 inches. These lights will be sufficient for plant growth.
Additionally, you can also use humidifiers to control the humidity around your plant. Don’t add water in the winter like you do in the summer.
Decrease the frequency according to your plant’s needs. Mature African violets may need more water than young ones.
While in the first year of care for African violets, you need to be very careful with water. Low and high water levels will completely damage the plant.
Can you put African violets outside in the summer?
In the summer, you can put your African violets outside.
Place your African violets outdoors in the summer (the temperature should be between 60 and 90 F), this will promote growth and also improve the internal structural performance of the plant.
When is the best time to put your African violets outside in the summer? Technically, the early hours of the day are the best for the plant.
You can also consider the afternoon schedule. But in some areas, it’s when the sun is at its zenith. This means that the sun’s rays are too powerful for the plants to discover their heat.
There is no doubt that African violets like to thrive in a warm environment, but high heat can also harm the plant. You can easily follow the weather forecast in your area to choose the best time for your African violets.
If you put your African violets outside in the summer, there are a few things to keep in mind. Put them in the shade first.
Do not expose it to direct sunlight. Second, you need to keep it out of the rain during summer rainy seasons.
Rain will damage the leaves of African violets. Finally, if you have very low humidity in your area, it’s not a good idea to leave it outside in the summer.
African violets can live outdoors if you get them used to the right conditions. But pests mean your African violets can’t live outdoors.
Cyclamen mites and spider mites are the worst you will find in this scenario. These pests will never allow your African violets to live a healthy life.
In the case of cyclamen mites, you cannot get rid of them easily, you must remove the part of the plant affected by this pest.
Additionally, once your African violets are comfortable with the outdoor environment, they will have a hard time moving indoors.
First, they familiarize themselves with the outside temperature. Second, they are used to organic matter and other beneficial pests that are difficult to deal with if you move them indoors.
African violets are a great addition to your collection of indoor and outdoor plants. It will enhance the beauty of your home and garden.