Why Are My African Violet Leaves Turning Yellow? – A PUZZLE

African violets are my favorite houseplants because they bloom several times a year if cared for properly. These houseplants produce small purple, pink, white or blue flowers with velvety green foliage.

African violet leaves turning yellow can be caused by improper watering, inadequate lighting, pests, and nutritional deficiencies.. We recommend inspecting your houseplant to determine and resolve the exact cause.

It can be daunting to pinpoint the exact cause of yellow African violet leaves. We wrote this article to help you identify the reasons why African violet leaves are turning yellow.


Reasons Why African Violets Turn Yellow

Yellow leaves on African violet plants occur for a variety of reasons. Now let’s dive into the discussion to learn more about why wild violet leaves turn yellow:

Bad watering routine

Improper watering is the main cause of yellow African violet leaves as they cannot tolerate water directed at them. Water droplets on the leaves cause yellow spots to form.

African violet leaves are equally sensitive to hot or cold water. Ice or hot water will collapse vulnerable cells and discolor the leaves. There is no cure for this African violet leaf problem.

How to solve insufficient watering?

We recommend watering your African violet under the leaves or from below to avoid leaf yellowing and necrotic spots. Remember to use room temperature water to minimize leaf cell damage.

bad lighting

African violets need light to produce energy or food and to form flowers. But these houseplants do not thrive in an area with low or direct sunlight. Insufficient sunlight causes yellowing of the leaves.

Direct sun exposure will also make your African violet hardy. The houseplant will gradually begin to wilt with golden leaves. Correcting the lighting problem in the early stages can breathe new life into the plant.

Correct incorrect lighting conditions

Move your African violet to the southeast or west window. The area usually receives bright indirect sunlight to allow for better growth. If the room does not receive natural light, install artificial lighting to solve the problem.

nutritional deficiency

With proper fertilization, your African violet will flower and grow bushy or thriving. Nutrient-limited potting soil can be the reason for yellowing leaves.

Also, over-fertilizing the leaves will eventually turn yellow and brown. Strictly follow the instructions on the fertilizer label when feeding the plant.

How to solve a nutritional deficiency?

Fertilize your African violet every 4 to 6 weeks in spring and summer. The nutrients will promote the production of bright green leaves and beautiful flowers.

Remember to flush the potting mix every three months to prevent excessive salt buildup. This will also help prevent the leaves of African violets from turning brown.

plant diseases

Botrytis blight is another major cause of yellow African violet leaves. It is a fairly contagious fungal disease.

Plant diseases will cause discoloration or yellowing of the flowers and leaves of your African violet plants. The condition occurs due to excess water and high humidity.

How to fix botrytis burn?

The rule of thumb is to isolate the plant from other houseplants, as botrytis is contagious. Be sure to treat the houseplant with a fungicide and prune any affected leaves from the plant. Reduce indoor humidity and watering frequency.

pest infestations

African violets are vulnerable to aphids, mealybugs and scale insects. These tiny creatures often suck nutrients from leaves by stinging them.

Frequent drilling and injection of poison cause yellow spots on the leaves. These ringspots have spread to yellow the entire leaf.

How to fight against pests?

We recommend isolating the plant from other houseplants and spraying it with neem oil weekly at night to kill pests. Develop the routine of inspecting your African violet as you water for pests to avoid a massive infestation.

age problem

Sometimes African violet leaves can turn yellow as they age. This is an unavoidable problem since aging is a natural phenomenon.

How to restore yellowed leaves due to aging?

Take maximum care to slow down the aging process and the yellowing of the leaves. Be sure to cut off old leaves to encourage new growth and healthy leaves.

root rot problem

Root rot is another possible cause of yellowing leaves on potted African violets. Root problems occur as a result of prolonged exposure to wet soil conditions that inhibit aeration.

Root rot occurs due to over-watering and poor soil drainage. The damp condition invites fungal growth that could kill your houseplants. Your African violet leaves will also turn brown and mushy.

How to Fix Root Rot

  • Remove the African violet from the pot.
  • Rinse the root system and cut off any areas with brown spots.
  • Transplant your houseplant into the pot with drainage holes and well-drained soil.

low humidity

African violets thrive in areas with high humidity. Plant owners need to replicate this level of humidity in their indoor space to promote healthy foliage. Low humidity can cause the leaves of African violets to turn yellow.

How to solve low humidity?

Use an electric humidifier to increase indoor humidity and prevent African violet leaves from turning yellow or brown. We do not recommend spraying the leaves as this routine encourages Botrytis blight infection.

related questions

Why Are My African Violet Leaves Turning Light Green?

Exposing your African violet to too much sun will give it pale green leaves. Light green foliage may also be due to the placement of houseplants on sun-facing window sills.

Should yellow leaves be removed from African violets?

Removing yellow leaves from the African violet will help maintain healthy growth and redirect energy to other growing areas. It also helps improve the overall appearance of your African violets.

Why are my African Violet leaves growing?

African violet leaves curl in low light conditions. Due to the condition, the houseplant grows taller and upwards to reach enough sunlight.

Will the yellow leaves of the African violet turn green again?

Treatment of yellow leaves of African violet is impossible. We recommend cutting the leaves and giving them the utmost care to encourage the growth of new green foliage.

Why Are My African Violet Leaves Turning Brown?

Possible causes of brown African violet leaves are direct sunlight, extreme heat stress, lack of water, and lack of humidity.

Why Are My African Violet Leaves Losing Their Color?

Exposing your African violet to direct or dim light will cause discoloration. Direct sunlight will scorch the leaves and low light will yellow the leaves.

Why Are My African Violet Leaves Fading?

Too much direct sunlight can cause African violet leaves to turn pale. We recommend growing your houseplant in a location that receives direct and indirect sunlight.


African violet leaves turning yellow are caused by nutritional deficiencies, improper lighting, improper watering, lack of moisture, plant diseases and pests. We recommend inspecting and testing your houseplant to determine the exact cause.

The rule of thumb is to remove and discard the yellow leaves of the African violet. Also, isolate the plant from other houseplants to prevent the yellowing of the leaves from spreading.

We hope this information has helped resolve yellow African violet leaves. Feel free to share your experiences with yellow leaves on African violet plants in the comments section below.

Readers reading this will also read:

  • How to care for the African violet (detailed guide)
  • Curling African Violet Leaves (Causes and Solutions)
  • Drooping Leaves of African Violet (Causes and Solutions)
  • African Violets Turning Brown (Causes and Solutions)
  • Why do my African violet leaves have spots?

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