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Q&A: African violet is wilted


Question: My African violet leaves are still green, but it's suddenly wilted, limp and hanging over the pot. What has happened and what can I do - if anything -  to revive it?

Answer: Houseplants wilting can be due to several factors. Most common is either under or over watering, so check the soil first. If the soil is very dry, the plant is clearly under watered. Set the plant in a bowl of water and allow the water to be absorbed through the holes in the pot.

If the soil is wet, the plant has been over watered - one of the most common reasons for the demise of a houseplant. Consistently wet soil creates an anaerobic (lacks air) growing environment for roots which leads to root rot and encourages pests like fungus gnats. Remove the plant from the pot and check the roots for rot (brown - black soft roots). It is possible for plants to grow new roots. If a majority of the roots are still white or light-colored, prune off the rotted roots, and re-pot the plant in soil for African violets in a container with several drainage holes. You can water from top or bottom with water at room temperature or slightly warmer. Make sure the plant to drain well.

Plants may also wilt from an excess of fertilizer build-up. Fertilizers are salts and can build up in soil and cause desiccation (drying) of the plant. You can see it as a white crust on the surface of the soil. Fertilize at half the recommended strength when you see new growth on the plant. Flush the plant occasionally with clear water.

African violets foliage may also be affected by sudden cold or freezing. If your plant was in a cold location or has been in a window that is drafty, the cold temperatures may have affected the foliage as well.

For more information: African Violets



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