African Violet Leaves Turn Yellow (Causes + Treatments)

African violet is a fascinating houseplant that has captured the attention of many individuals. If you’re particular about your landscape, you’re definitely one of them. However, the African violet houseplant makes gardeners and homemakers wary most times. This is because of the yellow pigmentation suddenly observed on this gorgeous plant.

This article is just for you; if you’ve always wanted to add African violet to your collection of houseplants. You don’t have to be wary of the yellow pigmentation most people complain about. This article will walk you through the steps to take when observing the yellow pigmentation on your houseplant.

Are you ready to get more details on it? Read this article to the end.

What is an African Violet?

African violet belongs to the genus Saintpaulia. The genus was named in honor of the Germans who identified the seeds. However, African violet has been re-assigned to the genus Streptocarpus.

African Violet Leaves Turning Yellow

This genus houses six diverse species of plants belonging to the family Gesneriaceae.  Like the name put forward, they’re primarily found in the tropical woods of Tanzania and Kenya. Although they’re commonly called African violets, they’re not violet. Their flowers have a brilliant violet color. These perennial plants are quite easy to cater to but can pose difficulty.

Things To Do When African Violet Leaves Turn Yellow

The life span of African violet leaves is approximately 12 months on average. To permit the growth of new foliage, the old foliage of the indoor plant will droop and turn yellow. This is before wilting and falling off.

However, if the observed yellow pigmentation is not from the old foliage, then you have to look into what’s responsible for the yellowing of your leaves. Evaluating what you’re doing right or wrong is crucial in knowing why the leaves of your plants are yellow.


How you apply your water to the houseplants most times determines the turnout of your plant. The wrong application of water is one of the prevalent reasons for the yellow pigmentation of the foliage of African violet leaves.

The leaves do not appreciate water droplets directly on them. Instead, water the soil to supply the moisture requirement and prevent further harm to the plant.

Likewise, they do not thrive well if the water is excessively hot or cold. Warm water or room-temperature water is just fine. Cold or hot water will cause the cells of the leaves to collapse, resulting in the yellow coloration of the leaves.

Here is the solution you should consider:

  • Use only warm water or room-temperature water
  • Do not spray the water directly on the leaves
  • Buy cans designed specifically to target just underneath the leaves
  • Ascertain that the water you’re using to water the plants is free of chemicals such as chlorine.


Like most indoor plants, African violet does not tolerate direct bright light. However, the plant leaves need just the right amount of light to remain green. If the houseplant isn’t getting the amount of light required, the leaves turn yellow just around the edges.

Here is the solution you should consider:

  • Position your plants to receive just enough light it require. You can do this by making it face the southeast or west of your window.

Nutrients present in the soil

Depleted nutrients or no nutrients in the soil can result in the yellow coloration of the African violet leaves. Supplementation with fertilizer is the best thing to do.

However, do not overdo the fertilizer application as this can make the leaves turn yellow too.

Salt build-up can also cause the leaves to become yellow.

Here is the solution you should consider:

  • Fertilize properly following the manufacturer’s instructions to meet the nutrient requirements. Ensure to lower the strength of the fertilizer by diluting based on the guidelines laid out by the manufacturer.
  • Do not settle for just any fertilizer. Buy one designed specifically for flowering plants like African violets.
  • Leach your potting soil to get rid of excess salt and minerals.


Pest invasion might likewise be a cause for the yellow pigmentation of the leaves. African Violets are susceptible to pests like mealybugs and thrips.

The repercussion of this invasion is that the pests consume the nutrients meant for the plants. This makes the plant system deteriorate. Fungus gnats are another cause for concern, especially if your plant is in a tray containing pebbles.

Here is the solution you should consider:

  • Spray neem oil on the leaves and flowers of the African violet plant to combat infestation by gnats and pests
  • Ensure to replace your water frequently if you’re using a tray filled with pebbles.

How Do I Care For My African Violet Plant?

You need to effectively care for your African violet plants to avoid unnatural yellow pigmentation of the leaves. You have to understand the right measures for growing this indoor plant.

Firstly, you must keep the soil moist while ensuring the soil is not waterlogged. Your plant requires moisture and nutrients at the appropriate levels. To combat the menace of depleting the nutrient and moisture content of the soil, try repotting your plant at least once every twenty-four months.

One of the don’ts of African violet houseplants is that no type of soil mix can be utilized. One of the most acceptable mixtures is sphagnum peat moss supplemented with vermiculite. Humidity is a necessity for this plant. If the humidification of your house is quite poor, position the potted plant on a platter packed with gravel and a small amount of water.

To wade away pests and diseases, especially gnats, replace the water often. To foster regeneration, nip off old leaves and discard expended flowers. If you pay attention to these dos and don’ts, you can be sure that Your African violet will remain healthy and blossoming.

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to fret and throw away your African violet plant just because of the yellow color of the leaves. Following through with the guidelines above might not cure the plant but would help you prevent further damage to the plant.

Soon enough, your plant would gain its green foliage back.

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