Plants – African Violet/Stunted Growth Part I


Two of my African Violets have stunted, misshapen leaves in the middle of the rosette. I have encountered the problem in the past, and often, I give up and throw the plant away. This time I thought I would try to start new plants from leaf cuttings, but first wanted assurance the leaves were not diseased or infested.

Plants with this type of stunted growth can be infested with spider mites. Oh my! I have battled these little pests on other plants. I inspected the violet in question with a magnifying glass but didn’t find any spider mites.

A few other possible causes:

Cool temperatures – Yes, we keep our house rather cool in the winter.

Too little light – Yes, I did move them to a window with very afternoon sunshine.

Too much fertilizer – A possibility, but the problem would be caused by pre-fertilized African violet soil, not from anything I added. From now on I’ll try to water from the top with a squirt bottle. By using this technique, I will avoid getting the leaves or crown of the violet wet, and salts and other toxins in the soil will be washed out the bottom.

A normal violet below:

8 thoughts on “Plants – African Violet/Stunted Growth Part I

  1. Rainy Day violets

    So glad to find your article on your blog. I know its old now, but it has relieved my mind so much.
    I was so afraid it was some dreaded disease to infect all my plants. I also suspected cold cause our heater went out, but its only about four plants. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timelesslady

      Mine are also not happy right now…we keep our house cold at night. I am hoping they will perk back up when I put them on the porch in the summer.


    1. Timelesslady

      Stop feeding for a bit…sometimes the leaves become the star of the show when they have a lot of fertilizer. If you hold back on the feed I think the flowers will start to bud and bloom.


  2. Timelesslady

    Sorry it is taking me so long to reply, we were on vacation last week. I think it might be something I had a problem with in the past…if the leaves are touching the pot they are planted in they might be getting some bacteria or the salts that come out of potting soil on their leaves or stems. Pull one leaf off and check the underside of the stem. If there is divet or a rotting area where it touches the pot rim this is probably what is causing the problem. You can wash the rim down if this is the case, or put a barrier of some type over it, such as foil. If the middle is still nice you can always cut/pull the dying leaves away and let the plant leaf out once more.


  3. I think you are awesome. I had African violets bloom year after year after year in a non-draining china pot, that I received as a gift. I don’t like non-draining pots. Anyway they lived and bloomed forever, and surprised me, until I don’t know whom broke the pot.

    Liked by 1 person

Thanks so much for your comments. They fill my life with sunshine.

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