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.