Best Treatment For Root Rot in African Violet

When you receive a gorgeous flowering violet for a present the growers will notice that the plant starts to decrease in time.

It fades away and wilts and becomes lifeless. Plant diseases such as root rot could trigger the issue.

The violets that are that are affected by root rot do not flower. Root rot is a fungal illness which causes plants’ leaves to wane to darken, then disappear. The petioles turn soft and mushy and the trunk becomes empty. Insufficient drainage and heavy watering result in excess water entering the container, and this encourages the spread of disease. The root systems are dried out, and apply an organic fungicide if needed however, propagation could be the only option in extreme instances.

Let’s take a look at the most frequent root rot causes and the best way to revitalize your ailing African Violet.

Signs of African Violet Root Rot

Easy Spot Symptoms of Root Rot

Soft and soggy leaves are the most obvious signs that root rot is causing. Brown marks and a general look that is yellow are indicators that a leaf is suffering.

A African Violet leaf’s delicate fuzz can make a sour leaves appear grey.

Next, examine the stems. The root disease can spread through the soil, and eventually into the leaf itself, causing the plant to end up dying..

Root rot can be seen when your violet’s soil stems begin to turn black or brown.

Keep an eye out for a medium that doesn’t dry out it’s always damp that smells and tastes like eggs, stinking fish, or even sewerage.

Certain pathogens, such as mold, can thrive on the soil’s tops that are waterlogged and give the area an appearance of grainy or fuzzy to it.

Hidden Symptoms of Root Rot

In the soil, root rot is the most reliable indication of a root rot disease. Remove the African Violet out of the pot and examine it.

The healthy system of roots is pale with a variety of delicately colored roots that look like fine hairs. But the roots that are primary are stronger and more robust however they will be pale in hue.

However when the root is infected it’ll be dark in shade. They’ll feel soft and fragile to the touch, and may even be breaking apart. However, they can also smell and smell like rotting eggs.

African Violet Root Rot: Causes and Solutions

Overwatering Leads to Fungal Growth

African violets require just the proper quantity of water. They thrive in moist but not too saturated medium.

Soggy media can cause a variety of problems. Plants need air pockets within their roots in order to flourish. This allows them to grow and also lets the roots breathe too.

The air pockets are filled with water. can be done in a pot that is muddy, and then they become swollen. The roots are suffocated and begin to rot.


You should water the plant with African Violet only when the top two inches of the growth media are not dry.

There’s for me no better way to get an understanding of your soil other than using your own hands to gently poke around in the soil using my fingers.

This article you will learn the details of what can happen when the have a problem with your African violets.

In general the case of waiting till the upper layer the medium is dry the medium will remain at the right water content below, which is where it’s most important.

african violet artwork

Water Logging Results From Poor Drainage.

African Violets are extremely picky in regards with their garden. So, the soil must be able to drain easily but still retain enough liquid water to the plant.

In the absence of drainage, the medium can eventually cause it to submerge the roots.

A pot that is poorly constructed will cause water to drain properly. Many feature pots are not equipped with enough drainage holes, or none even!

Even the most high-end mediums can become stagnant and sluggish when there is no means to let them flow.


The selection of the right soil and pots are crucial elements in achieving an efficient drainage of the plant.

African Violets like an environment that is well-structured and has lots of texture.

The addition of perlite, vermiculite and tiny stones to the soil helps to improve the flow of water and helps keep the roots healthy.

Three strategically designed holes at the base of the container is necessary to ensure proper drainage. However, the more holes you have, the more!

In most cases the growers prefer keeping their African violets in plastic pots for nursery use, and then put them in decorative pots. Beautiful pots and strong roots are an ideal combination.

Inconsistent Watering

While excessive watering is the main reason for African Violet root rot, inconsistent watering can be just as harmful.

In prolonged droughts and heat, the tender, young roots tips begin to die. The dead tips will rot rapidly when you overwater them.

They are open wounds that could be infected with fungal diseases that can kill your plant.


Make sure that you ensure that you water the African Violet regularly, keeping in mind that they will require more water during the summer, and less during the winter.

Be sure to check the soil before you water to ensure that the two inches above the soil are dry completely.

I like to set a timer that reminds me to test the soil’s moisture each week.

Apart from looking for dust, pests or fresh leaves, you can also perform other tasks, like checking the soil.

It’s a relaxing and meditative procedure that will benefit your garden and also your mental health.

Diseases of African Violet

Fungal diseases are the main root rot cause however, pests and bacterial diseases are also able to establish themselves in plants that are sick.

It is therefore crucial to recognize all signs of root rot, including ones that show up after the true villains have taken their course of actions.

Fusarium-related diseases affect African Violets with a particular degree of degree.

The leaves are soft and fuzzy. rapidly become soggy, and their sprawling habit of growth holds in soil water which makes them perfect for shaded areas.

It gives the perfect amount of constant dampness that encourages the development of the fungi.

The fungi responsible for the majority of illnesses are already present within the soil.

Certain are beneficial, and help break down organic matter and provide nutrients back to the medium that is growing.

Maintain the moisture levels at a minimum, or else they’ll begin attacking the living plant tissues.

The root rot-causing fungi:

African Violet soft Rot

There are several ailments that are specific to African violets. When bacteria inflict damage to the plant’s tissues, its leaves turn damp and soft when touched and are referred to as “soft rot.”

The Erwinia bacteria is the cause of the illness, which emits a distinctive smell of fish as it moves throughout the cells of plants.

While root rot isn’t the most frequent reason, it’s vital to be aware of it. It’s easy to propagated and can quickly destroy your collection.


It is essential to immediately quarantine the plant that is sick right before it gets sick for any illness. After that, you must remove it from the rest of your plant collection and keep it in a secure location.

The trimming and removal of affected tissue is the next step to treat fungal illness.

Always make sure to use clean tools, particularly ones which have been sterilized using bleach or rubbing alcohol. The clippings aren’t compostable and should be thrown away or disposed into the garbage.

The most effective method is to prevent. The spores of fungi will only thrive if they are kept dry, cool and well-ventilated.

They also help prevent bacterial infections that thrive in humid and stagnant environments.

In addition, you can prevent the spread of diseases between plants that are healthy and sick by sanitizing your tools after every use.

Do not use old potting soil for the second time, and pots should be cleaned prior to using again.

Be on the lookout for insects, particularly the fungus Gnats. Gnats carry fungal spores from plants to plants, despite the fact that they do very little harm to their host.

A single sick Violet will quickly spread to all of the collection.

It is also important to be careful not to wet the African violet’s leaves. Their fluffy, soft texture holds in moisture, making them an ideal habitat for pathogens.

Extra-large/Too small pot

If you place your feet into shoes, you’re not comfortable, as the African Violet will be the same. Equally, too big or small of the pot can hurt the roots of the plant.

A container that’s too big can hold more water than the plant needs, which isn’t ideal for African violets.

I have mentioned before that pathogens can flourish in places that are beyond reaching of our root systems.

A plant that is housed in pots that are too small will be affected. The roots get weak due to the deficiency in nutrients by the soil.

Roots that worm their way up to the surface of the soil or drain holes are signs of danger.


The pot you purchase for the African Violet should not be larger over the upper surface than its crown, by more than 2 inches.

This allows it to expand without allowing disease-causing fungi or bacteria to take over the entire space.

Infrequent Repotting

Contrary to many species that are indoor, African Violets are a delight to regular repottering. I suggest twice per year.

African Violet African Violet quickly becomes unable to flourish in the pot that has sat in a pot over a long time.

When the roots are not properly nourished and overworked, they become vulnerable for root rot.


If you have an appropriate growing medium, you won’t need to go through all the hassle to repot your plant.

Repot during the middle of spring and in the middle of the autumn ideal on a warm, dry day.

Inconsistent Temperature

African Violets aren’t breed to be able to adapt to changing conditions. In the summer and spring months they are preparing for the growth.

The slowing of their growth when temperatures are too hot to save energy.

They get agitated when they have to change between winter and summer within a single day.

Root rot is often linked to changes in temperature. If temperatures drop in summer, plants use less water, which results in excessive watering and damage to the roots.

The Violet attempts to be prepared for every new set of conditions however, it is unable to keep up with the demands of the surroundings.


The optimal temperatures to grow African Violets is between 65 and 75 degrees (18-24degC). Make sure they are warm, and even and stay away from abrupt chills in the night.

This is particularly true when the Violet is positioned on a window’s sill because cold glass may emit deep chills when the sun sets.

How to save African Violet from Root Rot

Step 1. Stop Watering

First, let Violet the plant to completely dry. The next step is to remove the watering container and allow the plant to dry for a couple of days.

The next step is to empty the drip tray or saucers. This let any water that drips off the bottom of the pot to be completely drained.

Step 2. Remove the Infected Leaves and Parts

Then use clean shears to gently cut away the dead leaves, starting at the bottom and moving up to the top. If a leaf is not green, it must be taken off.

Step 3. Remove the plant from the pot and dry out the root System.

It is essential to allow the roots to completely dry before moving on. It might seem drastic however, you’ll have to remove your plant from its pot and let the roots dry.

Set up a cardboard sheet or a tarpaulin on an obscure, shaded location.

Take the plant out of its pot and disperse the root mass by breaking up any clumps of moist soil as you move.

Let the roots air dry over the course of the night. Smaller plants could be dry within about four to five hours.

But, the majority of soil needs to be dried to the point that it is able to be removed, so that the roots are treated.

Step 4. Trim off the Infected Roots

After the root mass is dry, grab some clean shears to remove dead, damaged and infected roots.


  • Roots that are black, brown, and bright orange.
  • Roots that are brittle
  • Squishy or soggy roots that shed their outer layer, similar to the onion’s skin.

Step 5. Repot Using New Soil and Pot

After the infected roots are gone from the African Violet, it’s time to plant it again.

To prevent re-infections, make sure to use new soil and a brand-new pot. Be sure to make use of clean tools as well as wash and dry your hands prior to using your new container and medium.

Water containing 1-to-4 parts of 3 hydrogen peroxide in water (that equals one cup of peroxide for four cups of water.) Peroxide kills insects, fungus, bacteria eggs, larvae and so on, without harming the plant that it lives in.

Make sure to choose a pot that has at three drainage holes in order to prevent the medium from becoming too wet.

A pot that is less than one inch wide is the ideal size and a pot that is more than 2 inches is ideal for plants with larger dimensions.

African Violets like slightly acidic soils, which are which is free draining and abundant in organic matter.

I’d suggest making your own. I personally like mixing two parts of coco coir or peat moss and one portion each of perlite and vermiculite to provide drainage and structure.

This blend helps keep African Violet African Violet well-watered without being too wet and the peat moss or coir keeps a good pH.

However, you could make use of a commercial African Violet mix. (Check for prices at Amazon right here)

Step 6. Watering after Repotting

It’s time to give the African Violet once it’s settled to its new home.

The plant should be given a nice, long soak. Since this new media is usually dehydrated, it is recommended to thoroughly hydrate it by using lots of clean water.

Rainwater is preferred, however purified or distilled water is sufficient.

Let the medium dry prior to watering it again. Let the top 2 inches to air dry in between beverages.

This gives the roots time to heal and avoid the re-infection.

Step 7. Care after Repotting

African Violets love the consistency. They prefer bright but indirect light, with a constant temperature, and with sufficient airflow.

Only water when the two inches above the media are completely dry, and preferably with rainwater at room temperature or filtered water.

African Violets benefit from repotting them every six months or that’s.

It is not necessary to move the plant to a bigger container each time. If the plant is content in its pot all you need to do is alter the medium used for growing.

To create beautiful flowers and lots of fluffy leaves, they’ll receive the nutrients they require from this source.

Propagating African Violet

Root rot is a serious problem that can totally destroy the African Violet. But, even when you have only one leaf of green it is still possible to grow an entire new plant!

To reproduce the African Violet, you’ll require

  • One healthy, firm African Violet leaf
  • Medium for growth
  • Small pot or container that has drainage holes
  • Clean scalpel or scissors
  • Container or clear plastic bags
  • Water that is clean and clear, or filtered
  • Rooting hormone (optional)

How to remove African Violets from the Leaf:

  1. Then fill the container with a mix of vermiculite, perlite and coco coir. It is then thoroughly soaked and allowed the water to run off.
  2. The stem should be cut off of the plant up to 1.5 millimeters (3cm).
  3. Then, make a cut in the front part of the plant at an angle of 45 degrees. This will stimulate young plants to grow into groups at the front and back.
  4. Apply a rooting hormone to the cut leaf to encourage rapid growth of the root. Cinnamon is a great home-based substitute, however numerous commercial products can be utilized to replace it. (Amazon link)
  5. Make a small hole into the medium, then plant your leaf.
  6. Allow the water to soak thoroughly, then drain.
  7. Protect your leaf by covering it with an unbreakable plastic bag or a small container to make a “greenhouse.’
  8. The leaf should be placed in a consistently bright and warm area. Regularly water to keep the moderately damp, but not wet.

The smallest of plants can require up to 12 weeks to develop. When they reach about two to three inches tall and three inches tall, they can be transferred into a larger pot without greenhouse.

Treatment of root rot using Chemical Fungicide

Commercial fungicides must be handled with care, even though they have been proven to be extremely effective.

These chemicals are powerful and cause danger near our homes as well as workplaces because Indoor plants can be kept in the same space as the people who plant them.

The release of soil nutrients is also impeded by the use of chemical fungicides that eliminate the harmful and friendly fungi.

The long-term use of these plants can result in weaker plants even though they’re efficient in the short-term. It is best to utilize them only in the most severe situations.

It is possible to take a proactive approach to safeguard the indoor plant from fungal infections.

For instance the root rot that occurs in African violets can be avoided and treated using more gentle techniques.

Homemade fungicide for root rot


Cinnamon is a great treatment for root decay. The powdered cinnamon is antifungal and also aids in the growth of roots.

The roots should be sprayed with a lot of dust prior to the repotting process will eliminate any remaining spores and help get the whole system back in order.


Chamomile is another great garden tool for indoor use. Chamomile flowers possess strong antifungal properties. They can also be utilized as a water-based addition.

Make the soothing Chamomile tea, then pour it into the watering container after it has been cooled.

It can aid in the fight against any naturally occurring fungi that are found in the soil.


If you have the correct mixture of soil, it can be an excellent addition. However, it is chemically reactive and draws dangerous compounds to the soil.

It’s like cleansing the soil! Although it’s not an fungicide by its own, it can create conditions in the soil which hinder the fungi to flourish.

Be aware that charcoal is acidic therefore be cautious when you use it in conjunction in conjunction with African violets.

Maintain them in soils that are acidic to ensure that the good acidic soil elements aren’t ruined by bad acids.

They’re useful However, you must be cautious not to use too much of them.

How to Prevent African Violet Root Rot

  • It is important to water frequently, but allow the two inches that are the top of the medium drain out between waterings to ensure it doesn’t become wet.
  • The temperature should be maintained between 65-75 degree Fahrenheit (18 to 24 Celsius).
  • Repot African Violets twice a year in a slightly acidic medium that is free-flowing and free of charge.
  • Make sure that the pots have at minimum three drainage holes, and remain free of standing water.


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)