How to Save an Overwatered African Violet

African violets are among the most stunning houseplants you can get. It is that unless it has been swollen or discolored as due to too much water.

A lot of gardeners who have houseplants fall into the trap of overwatering. If you are trying to take care of your plant, it’s easy to get carried away.

  • Examine for any major damage and then move to an area that is cool and shaded.
  • Take away any damaged or dying blooms or leaves.
  • Check the soil
  • Cleanse the soil and remove the damaged roots.
  • It is recommended to dry it out.
  • Repot in a new pot with clean, disease-free soil.
  • Only water after the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry.

However, at the end of this article you’ll know what you can do to correct (and avoid) the issue of overwatering the African Violet!

Overwatering Vs Underwatering: How to Tell the Difference

If you wish for the African Violet to thrive, you should know the most effective ways to water it. In terms of African Violet care, one of the biggest errors people make is not enough watering.

It’s normal to fall in love with your plant until you tend to water it on a regularly. If you are able to water the African Violet too soon after it’s dried it will have issues. The excess water can cause damage to the African Violet.

A lot of water can drown your African Violet and cause it to turn brown.

However If you let the soil get too dry and it suffers from the issue of water deficiency. The plant will eventually die. plant because of a deficiency of water as it can cause deficiencies in nutrients.

The plant isn’t able to get soil’s soluble nutrients in the absence of water.

When you look at the soil, you will be able to determine whether the soil of your African violet is receiving enough water. If the soil appears dry or cracked and hard then you need to be sure to water it more often.

Additionally, the leaves will inform you whether they need more water. If they’re dry and crisp, and dark around the edges, or if your African Violet is no longer blooming, you might need to water them more often.

african violet in white pot next to reading glasses and books

Signs of Overwatered African Violet

Brown Spots on Leaves

The brown spots that appear on African violets are not a good thing. The root system is damaged by overwatering through root rot and , as a consequence the plant is isolated from the supply of nutrients.

The African violet plants will turn brown and yellow spots if you don’t provide nitrogen or magnesium.

Edema can result from overwatering that is the result of the plant’s consumption of excessive amounts of water. The excess water consumption can harm the cells of the African violet leaves.

There will be brown, wart-like areas near the bottom of your African violet’s leaves when there is an edema.

Any leaves that have brown spots must be taken off. However, once brown spots are visible on leaves, they are unable to be restored. If you remove these spots and removing them, your African Violet will grow new healthy, healthy leaves much more easily.

Root Rot And Foul Smell From Soil

A high volume of watering can encourage an increase in fungi within the soil.

The fungus that develops can cause root rot when the soil doesn’t fully dry between irrigations, or when the drainage system isn’t working properly.

To treat the African Violet Root Rot, there are some things you can do to make the situation better. Check out this article for step-by-step directions.

Remove the plant from the pot and remove any soil that is rotten before replanting it. Then, examine the roots and stems. Take out any roots that are brown or mushy to ensure that your plants are healthy and strong. roots.

Infect the rest of the roots by submerging them in an fungicide solution once you’ve removed the affected areas.

Pot the African Violet in a well-drained and well-groomed bed of potting soil. (New soil is best however, if the root rot is not a major issue cleaning the soil will suffice.)

We’re only given a short period of time! Since root rot is a fast-growing issue and is a major cause of death, you’ll have a greater chance of stopping it if you take action promptly.

The removal of any leaves with brown spots can be a great idea. However, once leaves begin to develop brown spots, they’ll be difficult to get them back.

If you remove the twigs by removing them, the African Violet will be more likely to produce new healthy, green leaves.

Crown Rot

Crown Rot is treated and diagnosed similarly to Root Rot is treated. The major difference is in the place the rot has taken root.

It is possible that root rot can occur on any root and the damage could be either severe or minor. The crown Rot is a condition that is affecting the roots that are at the highest point in the system.

Follow all Root Rot treatment steps and spray a fungicide over your root to cure Crown Rot. Take note that, if your plant is suffering from severe crown rot and is not able to survive, it could die.

Mold Growing on Soil

If you notice mold growing in your soil , it is an indication that the African Violet is getting too excessive amounts of water. White dots of mold will appear on the surface of the soil.

The mold shouldn’t be a threat to the health of your African violet (or your entire family). However, it’s vital to get rid of it when you first notice it.

It is possible to scrape the soil’s top layer off and eliminate the mold in this method. You could also eliminate the mold using an diluted mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.

Make use of 1 part of hydrogen peroxide for 5 parts of water. If the mold is extending over the top layer of soil, it’s time to repot.

Shriveled Appearance and Mushy Stems

If you notice that your African violet’s stems appear soft or the plant is shriveled, it is excessively watering. Healthy plants will appear robust and vibrant and have strong stems. If the stem is not firm enough or has flexibility when you squeeze it, there’s a problem.

The swollen stems of a plant indicate an infection caused by excessive water. A dry appearance is another indication the African Violet has rotted. In both instances, remove the affected parts, wash the plant, and let the plant to air dry. (Source: Iowa State University)

Yellow Leaves

The yellow leaves are another indication of stress caused by excessive watering. When your African Violet has leaves that are yellow, take them off and examine the other health of the plant.

If your leaves appear yellow, it is likely that the roots have started to rot and you’ll need to take action to prevent damage.


A wimpy African Violet could mean one of three possibilities. It could be that you aren’t getting enough water, or you’re excessively watering or you are suffering from pests. The soil is the best indicator of the cause.

When your African Violet is dying and the soil is damp, it is because you have overwatered. The roots are drowned and leaves the African violets not able to absorb the oxygen they require. Repair any damage, and then allow the African Violet to dry out.

If your soil doesn’t seem dry or moist Look for signs of pests. Cyclamen mites as well as Mealybugs tend to be the two most frequent pests that attack African violets. To eliminate pests, you must clean your leaves. (Source: Clemson University)

You can kill the insects by spraying your leaves Neem oil or insecticidal soap.

If you have rubbing alcohol in your home, you can clean every leaf using it to cleanse the African Violet of cyclamen mites or mealybugs.

Wrinkled Leaves

The leaves that are wrinkled indicate that excessive watering has caused serious problems for the roots. The appearance of wrinkles indicates that there is no water to move through the roots and into the tissue of the plant.

Check out your roots. Healthy roots are white and plump. If your roots are brown and mushy, they must be removed. The leaves that are wrinkled could indicate that your roots are rotting.

If you have any viable roots, it’s worth it to wash them and plant them again. If your roots appear like they are brown and mushy, it’s time to try again another African Violet, unfortunately.

Curled Leaves

Curly leaves are an indication of excessive watering. However, it could also be an indication that water temperatures are stressing the African Violet.

If you water with cold water, it can cause the roots to be chilled by the African Violet. The leaves will curled downwards. The water that is room temperature is ideal because it lowers the chance of the possibility of a temperature-related shock.

This article will help you bring back the old African violet.

Saving Your Overwatered African Violet

The steps you’ll have to follow in order to treat the water-logged African Violet. Here is a short list of steps, followed by a more detailed explanation below.

Step One: Assess the Overall Damage

It is crucial to determine the extent of damage your overwatered African violet has become. If you notice that only a only a few leaves with brown spots, but the stems are healthy and firm, and healthy, then you don’t need to repair as much as if the condition is found in other regions as well.

If you notice any steps listed below that aren’t applicable to your plant, feel free to skip them until the steps apply to your plant. If the roots of your plant are in good health, there’s no need to take out the ones that are damaged, etc.

Step Two: Remove Damaged Leaves and Blooms

Take off any yellow leaves, leaf with brown spots or blooms that have wilted. Be careful not to take away leaves that curl downwards due to temperature shock. If they appear healthy in all other ways, take them off. When you alter to the temp of your water, they will re-energize themselves.

The removal of damaged leaves will allow the African Violet to concentrate on healing. It doesn’t have to send nutrients to the areas in the plants that are not able to be revived.

Wash your hands first. Remove the damaged blooms or leaves by pinching the leaf using your fingers at the stem’s base.

If you decide cutting the leaves off, ensure that the cutting tools are sharp and clean. Removal of the leaves close to the soil line sets your African Violet on the path to produce new blooms or leaves.

Step Three: Assess the Soil

We are now at the root of the problem. Overwatering can cause a variety of issues to the soil as well as the root system. It is important to know the condition of your soil before you begin fixing it.

Get rid of any mold that is that is growing within the soil. Then , take the African Violet out of its pot to look at its root structure. This is the perfect moment to add more drainage to the pot.

Broken pieces of terra cotta pots, big rocks, and even recycled plastic are great options. Put them in the bottom of the pot prior to refilling to allow the water to flow through the soil more easily.

Step Four: Remove Damaged Roots and Clean the Soil

The removal of any damaged roots you discover during your inspection is crucial. The plant will not be able to heal if all damaged areas are not taken care of first.

To accomplish this, use your fingers to break loose the soil that is infected and then remove the rotting roots. Be aware that these roots will be soft and brown. African violet’s root systems are delicate, so you must move slowly when you do this.

It isn’t a good idea to cut off healthy roots during the process. Get rid of the rest of the roots, and then use new soil as well as a brand new pot to pot the plant. African Violet.

It is recommended to buy new soil however, it is also possible to clean the soil you already have. Try washing it using water and bleach (one-part bleach for five water parts) and then allow the soil to air dry.

It is also possible to use an fungicide or homemade solution of hydrogen peroxide (diluted similar to bleach). It is recommended to purchase new potting soil, if you can. This will reduce the chance of reinfection.

Step Five: Dry it Out

When you are ready to repot the African Violet leave the plant in the pot for a few hours to dry. The plant should be placed with the rest of the root and the soil onto a secure surface for the night. Laying down some newspaper or placing it in an old cardboard box could make it easier to clean up.

This allows the soil and roots the chance to dry more quickly than in the pot. Place your plant in the garden for about a day until the soil appears dry and clean. Should you be a pet owner or have young children, leave your African violet in a safe place.

Step Six: Repot

After the soil has dried, it’s time to repot the African Violet. It is possible to clean and disinfect the pot the African Violet was in before. If you have a serious case of root rot, it’s best to purchase an entirely new pot. This will reduce the risk of a recurrence.

Be sure your pot has drainage holes at the base. Increase the capacity of drainage by placing large stones, broken terra cotta or pieces of plastic on the base of your pot. Plant the African Violet in fresh soil.

If you are buying an entirely new pot, you may be interested in a self-watering pot. The water is poured into the pot, and it African Violet takes what it requires without having to sit in the water.

They take much of the guesswork for you and are a fantastic option if you’re worried about the inconsistency of your watering.

Step Seven: Water Smarter

After you’re sure that your African Violet has recovered from the effects of too much water, this is the most important step.

Repeated offenses is harder to recover from. Pay attention to the signals of your African Violet will ensure greater chances of success than trying to build an entire water cycle that is based on the calendar.

The plant should be watered when the top 2 inches (2.54-5.08 cm) are dry to the point of.

This is the approximate distance from the first knuckle. However, should you prefer not to stick your finger into the pot, you could also buy an indicator for water levels.

If you notice any signs of moisture within that soil’s top layer be sure to leave it an inch longer. Pay attention to your plant, and you’ll be able to create a plan to help your plant flourish!

You might also like: How to Save the overwatered Monstera (Swiss cheese plant)

Common Watering Mistakes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the reason why the leaves of my African Violets soft and limp? Why are they mushy, limp, and soft?

If an African violet is exposed to excessive amounts of water, the leaves tend to keep some excess water within the leaves. The leaves will then begin to become soft, and eventually soft and limp.

How can I tell whether my African Violet is suffering from Root Rot?

Check your roots and soil to determine Root Rot. Healthy roots are plump and white. Roots with Root Rot are soft and brown. It is essential to eliminate the affected roots, wash the soil, then put them back in a fresh pot.

What is a self-watering pot?

Self-watering pots allow the user to drink less often. The water is poured into the reservoir, which does not contact your African Violets’ soil or the roots.

When the water is evaporated, it is transferred to a different chamber which your African Violet will drink from. This decreases the risk of water overflowing since it’s controlled system. It is a popular choice for those who have African Violets in their home.

Do I need to top or lower my watering of the water of my African Violet?

African Violets are tolerant of either bottom or top watering. Whatever you decide to use, it’s crucial to not overwater the leaves, if at all it is possible. This could cause marks on your leaves.



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