African Violet Light Requirements – Type, Amount & More


An African Violet on the article African Violet Light Requirements

African violets have been the most admired houseplants for nearly 100 years, and for good reason With good care, many plants can bloom nonstop.

And, compared to some flowering houseplants, African violets are perfect for beginners but offer enough variety to keep even green-thumb experts intrigued.

The light requirements for an African Violet is indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves. Choose a northeast facing window for best results.

Keep them away from cold glass and rotate the pot once a week so all leaves receive sunlight. You can extend the light the African violet receives by placing it under a grow light during winters. 

African violets like to be kept in warm temperatures. They prefer the same temperature most people comfortably live in being between 70-80F during the day and 65-70F at night.

In this article, we will discuss all the queries related to the African violet light requirements and how you can care for this beautiful indoor plant. Without any further due, let start the guide to answers your questions.

What Type of Light does my African Violet Need? 

African VioletsEssentially, you don’t need to place your African violet directly under the sun’s rays. You want your African violet to get light indirectly, for example, on a bright windowsill.

An African Violet that receives too much light, especially direct sunlight, becomes stunted and produces small, crinkled, yellow leaves.

Direct sunlight can blacken the plant leaves, creating brown spots. They can grow in direct light, but only in the early morning and late afternoon.

If you place your hand over an African Violet receiving sunlight and can feel the heat or it’s too warm, then the light is too intense for the African Violet.

Also, if you place your hand over an African Violet receiving sunlight and a shadow descends over the African Violet then it’s a sign of extreme light.

African violets only bloom when they are root-bound. When replanting, make sure to use organic potting soil made for African violets specifically. 

How Much Light does an African Violet Need?

The light requirements for an African violet comprise into two parts; sunlight of 12 hours a day and 8 hours of darkness at night, but sometimes you should pardon violets from sunlight.

African violets that are exposed to too much sunlight will develop pale yellow-green leaves and can take on a blackened appearance.

Also, violets need 10 hours of sunlight each day to flower. When you want it to bloom more, make that 10 to 12 hours and you can increase it up to 16 for a special occasions.

Lights can be switched off as violets must have at least 8 hours of darkness. A fluorescent light fixture dangled 8 to 10 inches above plants and leave on for 12 to 16 hours per day should provide adequate light for African violets.

During hot afternoons of spring, summer and fall it’s best to provide filtered bright light by using shades or sheer curtains. During the winter, bright light is good, even on afternoons.

Set the bulbs about 8-10 inches above the tops of the plants, depending on the strength of the bulbs and the size of the plants. Use a timer of 14 hours of light and 10 hours of dark each day.

This plant needs to get more sunlight for photosynthesis and its overall health improvement. However, the darkness is also very important for African Violets.

What Happens if your African Violet gets Too Little Light?

The African violet need the proper requirements of light to grow and bloom well. African violets that get lesser levels of light have thin, blue-green leaves with long petioles.

They also don’t bloom well. Generally, sites near north or east windows are good for African violets.

However, if these sites are not accessible, African violets can be successfully grown below fluorescent lights.

The presence of too much sunlight produces sun spots on your leaves and blooms. These spots are brown and should stand out when inspecting potentially affected areas.

Curled leaves are also something to watch out for. Leaf curling can also become a sign of mites, so be sure to check the underside of your leaves to rule out that possibility.

If violets are growing in too little light, the leaves become dark green and thin, petioles or leaf stems are very long and weak, and the plant’s flowers very little if at all.

Violets exposed to too much sunlight will have pale yellow-green leaves. Bleached-out, burned, or dead areas also may be seen. A little study and testing may be needed to strengthen if the light intensity or duration is sufficient in your home.

In an unnecessary high light intensity, plants can be scorched or at best will be quite compact because of small stems and slower growth. The leaves’ stems will become elongated and leggy. The plant will stop blooming.

Lower light levels for prolonged periods are also adequate. The appearance of a plant will show whether light levels are too much high, too low, or just right.

If the light is too low, leaves are usually thin and deep green and they appear to reach for the light. The plants may grow but will flower badly or not at all. In such situations, supplemental artificial light will help promote flowering.

What Happens if your African Violet gets Too Much Light?

A African VioletThe first initial tell tale signs will be drooped down leaves and the leaves curling inwards.

Then if African Violets are still left in the bright sun, leaves start turning yellow. They start to develop brown spots and scorched marks. The blooms will start to fade and eventually drop.

In most cases, too much sunlight can be fatal to African Violets. When leaves have brown spots present on them, this symptom is caused by excessive sunlight, it is called Leaf Scorch, a form of necrosis.

Plants that receive inordinate sunlight are stunted and produce small, crinkled, yellow leaves borne on short petioles.

Generally, sites near northeast windows are best for African violets. However, if these sites are not found, African violets can be successfully grown under fluorescent lights.

Do not expose your Violets to direct sunlight. African Violets perform their best when they receive plenty of sunlight, but only indirect sunlight.

Be aware that the duration and intensity of the light may vary with the seasons. When the leaves of the plant become entirely green, that other indications of too much light.

Where to Place your African Violet to get the Best Light?

African violets need indirect sunlight, which can directly burn the leaves. Choose a northeast-facing window for best results.

Keep plants away from cold glass and rotate the pot once a week so all leaves receive light. Increase daylight by placing African violets under a grow light during the winter months.

Grow plants in bright light, and indirect light for the best color, and blooms. A plant that stands three feet away from a west- or south-facing window is an ideal location.

Plants will still grow when placed right beside north or east-facing windows, but leaves will be thin and spindly, and plants less likely to bloom.

On cold winter nights, shift the plants away from the glass to a spot that remains above 55 degrees. When the sun gets stronger in the spring, move plants to a cooler east or even north-facing window.

You may also like: Can African violets grow outside

Can African Violets Grow in Artificial Light?

The light requirements for an African violet also allows many other options for you. Violets are easily grown under artificial lights.

A shelf with two or more fluorescent tubes can be hung above to support numerous plants. The tubes should be 12 to 15 inches from the top of the plants and run for 14 to 16 hours per day.

Where natural light is not available or decreased, African violets can be grown under artificial light. Incandescent light may be used, but fluorescent lamps give a better effect, are less expensive to operate, and produce less heat.

Plants can grow in artificial light, but artificial light isn’t as intense as sunlight and has less red and blue light than sunlight.

LED lights used in special indoor growth chambers decrease the difference between artificial light and sunlight, which can help plants grow better.

In the end, no artificial light and natural sunlight are not the same, but they are impartially similar.

It seems that based on the information here that a lot of the benefits and good things like being able to grow plants can be accomplished with both forms of light.

Moreover, a full-spectrum LED light can also work for African violet plants, mainly those having a high ratio of blue/red wavelengths mixed with green and yellow wavelengths. These strips can give a balanced mixture of lights.

How to Grow an African Violet using Artificial Light?

There are unique growth tubes available (called Grolux), but these are expensive and most people with light stands use one warm white and one cool white tube in each fixture, or on the other side one warm white and one daylight tube.

Violets need a minimum of 10 hours of maximum light each day to flower.

A good starting point for a broad range of African violets is one 5000K T5HO fluorescent light bulb placed above to achieve a range of 3000-3500 Lux for standards and 4500-5000 Lux (two bulbs may be required) for minis.

For African Violets to lighten up, they require from 5000 to 13,000 lux for at least 12 hours per day. One lux is named Lumens per square meter. A mature plant needs between 10,000 and 15,000 lux to be happy.

Violets need a minimum of 10 hours of good light each day to flower. 12 hours is good and lights may be left on for 14 hours or up to 16 hours a day when you need lots of lights for a special occasion.

Lights can be switched on during the day because violets must have at least 8 hours of darkness each day.

Final Thoughts

African violetsAn African violet is neither a tough plant nor easy. If you keep your plant in shape from the beginning, it will take very little of your time in the future.

To maintain the internal as well as the external framework of the plant, you have to follow the requirements.

African Violets need at least 8 hours of good sunlight and a maximum of 16 hours of indirect sunlight. In case of not enough light, the plant will refuse to bloom, as this will not have enough energy to produce flower buds.

Direct sunlight isn’t good for African Violets either. Direct sunlight can burn the plant and can cause growth stunts.

The best place for optimal light, that an African Violet needs, is a north- or east-facing windowsill. If you cannot provide the needed light for your plant, you can use a grow light with blue and red spectrums.

So, if you are wondering why your African Violet doesn’t bloom, you should first think about its light conditions. Does it have enough sunlight? Does it have sunlight for long enough?

If you think the light cannot be the problem, then you should think about other factors that might be the cause of an unhealthy African Violet.

African Violets need a bit of love and attention, but with the proper care, they can bloom all around the year and can be used to decorate your home with.

Now it depends on you how much time you give to these beautiful plants and how much you care for them!

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