African violets have long been popular houseplants, and you might have received one as a gift recently. They make great plants for beginners and they can add beauty to your home or office area.
To care for them well, it’s wise to make sure that you understand the light requirements. This ensures that you’ll have an easy time keeping the plant healthy.
How much sunlight do African violets need to thrive in a home?
Read on to learn everything that you need to know about these plants and their lighting needs. You’ll look at this topic from many angles so that you can have a full understanding of what you should be doing.
How Much Light Do African Violets Need?
You’ll find that African violets need quite a bit of sunlight. These plants need sunlight so they can bloom and look beautiful.
To get the best results, it’s wise to give them at least eight hours of sunlight per day. It can be good to give them a bit more sunlight than this if possible.
You can give the plant twelve to sixteen hours of light per day if you’re able to do so. Just know that it’s best for African violets to also receive eight hours of darkness each day.
Giving the plant enough light and darkness will help it to grow optimally, so keep this in mind whether you’re using artificial light or natural sunlight.
Do African Violets Like Sun?
Yes, African violets do like the sun. Of course, you’re not supposed to give them too much.
All plants need to be given the correct amount of sunlight. Too little, and the plant will have a tough time growing and staying healthy.
Too much sunlight can be harsh and might cause the leaves to get scorched. You need to find the right balance so that your African violet plant can thrive.
As mentioned above, it’s best to give African violets at least eight hours of sunlight per day. This will give them the chance to grow and look beautiful.
Giving your plant too little sunlight might lead to it looking worse than usual. It’s hard for plants to bloom when they don’t get enough, too.
Do They Need Direct Sunlight?
Direct sunlight isn’t the best idea when you’re caring for African violets, as these plants might have a hard time with direct sunlight.
This is especially true when you live in areas where it gets rather hot. Generally, direct sunlight is going to be far too harsh for these plants.
It’s better to put your plant in a spot where it can receive indirect sunlight. This will allow it to get the light that it needs without it being in danger.
Direct sunlight has the potential to scorch the leaves and your plant might look burnt or crispy. You can make things better by choosing a north-facing or east-facing window.
This will be great for indirect sunlight and you can find a convenient spot for your plant. Just don’t put it too close to the glass window.
It’s also wise to rotate the plant once per week. This allows all sides to receive sunlight evenly.
Can You Use Grow Lights?
Yes, it’s possible to use grow lights for African violets. Many people use grow lights to keep them looking healthy in their homes and offices.
This is good when you wish to keep them in areas of your home or office where there isn’t a lot of natural sunlight. You can still give them the eight hours of light that they need without having to worry about being near a window.
Grow lights are a convenient way to make sure that the plant thrives. It’s easy to set up a small grow light for African violets and it won’t cost a lot of money either.
For the best results, you want to set the grow lights between twelve and fifteen inches above the plant. Most enthusiasts choose to give the plant fourteen hours of artificial light daily and then allow it to have ten hours of darkness.
It’s easy to set up a timer so the lights will shut off and turn back on when the time is right. This is a convenient way to approach the situation, and it’s especially great when you’re trying to care for houseplants in an office.
What Color Grow Light Is Best?
Many grow lights will work just fine for African violets. The only thing you need to be sure of is that the light that you choose covers the red and blue spectrums.
The blue light is important for the foliage while the red light is essential for blooms. You’ll need both to be able to give the plant the type of light that it needs.
Most choose to buy simple fluorescent grow lights. A 5000K full spectrum grow light for indoor plants will be a great starting point for African violets.
This type of lighting will allow you to achieve the results that you’re hoping for. Your plant will stay healthy and look great if you’re using a light like this.
Signs of Too Much Light
Giving these plants too much sunlight (or artificial light) will be bad. There are many signs of too much light that you should look out for.
When an African violet receives too much sunlight, it’ll likely experience stunted growth. It’s common for the foliage to be smaller than usual when these plants are exposed to more sunlight than is recommended.
Also, you might notice that the foliage will become crinkled. Sometimes you’ll notice that there will be yellow leaves, too.
Of course, scorching is a sign that the plant has received too much direct sunlight. When plants are scorched they will have leaves that look burnt or crispy.
So long as you give your plant eight hours of darkness per day it won’t be receiving too much sunlight. Also, you need to make sure that the plant is getting indirect sunlight.
If your plant is looking scorched and you’re using grow lights, it’s possible that you might have the lights too close to the top of the plant. Remember that the lights are meant to be placed at least twelve inches above the plant.
Sometimes using very powerful grow lights might lead to issues as well. Consider starting with a 5000K grow light that’s meant for houseplants.
What Happens When African Violets Don’t Get Enough Sunlight?
When these plants don’t get enough sunlight they will have a hard time growing. You’ll likely notice that the leaves will take on a blue-green appearance.
Typically, the leaves will be thinner than normal and they’ll have long petioles. Plants that don’t get much sunlight will have a difficult time blooming, too.
If you want your African violet to look pretty and produce good flowers, it’s important to give it enough sunlight. This is why finding a good spot for the plant in your home matters so much.
You also want to make sure that you use grow lights if necessary. If natural sunlight can’t reach the plant, grow lights will be the best way to keep it healthy.
How Big Do African Violets Get?
There are different African violet sizes that you can purchase. Different variants of the plant will grow to be different sizes.
All of these plants need enough sunlight or they won’t grow well. Miniature plants are the smallest and they stay between six and eight inches or less in diameter.
Semi-miniature African violets specifically stay between six and eight inches in diameter. Standard-sized plants are between eight and sixteen inches while large varieties have the potential to be greater than sixteen inches.
So these plants can get pretty large if you choose to buy some of the bigger varieties. It’s common for people to buy semi-miniature plants at stores, but the standard-sized plants are probably the ones that most people are familiar with.
You should feel far more confident about caring for African violets now that you know about the light requirements. These plants need at least eight hours of light per day to stay healthy.
They can do well with grow lights or you can give them natural sunlight. Just remember that indirect sunlight is best and that you should choose a safe spot for your plant.
If you choose to use grow lights, be sure to place the light at least twelve inches above the top of the plant. Growing African violets will be easy, but you should make sure not to give the plants too much sunlight.
African violets need a certain amount of darkness per day. Give the plant no more than sixteen hours of light per day.
It’s common for people to give these plants fourteen hours of light per day and ten hours of darkness when using grow lights. Keep this in mind and you should have an easy experience.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.