Keeping your African violet humid

African violets are native to tropical Africa (see Encyclopedia Britannica Article). This means they normally grow on the floor of a rain forest, and are always in warm, humid air. If you at least partially re-create this climate, your African violets will be much happier. Here's how you do it:

Make sure each pot has a saucer. The saucer should be quite deep. (Teacup saucers are much too shallow!).

Before you place the flower pot in the saucer, put several flat beach pebbles in the saucer. You can also use coloured stones that you have bought. Cover the whole of the bottom of the saucer. Try to arrange them so that they provide a level spot for the pot to sit on. Put the pot in the saucer on top of the pebbles.

Put the pot and saucer into their normal location (next to an east window, under a grow light, etc.). Now pour just enough (tepid) water into the saucer that most of the pebbles are covered, but not so much that the bottom of the flower pot is sitting in the water.

The water will evaporate upwards from the surface of the pebbles, up past the leaves of your African violet, making it think it's living in a Tanzanian rain forest. Which is where every African violet dreams of living!

Every few days check the water level and see if more water needs to be added. For general watering instructions see: Watering your African violet.

Introduction | Type of flower pot | Potting an African violet | Potting procedure | Rooting an African violet from a cutting | The correct light for your African violet | Keeping your African violet humid | Watering your African violet | Encylopedia Britannica Article | Photos of African violets | Links to other African Violet Sites

This page created and maintained by
A. Steinbergs

Last revised September 24, 2008