The Best Pots for your African Violets

The best pots for your African Violets are both beautiful and functional. In this post, I suggest what to look for  to achieve both ends. 

Pot Sizes

Pot measurements generally refer to the diameter of the pot. Getting the pot size correct is an important part of growing African Violets successfully. The root system of an African Violet grows to about one third of the lear span. Your pot should be just large enough for all the roots to fit neatly inside the pot. 

If your pot is too small, you may see roots starting to emerge from the bottom drainage holes and out the top of the pot. In small pots, your plants might become root-bound. If your pot is too large the soil will remain wet too long and can lead to root rot and fungus problems.  

A good rule of thumb is that your pot should be 1/3 of the size of your plants. Put another way, the diameter of your plant should be three times larger than the diameter of your pot

Sizes according to plant type

Miniature Violets
5cm (2") pots
Semi-Miniature Violets
7-8cm (3") pots
Standard Violets
10-15cm (4-6") pots

Pot Depth

Your pots should not be deeper than 10cm and If you plant your violet in a pot that is too deep, the roots will fill the diameter of the pot, but will not get down. A layer of wet, unused potting mix at the bottom of the pot can be a source of root rot and other problems. 

Pot Materials

Squat (shallow) plastic pots with rolled rims remain the best option for growing African Violets successfully when you have a growing collection of plants.

African Violet in Terracotta Pot

Terracotta pots might be beautiful, but they are can be problematic. Since clay is a porous material, terracotta pots will lose water through evaporation creating cooler growing conditions and extra humidity. Wick watering is not successful in them and they are difficult to clean. They can also accumulate fertiliser salts around the rim of the pot, and are generally too deep.  

If you really like the look of Terracotta pots, then the Teku plastic pots sold by Lyrical Violets are a great option. Manufactured in Germany, these are the Rolls Royce of plastic pots. 

Pot Drainage

Drainage holes allow excess water to seep out of pots after watering, ensuring that water does not pool at the base of a pot, and helping to protect plant roots from rot, fungus and bacteria. 

The best pots for African Violets should include 6 to 12 drainage holes spaced evenly across the base of the pot. If using wick watering, an extra hole in the centre of the pot can be helpful. The best technique for creating extra holes is to melt the plastic using a small electric soldering iron or by heating up a metal skewer on the stove top. Do this outside and avoid the plastic fumes. 

Self-Watering Pots

Used for wick-watering a small collection of African Violets or a feature plant. Self-watering pots combine a water reservoir, wick, and a plastic or ceramic pot. I recommend these types of pots are used only for established plants with 

Self-watering Ceramic Pot
African Violet Dandy Pot
The Dandy Pot
Peacock Cottage (Florida, USA)

Pot Creativity

Don’t like the look of plastic pots? Cover them up with a slip pot or decorative ceramic pots. This gives you an avenue to express your creativity and feature particular plants that are in flower. The possibilities are endless. 

Ceramic African Violet Pot

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2 thoughts on “The Best Pots for your African Violets”

  1. I used to gro African violet’s successfully, I have beautiful healthy leaves and no flowers, east facin window , northern nsw, plenty of bright light and filter sun for part of the day Help please jk

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