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Water On Leaves


Anyone who waters African Violets from the top should be alert to the potential dangers, not least of which is the possibility of exposing the crown to excessive moisture. Excessive moisture on the crown leaves Violets highly susceptible to a number of deadly pathogens, such as Crown Rot and Pythium. Much less serious, though still alarming, are the brown or yellow leaf spots which result from leaving water on the leaves.

Distinguishing Symptoms

If your African Violet has this symptom and appears otherwise healthy, water may have gotten onto its leaves. Generally, the only other cause for the residue would be Pesticide Damage. Of course, this can be ruled out, unless you have recently sprayed your Violet with a chemical treatment. To be sure, gently rub the spots with a damp cloth. If the residue comes off without difficulty, the residue is probably the result of getting water on the leaves.

Other Symptoms

Either of these two symptoms may be caused by getting water on the leaves. When this is the case, it is called Ring Spot or Leaf Spotting. The spots may either be rings or solid circles. There are two reasons why water may cause spotting on the leaves. If the water is too cold and makes direct contact with the leaves, the water will damage the sensitive tissue of the leaves. This condition is analogous to a minor form of frost bite. On the other hand, if water on the leaves is exposed to sunlight, the water will magnify the intensity of the light, causing a condition which is analogous to sunburn. In both cases, the spots are dry, i.e., they are not mushy.


If water on the leaves has left a white residue, use a damp cloth to gently wipe it away. If water on the leaves has left brown or yellow spots, there is nothing you can do. The spots cannot be removed.


Use a self-watering device which allows you to water from the bottom. If you must water from the top, use room-temperature water and avoid getting water on the leaves. Should water splash onto the leaves, use a soft cloth to gently soak up the water before exposing the Violet to sunlight.

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