Doctor Optimara

Water Quality - Soft Water


Soft water increases the saline content. This will alter both the pH and the electrical conductivity of the soil, thereby affecting an African Violet's ability to absorb water and nutrients. In addition to the symptoms listed below, your Violet may show others which are due to deficiencies in certain elements.

Distinguishing Symptoms

Soft water does not occur naturally. It must be processed. For this reason and because the soft water unit is almost always located in proximity to the place it is being used (i.e., in your house), it should be easy to determine if soft water is the cause, or at least part of the cause, of your Violet's condition.

Other Symptoms


Repot your African Violet in fresh potting soil and drench the soil with unsoftened water. To do this, water from the top until about a cup (8 oz.) of water has drained from the pot. Be sure to let any excess water drain. Drenching will diminish the excess saline content which is affecting your Violet's ability to absorb water and nutrients. Resume your watering schedule, using unsoftened water. In some cases, you may be able to divert water before it enters the water softening unit. If not, you will need to find an alternative source.


Never water African Violets with soft water.

For more about water quality and African Violets, see "Caring for African Violets."

  Navigation Arrows
Begin New Diagnosis
Doctor Optimara Main Page | Glossary of Violet Terms | Contact Optimara
Pests, Pathogens and Cultural Problems (Complete List)

Copyright 1999 Optimara/Holtkamp Greenhouses, Inc. Nashville, Tennessee. Doctor Optimara is a trademark of Holtkamp Greenhouses, Inc. Optimara and the Optimara logo are trademarks of International Plant Breeding, A.G., Switzerland.