What Size Pot For African Violet? (Best size and material)

African violet grows quickly, bloom at an early age, throw out buds all year round or with short interruptions. If the violet pot is selected correctly. But even experienced culture lovers can miss some nuance, as a result, they cannot grow exhibition specimens. So let discuss what size pot for African violet is suitable.

what size pot for african violet

rooting of African violet in ground and pot

In the homeland of the violet, in the African violet, there is no thick layer of fertile soil. The flower grows among the rocks, literally clings to the ground. The roots do not spread down, but to the sides, live relatively shortly, and are quickly replaced by new shoots that form on the stem after the death of the lower tiers of leaves.

The same thing happens in the pot. Only the owners, in order to preserve the decorativeness of the violet, rejuvenate the bush by cutting and rooting the top and do not grow a monster with a curved trunk.

In a closed volume (pot), African violet will not bloom while the root is growing. The buds will appear after the shoots become cramped, and they burrow into the walls of the pot.

what size pot for African violet is suitable?

Even lovers of African violet with experience, confident that they are doing everything right, often stumble over this question. Their violets are healthy, they bloom luxuriantly, they look spectacular, but they fall a little short of the culture exhibition standards. And the usual flower pot is to blame for this.

When buying pots for violets, do not forget about pallets. Requirements are made to them:

  • water after irrigation remains in the lower pot, does not fall on the shelf or window sill;
  • take up little space, ideally the cross-section of the pallet is slightly larger than the top opening of the pot.

Diameter and depth of pot for african violet

The purpose of a pot for growing violets is not only to provide the bush with a minimum volume of soil in which it can grow and develop normally, assimilate water and nutrients. The African violet pot should limit the growth of the root system and provide the best aeration.

what happen if you pot african violet in large pot?

The rosette develops slowly and does not bloom until the root is entwined with a lump. Free soil quickly sours, which leads to rotting of the underground part. Bulky pots take up a lot of space, which limits the collection or requires the installation of additional shelving.

For example, for a Saintpaulia with a standard outlet to bloom in a pot with a diameter of 11 cm or more, it takes up to 1.5-2 years if the underground part does not rot before. That is how long it will take for the plant to completely entwine the earthen lump. And after a maximum of 3 years, the violet needs to be rejuvenated by cutting and rooting the crown, so that flowering will take from 1/3 to 1/2 of the life of the bush.

In deep pots, there is a good chance that the bottom soil will acidify before the violet roots get there.

Why pot size shouldn’t be too small?

Experienced lovers of Saintpaulias know about the inadmissibility of planting in a large pot. And sometimes they conclude that for culture, the smaller the pot, the better. This is not true.

In order for the bush to be complete, it must grow a rosette that matches the characteristics of the variety. An adult standard violet cannot be planted in a 7 cm diameter pot, as some bloggers advise. There, she simply will not be able to grow a green mass capable of serving flowers of maximum size.

If you pick up a pot of insufficient volume, it will hardly be visible on the outlet that it is suffering, the corollas are beautiful, bloom on time, cover the bush abundantly. It’s just that the violet will never reach its maximum decorative effect. Of course, we are not talking about planting a large standard in a pot with a diameter of 5-6 cm – it simply will not fit there.

Luxurious display pieces never grow in pots that are too small or overly large.

Pots for rooted leaves and babies of african violet

When breeding violets, it is convenient to grow leaves in plastic glasses of 50 ml, and not in pots of the same volume. The roots are clearly visible there, you can control their development.

Usually, children are seated in the same pot. Then they are transferred into 100-gram cups, where they are kept until the saintpaulias turn into starters (bushes ready to bloom at the age of 7-8 months).

The bottom holes must be made in the pots, for example, with a hot nail. It is difficult to find a tray for a glass, and it is not needed. There is a simpler, budgetary solution:

  1. Take a glass of the same size or slightly larger, but without holes.
  2. A piece of foam is placed on the bottom.
  3. Place a pot with a violet on top. Excess water, thanks to the backing, will be able to drain freely into the lower reservoir.

Pots for adult african violets

The diameter of the pot should be approximately equal to the depth, the upper opening is round or square, slightly larger than the lower one. It is impossible for the side to go inside – the saintpaulia completely braids the lump, it is necessarily injured during transplantation. Check detail guides on When To Transplant African Violets and the best way for Transplanting African Violets.

The root system of violets is superficial, but the drainage layer will balance the earthen lump. It can also be used to adjust the height of long pots.

You need to choose the diameter of the pot according to the size of the bush:

  • maxi – 10-12 cm;
  • standard – 8-10;
  • small standard – 6-7;
  • half-mini – 5-6;
  • miniature – 5;
  • micromini – 3-4.

The golden rule: the ratio of the diameter of the rosette to the top hole of the flowerpot is 3: 1.

But what if an adult Saintpaulia is already growing in a pot of maximum allowable volume? When transplanting, the earthen lump is gently kneaded, about a third of the substrate is removed. Then they are planted in a pot of the same diameter.

Do African violets need drainage holes?

The fact that excess moisture has nowhere to go and the soil can sour, and the root rot is not the only reason. Natural conditions for Saintpaulias are rocky mountain slopes. There the soil is drained, the roots are well supplied with oxygen.

When growing violets in a pot, this effect can only be achieved if there are many large holes in the container. To improve aeration, holes are sometimes made in the walls in the lower third of the pot.

The drainage layer additionally increases the flow of air to the roots; it should occupy at least 20% of the volume. You can use polystyrene, small expanded clay, broken red brick.

Want to Get African Violet To Bloom Again with complete steps.

What kind of pot do African violets need?

Main conditions: pots must be made of chemically inert material, walls must be permeable to water and air. Coated metal, clay, or ceramic are generally not suitable for growing violets.

what kind of pot do african violets need

If the pot does not fit into the design of the room, you can decorate it, put it in a flowerpot or a design flowerpot of any shape.

Plastic pots

This is the most common material used by most professionals. 

Advantages of plastics pot for violets:

  • comfortable;
  • durable;
  • cheap;
  • usually with several drainage holes;
  • it is easy to increase the area or number of holes;
  • any sizes can be found on sale;
  • even beginner growers quickly learn to determine the need for watering by weight.


  • poorly letting air through;
  • ugly.

Clay pots, unglazed

Some such flowerpots are praised, others are considered unsuitable for culture. The owners decide for themselves whether the violets need clay pots, but professionals do not use them. 


  • the walls “breathe” well;
  • the material is environmentally friendly.

Perhaps this is where the merits end. But there are a lot of disadvantages:

  • high cost;
  • heavy weight, which excludes keeping the collection on glass shelves;
  • usually have a single hole in the bottom;
  • fragility;
  • high thermal conductivity – on the windowsill in summer the roots suffer from overheating, in winter they freeze;
  • quickly saline, the permeability of the walls decreases;
  • violets are often transplanted, the pot cannot be wrinkled to make it easier to remove the earthen lump;
  • roots grow into clay over time;
  • hard to find the right size.

African violet Pots for wick irrigation

For planting bushes, use pots, as in the usual cultivation of violets. The question is what to take as water tanks. They must:

  • do not evaporate liquid;
  • support the top container so that it stands upright and does not fall.

Usually, flower growers choose from two types of designs:

  1. The upper container fits snugly into the lower one, but does not fall through. There is enough space between the bottoms of the violet pot and the water tank to fill in the liquid. Half a liter is usually enough for 2 weeks. You can use food cups, cut eggplants. Ideally, they select a beautiful pots of the appropriate diameter without a hole at the bottom.
  2. Take as a reservoir a container with a flat, strong enough to support the weight of the flower pot, lid. Make a hole in it for the wick.

Drainage is usually not added with such watering of violets . But peat with perlite is used as a substrate this loose mixture does not get lost in a lump, it is able to provide the best aeration.

Using old pot for african violet

If the owners have a large collection, it is expensive to buy new containers each time. Even when using cheap plastic.

Old pot:

  1. Free from residues of substrate and drainage.
  2. Soak in hot soapy water for 2 hours.
  3. Cleaned from deposited salts with a metal washcloth or a stiff brush.
  4. Pour sterilizing solution overnight. For example, dilute 100 ml of bleach in 2 liters of liquid.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

The same is done with trays or wick irrigation tanks.

Do you want to know about beautiful Chimera African Violet?

DIY pot for African violet

You can make a cute violet container yourself. For example, from a sour cream cup:

  1. Remove the film or label with the name, otherwise the container will not look like a pot. If it is printed with ink, it is scraped off with a clerical knife.
  2. Measure from the bottom 6 cm, make a mark with a marker in a circle in several places. Connect straight. Check if the height of the side is the same.
  3. Make a hole in the circular line. Carefully cut off the bottom with scissors.
  4. The result is a flexible, easily deformable container with an edge that you can hurt yourself. The situation is corrected with the top of the cup.
  5. The ring is cut to form a strip. Insert into the bottom of the container.
  6. The edges of the side will overlap. Excess plastic is carefully measured and removed.
  7. They put the workpiece in place, move it down until it stops.
  8. Pin to the main container with a stapler, starting from the middle of the strip. So the edges will converge nicely and will be at the same level.
  9. Make the bottom holes with a hot nail. For the wick, one in the center. If watering is normal, it is better to burn a few holes in the bottom.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on admin@houseplantspro.com and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴