Many common African violet problems center around overwatering, pests and pathogens, such as Botrytis and Pythium. According to Optimara, preventing these problems is generally much simpler than dealing with them after the fact. Basic disinfection of tools, pots and potting soil is a good first step to ensuring that the violets stay healthy.
Pests are some of the biggest problems for African violets, and their presence can be minimized by disinfecting any materials that may come into contact with African violets. Tools can be disinfected by soaking them in a 10 percent bleach solution, and Optimara recommends hand washing. After working outside, change clothes before working with African violets. Outdoor pests have been known to stay in clothing until they gain an opportunity to target indoor plants.
As pathogens are attracted to areas that are especially moist, control the amount of water that African violets receive. This can be done by using a self-watering device that allows watering from the bottom; several of these devices are made specifically for African violets. Alternatively, following a consistent watering schedule and using a pot that is not too large and slightly shallow helps to control the water flow. Place African violets in an area with good air circulation, and avoid sudden temperature changes.