Small potted African violet plants do best planted in firmly packed soil that is porous so it drains properly. These compact plants have dark green hairy leaves and require a warm sunny window. Keep the soil moist but the leaves must be dry.
African violets should be re-potted in a fresh growing medium once a year. The best soilless mix for African violets contains one part perlite, two parts vermiculite and three parts sphagnum peat moss. A properly planted African violet crown is visible just above the soil line.
Excessive watering is a common problem with potted African violets. Humidity or water on the leaves can cause spots or rings to form. Water on top of the soil may rot the crown, so make sure the growing medium drains well. After a watered plant has finished absorbing water, remove the excess from the saucer under the plant. The dry, warm air in many homes works best for African violets.
Place African violets in an east- or north-facing window. They also grow well under artificial light. Too little light results in plants with slim, dark green leaves that reach upward. Greenish-yellow, pale leaves are an indication that the plant has too much sunlight. An African violet needs at least eight to 12 hours of light each day and about eight hours of darkness at night.