The soil for African violets is, paradoxically, free from sand, soil, or dirt. While the growing medium is the secret to the growth and beauty of this stunning plant that is also known as Saintpaulia.

soil on the handThe purple or pink clusters of fuzzy flowers are the highlight of the plant and depend on the potting mix for nutrients. Continue to read to learn all about the best growing mediums for your African Violets.

Soil Comparison

Soil Type Benefits
Perlite This assists in creating aeration and drainage for the plants
Peat Moss Peat moss should be the base of the potting mix to give texture and retain moisture.
Black Peat It has a sufficient ability to drain water and absorb it. Can store water for a long time.
Chunky Peat Best at storing humidity.
Horticulture Grade Provides a high amount of water retention to the plants.
Fine Peat Moss Best for propagation, because it keeps a high amount of moisture.
Coco Coir Coco coir can aid in building texture and moisture retention.
Calcium Carbonate Although it is not a soil, it is an important ingredient of African violet soil because it balances the pH for the plants.

List of The Best Soil for African Violets

African violets will appreciate a well-balanced growing mix for thriving. Let us look at a list of ingredients that make the best potting soil for African violets.

– Peat Moss

1. Peat MossAfrican violets do not perform well in sandy, dirt-based potting soil mixes because such mediums are heavy and contain pathogens. Some of these deadly pathogens affect the roots of African violets that quickly begin to die. Another disadvantage is the imperfect pH and drainage of such potting mix. The best alternative for these plants is peat moss as the base of the mixture.

Peat moss is a very soft, fluffy, light growing medium that can be combined with various other ingredients to create a perfect growing medium for African violets. The best part is that it drains well while retaining the necessary moisture. Water will drain easily without creating a soggy potting mix.

– Black Peat

2. Black PeatBlack peat is the densest form of peat moss that has fine particles and is super decomposed. Black peat is also appreciated as a violet potting mix conditioner and is sometimes called peat humus too.

It is often used as a seed starting medium for kitchen gardens and comes in the form of a block. Mushroom producers also love to use this peat, because of the way it stores proper humidity well enough to help the plant or even mushroom to thrive with the requested moisture.

– Coarse or Chunky Peat Moss

Coarse or chunky peat moss is light in color and has more fiber. It is also called the blonde chunky peat moss. The water retention of such peat moss is medium, while the porous texture aids in the aeration of the potting mix. It is famously used in growing some bulbs and can be used for growing organic African violets too.

– Horticulture Grade

Medium coarse horticulture grade peat moss is popular because of its fibrous consistency that offers high water retention. It aids in plant root growth and is commonly used for all kinds of potted plants, from mushrooms to evergreens.

– Fine Peat Moss

3. Fine Peat MossThis short fiber peat is best for seed starters and plugs propagation. It is debris-free and easy to handle. There is another type of peat moss called forestry. It is specially designed for forestry seedlings and is screened.

In short, peat moss comes in a variety of textures and grades and is modified for all kinds of growth. You can use any type of peat moss for African violets. Keep in mind the overall pH, water retention, and drainage of the potting mix.

– Perlite

4. Perlite minarelAdd perlite to the peat moss to aid drainage even more. The porous texture of perlite offers oxygen to the roots which is an essential quality of potting mix that African violets look for. Expanded polystyrene will also assist in making the mixture more porous and aerated.

Perlite, a natural volcanic glass, is made from the hydration of obsidian. It is mainly made from silica or silicon dioxide and carries some amount of aluminum oxide, oxides of sodium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and moisture.

The horticulture perlite comes in four forms, the first form would be the super coarse perlite size range is a quarter inch and its water retention capacity is 19 percent.

The second form, on the other hand would be the coarse perlite is ideal for succulents as it is bigger than the super coarse perlite and doesn’t blend in the African violet potting mix. Furthermore, this form is important because it also drains water better. The reason why it is important is that the flower won’t face issues like being over watered, or face root rots due to inporper water drainage.

Then we have the medium perlite, which is a balance between the above two and has a water holding capacity of 46 percent. And lastly the fine grade perlite that has the finest grain size and has the capacity to hold water over 50 percent. Such perlite grains are best for starting seeds in trays.

Perlite is very favorable for growing these plants because of the way it helps with air porosity. The latter helps to create air pockets in the African violet potting soil that makes sure that there is enough oxygen available for the plant roots to breathe. If the roots become clogged, the plant can become weak or even die.

Furthermore for the fact that it stores nutrients. This soil naturally contains nutrients that the plants need. It is low in density, meaning it is lightweight and offers a good texture to the African violet soil too.

This soil is excellent for water conservation, meaning it holds water without making soil soggy, which in return conserves water. The latter is important for the plants, especially for the African Violet to thrive without any stress. Moreover, the it is pocket friendly, or low in cost, in addition to being easily available.

On the other hand, one needs to take precautions while using perlite too. If the fine grains of perlite are not mixed with other mediums and left in the air, they can be blown away by wind and create respiratory issues. If it is not combined with other elements, it will drain water too quickly and cause waste of water and thirsty plants.

– Coco Coir

5. Coco CoirCoco coir is a sustainable soil for plants and flowers such as the African violet, which is make up of coconut compost. Knowing that this soil is a compost, means that it provides different types of nutrients that come from the coconut, and which will provide a great amount of nutrients to the flower. 

The reason why coco coir is loved amongst gardeners is that this soil drains well, which will result in excellent growth to the African violet. For further elaboration, this type of soil is great for your plant, because it will grow happily, without stressing to find the right surface in search for nutrients. 

Furthermore, the key concept why gardeners love coco coir for their African violets is that this soil is great when it comes to water retention and storing water. The plant will be happy and thriving when it comes to the notion of having reliable water drainage. 

– Lime or Calcium Carbonate

6. Lime or Calcium Carbonate

Peat moss is a very acidic medium. To balance the pH of the African violet soil, add lime or calcium carbonate. African violets like pH to be between 5.8 to 6.2 which is close to neutral pH. If the acidity is too high or too low, these delicate plants will not be able to absorb nutrients completely.

Adding calcium carbonate or lime to balance pH, in this case, will assist in plant growth and make nutrients available for the African violets. In other words, it will increase soil fertility and help your plants thrive and remain disease free.

Soil, cultivated dirt.


Soil for African violets is dirt free and usually is a mixture of different growing ingredients.

  • The best African violet mix includes perlite, peat moss, and calcium carbonate.
  • While making the soil for African violets, it is important to keep soil pH in mind along with its capacity to drain water effectively.
  • Perlite adds aeration and improved drainage, peat moss lightness, and water retention, while calcium carbonate balances the pH.
  • Heavy soil will affect plant health and even lead to death.

We hope that the guide above helped to understand the qualities of all the best soils for the African violets and now you will be able to create your violet soil mix flawlessly.

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