Q&A – Why do leaves rot / wilt upon being sprayed?


Unknown asks Annie:

Q If African violets come from a rain forest environment in Tanzania, why is it that the leaves rot/wilt upon being sprayed?


A The climate in Tanzania is very different than the climate in our homes. The violets which grew in Tanzania were under deep forest canopy, they didn’t get wet very often.  In my experience African violets don’t usually rot or wilt when sprayed.  In fact, many people wash their plants in the kitchen sink with a gentle spray of tepid water.  Again in my experience, if an African violets wilts or rots, it’s usually because the potting mix it is in is too heavy and no air can get to the roots, causing the plant to collapse.  If I have sprayed any of my plants for any reason, I try to do it in the morning so that the plant has more time to dry before nightfall, and I always gently blot the leaves dry with a paper towel to guard against water spotting, taking special care that water is not left in the crown. I hope this helps!


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