Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Garden DesignContainer GardensIndoor PlantsAll About African VioletsStarting the African VioletAfrican Violet CarePropagating and Repotting African Violets → Comparing African Violet Pots

Comparing African Violet Pots

Although African violets grow in just about any kind of container that has adequate drainage, the type of care you intend to provide makes a difference in the style of flowerpot you choose, especially at watering time.

Many African violet pots are as pretty as the flowers that grow inside them. The three most common types of flowerpots for African violets are the unglazed terra cotta (clay) pots, cheap plastic pots with attached saucers, and self-watering pots.

Although not high fashion, the red terra cotta pot adds a classic look to both indoor and outdoor gardening.

terra cotta potBecause unglazed terra cotta flower pots are very porous they're great for giving plants a good soak, letting water through the pot into the soil or potting mixture. After watering, terra cotta easily sheds excess water to provide quick evaporation.

The disadvantages in using terra cotta pots for your African violets are that 1) you may need to water more frequently because of too quick evaporation, 2) pots need to be set on some type of saucer to catch excess water, and 3) pores in terra cotta pots are good hiding places for mites, bacteria and other pathogens.

Pots with attached saucers are also good choices for African violets.

plastic flowerpotDrainage holes at the bottom give you the choice of watering either from the top or letting the plant drink from the filled saucer. Although these types of pots are usually made out of some kind of plastic, you may find them in other materials as well.

The disadvantages to using plastic pots with attached saucers are 1) you need to be more attentive at watering time, keeping an eye on the saucer and refilling it until your Saintpaulis gets a good drink and 2) you must be very careful after watering to drain any excess water from the saucer, doing a final check 30 minutes to an hour after watering.

It just makes sense that America's most loved indoor plant also has a special pot.

ceramic self-watererThe traditional two-piece ceramic pot, the oyama pot and the dandy pot are three common types of African violet self-watering pots. In addition, you can use a wick system to turn just about any type of container with a drainage hole into a self-watering pot.

The disadvantages of self-watering pots are 1) in a two piece ceramic pot, it may take some trial and error to fill the outer pot to the correct level and 2) you need to check both your violet and the pot more frequently to be sure there is water in the reservoir and the potting mixture is moist but not saturated.

African Violet Self Watering Pots

Common Problems: Why Do African Violets Turn ColorCommon Problems: Exterminating Mealy Bugs on African Violets