Growing Chimera African Violets Under LED Lighting

It has been well established that you can successfully grow African violets (chimera’s also) under LED (light emitting diode) lighting.  But what type of LED lighting is best?  The all red LEDs?  How about the use of the new chip LEDs that produce a natural white light?    I conducted a little experiment where I took two small suckers of Concord that were of equal size.  One was placed under an all red LED lamp and the other under the new chip LED lamp with a natural light spectrum.   Both grew and are starting to flower in there respective light environments and both were treated the same during their 5 month growth period.  The results? (see the conclusion below)










Red LED lamp used to illuminate the Concord below.












This Concord has spent its entire life under red LED lighting.  This is exactly what it looks like under the red lamp.










The LED Chip light that was a point of discussion in an earlier blog article produced the plant below.














You have to admit,  the plant  viewed under a LED full spectrum chip is easier to discern the colors, size, shape.


Here are the two Concords viewed in full spectrum lighting.  The one on the left spent its entire life under a red LED while the plant on the right spent its full life under a wide spectrum LED light.

The apparent differences  between the two plants are:

  1. The Red LED plant appears a bit smaller and more compact with it’s new leaves growing tightly together, not atypical of plants grown under florescent lighting too close to the bulb (too much light).  The full spectrum LED produced a plant that was less compact.
  2. The color of the leaves grown under the red LED lamp demonstrate a lighter green shade in the older leaves while under the full spectrum LED the dark green leaf color is more evenly distributed and uniform.
  3. The red LED plant has significantly more flower stalks (2x) then the full spectrum LED.
  4. The red LED plant is much further along in the flowing process as compared the the full spectrum LED.

At this point I need to make something very clear.  This was a simple experiment with only two plants.  I need to repeat this little experiment with a bigger sample size.  But this does raise some interesting differences between pure red LEDs and full spectrum LEDs.


  1. Posted August 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    thank you. i am using LED now, and can’t decide on warm white, cool white, or plain red. i am interest in just red because i am more interested in blooming (for hybridizing) and keeping the plants small. also i think with just red, you need less lights per square meter?

  2. admin
    Posted August 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I have grown plants using just red and frankly I end up just (to get good growth) a little less watts per sq ft.

  3. Maria Vindas
    Posted February 11, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    My African Violet for years growing fluorescent lighting grew tall but no flowers. Thinking of changing LED grow lights red and blue spectrum.
    May question is the maximum watt needed for one African Violet

  4. admin
    Posted February 11, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    That is a great question but there is no easy answer. Listen to this YouTube video. I am no longer a big fan of just red-blue and believe in the full spectrum for nice growth and flowering. This video articulates the explanation better than I can.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *