How to Grow African Violet Plants
You can water plants from the top or via a filled saucer, but never let a plant stand in a saucer of water for long. You'll get best results by watering before the soil dries out completely, but too dry is better than too wet. If you water from the top, use room-temperature water. If you water from the bottom, let the top inch of soil dry out before watering and periodically water from the top to prevent salt from building up in the soil.
Despite a popular myth that African violets shouldn't get their leaves wet, you can bathe your plants. Fill a quart spray bottle with warm water, plus a few drops of a mild dish detergent, then spray the leaves. After a few minutes, rinse by tipping the plant under a gentle flow of warm water from the faucet. Don't wet the crown at the center of the plant, keep the violet out of bright light until the leaves dry, and do it early enough in the day that the plant is dry before dark.
Pictured: Filling a pot specially designed for African violets: An outer pot holds water for the plant in an inner pot. The plant wicks up water as needed.