African Violet Therapy

African Violet Therapy

Sometime before summer, before we all became enamored of our outdoor spaces, there was a discussion here on dealing with an overgrown African Violet. I had promised somebody to take pictures of the process, and today I did.

Before you click on the cut, I must apologize for the lousy pictures. Our neighborhood was having a power outage, so the light was terrible in the kitchen where I was working. The pictures, therefore, are not great. In fact they are horrible. But I hope they get the point across.

Before -- note that some leaves are very tired, and that the leaves are not terribly symmetrical. The plant has not been repotted for over 2 years, so it's very much in need of fresh soil.



Upend the plant and loosen the soil so that the plant and root ball come out together. See how the roots have formed what almost looks like fabric at the bottom of the plant? Contrary to what you frequently hear, AV's don't really like to be root bound.



Gently remove the soil, exposing the roots and the plant stem.



Using your fingers (instead of scissors!) break off the leaves you want to discard. You can save some leaves if you want to make starter plants, otherwise just discard them.



Pour some rooting hormone powder onto a paper towel.



Using a very sharp paring knife, scrape the exposed stem so that there is no "bark" left. Then trim the root ball so that the plant will fit easily in your pot. Wet the stem and roots, and coat them with the rooting hormone.



This is my AV "soil". It's actually a soil-less mixture that I get fro Rob's Violet Barn online. It's very light, and encourages good root growth. Usually regular AV potting soil is way to heavy, especially for self watering (or wicking) contaners, and you run the risk of root rot.



This is the "after" shot. I'll post another after shot in a few weeks when this blooms, so I can prove that this radical treatment didn't kill it! :-)




And here are some of my minis, just because they're pretty -- just remember that I'd not yet groomed the minis when these pictures were taken!










This is a super-mini. It's a fully mature plant, and it's a trailer (or bush violet, depending on who you talk to). The leaves are smaller than a dime.



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