Answer: African Violets tend to get leggy as they get older. Burying the bare stem will only result in rot - as you've discovered. But, with frequent pinching, an African violet will produce lots of stems, which will hide an especially tall but bare stem. With your current plant, you might try crowning it.
To do this you remove the top portion of the plant leaving the stem and at least one row of leaves on the original plant. Take the top portion and dip it into a rooting hormone and place it into a new pot with fresh soil removing enough leaves from the stem to have at least an inch of stem in the soil.
Water this thoroughly and then place it your nursery aquarium. This type of refurbishing an older plant ensures that an old keepsake violet always continues.
The absolutely grand thing about this method is the old rootstock with its row of leaves will be stimulated to grow. Having no crown this plant will grow several new crowns. Each of these will become a new plant when you decide to remove the plantlets and pot them.
Occasionally you will find a plant that will produce a small second crown on it?s own. This can be removed and then rooted. The original plant will be a better-looking specimen without the additional growth.
Best wishes with your African Violet!
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