The Q&A Archives: African Violets

Question: I have been growing an African Violet for over a year now (2/07). At first it did well. My 4inch plant tripled in size in six months. I repotted it in a bigger pot and it doubled. I knew the pot was getting overcrowded because my flower pods were dying under the heavy leaves. On average I was getting 10 new flowers a month. So I decided to split it. Here is where the nightmare begins. My old leaves began drooping over the edge of the pot. So I cut them off. I read an article about cutting the stalk and repotting that as well as propagating leaves. My concern is that I've done too much to this violet. It is a mere skeleton of what it was in 2/08. I wish I'd taken pictures of it. Any advise?

Answer: In this case, I think time will heal all wounds. Dividing your African violet probably shocked it because you damaged some of the roots in the process. A healthy plant will replace those damaged roots but it will take some time. The best thing you can do for your plants right now is to place them in a bright spot away from drafts (and air conditioning/heating ducts) and water when the top of the soil dries out. Try to keep water off the leaves and the crowns of the plants. Be sure to inspect the crowns of the plants to make sure you didn't set them too deeply into the soil when you repotted them. The crowns should be just at or just above the soil surface. Just be patient with your plants and they should recover eventually.

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