By Ruth Syron
Does your African violet look dull? Do its leaves droop? Does it lack blooms and have a long neck?
It is time to repot.
If you have a long neck on the plant, select a 5- to 6-inch pot. Otherwise, a 4- or 5-inch pot that is about 4 1/2 to 5 inches tall will work.
At the bottom of your pot, place turkey grits or other type stone to the depth of 1 1/2 to 2 inches. (Turkey grit is coarser than the grit pictured above.)
Remove your violet from the old pot, gently loosen the roots and cut about a third of them off, as shown in photo at left.
Next, using a sharp knife, gently scale the neck that will now be under the soil, as shown in the photo below. Scaling means to take a paring knife and use it like a peeler to gently take off the outer layer. The purpose is to give good contact with soil.
Put the violet in the pot and fill the pot to the top, gently padding the dirt with fingertips to be sure of a good contact with the soil.
Place the pot onto a saucer and water from the bottom. The whole plant/saucer combination should be placed into a gallon-sized zipper bag and closed part way to create a mini-greenhouse for the plant. Open and close the zipper lock to adjust for heat and moisture of the new transplant.
Water used for watering the violets should be bottled (softened water and chlorine are not good for these plants). Add a violet-specific fertilizer at each watering, diluted to package directions. It will take about one month to get the root system going. After the violet is established you may remove it from the plastic bag.
Photos by Ruth Syron
Ruth Syron is a gardening enthusiast and regular contributor to the Medina Journal Register and Albion Advertiser.