Are you wondering How To Repot African Violets? Here is a quick and easy guide so you can repot your precious violets the RIGHT way!
African violet plants are one of the most popular indoor plants in the US. As a result of their beautiful, bright, bold colours, they go well with any interior and are aesthetically pleasing to look at.
Both novice and experienced gardeners are capable of looking after them, yet because of how sensitive they are, simple things such as repotting can prove difficult. Luckily, we’ve written this article to help.
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Consider using porous terracotta pots instead of plastic pots to ensure good air circulation for your plants’ roots to breathe!
Why Do African Violets Need Repotting?
Unlike a lot of other house plants, African violets need to be repotted at least once through the year so that they do not lose their leaves, wither away or rot completely away at the stem.
When taken care of and repotted properly, they can grow a palm-like truck and lose their lower rows of leaves. This means if the leaves have grown up from the trunk to a couple of inches past the rim of the pot, it can be an indication that the plant is being looked after properly and it’s time to get rid of the neck. This can be done every six months.
Use organic high-quality potting mix when you repot your plants to give them the proper nutrients needed for healthy plant growth!
Other than that, repotting should be done either once a year or when the plant outgrows its pot causing the roots to grow straight around the rootball. When this happens, your plant is known to be rootbound.
Repotting is either carried out by moving your plant into a bigger pot so that the neck is visible or if it isn’t rootbound just yet, into fresher soil.
But don’t worry, we’ve provided a simple step-by-step guide to the repotting process so you don’t have to worry about doing it wrong. It’s easy enough for beginner gardeners to follow but also great for more advanced gardeners to recap on their repotting skills.
Before we start, it’s important to note that room temperature can play a big part in new root growth. For best results, don’t start the repotting process in a room that is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A room slightly warmer than this will guarantee you the best repotting results.
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How To Repot African Violets – Repotting Process
- Loosening the plant from its pot
The first step to repotting is loosening the plant from its pot. To do this, you need to tap the sides of the pot against something hard and if it doesn’t seem to loosen, simply grab a knife to use around the edges.
- Cutting the Root Ball
Once the plant has been removed from the pot, cut off the root ball in a size relative to the neck. If the neck is half an inch long, for example, you need to cut half an inch off of the root ball.
The longer you leave between repotting, the harder this task gets as the longer the neck, the more of the root ball you need to cut.
Additionally, if your African violet is rootbound, there’s more work for you to do. You will have to cut off the rootball as well as prepare a new pot.
Use quality pruners to ensure a clean cut without damaging your plants’ roots!
If you do not do this, the plant will get sick and will die out as rootbound African Violets take the shape of the pot and strangle the soil, taking away its ability to get the water and nutrients it needs.
- Removing Damaged, Dead, or Dying Leaves
When your plant has been released from the pot, ensure you remove the leaves that have become damaged or look old. These are lower-rung leaves, yet a novice or beginner gardener will be able to tell them apart just by looking at them.
You must also remove any flowers. This is so your new plant can focus on new roots, growth, and new leaves, rather than allocating its nutrients and energy to keep the existing flowers in bloom.
At this stage, your African violet should not have a lower portion of the rootball left and needs to be pushed into the new part so that the lowest row of leaves is in line with the rim of the pot. The neck shouldn’t be visible.
Place your pots in hanging baskets for an aesthetically pleasing interior decor!
At this point, you can even place small pieces of pottery shards or plastic over the drainage hole. Fill the pot halfway with African violet potting soil which is light and contains perlite and peat moss to aid the aeration process.
You want to water your plant after repotting but only lightly. This ensures the plant develops a working root system when added to the soil.
- Checking the Repotting
The final step is to check everything is in place to allow your new plant to grow. The neck should not be visible, the lower leaves of the plant should be level with the rim of the pot and the plant will not have any damaged or dead leaves or any flowers left.
How To Repot African Violets– Plant Care Tips!
Most African violets can be grown in 4” pots and you do not have to increase this size every time you re-pot. However, you always need to make sure you are using a pot that is large enough for the plant’s root system.
Adding in more soil will help the plant to the point where it develops a root system that is big enough to take advantage of the soil. Otherwise, you might risk suffocation. For semi-mini and mini plants, use a pot that is no bigger than 2.5”.
African violets require a light soil potting mix and most gardeners should be ok using commercial mixes judging the soil by how it feels rather than trusting the label.
Soils that include perlite or vermiculite are best for potting African violets but remember the lighter the soil, the more forgiving it will be of plant neglect.
When watering your plant, use lukewarm water that has been sat for 48 hours and always water at the base of the stem. Any water on the foliage can damage the plant just as much as overwatering can.
African violets work well with fertilizers that have a higher phosphorus content and the middle number in the fertilizer ratio should be slightly higher than the rest.
If you mix the fertilizer, it should be at a quarter strength at every flowering. Be careful not to under or over-fertilize the plant however as this can cause further damage.
We hope by reading this article, whether you are a beginner or have been gardening for years, you’re ready to take on the repotting process. When taken care of, African violets can be some of the most beautiful house plants on the planet and their bursting violet color will complement any color scheme.
But make sure you follow our simple steps and care for them throughout the year as once neglected, it’s hard to bring them back.
Well, there you have it, all the answers to your question, How To Repot African Violets? Hopefully that helped but if you want more info, we found you a video below!