Re-potting Violets


My African violet is developing a long stem and is all twisted.  What do I do?

It’s time to repot your African violet. To thrive, African violets should be repotted into fresh soil every six months to a year, depending on the variety. Just follow these easy instructions to correct your problem and to reinvigorate your plant.

Step 1 :

Step 1: Remove all blossoms, buds, and unnecessary leaves from your plant, saving a few healthy mature leaves for propagation.

Step 2:

Step 2: After removing the blossoms and leaves, remove the plant from the pot. Notice the tight and crowded root ball.

Step 3:

Step 3. Using your old pot as a guide, measure from the base of the leaves to the bottom of the pot and with a sharp knife, cut off the excess roots. Notice, this plant has produced a “sucker.” A sucker is the beginning of a new plant and is often produced when the “parent” plant is under stress.

Step 4:

Step 4. Remove the spent potting soil from the plant and separate the sucker from the parent plant.

 Step 5:

Step 5: With a sharp knife, scrape the callous from the neck (stem) of the parent plant.

Step 6:

Step 6: Place a small amount of fresh soil into the bottom of a clean pot of the same size, center the plant in the pot, and fill the pot with soil. Water the plant thoroughly, drain the excess water from the plant, and either cover or place the newly potted plant in a terrarium environment to keep it from drying out until the plant sets new roots. Formation of new roots should take about two weeks.


The African violet pictured above is Rob’s Pewter Bells, a Semiminiature African violet that at maturity should be no larger in circumference than six to eight inches.  Miniature and Semiminiature plants should be maintained in pots no larger than two and a half inches (as pictured).  When repotting, avoid the urge to over-pot these smaller varieties.