African violets: Repotting
If it’s been more than 6 months, and it’s time to repot your violet. It’s best to do this when it when needed. Don’t wait until your violet stops blooming–well cared for, it might not stop blooming!
Waiting too long only makes the job more difficult. What is a simple job when done now, will become a BIGone if delayed (see “restoring your African violet”). If done properly and carefully, your violet will continue to grow and bloom even after you’ve repotted it
First, remove all but the freshest, healthiest, leaves and blooms. If you keep them now, you’ll only have to remove them in the near future–this will just create another problem that you’ll have to solve later.
A small neck (bare stem) will appear at the base of the plant above the soil level. Since the neck is only about 1/2″ in length, it will be easy to lower the plant and cover the neck when repotting.
Pull the plant out from the pot. This should be easy with a mature plant having a full root system.
Gently massage away much of the old soil and root system. A general rule is this: the size of the root system below the soil should be large enough to support the foliage above the soil. Since we’ve remove about half of the foliage, we can remove about half of the roots. Don’t worry, we want to encourage new roots and leaves.
Using a clean pot (a 4″ pot is sufficient for a standard size violet), fill the bottom with fresh soil. Then, holding the violet over the pot, tilt it to one side, and add fresh soil. Turn the pot, tilt the plant to the other side, and add more fresh soil until the pot is full.
When done, your violet should appear to be resting atop a small mound of loose soil. The secret: have enough soil so that you won’t have to add more when the plant is lowered in the pot (the mound is pushed down)–this will be much harder to do without making a bigger mess.
All that you need to do now is press-down the mound of soil. Working with your fingers beneath the leaves, move around the pot and gently press and smooth the soil. Since you’re working beneath the leaves, and don’t need to add more soil, this should be easy to do without making a “mess”.
Brush away the loose soil and dust from the pot. When finished, you’ll have a still-blooming, freshly potted violet!