Decorating African Violets as Party Favors

Question:  I am going to use violets you are sending as table favors at a party.  They come in plastic posts, but I like the appearance of terra cotta, so am thinking of repotting them.  If this isn’t possible, I’d like to wrap the pots in decorative foil or paper.  Any advice?

Answer:  The last thing you want to do as you’re preparing an event is repot small flowering plants!  It’s messy, time consuming and, unless you’re really careful (and experienced), likely to damage the plants.  Since appearance is what’s most important here, it’s simpler just to place the potted plant into a pot of the same size, but desired appearance.  Find a terra cotta pot only very slightly larger than the pot the plant is currently in.  The “slip” the terra cotta pot over the outside of the plastic pot you’re hiding.  It will have the same appearance without the problems of repotting.

As for decorating with foil or paper, we suggest doing the following.  Assuming the wrapping material used can retain a shape, wrap an empty pot of the same size used for the potted plant, using it as a “mold”.  Make as many decorative coverings as needed, then slip the potted plants into them just prior to the even.  One last thing.  If plants are overly wet, tape over the drainage holes or insert a small piece of plastic inside the outer pot or wrapper.  This will keep the plants from “bleeding” water onto the table cloth in front of your guests!

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