How to Repot African Violets? Step by Step
African Violets are long-living plants. Their lifespan can be up to 50 years. Therefore, repotting them is important to keep them healthy and beautiful.
I know that even the thought of repotting this plant can be scary, as you might be afraid of not hurting it. But it is not as complicated as it sounds.
You can hurt the plant more by not repotting it when this needs it.
African Violets should be repotted at least once a year, some of the people will do this twice a year. It is up to you and your plant. But please do it, when the plant asks for it.
Repotting is easy and your plant will be so thankful. If you follow the guide in this article, you will succeed for sure.
Repotting African Violets – Step by Step
African Violets are easy to grow and look after, but they can go crazy if they are not groomed and maintained regularly.
This means that African Violets need to be trimmed by unwanted leaves regularly and repotted as needed.
But you must remember, that African Violets are bred to remain small and compact, so when you repot them, that doesn’t mean you necessarily need a bigger pot. It is mostly about refreshing the potting mix.
Also, repotting is a good chance for propagating these plants.
Let’s see what you have to do when you repot African Violets.
Water deeply your African Violets a few days before you plan to replant. Water it until the water runs out of the saucer and then leave it for 30 minutes, then empty the saucer from the remaining water.
This moisture makes the whole plant more flexible and prevents unwanted breakage of the leaves while you repot the plant.
It also makes removing the soil from the pot easier.
Step two is when you actually start the process of repotting. This includes removing the plant from the pot.
By grabbing gently but firm the base of the lowest set of leaves, pull up the plant and this will come out of the pot.
Once the plant is out, you want to remove the soil off of the root system until this is fairly clean.
The third step is when you inspect your African Violet. Now you can cut the damaged, old or unwanted leaves, and you can propagate the plant.
In this step, you have the chance to separate the main plant from the suckers and other crowns, without hurting it.
Groom your African Violet as you want and remove any rotting roots as well.
The next step of the repotting process is that when you prepare the potting mix.
Preferably you should use African Violet potting mix combined with perlite, but if you want, you can prepare the potting mix yourself (1 part each: garden soil, sand and peat moss; add some bone meal also if you want).
Make sure the potting mix is well-draining because otherwise, your African Violet will be prone to rotting. This plant hates soggy, wet soil.
At this point, you might know already which pot you want to use for your African Violet, but if you have doubts, I can help with some ideas.
As I said above, African Violets don’t need bigger pot unless it is outgrown. So, usually, you can use the same pot. You are just refreshing the soil.
However, if you need a bigger pot, don’t choose a too big one. African Violets like their roots compact.
Choosing the right pot will ensure your plant’s health and wellbeing.
The right pot should have the same depth as its width and not deeper than that. Whenever an African Violet outgrows its pot, this should be increased only by ¾ to 1 inch maximum at a time.
Now that you have a potting mix, the right pot, and the cleaned African Violet, you can put these together.
Premoisten the potting mix and then put the soil in the pot, but make sure you are leaving it loose. Fill the pot up with the soil and then level it off.
Now make a hole in the potting mix, and place the African Violet in the hole and plant it. Make sure you are not planting it too deeply because that can lead to rotting or the stem will grow leggy.
The lower leaves should be with one quarter to one-half-inch above the potting mix.
The last step is optional but recommended.
Label your African Violet with the date when the repotting was done, and repeat this process at least once a year.
And voila! Your African Violet repotting is done.
When to Repot African Violets?
African Violets need repotting regularly, either because their pots are outgrown or to refresh their soil.
The best season to repot an African Violet is when this is in a dormant phase. This helps to avoid transplant shock.
Can You Repot African Violet When Blooming?
It is not recommended to repot your African Violet while blooming, but you will not kill it if you are repotting it while in bloom. The best is to repot your plant when this is in a dormant phase.
However, if the plant needs repotting, don’t wait until the blooms are gone because an African Violet can bloom all year round.
Some of the experts recommend cutting off the blooms if you need to repot them, so the plant will not suffer a transplant shock. Cutting the flowers and some leaves off, will helps the African Violet focusing its energy towards the roots to bound in their new environment.
African Violet Repotting Shock
If you just repotted your African Violet and this started to wilt or the leaves are getting pale, or just simply doesn’t want to bloom and its growth is stunted, then it means, your plant is in transplant shock.
Transplant shock occurs when a drastic change happened in its environment such as temperature change or repotting.
If transplant shock happens with your African Violet, this can be remedied easily.
Try putting your plant in a Ziploc bag which is big enough that the leaves are not touching it. Otherwise, these might get damaged because of the condensation.
You will see changes within a few days but keep the bag on for about a week.
Fertilizing your plant also helps it to recover quicker.
How to Divide an African Violet?
The best to divide your African Violet is when you repot it.
After taking out the plant from the pot, push the leaves apart, so you can remove the pup from the mother plant.
To remove the baby plant, use a sharp tool such as a knife or scissors.
After removing the pup from the mother plant, place it in a small pot filled with potting mix, the same way how you would replant the mother plant.
Then water the soil lightly, to make it moist, but never soggy. You can also feed the pup every week, after watering, with some fertilizer.
You can also put the baby plant in a Ziploc bag, to create a small greenhouse. Occasionally, you can open the bag to refresh the air for the plant.
After four weeks, you can remove the bag for a short period of time, then gradually increase the time every day. This is to help the baby plant to get used to its new environment which is outside of its greenhouse.
Because African Violets are fussy about their environment, many people are scared of repotting them.
But this procedure is not as complicated as it sounds. In fact, I think this is the easiest plant to repot.
If you use a potting mix specially prepared for African Violets and you choose the appropriate pot, then you cannot go wrong.
Remember, repotting regularly can save you from some extra work and can keep your African Violet healthy.