A Frightening Prospect

One of the most frightening prospects for the new African violet grower is the idea of cutting on a plant.

Ready to be trimmed and repotted
Ready for surgery

“I am afraid I will kill it!” .     It is hard to believe the action  triggers  a vibrant rejuvenation, the plant puts out healthy  new roots, leaves and bloom stalks.  It comes to life!!

The first time will not be easy.  Every grower does it a little differently, so put on your big grower’s pants, get that ailing plant, a sharp blade, and  some fresh potting mix.  We will use the same pot.

The plant is easier to work with if the potting mix has been allowed to dry out a little more than usual.  The patient will not be as turgid, so will not snap, except where you intend to break it.

The roots are dead a few healthy ones found

Note first that roots have grown to the edges of the  pot, but are not healthy roots, they seem to be dead, this plant was not put in new potting mix when first added to my collection.

The plan is to remove  an inch of the old mix exposing the neck.

Using a finger nail,  scrape the skin from the exposed  portion of the stem;  healthy new, white roots will soon grow from

the area.

Preserve the  healthy roots of  the original plant, even if  few, trim away everything else.

All of the energy of growth should be concentrated in roots and leaves for a while; remove any bloom stalks.

Newly potted ready to grow

Using the original 4 inch pot, fill half-full with  fresh  African violet mix; tap against the table to settle it (do not pack);  spread the root clump  flat, place the plant in pot to sight position.   Be sure the bottom row of leaves is at least 1/4 inch below the pot rim;  finish filling with potting mix  to the bottom row of leaves;  again tap against table top to settle  securely.   Place completed pot into a saucer of water allowing it to soak up moisture for 3o minutes.

This plant has been under lights but has failed to perform;   it will now be  placed in a window to test its response to a new a growing situation.

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