Replanted and drooping?

jckd85April 14, 2009


Recently within the past couple of days I repotted or replanted one of my violets (same pot). I've had this Violet for almost 9 years and have never repotted it. It is rather large and was growing cooked. The stem was exposed and L shaped. I dug around the stem until it was free. I didn't cut many roots, there wasn't many to cut. The plant is in a 7" pot which was doing fine with growing. All I did was take it out and burry the stem further into the dirt. Now it's been about 5 days and the leaves are still drooping. The soil is moist but not wet. What do I need to do? Should I just leave it be for the time being? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I wish I could send a picture of it! It's beautiful! Perfectly round with blooms constantly coming out the center. Recently the leaves have been growing crooked since the stem was leaning hence the reason for me repotting it or replanting it. The pots about 6" and 5" deep with a draining dish. Currently the dish is holding water. It'll eventually evaporate. thanks!

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I was given a violet with a long L-shaped neck a year ago and today it looks fine. I found three ways to eliminate the neck: the decapitation method, air layering, and burying the entire neck. Did you cut the stem off of the rootball or just bury the rootball and entire stem? If you cut off the stem, see the Restoring a Violet link below. Without any roots the plant can't support all of its leaves (that's why they're drooping), so you'll need to remove some and dome the plant while it recovers.

The air layering method is a way to have roots formed before cutting off the neck. It is explained at

The method I used was to bury the entire neck and old rootball and keep the soil moist. It took a larger pot than is recommended for AVs and the plant was way off center. After a couple of months I dug it up. Lots of new roots had formed and I cut off the old rootball/neck. Then I repotted the plant centering it into a proper size container. The pot should only be 1/3 the size of the plant diameter since overpotting can cause soil to hold too much moisture and drown the roots and AVs bloom better when potbound.

If your pot is too big and/or you just used plain peat (the potting mix should be equal parts of peat, vermiculite, and perlite or add vermiculite and perlite to AV mix),it may be holding way too much water and drowning the plant. I'd empty the draining dish too. AVs have a small root system and many growers prefer pots that aren't deep, such as Azalea pots. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Restoring a Violet

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 2:52PM
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maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)


I'm probably not the one to answer this post, as I just started getting advise on this forum, but I will pass on what I have learned and hopefully the experts will jump on in and correct me if need be, or offer some of their ownadvise I didn't mention.

First of all, I think the pot may be way too big. Measure the width of the plant, the pot should be 1/3 of the size of the leaf span. From what I have read and learned here and on the net, the pots should not exceed 4". If you repot, and you should do so every 6 months, you should remove some of the rootball so it fits in a 3-4" pot. You should remove the lower,older generation, leaves, creating a "neck" and then put it in the pot burying the "neck". If you remove the lower/older leaves, this will decrease the width of the leaf span, thus making the size of the pot needed smaller.

The fact that you said "I didn't cut any roots, there wasn't many to cut" tells me the pot is way too big. If it has been in the same pot for 9 years, and the roots are almost non exsistant, tells me there is a problem. Also, you said "the dish is currently holding water, it will eventually evaporate" sends up a red flag. From what I've learned/read and been told, they don't like to be constantly wet. This is somewhat confusing to me however, as some folks use the wicking method to water their AV's. (A string of yarn/nylon threaded thru the pot, coming out of the bottom of the pot, the pot sets on top of a resevoir of water, the wick soaks up the water as needed to supply the soil w/water, thus watering the plant). To me this keeps the soil wet at all times. But perhaps it only soaks up the amount of water needed. I'm sure someone will clear this up for you.

I recently repotted my AV with the help from Barb and some other kind folks. They were all so helpful, very thourgh with their explainations, and I had good results.

I will find the post I started and you can read it, it has pics as well as great advise.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 3:11PM
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maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)

The post I mentioned above is entitled "back for more help/advise please...(pics)"
hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 3:20PM
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I know it can be a shock to people who have never experienced cutting down a plant and repotting it but it can be done successfully. The link below shows pics of a plant of mine which was at the back of my stand and I had let it go to a point where I just had to do something with it. There are nine photos in the set. Since I have been growing AV's for over 25 years I had no problem, however I know that some people are afraid to try it. I have demonstrated the process of cutting a violet down with a long neck at talks to garden clubs and have developed a few sheets of info on growing and rejuvenating plants. If you would like to have copies of them I can email them to you directly. Just email me and I can send them back.
Meanwhile you might try bagging the drooping AV to keep the humidity up although I feel that reducing the plants size would be more helpful. You said in your original message that you potted it up in dirt. Hopefully it wasn't potting soil. Donna gave you some good information. Your mix should be peat, coarse vermicultie and coarse prelite in equal parts.
Good luck with repotting and getting the violet back on track.
Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: out of control av

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 6:16PM
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Take your plant without the saucer (by the way, violets should not be sitting in water more than 1/2 hour after you water) and put it in a plastic produce bag, blow it up and tie it up. It will keep in the moisture and create a "
greenhouse" effect. You shouldnt have to water it for at least a couple of weeks or more. Your leaves should perk up. It sounds to me like your plant just got too stressed. Trust me, they DO that!!
I have been growing African Violets for over 20 years (I have mine on lighted shelves).
You will very rarely have to plant a standard (large) violet in a pot bigger than 4". Violets should be repotted about every 6 months. When you have a neck on your violet, the rule of thumb is to cut off the same amount off the root ball as you are burying the neck. i.e. if you have a 2" neck to bury - cut 2" off the root ball. Also scrape the neck (I use my fingernail) to encourage new roots.
You can also look up the African Violet Society online and read up on violets.
Hopes this helps. Happy Growing!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:41PM
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