i'm joe and new to the group!
can anyone tell me....are african violets long lived plants and can they be kept in their pots without repotting often? thanks
African Violets can be very long-lived if well cared for. They can easily live 30yrs+. I have a few that are about 15 yrs myself. As for repotting, I've been lazy and have kept some plants in the same pot for as long as 2 years. After that I've been known chop the plant off at the soil line leaving a long neck on the plant, cleaning up the pot, putting fresh potting mix in it, and putting the plant back in the same pot. After about 3 weeks it should be anchored and you should be seeing new growth.
African violets certainly are long-lived, and although some people can stretch repotting out for a long time, it's recommended that it be done every 6 months or so. This keeps long, bare stems (necks) from developing, and it only takes a couple minutes per plant. After 6 months the peat in the potting mix can begin to break down, and this causes problems with the plant being able to absorb nutrients properly. I'm including a tutorial on how to repot from the Violet Barn in a link below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Violet Barn repotting tutorial