Pruning and/or Reviving an African Violet

DawwsAugust 28, 2011

So, I just recently received an African Violet as a gift, then drove across 3 states in rather high temperatures. When I finally got it out of the car, it looked rather droopy and sad. I took it into a cooler environment (about 73 degrees F) and gave it some water. Nothing was improving. I did some reading and realized I was over watering it, and it wasn't getting enough light. I corrected those errors and the plant is starting to perk up.

My violet doesn't have any blossoms, just leaves. Here is the problem: The stems of the leaves are plump and healthy and thriving. On a few leaves, the stems start to droop closer to the leaf with the leaf a rather dark green color and very wilted. So - can I pinch/cut off the wilted/dying leaves without damaging the plant? If I take off the dying part will the stem regenerate a leaf? Or might the leaves perk up like the stems have? I'm scared of removing the dead leaves and perhaps damaging the violet permanently.

Any Suggestions?

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You should take off the wilting leaves. Are they the outer ones? If the outer ones keep wilting it may be a sign that the roots are rotting from overwatering. Give it a few days after you take off the wilted leaves and see what happens.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:55AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

D. -

Tricia is right - you probably stressed it to the point of no return. Remove the wilted leaves and keep it barely moist - not dry and not soggy.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 4:40PM
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IF in fact it turns out the plant continues wilting you can at least take off a few good leaves and root them. If you don't have proper soil mix you can start them in water and they should have roots in a few weeks and by then you will be able to learn how to plant and grow the babies that will form. Hopefully though, you can still save the plant. If it keeps wilting you can also try taking it out of the soil and examining the crown where it meets the soil. If not brown and rotting you can trim off the roots and repot the plant to grow new roots. Someone else can explain this process better. I've done it successfully but not good at giving written directions for it.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 6:17PM
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Thanks, I'm just now taking off the wilting leaves. I'll let you know how it goes!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:55PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

D. -

if the lower leaves continue wilting one row after another- it is definitely a root rot.
The surgery to be done - take the sharp knife - and cut the plant off the roots just below the soil level. Be sure that the cut is green and not black, trim more to remove the rotten stem. Last cut - with clean blade. Remove the lower leaves until you have a small crown - leaf size about half of the full grown - stick the stub in a small pot with light moist soil - put everything in a plastic baggie, and keep of the direct sunlight for 2 weeks - it will grow new roots in a hurry - and you can start opening the baggie to acclimate it tho the dry air of the room.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 1:37PM
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