looooong curvy stem

Dee1(z5MI)December 7, 2009

Hello All, I'm usually found over at the KT, but have a question about my AV. I have 2 noids. They are HUGE. Well, one is huge, the other one got knocked off it's perch by my cat and is about a third the size it was. I have to remover numerous leaves that got broken. Anyway, I noticed that the stem on this plant is long and curvy and is growing crooked and to one side of the pot. You couldn't tell before because of the massive leaves. I don't even know how deep the stem goes into the dirt. Should I repot it? I know I can't get all that stem into the pot. What do I do with it? Should I just cut a leaf off and start a new plant and ditch this one? It is still flowering like crazy even after the trauma of falling and breaking lots of leaves.

Thanks for any help.

Dee in Michigan

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Hi Dee,

Below is a link to a site with a photo-illustrated lesson on restoring a long-necked violet. It works but if you're nervous about it you can also set a leaf or two for insurance.

If you're too squeamish to use the guillotine method, other ways of restoring the violet are air layering and just temporarily burying the whole stem/rootball in a big container and repotting/trimming old roots/neck after new roots grow along the former neck.

AVs are really forgiving of accidents (the voice of experience - I've caused a couple of doozies). In time new leaves grow out and the plant looks as good as new.

Good luck and let us know how things turn out.

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

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 3:03PM
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Donna, thank you so much. I thought about doing just what the link says to do, but since I've never done anything like that I thought the plant would die because of having no roots. I am going to do what the link says, step by step. I just need to find a clear covering for it. The pot I have it in is about 6 or 8 inches in diameter and about 4 or 5 inches deep. I'm going to wash the pot out and use fresh soil. I printed the page out. I am so thankful that you responded to my post. You know, I only paid about 2 bucks for the plant when it was in a 2" pot. I have transplanted it several times going to a slightly larger pot each time. I don't know how the neck got so long except that I never shortened it and I guess it just kept growing and growing. After the cat knocked it down I tried to repot it, but the long neck wouldn't go into the pot so I just put as much into it as I could. It kept flowering, but something told me this still was not a good thing. So, thanks again. I'm sure I'll get this plant back to a good state of health...thanks to you. If I don't, well it was only a couple of bucks, but still, it was my baby for a long time.
Dee in Michigan

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 10:20AM
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okie_deb(6 OK. zip 737)

Dee the 6-8 inch diameter pot sounds it will be too big to me. After you get it all picked over and cut a 4 inch pot may be more like it to re-root the crown in.
The pot you speak of sounds it will have alot of extra space and soil which when watered could rot your crown. There's a 1/3 rule: Measure the diameter of the plant, divide by three, and the result is the number in inches across that the pot size should be.,,,Debbie

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 1:15PM
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It's natural for necks to form as old outer leaves die and fall off or are removed. Here's a link to another lesson about repotting to eliminate long necks from forming.

One thing the lesson notes is that violets shouldn't necessarily be moved up into increasingly bigger pots and that for most mature standards a 4" pot is about right. Growers recommend a pot that is 1/3 the size of the diameter of the plant, so I suggest that you put your decapitated plant into a smaller pot than the 6" - 8" one that you were using.

African Violets have fairly small shallow root systems and if the pot is so big that the roots can't take up the water, the extra wet soil can lead to the plant drowning or rotting from pathogens that multiply in the mix. Also, the plants seem to bloom best if the roots are snug in the pots.

It doesn't matter how much it cost - it's still your baby. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Violet Necks

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 1:37PM
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