Thursday, July 18, 2024

Repotting trailing African violets

Question:  When should I repot a trailing violet into a larger pot?

Answer:  This depends upon how you wish to display the plant.  If you wish to grow the trailer as a “hanging” basket plant, you should use a smaller pot and let the “runners” trail over the pot’s edge.  A standard-size (larger leaved) variety might perhaps need a 5″ to 7″ pot when mature.  Miniature and semiminiature varieties can be grown in a smaller pot.  Shallow pots are best, since a violet’s root system is relatively shallow, even for larger plants.  Trailers grown this way often do best in natural (window) light, since the vertical space isn’t available on a light stand.  It’s also necessary to provide plenty of light from both the top and sides, to keep the plant from getting a “straggly” appearance, and this is best provided by a large window.

The other option is to grow these varieties as a “ground cover”.  Pot trailers into a wider pot as the runners begin to creep over the edge of the existing pot.  When placed into a wider pot, the runners will simply continue to grow along the soil surface, rooting and producing new runners as it goes.  Again, be sure to use shallow pots.  Grown this way, the depth of the pot should be no more than 3″.  Since wide, but shallow, pots can be hard to find, we use saucers with holes drilled into the bottom for drainage.  If deeper pots are used, add some drainage material, such as perlite, in the bottom when potting.

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