Saturday, June 3, 2023

Washing African violets

Question:  I have some very dirty violets.  Can I wash them? Answer:  Sure, just be gentle.  First, find a working area and sink that is large enough for you to handle your plants without damaging them or making a huge mess.  A sink with a sprayer attachment, and easily controlled water flow and water temperature, is best.  […]


Question:  I’m growing for show for the first time.  If I keep my standard-size violet disbudded, but don’t pot it into a larger container, will it produce the bigger leaves that I see on some large showplants? Answer:  When a standard-size violet is continuously disbudded, it will produce larger leaves (mini and semiminiature varieties will stay small […]

Symmetry: remove a damaged leaf

Question:  Is it better to remove a damaged leaf, spoiling symmetry, or to keep it? Answer:  If the plant is being exhibited, this is a judgment call.  points can be lost for both gaps in symmetry, and for damaged leaves.  If it is not a showplant, it becomes a trade-off between the appearance of the plant […]

Removing outer leaves

Question:  Should I ever remove leaves from my violet?  I would guess so but, other than removing obviously dead ones, I have no idea how to decide.  Which ones need to be removed? Answer:  Yes.  Most (non trailing) varieties only need to have 3 or 4 rows of leaves since blooms are produced only from those leaves.  […]

Dividing a plant

Question:  I have a plant that needs dividing, but seems so overgrown that I don’t know where to begin. Answer:  This was from a member at a local club meeting who had a “supermarket” violet that was so overgrown and crowded with crowns that dividing it by simply pulling crowns apart would have been impossible.  Normally, if […]

Brushing leaves

Question:  I’ve been told that my violets shouldn’t be brushed, as this might scar the leaves, and that I should wash them instead.  I’ve seen others brushing the leaves of their plants, though. Answer:  It’s all right to brush your violet’s leaves.  We’re big believers in regular brushing.  A clean plant is a healthy plant.  Why wait […]

Spent (old) blooms

Question:  I am new to taking care of African violets.  I don’t know the correct way to “snip” spent or dead flowers.  I looked it up on the internet but they just said “cut them off”.  But, just where–on the petal stem or do I take off the entire stem? Answer:  Though the answer may seem obvious […]

Cleaning leaves

Question:  I couldn’t find any information regarding dusting of leaves of an African violet?  Is it okay to wash dust off of leaves with water? Answer:  African violets can be washed, but it’s always a better practice to keep them clean enough that they’ll never require it.  Grow them in a clean environment, though this is sometimes […]

Remedies for suckers

Question:  What’s the best remedy for suckers? Answer:  A simple question with a simple answer–blooming!  A sucker, of course, is an extra growing point (crown), usually appearing as a pair (or pairs) or leaves within the leaf axils beneath the original growing point in the uppermost, center of the plant.  Unless this is a trailing variety, on […]

When to repot after removing leaves

Question:  I have many miniature violets that I purchased from you last year, and they could use a little repotting.  I’ve improved their appearance by removing the lower leaves that were no longer attractive and was wondering at what point can I cover this bare stem/trunk with soil?  Can I cover the bare stem with soil […]