African Violet Repotting FAQ
Should You Repot African Violets?
How often should I repot my African Violet?
Optimally, we would repot our African Violets 2 or 3 times a year. However, we know how busy people are and understand that a perfect repotting schedule is not always practical. If you can’t repot twice a year, it’s completely understandable, but making an effort to repot at least once every calendar year will do your African Violet a world of good.
Why do I need to repot my African Violet?
Repotting is essential for your African Violet for a variety of reasons, but here are some of the big ones. First, we want to promote a healthy growing environment for our plants. This means that the mix it is growing in should be relatively fresh. Over time, with any mix, you will notice it begins to get funky and break down. If we really want to ensure our plant is growing in fresh potting mix, we should rotate out the old mix with new mix.
Next, African Violets can become seriously root bound and may need to be potted up. If never repotted, we would be neglecting our African Violet's need to move to a bigger environment as it grows. As we grow from children into adults, we need room to grow into our eventual living environment. We buy bigger clothes, shoes, and beds to accommodate our growth as we age. This is much the same with African violets. We repot to make sure our growing African Violets have room to keep growing. If your African Violet is outgrowing its environment and quite literally growing out of its pot, it’s time to repot and move it to a larger pot.
Finally, we repot to bury the neck of our African violets. The “neck” refers to the trunk of your African Violet that gets exposed more and more as its older leaves either fall off naturally or are removed by the grower. In a cosmetic sense, the neck isn’t very attractive and can be hidden during a repotting. This method of burying the neck keeps your African Violet looking beautiful year round.
If we never repotted, our African Violets would outgrow their living environment, look less attractive, and eventually succumb to old, broken down mix.
I am familiar with the term “potting up”, but, do you ever need to “pot down”?
Yes. Potting down refers to when your pot is too large for your African violet. While this doesn’t happen often, there are instances when it is necessary to pot down.
What does “bagging” African Violets mean?
Bagging your African violet, simply put, is putting a clear plastic bag over it after you repot. We do this to keep the humidity up after a repotting to help ease the transition of the African Violet into its new mix. We can’t say this often enough, make sure the bag is large enough to not touch your African Violet's leaves. The condensation built up on the sides of the bags will damage them.
Once you have covered your African Violet in the appropriate sized bag, blow inside of it and tie it off. Keep your African Violet inside of the bag for 5-8 days before removing it. There is no need to water or fertilize during this time period.
For many gardeners, an easy solution to the bag method is to use a grow dome. This will allow you to keep humidity and warmth in your violets growing environment, without the hassle of putting a bag around each plant.