How to Transplant African Violets

African violets will bloom almost constantly if given the right conditions and care. One important piece of good care is to transplant your violets often enough to keep them healthy. You may also need transplanting skills if you propagate new plants. Luckily transplanting isn’t difficult. Like many skills, it becomes easier as you do the task repeatedly.


Reasons to Transplant

You can expect to transplant African violets for the following reasons:

  • Your plant is outgrowing its space and becoming root-bound.
  • The leaves you propagated in water are ready to go into a pot with soil.
  • Your African violet has developed a long neck (bare stalk below the leaf whorls).
  • You have a broken pot or some other kind of problem.

Get Organized

Before you start the transplanting process, collect all your equipment and supplies, such as a blunt-tip knife, a spoon and a sharp knife. You should have a container of room temperature water – preferably rain water. If tap water is your only option, let it sit on the counter overnight in a wide-mouthed pitcher or bowl to allow the chlorine to escape. Spread papers to catch the inevitable mess of potting soil.

Transplant Shock

Many of the steps in the transplanting process are focused on minimizing transplant shock. Fitting the plant into a pre-made hole, for example, minimizes root disturbance. Handle your plants gently so you don’t break stems or roots. Keep the room warm to protect the cold-sensitive plants. A humidity dome or plastic bag over the new plant can increase humidity.

Potting On

If you are transplanting African violets that are outgrowing their pots, choose the next size larger pot. Put enough fresh potting soil in the new pot so the plant will be at the same level from the top. Set the old pot in the center of the new one and pack soil around it. Remove the plant from the old pot and place in the prepared hole. Gently firm soil around it.

Transplanting Newly Propagated Leaves

If you start new African violet plants from leaves in water, you’ll need to transplant them once they have a good set of roots and a small new plant at the base of the old leaf. Lift the leaf from the water. Hold the plant by the leaf stem over the new pot. Slowly trickle sol around the roots. Firm gently once the pot is full.

Transplanting and Watering

When potting on, some experts recommend you water the plants before transplanting; others feel it increases the risk of breaking stems and leaves. Do water after you transplant, however. You might have to water if you can’t get the plant out of the old pot. It also helps to slide the blunt-tipped knife carefully around the inside edge of the pot.