i have 2. one is getting a 'trunk' where it's gotten taller &
the leaves have died on the bottom. is there anything i
can/should do about it, or just let it go? the plant still
blooms like crazy.
also, the leaves on both are a bit dusty & cat fuzzed. is there
a way to clean the leaves? my mom always told me that african
violets can't get water on the leaves... if that's true, how do
they survive in the wild?
Trunk: Nothing you can do about it. Time to take cuttings, root them, and
make new plants. It's just a little tricky, but you can do it. Google
search: rooting african violet cuttings.
Dirty leaves: Get a 1" artist's brush, not the softest, but just stiff
enough to feel "right" for brushing the dust off of the slightly fuzzy
leaves. Works like a charm.
Wild: I don't know.
Use a soft brush (like a camel hair artist's brush) to clean the leaves or
spray them with LUKEWARM water and make sure they dry fairly quickly (read:
not over a period of days). Try not to get water into the center crown
which tends to rot if water collects there. African violets hate COLD
water but they don't mind warm in moderation. Before a show, most AV
people bath and groom their violets like showdogs.
As for the stump, I'll let someone else handle that. I'd just repot it
deeper in the pot and let new roots grow out of the old stump but that's me
and I've killed a fair share of violets in my day. :)
Repot. As usual, trim up the root ball if it's pot bound and bury the
offending trunk in soil. It will form roots.... think of the plant as
a big cutting.
Their leaves don't like to soak in water of course. Violets are
pretty sturdy as you can tell. As far as the cat hairs, you can
gently brush them off with a camel hair brush, train the cat to stay
away from that area or learn to live with cat hair on leaves. We just
joke that the reason voilets bloom so well is because of all that CO2
the cat exhales onto them.
History is a vast early warning system
Remove the AF, trim back the root ball, and set back (deeper) into the
pot. But, it won't hurt the plant to leave it as is--why not, it's
giving you flowers! Afs grow best in a pot no larger than 4". Clean
the leaves using a pipe cleaner with one end bent into a loop; or,
just use an old leaf to clean all the leaves.
Many fuzzy-leaved plants don't like water on the leaves. AFs may spot
if cold water gets on the leaves.
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