Grooming - Multiple Plants in Pot - Trailers
Question: How do (I) prune (an African violet)?
Answer: Pruning in African violets is not done in the same way, generally, as it is for other plants. Generally, you should remove any individual flowers as they fade, and entire blossom stems when the last flower is fading. You should remove leaves that are damaged and any that are fading on the lower rows. Both blossom stems and leaves are easily removed by rocking them from side to side until they pull loose from the plant. When secondary crowns (suckers) develop, they need to be poked out or prodded loose. The former destroys the sucker, the latter saves it for repotting. If a secondary crown has been allowed to grow to a mature size, then the plant needs to be divided by cutting between the two crowns and potting each into its own pot. True pruning only occurs when growing trailers or trying to force the development of suckers on single-crown plants (such as with chimera hybrids that do not come true from propagated leaf cuttings). In this case, the center crown is removed or pruned. This causes a trailer to develop additional crowns thus giving it a better overall form. The pruning causes a single-crown plant to develop many suckers that will bloom true to the variety when removed and individually repotted. Happy Growing! Joyce Stork
Question: Please tell me how to clean the leaves of my African violets and what to use.
Answer: Turn on the faucet with mildly warm (tepid) water (no pressure) and rinse the leaves holding the plant so water does not get into the crown. You may use your thumb to gently rub across the top of each leaf as you wash it. After all leaves have been rinsed, you may blot excess water off the leaves with a paper towel. Keep the plant out of sunlight until thoroughly dry. Good Growing, Jim Owens