Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fixing a Goose-necked African Violet

I read an article about fixing goose-necked African violets by Barbara Perry Lawton in the November 2009 issue of The Gateway Gardener. I had never heard the term ‘goose-neck’ before even though my African violet on my kitchen windowsill definitely has that condition. Barbara says that the ‘goose-neck’ looks like “The plant appears to rise up out of the pot and has a long awkward stem between the pot and the foliage – leaves have fallen from the goose-neck stem. All in all, the one-time lovely flowering African violet has become an ugly plant.” My baby (African violet) is not ugly! It has a small plant growing at the base of the stem and I keep the pot turned so the big long ugly goose-neck is behind the pot next to the wall and the big plant at the end of the goose-neck hides the rest.

Plant turned to hide goose-neck.

Plant turned to show goose-neck.

However, it clearly needs to be repotted. Here are some tips to repot African violets and fix the goose-neck problem. This is the time of year that I have to do these projects inside on the kitchen counter. Lay out some newspaper to cover your potting area. You will need African Violet Potting mix, a sharp shears, a container to moisten you potting mix in and water.

Repotting tools and supplies.

Soil mixing container.

Fill the mixing container with the amount of potting mix you need. Pour some warm water on it and stir it in with your hand. Your mix should be moist, not wet. Set this aside. Gently remove the plant from its pot. Strip off any leaves that don’t look healthy and firm to the touch.

Cutting the goose-neck.

Cut the goose-neck off where it is coming out of the soil. Trim the goose-neck to a length so that it will go back in the pot and have the bottom set of leaves growing from the trunk just above the soil level.

Trimmed goose neck ready to be potted.

The soil level should be almost to the top of the pot so the leaves are above the rim of the pot to prevent rotting.

Soil level should hold the leaves above pot rim.

If you are not dealing with the goose-neck problem, simply shake the loose soil off the plant you removed from the original pot and plant it in the new pot with fresh soil mix. You will want to set the plant into the pot so that the leaves are above the rim of the pot also. Put the freshly trimmed African violet back into the same pot if it’s a mature plant, go one pot size larger if it is a young plant.

The top of the goose-necked plant repotted.

The bottom of the goose-necked plant repotted.

Extra leaves stuck in pot for rooting.

When my repotting project was done I had two plants and some extra leaves I had trimmed off. I put the leaves in another pot to root them to make more plants.
Until next time, Happy Gardening

1 comment:

  1. I am going to try this on my goosenecked mini violet.
    Do you have good luck w the self watering pot? I haven't. I use wick watering. But I like the look of the self watering pots better.