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How to Repot African Violet with Long Neck?

African Violet with Long Neck indicates that the plant is growing swiftly, reaching its age, and spreading its roots, which can suck away all its energy but bounces back by yearly repotting.

Generally, African Violets with Long Necks require repotting twice a year. Unpot the plant from the old pot, cut the lower 1-2 leaf rings at their base to expose the neck, and scrape to reveal the inner green tissue. Then, place it in a new planter by burying the neck deep in the soil.
The lower part of the central stem in African Violet is the “neck” of the plant that extends upward when it loses more leaves. Once it becomes visible, buckle up for repotting!

Reasons to Repot African Violet with Long Neck

African Violets are perennials that grow fast, quickly become leggy, and can occupy the pot within a few months after planting.

The plant loses its lower leaves and grows upward by elongating its stem (or neck) to cope with this, which makes it even bushier. 
Image represents the bottom yellow leaves of African Violet
African Violets lose their leaves bottom-up, where the leaves present near the soil turn yellow first and start to drop.

So, the plant may require a new planter and proper repotting if this happens. 

Besides, repotting African Violets bestows many benefits to the plant, and there are reasons to do it.

  • Repotting African Violet is necessary to prolong its skyward growth. 
  • As nutrients in the soil are depleted with time, repotting on a fresh potting mix helps to replenish the lost minerals.
  • Repotting while removing spent leaves stimulates the plant to focus its energy on growing new flush of leaves.
  • Without repotting, the plant becomes lanky and cannot maintain its signature rosette habit. 

Best Time to Repot African Violets

Due to its long lifespan of around 50 years and quick growth, repotting African Violet is vital.

So, you must repot African Violet with Long Neck at least twice a year or even more during winter.
Image represents a leggy African Violet plant
African Violets extend their leaves if they stay in small containers and become root-bound.

Additionally, repotting in the winter reduces the side effects of transplant shock as the plant remains dormant. 

But if the plant starts showing these early and aggressive signs, prepare yourself for repotting.

  • Wilting and yellowing of leaves present at the lower ring of the plant
  • Expansion of the foliage (leaves and branches) up to the pot’s rim
  • Fewer flowers and stunted growth
  • The vertical extension and exposure of the neck or lower stem
  • Poking of roots from the drainage holes of the pot

Ideal Pots for African Violets

African Violet prefers little root-bound conditions due to their shallow but spreading roots.

So, offer a starting ceramic pot 3-5 inches in diameter with bottom drainage holes and, later, 1 inch wider and shallow self-watering planter while repotting.

Moreover, the root-bound condition is crucial for the plant to rise upwards and flower.

But eventually, the plant knocks down due to the top weight and tilts to one side when it grows too tall.

Image represents a tilted African Violet with Long Neck
The upward extension of the neck or stem causes the African Violet plant to tilt to one side.

Additionally, the roots coil up inside the pot, forming a ball that can halt the plant’s growth as the neck extends.

A mature African Violet plant expands three times the pot’s width. So, judging from this, you can choose a pot depending on the size of the plant.

However, you can also use terracotta planters for African Violets, allowing their roots to breathe more smoothly and intake more oxygen.

Soil Type for Repotting African Violet with Long Neck

Along with a new pot, the African Violet plant needs fresh potting soil to support its upward growth and reload the lost nutrients.

Generally, the ideal African Violet soil is porous, loose, and well-draining, with acidic pH between 5.8 and 6.2-7.

You can also create homemade soil by blending two-thirds normal potting mix, one-third organic perlite and a small amount of compost or one part sphagnum moss.

Step-by-Step Guide to Repot African Violet with Long Neck

The right time to repot African Violets is in winter when the plant is dormant.

This reduces the repotting stress and allows the plant to bounce back quicker.

Image represents the process of repotting African Violet plant
African Violet needs a slightly large container for repotting and prefers modest root-bound condition.

However, you must wait for the plant to show repotting signs, as frequent repotting may weaken the plant.

When the conditions are set, prepare to repot your African Violet by following these steps.

  • First, water your plant 1-2 days before to slack up the soil for easy unpotting.
  • Pull out the plant from its pot by gently grabbing its stem without hurting the healthy foliage and keep the root ball intact.
  • Remove the yellow, old and wilting lower leaves using sterilized pruners by snipping right at their base where they join the central stem.
  • Scratch the neck of the exposed stem using the blunt side of a sterilized knife to scrape away upper tissues, stem scabs, and small sections of the leaf petiole.
  • Sprinkle a small amount of rooting hormone powder on the exposed tissue of the neck, but this step is optional.
Image represents the process of repotting African Violet
The most important tip to consider while repotting African Violet is removing an equal amount of soil from the root ball, equal to the length of the neck.
  • Remove some soil from the bottom of the root ball equal to the length of the neck.
  • Place a layer of fresh potting soil at the bottom of a new pot and place the plant in the center by spreading its roots.
  • Fill the pot with more soil from the sides to completely bury the bare neck.
  • Ensure the leaves barely graze the pot’s rim.
  • Water lightly and cover the newly potted plant with a zip-lock bag to secure humidity and warmth.
  • Leave for a week for the plant to adjust and continue the normal care.

You can also repot African Violets by cutting the leafy crown of the plant and discarding the roots. Place the freshly cut crown (with the cut part) inside a new potting mix after removing some bottom leaves.

Watch the following video to learn about repotting African Violet with Long Neck.

Tips to Take Care of a Repotted African Violet

A newly repotted African Violet is very fragile and delicate. So, it requires an extra bit of tender loving care.

Here are some tips that you can use to nurture a freshly repotted African Violet.

  • Offer 8-12 hours of indirect bright sunlight and 8 hours of darkness daily.
  • Keep the plant near an east-facing window and avoid windows with northern or southern sun exposure.
  • Refill the water in the pot every 5-7 days or when the topsoil dries.
  • Maintain a temperature between 65°F and 80°F with around 70-80% surrounding humidity.
Image represents placement of African Violet near a window
African Violets require bright but indirect sunlight for flowering and vigorous growth of the leaves.
  • You can also group the plants with other houseplants or keep the plant on a pebble tray to offer humidity.
  • Protect the plant from the cold by covering it with frost blankets.
  • Fertilize the plant with an NPK fertilizer every 2 weeks in spring and summer, but avoid feeding the plant in fall and winter.
  • Repot the plant again during winter when the plant shows alarming signs.
  • Use q-tips with neem oil to dab the pests, subside the disease symptoms, or remove the pathogenic spores.
  • Trim the old leaves and spent blooms once in a while to save some energy for the plant.

FAQs about African Violet with Long Neck

How to Fix African Violet with Long Neck?

To fix an African Violet with Long Neck, repot by burying the plant neck-deep in a fresh potting mix.

Why does African Violet Get a Long Neck?

The long neck in African Violet is due to the dropping of the old and yellow bottom leaves as a part of its annual foliar cycle.

How to Water African Violet with Long Neck?

The prime way to water an African Violet is by using the approach of bottom watering or by employing self-watering pots.

From Editorial Team

Avoid Using Deeper Pots!
The short root system of African Violet cannot reach a greater depth in the soil. So, providing one inch wider planter during repotting should keep the plant happy and offer broad legroom to reduce the incidence of root diseases.

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