Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Repotting My African Violets....and a Surprise

a few months ago i bought everything i needed to re pot my small collection of African violets, but then read that they like to be a little snug in their pots in order to bloom, and you should wait until they are at least 9" across before moving them up a size. well, three of them were ready, and one had a rather beat up pot that i thought was causing it to dry out too quickly, so i decided to just do them all at once.

definitely ready to move up a size.
from a 3" pot to a 4" pot.
there are many packaged mixes available (until the day comes where i have room to keep all of the ingredients for various mixes, i buy ready made).
this was the guy with the cracked pot, and the dirt sort of pulled away from the sides.
all potted up. he will take longer to bloom, but I'm relieved to have him more securely planted. I've also found a use for the many old baking sheets i grab at thrift stores. they can be used to keep the counter clean, collect spilled dirt (so there is no waste), as well as a few other things i may show you tomorrow.
the cracked pot guy actually had two little plants in there, and this guy broke off during the transplant. I'm not sure if he is ready to grow on his own, but he did have some roots. I've potted him up and crossed my fingers.
one of the larger ones, just starting to be root bound, and ready for a new pot.
African violets don't like to get their leaves wet, so the best way to clean them is with a soft brush. the best way to water them is from the bottom up. i just fill the dishes they sit in with water and let them soak it up. whatever is left after 10 minutes or so gets poured out (they don't like to have their feet wet, either).
all done. the little one that broke off i planted in a glazed pot to help retain more moisture, but i mostly like to pot everything in terracotta. since terracotta is porous, it keeps the soil from staying too wet. i would much rather have to check plants often then have them rot.
and as for the surprise? well that elephant ear i planted several weeks ago had a little nub on it, but that nub (barely visible poking out just right of the center of the pot) has done nothing, but suddenly a shoot has shot up on the side of the pot. i think it's time to pot up the others and give them all a head start.

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