Hi all. I have an African Violet that I have kept alive and growing pretty well for almost two years now. Recently it became droopy and lost some leaves but I added some new soil to the top and have helped it recover nicely. I have it in one of the special violet watering pots. I would like to remove it from the pot and provide it some new soil underneath and check out the root system. Is this a smart idea or should I just let it be? Are the roots pretty strong on these things or are they very delicate? I am also worried about snapping the violet plant and killing it like I accidentally did my first one.
The root system is delicate because the roots are thin,but the roots and plants are not really that fragile.You can inspect the roots,trim them if necessary,etc.If you remove it from the pot carefully you shouldn't have to worry about the plant breaking.Push it out of the pot from the bottom if possible.If any healthy leaves get broken,you can use them to make new plants.
no chance in pushing the plant out from the bottom of the pot as it is one of the clay porous pots that waters from the bottom. I will make sure the soil is fairly wet before trying to remove it from the pot. I should be able to use a knife to pull the soil away from the pot. *crosses fingers*
So is there a special type of soil I should be using or is organic potting soil fine?
Make sure that the mix drains well but retains some moisture. Whatever works for you is fine.
If you ask me, I would rather take a knife and run it around the sides of the pot to release the roots than making the mix very wet. Violets, like many other plants, don't mind root disturbance as much as real wet mix.
Also, I would remove the oldest and all the damaged leaves from the plant. while you have it out of its pot. The bare stem or "neck" that may become visible can be hidden by just placing the plant deeper into its new pot and covering the bare part with mix.
Oh, and before I forget it: Violets like to be slightly potbound, so don't go up more than one pot size at a time. Sometimes, all the plant really needs is some fresh mix and some root trimming - not necessarily a larger pot. I have had it happen that I actually went DOWN a size when I repotted a Violet or other Gesneriads.