How far to cut back flower stems?

Portage, MI(Zone 5b)

Newbie question: I have one plant that bloomed prolifically a while ago. All the flowers have been deadheaded. I deadheaded by cutting just under each flower. So, now I have the long stems that the flowers were on, and it looks like new leaves might start growing on those stems. But am I supposed to cut the flower stems off down at the base of the plant to prevent "branching"?

I spent an hour or more trying to find the answer online, and could NOT find it. Would very much appreciate help!


This message was edited Apr 12, 2015 6:50 PM

Bellevue, WA(Zone 8a)

Hi Ella,

What an interesting question...I don't know the answer, but will be following your thread to find out. I have never experienced this, as I have always cut off the flower stalks near the base. Perhaps this is another way to propagate AVs...I hope someone more knowledgeable will answer.


Portage, MI(Zone 5b)

I stopped at the floriest/houseplant desk at my local nursery a couple of days ago and posed my question. The employee said to take off the stems because "they don't add anything". So I don't think she was particularly knowledgeable about African Violets.

Then we visited the other local nursery in our town, where I inquired as to how many of their David Austin roses are own-root; she told me ALL of their roses are own-root. The owner wandered over, we eventually obtained their printout of all their roses, and sure-enough, only a fraction are own-root, and some of the David Austins are indeed grafted. The greenhouse employee who assured me all their roses are own-root apparently did not know the difference between bare-root and own-root! So that's an example of why I don't trust the knowledge base of typical employees in nurseries.

I have googled my question about the African violet flower stems countless times and cannot find the answer online. I think I have probably wasted at least an hour on this simple question.

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