African Violets

Q: I have three African violets that bloom often and seem to be very happy. However, they are each showing a long stem at the soil line. I know that can’t be right.

A: It’s common for the lower leaves on an African violet to shrivel and drop off. When this happens for more than a year, the lower main stem of the plant becomes bare. African violet experts recommend repotting a plant every six months: remove a half-inch of soil off the bottom of the root ball, put the root ball back in the pot and add soil around the stem beneath the lowest leaves. This covers the exposed stem, which will send roots into the new soil.