African Violets Florist's Tools
Personally, most important tools when working with such delicate flowers like African violets are - hands. None the less, when caring for African violets plants, some tools are needed to get the job done.
Here is my collection of tools that I have around, when working with African violets.
Plastic scoops and spatulas - they are very handy for working with loose soil and fertilizers. When using various sized scoops, you are always sure how much of what you are adding to the plants - this is very important, since too much of something (like fertilizers), nor too little, is not good for African violets.
Pocket knife and scissors - I don't use them often, most often I use them for things not directly related to African violets plants, like opening boxes, bags etc.
Tweezers are great tools for working with African violets. I have them in two sizes. They are very handy for working directly with plants - great for pruning African violets. Also some pests can be easily removed from the plants with tweezers - this is time consuming process in the case of stronger attack by pests, but many African violets growers simply don't like to use chemicals in the form of insecticides and similar. Since tweezers often come in contact with plants, keep them clean - wash thoroughly with hot water after working with plants. Since they are made of metal, boiling them from time to time is good measure in preventing diseases - boiling will sterilize them.
Scalpels are very sharp tools, so be careful when using them. African violets are 'soft' tissue plants, so usually there in no larger forces involved when dealing with them, but, better safe than sorry. If you are working with African violet leaves or you want to propagate African violets using leaf cuttings, scalpel blade is the best tool to make a cut - blade is very sharp and thin and will make least damage to the stems. When repotting African violets, scalpels are very handy for removing unneeded plant's parts like suckers and similar. For removing excess roots, sharp scissors are recommended. After working with scalpels, clean them thoroughly with hot water. From time to time, remove upper part of scalpel blade or change entire blade - they are cheap and 3-pack of spare blades can last for years.