Prune African Violet
There is only one major rule regarding pruning African violets - if it is ugly, remove it :o)
When you prune your African violet, try to keep it symmetrical when viewing from above. This will help in keeping your plants beautiful, even with reduced leaves and reduced flower bloom.
What to remove when pruning African violets?
When pruning African violets, always remove:
- old, ill or wilting leaves or flowers. They don't look nice, they take nutrients from main plant and can cause rest of plant go bad. Removing old leaves is standard procedure, but if you notice wilting leaves in greater number, try to find cause of this - usually some pests, too much water and soggy soil or similar reasons can cause this.
Note: if you have problems with aphids and similar pests, removing leaves with pests is not enough - not even throwing away entire plant is not solution - most often to be sure, you have to treat chemically plants, pots and area where you keep your plants. This is not popular, but often it is the only solution that, more or less, guarantee you that pests are gone.
- suckers. Suckers are baby plants that grow from the main plant. They also take nutrients from the plant and cause it to grow slowly with less flowers. When repotting your plants, remove every sucker you can find. You can try to plant sucker plants in good potting soil (or you can first let them root in water), but for propagation of African violets it is better to use leaf cuttings or seeds.
- healthy leaves. There are two reasons to cut away healthy leaves from African violets: African violet grow healthy but asymmetrically and by removing healthy leaves we want our plants to achieve symmetrical appearance when viewed from above - these leaves can be used for propagation after rooting. Second reason is that we need some healthy African leaves for propagation, while keeping our African violet plants symmetric and pleasing to see.