African violets are a great addition to your houseplants collection and you want to keep them free of spent blooms. Now, do you deadhead African violets or just wait for them to pull off naturally?
Deadheading the flowers of African violet is an essential part of owning this plant since it allows room for new buds to grow. This process is pretty straightforward and with just the right tool, you can complete it neatly and quickly.
In this article, you’ll know when to start deadheading your African flowers and how to do it. We’ll also share some tips on how you can get this plant to bloom again, so stick around.
Flowers of African violet spread their beauty for two to three weeks or more. An early sign that it’s about time for them to let go is they start to go limp and gloomy. They’ll have that faded color that’ll turn brown, eventually.
When this happens, you can start deadheading or cutting down the spent flowers to allow room for new ones to bloom. It’s good since the remaining ones are to receive all the nutrients, which aid in extending their blooming period and keeping them healthy.
Now, it’s important to note that not all of the plant’s flowers will wither at the same time. Only trim the ones you think need to come off first so you still have a blossom to adore.
Now that you know when to deadhead your African flowers, it’s time to be oriented with the process.
While it’s possible to cut down the dying flower by pinching it with your fingernails, it’s best to use appropriate tools to get an even and clean cut. You may use trimming scissors or a nice pair of manicure scissors to get this process done.
This will lessen the risk of potentially breaking the other fine stems, as they’re a little brittle. Now, before you cut the spent flower, sanitize the clippers first to lower the risk of getting the cuts infected with fungi or bacteria.
As you’ll notice, the flowers of African violet grow from a stalk, separate from the leaves, that branch out into stems of several individual flowers.
Not all flowers in the main stalk die down at the same time. Meaning, you’ll only need to cut the stem of the one that has faded already and not the entire stalk to which it branches out.
However, when all the flowers in the main stalk have withered, it’s best to clip the main stalk down.
You might also notice closed or compact flowers. They’re newer blossoms that have yet to open, so don’t cut them off.
Remember that spent flowers of African violet are the ones that may look unhealthy, limp, or discolored. They’re your target, so keep an eye on them.
When you’ve spotted the spent flowers, proceed to deadhead them. Again, be extra careful so as not to break the leaves and other stems.
To do this, place the blade of your cleaned clipping tool to where the stem of the spent flower has split off from the main stalk. Firmly cut it down and do the same to the rest of the faded flowers so you can have a fresher and prettier look for this plant.
There’s nothing to fret about losing some flowers of your precious African violets since new ones will bloom again in six to eight weeks’ time. To make sure this’ll happen, you have to create conditions that your plant will like.
Here are a few important things you can do for your African violet to bloom again.
Direct sunlight can burn the leaves of African violet while too little sunlight can cause this plant to produce fewer to no flowers.
To help your plant bloom, expose it to bright and indirect sunlight—they love it. You may place it by the north or east side of your window.
You can also supplement it with grow lights, especially during winter. Let it sit for a maximum of 16 hours and allow eight hours of darkness to trigger blooming.
African violets prefer moist soil but don’t like to soak in the wet. They don’t like to dry out either, especially in between watering sessions.
Hence, to create a condition that this plant will love, you can place the pot into a container with one-inch water. Allow the bottom root of the plant to suck up warm water for an hour before taking it off.
Since African violets usually live in small pots, there’s not much nutrient reserve they can consume. Thus, to help them continue blooming, it’s essential to supply them with balanced nutrients.
Fertilizers formulated for African violets are out in the market. You can purchase one and ensure that they contain all the major nutrients your plant needs: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
When an African violet has outgrown its pot, it’s time to transfer it into fresh potting soil. It’s recommended to do the repotting at least twice a year or more.
African violets bloom well when they’re root-bound. Thus, it’s best to repot it to small pots, preferably with a size of about one-third of this plant’s diameter.
Do you deadhead African violets? If not, it’s about time to realize that you should.
Deadheading not only gives this plant a fresh look but also allows new flowers to bloom quickly. Therefore, houseplant lovers should deadhead their African violets whenever necessary.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.