You can learn how to deadhead African violets in two easy steps. Remember that even though African violets are relatively low maintenance, they will still benefit from deadheading practices. This way, your UK plants can extend their blooming period and produce healthy flowers.
Besides deadheading, remember to keep your African violets in a stable environment. You can consider growing these plants in the polytunnel to protect them from harsh sunlight, wind, or rain. You should also be able to manage potential problems more comfortably indoors.
How To Deal With Spent Blossoms Of African Violets
Step #1. Checking and removal
To start deadheading African violets, you want to always be on the lookout for the dying or faded blooms. They will look noticeably unhealthy compared to the other flowers, and it’s crucial to remove them immediately to prevent them from competing with the new blooms in terms of nutrients. Removing is essential because African violets benefit from deadheading if you want to ensure healthy flowers and an extended blooming period.
You can remove the dead blooms by holding one and cutting it behind the dead tissue with sharp and sterile scissors. Remember to use sterilised and sharp tools to ensure a clean cut and prevent disease transmission. Speaking of which, it’s not advisable to tear the flower off because it can damage the African violet and potentially encourage a fungal infection.
More so, you want to cut close to where the bloom branches from the main stem. It would also be best to remove the entire stem if this is better for the plant’s appearance. Unlike other flowering plants, you don’t need to leave the old bloom stems on African violets since they will eventually turn brown anyway.
Step #2. Maintenance
After cutting off the faded and dying blooms, you want to check your plants throughout the blooming period continuously. This way, you can always remove the unhealthy blooms as quickly as possible and keep your plants looking neat. More so, it will help the plant draw its energy into producing new blooms that can last for three to six weeks.
Some gardeners in the UK also pinch off the faded flowers. Just remember to remove the parts as close to the base as possible. Removing is also applicable if you use scissors, but be mindful not to cut into the main stem as this can prevent the development of new flowers.
How To Prune African Violets
Another maintenance practice that your plants can benefit from is pruning. However, African violets don’t require heavy cutting or trimming. Your only aim to remove the dead and damaged parts alongside the spent blooms.
Removal helps the new growth on the plant access light and air easier for better development. Cutting back African violets can be at any time of the year as long as you notice the dead parts. As part of maintenance, you can also remove the bottom leaves every month to keep a neat appearance on the plants and produce new leaves.
How To Keep African Violets Blooming
Temperature and light
Besides deadheading, proper maintenance and care are influential to the healthy blooms of your African violets. For example, you can keep the plants in the polytunnel to ensure that the environment is optimal for their flowers. African violets thrive best where it’s between 70 to 90°F at day and 65 to 70°F at night.
Anything below 60°F or above 90 °F will damage the plants. More so, you can control the lighting conditions in the greenhouse. The best-looking flowers should receive indirect sunlight as direct light can burn the plants, but one needs the light in winter, and you can provide this indoors.
Water and fertiliser
What about water and fertiliser needs? It’s ideal for keeping the soil moist but never soggy. You want to use a well-draining medium and container and let the excess water drain when watering. On the other hand, your African violets will benefit from feeding every two weeks in spring, summer, and autumn to boost flowering.
Lastly, remember that the root system of African violets is not ideal for constant replanting or repotting. One of the reasons why your blooms are underwhelming is because these plants do best to be root bound. Refrain from continually repotting the plants because even the stems and leaves get easily broken.
For dividing African violets, gently remove them from the container and cut through the root ball with a sharp and sterile knife. It’s typical to see more than one crown on a mature African violet, so that division can be a helpful propagation method. Then, set the crown slightly above the soil and firm it into place.
Flowering plants like African violets can have an extended blooming period of healthy flowers. To do this, you must know how to deadhead African violets properly. Start by monitoring your plants for faded flowers and then cutting them off using sharp and sterile scissors.
Refrain from tearing the flowers off because this can introduce diseases. Please continue to monitor your plants for dying blooms and remove them throughout the flowering period. This way, your African violet can focus its energy on the production of healthy blooms.