African violet's leaves are borne in a tight rosette, fanning out from a central stem like spokes in a wheel. When a potted plant is young and grown in adequate light, this stem is not noticeable. When a plant has grown from low light exposure or has grown for a few years, the stem shows itself and the plant becomes top heavy. Also, some of the lower leaves may die and fall off, robbing the planter pot of some of its elegance. Here are two solutions to this problem.
REPOTTING: If the exposed stem is about an inch , the simplest approach is to remove any damaged lower leaves and repot the African violet so that the stem is buried in the potting soil and the existing leaves again are flush with the top of the pot. New roots will form on this buried stem. Now is the time to step up to a bit larger planter in size and a different color or type of planter for design.
REROOTING: If the exposed stem of the potted plant is a few inches high, cut the entire top portion off. Remove about one-third of the lower leaves, dip this cutting in rooting hormone and place it in a container of damp potting soil. Cover the pot with a clear plastic bag, with stakes in the pot to keep the bag from touching the violets leaves. Place the pot in diffused light, rather than direct sunlight. Try to keep the humidity in the bag and then give it about 6 weeks to re-root. Then remove the bag and you will have a rejuvenated African Violet, beautifully potted and ready to display.
African Violets are a popular houseplant choice. Some people think they are hard to manage but they really aren't. Did you know lack of sunlight is the most common reason they fail to flower? Make sure it's indirect and not direct. Water from the top using water warmed to room temp and take care not to wet the leaves. When the soil is dry to the touch, water until the water comes out the potsdrain holes. Let it drain for 20 minutes and then empty the saucer.
With a bit of special attention African violets will be a rewarding house plant.