How To Prune An African Violet? (Complete Guide)

Forming a correct and even rosette is a serious task for all growers. Also, an important point in caring for violet is the removal of dying and extra leaves and peduncles.

It is correct to remove leaves and peduncles at home by pruning because breaking them off can harm the stem.

It is necessary to trim all parts correctly, because mistakes in this part of care can lead to disease or even death of the plant, and sometimes infection of neighboring individuals.

how to prune an african violet

Pruning is an important part of grooming

In the care of violets, pruning is one of the most important points of care if the goal is the health, symmetry, and aesthetic beauty of the rosette. By cutting off the leaves and peduncles, the required size of the individual and the required amount of green mass are achieved.

Controlling the amount of greenery is also important for the flowering of Saintpaulias. If there are too many leaves, flower stalks are laid less often, their number is small, and the quality of the flowers themselves is very low. Also, excess greenery leads to incorrect growth of peduncles, they can grow horizontally, not vertically.

Excessive leaves are detrimental to flowering.

Important! You need to cut the leaves very carefully because in the process you can easily harm the violet. And also do not overdo it with this procedure.

Check the guide on Saving An African Violet From Dying.

how to prune an African violet?

The leaves of violets can and should be cut off. Usually pruning is done to heal the violet, heal or reproduce. The reasons why pruning is required can be different:

  1. Dried Leaves. The reasons for this may be various factors, but the affected parts draw juice and strength from the flower, while not performing their functions;
  2. Old people who have lost their turgor. When the leaf ages, it also ceases to be useful for the plant, and only takes away substances;
  3. Withered. Leaves wither from a variety of reasons, most often these are shortcomings in care. They rarely rejuvenate and those that are badly damaged are best removed;
  4. Abundance of greenery. When there are too many leaves, it is desirable to thin out, when they grow too much, the violet blooms less often and worse;
  5. Reproduction. Leaves are also trimmed for rooting. Growing a new individual from a leaf is the simplest and most common method.

Like any action with Saintpaulia, the removal of the leaves must be carried out correctly. Here the opinions of florists differ, because there are several methods and how to choose the right one depends on the situation and the preferences of the florist:

  • pruning is the primary method of removal and is used in all situations. Among the rules are:
    • the trimming tool must be sharp and disinfected;
    • the places of the cuts must be dried, and ideally treated with activated carbon, or wood ash;
    • the size of the spine left, makes the growers argue. Some argue that it is necessary to cut as close to the stem as possible without damaging it. Others are of the opinion that the stem should remain about 0.5 cm for standard varieties, and then dry out on its own.
  • breaking off. Like cropping, this option is suitable for all situations. The essence of the method consists in breaking off the leaf at the base. This method is used by most growers, it allows you to remove the leaves as close to the stem as possible and minimize the likelihood of damage. It is advisable to treat the breakage points with coal;
  • drying and removing already dried leaves. There are some flower growers who do not recognize interference with the life cycle of plants. And if the reason for removal has no danger to the plant (it is not a fungus or an infectious disease), then the leaf is simply allowed to dry and fall off on its own. This method is the least traumatic for violets, but it badly affects the quality of flowering, and also leads to an excess of greenery.

It is up to the owner of the flower to decide whether it is necessary to prune the violet because only he is responsible for it.

Advice! All cut parts of the violet, if they are not damaged, can be used for propagation. In Saintpaulias, reproduction is possible by leaves, peduncles, stepsons, and apex.

See also When To Transplant African Violets?

Pruning African violet for beautiful and abundant flowering

Excess foliage leads to the crumbling of flowers and a decrease in the number of inflorescences and flowers on them. A properly formed rosette, with good proportions, is the key to abundant flowering.

How to properly trim to achieve this effect:

  • trimming must be done from the bottom up ;
  • too large leaves of the first 2-3 rows remove everything;

For nodding flowering, it is important to form a symmetrical, even rosette.

  • in the upper rows, cleaning is carried out if necessary: ​​uneven and too dense rows get rid of extra leaves;
  • when pruning, they strive to achieve symmetry of all parts of the plant  and this is the main indicator in pruning among the upper rows (with the exception of individuals whose symmetry is broken due to lighting);
  • all slices need to be processed . For this, you can use activated charcoal, antifungal agents or wood ash;
  • also cut off the leaves that rise up. An exception may be varieties in which this is the normal position or cases where most of the leaves have risen;
  • if the violet is very overgrown and not three rows are removed, but more. Then it is necessary to add it.

Advice! Once pruned, healthy second and third-row leaves can be used for planting. Then you can immediately get a beautiful flowering and new individuals.

Pruning After flowering

During the flowering period, it is not recommended to carry out any manipulations to remove parts of the violet (except for faded peduncles and dead leaves). All other necessary pruning is carried out after flowering :

  1. First, the remains of the peduncles are cut off . All peduncles, even those that have one or two flowers on them, are removed from the stem itself. They can be cut or broken off;
  2. Wrinkled, burnt and broken leaves are removed immediately after the peduncles. Usually, during flowering, if the leaf is still alive, but damaged, they are in no hurry to remove it, and cut it off upon completion;
  3. The next step is to align the symmetry of the rosette . The lower overgrown leaves are cut off, as well as those that are higher, but violate the symmetry;
  4. After such pruning, especially if the flowering has been long, the violet must be deepened by transplanting or simply sprinkled.

After flowering, Saintpaulias are often emaciated, especially if during this period they did not receive special care. Therefore, pruning must be carried out very carefully, and after it, it is imperative to process all sections because a weakened individual can become infected with diseases through an untreated incision.

Prunig african violet For the winter

Like all plants, violets have a dormant period, which usually occurs in winter. The short daylight hours and the change in temperature conditions contribute to this.

For most violets, winter is a dormant period.

Pruning violets before rest worries many flower growers and there is no consensus of opinion:

  1. Cut off only excess greens;
  2. Remove most of the leaves, leaving only a small rosette;
  3. In winter, in the process of withering away, the excess is removed.

Having chosen an option, the florist does not make a mistake, it all depends on personal experience and preferences.

pruning violets flower Under root

Root pruning is a very difficult process, but it is sometimes used. In this version of pruning, it is important to understand which part of the flower is ultimately saved. If the problem is in the core, it is cut off, but a few lower leaves are left, subsequently, stepsons are formed.

If the problem is in the lower part (root decay or the stem is too long), cut and root the top. In some cases, the root with a small stem is left and stepchildren may form there.

By trimming the crown of the head, you can rejuvenate the violet.

So many people want to know How Often Do You Water An African Violet?


Pruning an african violet is an important process in its care. It is necessary to carry it out as correctly as possible. It is also important to do it on time because untimely pruning can harm the violet.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴