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How do I get rid of the ugly neck (stem) on my plant?

Let your long-necked violet dry out for an extra day or two, so that the leaf stems are limp. Then you are less likely to break off leaves.

Remove the plant from itís pot and slice off the bottom of the root-ball. How much you remove depends on how much you have to lower the plant into the pot to hide the neck. Remove a little more to allow for some fresh soil in the bottom of the pot.

After youíve made the slice at the lower part of the root-ball, take the remaining mass of roots and soil and gently knead away most of the old soil.

When this is done the plant can be put back in the same (cleaned) or a new pot of the same size.

When you are reducing the size of the root-ball you should scrape the outer skin off the neck.. New roots will grow from this part of the stem.

Start the repotting by adding some soil to the bottom of the pot. Then set the plant in the pot and fill the sides with new soil. As you add the soil, tap the pot on the table to let the soil settle into the spaces in the root-ball and down the sides of the pot.

Your aim is to cover the scraped neck of the plant with soil so that new roots will form just below the leaves. When this is done and the plant has been watered, the soil should come up to the level of the bottom leaves and no neck should be showing.

In cases of radical surgery, involving little or no root-ball remaining, it is necessary to enclose the plant in a plastic bag tied at the top for up to a month to give the new roots a chance to get started.