I grow my violets in a cycle of sorts. Before a show, and actually most times when I repot a semi, I strip it fairly far down to only about one or two rows of leaves. I typically begin my repotting-fest somewhere around the holidays, if time allows. I only repot my plants about once a year, more if I intend to show or am trying my best (once again) to grow a sizable, healthy standard. In most cases, within about 4 months, some time around spring, the plants are big, healthy and blooming.
At that time, I evaluate all the plants and decide who's blooming true, who grows and shapes nicely, and I cull out unnecessary duplicates or ones that don't seem vigorous. Then it's time for my spring inventory. I go through each and every shelf and tray, making lists of every plant, leaf and baby, where everything is located, how many I have and what condition they are in. Then, I set up my spring availability list for the business.
As time progresses and leaves are harvested to send across the country, the plants are then kept disbudded to funnel energy into foliage. I generally allow only a few duplicates or non-listed varieties to bloom. Summer is a boring time in the plant room, and most plants look crooked and unsymmetrical from the loss of core leaves, not to mention the lack of flowers, which can easily discourage a die-hard flower junkie like myself. By autumn, the plants are looking a little haggard, growing short necks and sometimes putting on suckers from the constant disbudding. And then by November, they are miniature palm trees, and I am beginning to slow down sales and allowing the plants to bloom before repotting. Some of the heads of bloom are eye-catching, but they still look a bit funny on palm tree plants.
Phase one of my cycle is some serious grooming. I go through each and every plant, grooming until my fingers are dark from soil. I remove old bloom stalks and any leaf which is not in prime condition, and I literally fill buckets of leaves! This makes the plants look even more like palm trees. It also opens up the shelves a bit, leaving more room between plants and reducing the likelihood of powdery mildew. It's a nice view, but it helps remind me that they all need repotting!