African violets (Saintpaulia) are native plants from Tanzania, and nurseries commonly sell them as container plants for the home or office environment. African violets prefer a well-lit area, but not direct sunlight; therefore, near a north or east facing window may be the perfect location to grow African violets. They also prefer areas with high humidity. As your African violets become too large for their pots or the plants become too dense and overgrown, it's time to split or divide them. Dividing is also a means for propagating African violets.
Hold off on watering and let the soil dry out a bit. It is easier to remove a plant from its container when the soil is slightly dry. It's also easier to remove the soil from around the roots.
Remove the plant from the container by turning it on its side and gently tugging on the plant. Tapping on the sides also helps, but you may need a knife to separate the soil from the container. Do this on newspaper or another surface you can easily clean.
Brush off the soil, removing as much of it as you can around the rootball so you can better see what you're doing.
Cut right through the root ball and crown of the plant, separating it into smaller plants. Use a utility knife, scissors or pruning knife. Each African violet section should have healthy looking roots and a healthy looking section of the crown and foliage. If your plant has more than one crown, divide the plant in between the crowns, rather than straight through it. Replant the new sections immediately.