Monday, March 12, 2012

Propagating African Violets

I'm a gardener. When it's warm enough outside I plant things there, but during the winter months I get antsy and want to play in the dirt. Last January I decided to try to propagate my African Violets. I've had good luck keeping African Violets alive, and since they're so expensive to buy in the garden store, growing my own new ones made sense. I looked up some growing tips online and gave it a try. If you have some mature African Violets at home and want to make some violet babies, give this a try.

1. Fill pots with some growing medium. I just used some potting soil.

2. Cut a few mature leaves from your African Violet.

3. Dip the ends of the stems in some Rooting Hormone if you have some, or go without. I dipped some in rooting hormone and left some without and both grew eventually. Rooting hormone seemed to speed up the growing process a tiny bit.

4. Poke your stems about 1-1.5 inches into the growing medium in the pots.

5. Place pots in a pan or dish of some sort so pots can be watered from the bottom. Fill pan about 1/2 inch with water. Never water pots from the top or get the leaves wet (this is true for mature plants as well.) When pan is dry, fill again. Keep some water in the pan at all times.

6. Wait. The first pictures of starting the plants were taken in January 2011. The picture of the small Violet at the bottom was taken January 2012. It takes about 4 months for the first sprouts to appear then many more months for the plant to grow into something of any size. But if you've got the counter space and the time, you can grow nice teacher gifts or the like from just a pot, a little soil and a cutting of a plant that should probably be pruned anyway.

Pots in a pan of water (metal pans rust...)

 Tiny sprout of a new Violet. Look closely to see the little round leaf at the base of the stem.

Larger sprouts around the parent leaf on the left. Plant on the right is several months old.

8-9 month old plant.

Mature flowering plant.

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