You’ll be placing the leaf stems in here. Applying a rooting hormone to plant cuttings artificially beefs up the supply of auxins and helps the plant to grow stronger roots. A clear glass or plastic jar with a top as wide or wider than the bottom of the jar allows for easy monitoring of the water and roots as they begin to form. Propagation of African violets to gain more plants of the same variety is normally done by leaf propagation. It earned a reputation as a finicky plant, difficult to care for and prone to sudden death. Select leaves from the middle row of the plant to use as cuttings. They remind me of the grandness of Africa. The new plant rosettes will form from this area. This was exactly my question as well – re how to deal with neck of my mature and beautiful African violet. Wendl.) As cultivation practices developed, Saintpaulia became popular for its frequent mutations, developing unique flowers and leaf shapes that have gained footing, resulting in mass production. You’d want to plant that neck/stalk in some soil so that the bottom leaves of the violet are touching the soil. Old African violet . I just noticed a new plant forming on the neck of my violet. African Violet Diseases. Generally, at this point, it’s best to discard the plant. Wow, leaves under the water? The best container to use is a 2 inch pot. If repotting is necessary or desired, aim to do so in the spring of the year. I take cuttings regularly and have limited success, mostly because I don’t “speak” houseplant as fluently as I do the language of the ones outside in my garden! To my delight, a new plant grew up from the stem about a month later. Cold water has come into contact with the violet, leaving telltale damage. Now, stick the leaf (stem side down) into the mix, positioning the leaf directly in the center of the pot. If they’re happy then they’re good! Nowadays, chloramine is also used. You never know when you might need them. Step 1: Remove and trim leaf. I’d wait until the spring time before seriously considering it, and even then you can safely wait until those leaves that are forming now are a larger size. Learning to water an African violet (Saintpaulia ionantha) properly is essential to growing a healthy, long-lived plant. The media should be moistened vermiculate or 50% bagged African violet mix and 50% perlite. In fact, everyone seems to know that African violet babies come from leaves. Room-temperature water is ideal for African violets. What type of rooting medium did you use? Fill a wide-mouthed container with lukewarm water. The leaves in those middle rows are the best candidates for cuttings. You can propagate African violets from seed, but it does require a couple of specific conditions. Plants That Root Easily in Water for Replanting, Washington State University Extension: Taking Slips for Propagation, How to Root a Viburnum "Robustum" Cutting in Water. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment, it means so much , I have noticed the last couple of day that my African Violets has holes on the leaves and could like black caviar poo what is this Thank you Kind Regards Mary Agius, All signs point to this being an insect infestation Mary, likely some type of worm/caterpillar that produces frass (waste) as you’ve described. Carefully place the stem of each leaf into the rooting medium. Hi Matt, These look like tiny new plants growing from the leaf axils. African Violets Propagation Directions. Shorten the leaf stems to about 1 inch using a knife, your fingernails, or sharp snips. I’ll fill that container and let the violet drink, then let it sit for awhile until it’s had time to dry out a little before starting the process over again. In fact, keeping these plants healthy often comes down to watering. Hi, Here is more about what we do. I’d shoot for a four inch pot rather than a smaller or larger one. Make sure to remove as much of the leaf stem as possible from the crown to prevent rot in the host plant. A bit of Epsom salt can help to lighten the soil even more. They have a well-documented history and are relatively easy to care for, but propagating them from cuttings is an exercise in pleasure. For close to four years I was handling hundreds of plants (in addition to the rest of our stock) and am proud to say I lost a mere handful. The second answer would be, African Violets on wicks grow faster in my personal experience. Fertilizer scorching. Add just enough water to the potting mix to dampen it. Firm the soil around the stems so that the leaves are upright and in place. This board contains articles, ideas and tips on African violet propagation, America's favorite houseplant. I am entertained by the fact that one leaf will produce as many as three or four new plants. It should look like a delicious crumbled cookie concoction. It’s also why you typically find African violets sold Matryoska-like in a no-frills pot stacked within a decorative pot lacking drainage holes. I know it sounds dumb but is there any way try to re-root it by cutting the stem off? Repotting these violets once or twice a year is helpful to remove the unsightly neck. All plants that produce flowers also produce seeds and hence so does the African Violet. There are three main ways that African Violets can be propagated: Leaf cuttings, seed, and tissue culture. It’s funny how determined African violets are to reproduce, isn’t it? I put a leaf in soil for propagation but not deep enough. This typically happens to plants left near a window during the winter months. This fact makes African violets relatively unique in the plant world … Whether you need more violets in your own home, or are planning ahead towards Christmas, Mother’s Day, or Easter, establishing African violet cuttings is a surprisingly easy exercise. Oct 27, 2013 - The African violet leaves that I've had in water since November of last year (about 6 months ago) have sprouted roots and little baby plants. I generally trust plants to know what they’re doing and only intervene if it’s necessary. If you’re wondering, “Can I propagate an African violet in water?”—the answer is YES! COPYRIGHT © 2021 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Use a pencil or any similarly-sized object to poke holes through the soil. Thanks again! I have a violet leaf I stuck in water to see what would happen. Some people say to imagine it’s like oatmeal, but I’ve never grabbed a handful of oatmeal before. I got mine from the salad bar at a local grocery store. Thank you again. You only need a few items for the project: The scale of this operation is up to you, the gardener. Went to water and it fell out of the pot. Remember that without any roots on a leaf cutting it’s not pulling up much, if any, moisture from the soil, so it’ll sit in consistently wet soil and slowly rot. I recently put some African Violet leaves in soil to try too. Some will develop roots as they grow. My then 17 year old daughter brought me a gift basket with a beautiful African violet and some other pretty, green “house” plants. If the leaves you cut are too tall to fit inside the container, there’s an easy fix for that. I have others but this is the best one. Thank you for all of the information! She holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban and regional studies. The leaves forming from the very center of the plant are the youngest, and the largest leaves on the outside are the oldest. Lightly dip each stem into the rooting hormone. When several roots about 1 inch long develop, typically after a few weeks, the African violet is ready for transplanting into a growing medium like potting soil. I used a few two-inch pots that were leftover from some succulents I purchased a few months ago. Many African violets sucker or produce side shoots. Remember that starting from a cutting is to start a plant with almost no need for water, since it has few roots to pull it up and almost no material to spread that water to. They look kind of like alien jellyfish. They really prefer temperatures 72 degrees or higher and humidity. It sounds like you’re describing something called a neck. I made a short video showing how it’s done and there is a step-by-step tutorial (below) as well. If the water could potentially contain bacteria, boil the water and allow it to cool to kill unwanted microorganisms. The ideal temperature range for rooting African violet cuttings is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I like to let my violets dry out a little, but I never let them sit bone dry. Let me know how this progresses, it’s an interesting scenario! Hi Ruby, thanks for reading! And in a few months I’ll have perfectly fine gifts to give to people for holidays and birthdays – and you can bet your bottom dahlia I’ll teach them how to propagate their own cuttings. Unfortunately, the native cloud-forest habitat of Saintpaulia is under threat from encroaching agriculture. How are your cuttings doing? Thank you for all the information. For simplicity’s sake I harvested leaves from a single plant, five total leaves for propagation. They were also a favorite plant to bring home, and in the years I’ve spent caring for these tough yet delicate plants, I’ve learned the ins and outs of the African violet. [1] X Research source Vermiculite and perlite help your soil retain moisture. The mother leaf died first, then the baby… For the soil I used sphagnum moss and perlite, all was in the greenhouse. Thank you for such a great article. Good question. One easy way to water an African violet is to place the pot in a container with no more than an inch (2.5 cm.) I’ve never seen that, what a funky happening. Nowadays, chloramine is also used. Go to www.avsa.org to learn more about growing African violets! Once you have chosen which leaves to harvest for propagation, proceed to snap off the tender leaf stem from the African Violet plant or use a sharp clean knife to cut the tender leaf stem off of the African Violet … Nine main species and eight subspecies have been identified. There are a few important tips to keep in mind: Violets do not react well to cold water; it can cause their roots to shrivel and their foliage to die off. I love African violets. Matt Suwak was reared by the bear and the bobcat and the coyote of rural Pennsylvania. Propping up a few grow lights about 20 inches away from the plants is beneficial. I’ve used it for other small projects when in a bind and it works just fine! African violets are very easily propagated from leaf. So long as a few basic conditions are met, Saintpaulia is an amiable houseplant. Just add 7 drops to every quart of water. It offers a slightly acidic composition that drains well and is full of rich organic material, making it useful for more than African violets. African violets (Saintpaulia spp. I'm letting them get a little bigger before I try transplanting them to well-moistened vermiculite to help them develop soil roots. In fact, you can root them in water. Now what? The soil should be… Read more ». 23 years ago I was in the hospital after breast cancer surgery and reconstruction. Choose a Leaf The African violet leaves that I've had in water since November of last year (about 6 months ago) have sprouted roots and little baby plants. It is vital that the container can close tightly, locking up the potted cuttings in a warm and humid environment. O hope they all make it! Jul 1, 2017 - The African violet leaves that I've had in water since November of last year (about 6 months ago) have sprouted roots and little baby plants. The difference between it and vermiculite is insignificant, and I can also readily buy perlite in these convenient 8-quart sized bags. When rooting in medium , if the cut is made diagonally on the upper surface of the leaf petiole, you are likely to get more clones. By your article am I watering them too much? I'm letting them get a little bigger before I try transplanting them to well-moistened vermiculite to help them develop soil roots. It can be and you probably don’t even need the rooting hormone if it’s an old plant, though it wouldn’t hurt to add some. My violets are crowded, and they reseeded themselves last summer. Perhaps more than other houseplants, Saintpaulia benefits from a quarter turn or so every week to adjust what areas of the plant are receiving sunlight. It wil… Hi Kathy! I’ve always defaulted to perlite in the past. Use the plastic plant tags (or whatever support you have chosen) to act as a stand, ensuring the leaces do not collapse into the soil. Other problems could involve too much light, or the plant simply died. You have probably seen this done in water but you can also root them directly in potting mix. African violet propagation in water. Uncredited photo: Shutterstock. Pull a piece of cellophane taut over the top and secure. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any leaves that have… Read more ». To stir it up, any household mixing bowl will do. African Violets are fairly tough plants and are not known for being prone to diseases. Will I have babies anyway? I may never delve into the jungles of the Congo or race across the Serengeti on a wildebeest’s back, but at least I’ll have my Saintpaulia to help me imagine the wonder of it all. Once you’ve mastered how to water African violets, half of your work is done. Choose 4-5 leaves from one African Violet plant if possible, otherwise 2 leaves are also fine to start with. The plants actually bloom more powerfully and regularly when rootbound. The plant was shown in Germany in 1893 and Britain in 1894, but it didn’t make its way to the United States until the 1920s. I suspect that I might have overmoistened it… Please advise. By placing the plants in a well-drained rooting medium and containing them in a mini-greenhouse with some bright light, you are effectively duplicating their native cloud forests. In time African violet leaf cuttings should produce a new plant, but using rooting hormone will speed things along considerably faster. Always remember that African violets are typically better off being a little dry rather than too wet. As an addicted propagator of African Violets, I enjoyed your article. If you got roots to sprout, then this should suffice to start a new plant! Walter discovered the plant in 1892 (the first year a game of basketball was played and when Coca-Cola was incorporated, for the history buffs out there) and sent seeds to his father in Germany. That’s fascinating and I haven’t seen anything like it before, either. To make the transfer with the best success and with the least danger for your developing plant, use a small butter tub cup containing a bit of water. Your ultimate goal at this point is to do your best to mimic the natural habitat Saintpaulia originates from. A four inch pot seems to be the ideal “not too big, not too small” size for African violets. After the time’s up, drain any excess water. It isn’t necessary to re-pot violets with a neck. This can be prevented by keeping irrigation water off of the foliage and using water that is room temperature (“African Violet Diseases”, 2016). The edges of the leaves may turn upwards, turn yellow, or develop holes. This upbringing keeps him permanently affixed to the outdoors where most of his personal time is invested in gardening, bird watching, and hiking. My daughter gave me this violet 23 years ago while I was in the hospital after breast cancer surgery. GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. For this project I mixed 2 parts perlite to 1 part African violet potting mix. Clancey Moore. Each “ring” of leaves will produce one round of blooming flowers. Take a healthy African Violet plant and cut a few leaves. It is relatively easy to propagate African violets vegetatively by rooting cuttings; a leaf with an intact petiole, or leaf stem, can develop roots if properly placed in a rooting medium. Check out - African violet supplies and resources. Position the jar so the cutting will receive bright but indirect light. I don’t know what I am doing wrong… My propagated baby did not last long…. The fine roots of an African violet need air, which cannot penetrate a soggy wet soil mass. It could well have been an over watering issue. Sorry if this was confusing! The temperature has dropped too drastically. However, this is by far the least common propagation method used by growers. If the roots or petiole become brown and mushy, discard the cutting and water, disinfect the jar and start the process again with fresh cuttings. It’s actually quite easy to water a plant from the bottom. African violets should be allowed to dry out between each watering for best results. But plastic forks – or even toy Army men – could be used. Please share with us in the comments! The second method, also known as the inversion method, is most effective. Larvae like this love to munch on leaves, and though it’s not extremely likely that you’ll see these types of insects indoors, it’s not impossible. One of my favorite aspects of Saintpaulia is that repotting is generally not required, and often is discouraged. Too much longer and the plant could have a difficult time establishing, and roots that are shorter can be far too delicate for planting. If the roots grow too long, the African violet will have a more difficult time tolerating transplanting. Empty any excess water remaining in the bowl of saucer and let the pots drain while you get the cuttings ready. I did rot my stem off once using this method but I didn’t throw out the plant. Then wait for the water to drain out from the bottom and return the violet to its home. Quick question. It can be tricky to get your violets to bloom so much, I’ve only been able to get one plant to do that for me, but I’ll take it. Now I have dozens of new babies crowding my bigger pots. Gloves and eye protection are always a safe precaution, but not a requirement. No roots just a stalk. African violets prefer their soil to be on the dry side of moist. And just think, if enough take you can hand them out as gifts to people, and they can all share in the legacy! Miracle-Gro 8-Qt. In my long list of “favorite plants,” the African violet sits comfortably somewhere near the top. A little confused . To sprout these tiny seeds, it’s good to use a light soil mixture of peat, vermiculite and greensand. Transfer these plants into a one-size-up container with a 1 part African Violet Mix and 1 part rooting medium mix, the same as the one we put together for the cuttings. A healthy, firm and mature -- but not old -- leaf from the center of the African violet is the best choice for rooting. Thank you very much for this information how to take care of African violets! It is believed that the application of cold water to the leaf causes the cell vacuoles to collapse. GardenSafe Take Root Rooting Hormone is one of my favorites, and it’s available on Amazon. There’s a short list of ailments that can plague the African violet, but they are uncommon when you relax and allow the plants to do what they naturally do. Water on the foliage can cause dieback, leaf spotting, and other problems. African violet leaves will burn -- or develop dry, brown spots and fail to develop roots -- if the cutting is in a too-bright spot. This is a combination of chlorine and ammonia, and it does not dissipate without filtering or special treatment. African violets prefer bright but indirect light. I tried to put the leaf in a plastic container and the dirt molded!? Place the rooted leaf in the vessel so the roots are spread. 3. You don’t need to coat the entire leaf stem in hormone powder, as long as about half of the length of the stem gets a fine coating. (Shh, I used one from our baking set; don’t tell my fiance!) The rooting hormone is unnecessary for African violets. Place the potted and soon-to-be-beautiful African violets into the clamshell containers. This morning I found it stripped of nearly all its leaves! Another lesson in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – for those plastic supports, I used old plant tags. African violet leaf cuttings can successfully produce roots in water or soil. (Cling wrap works excellent!) In fact, it’s quite simple. An incessant questioning of “Why?” affords him countless opportunities to ponder the (in)significance of the great and the small. The blade of the leaf should just touch the surface of the rooting medium. Leave the end of the cut African violet petiole to callus in open air for an hour before you put it in water to help it form roots more readily. 1. In my experience, there are two methods to effectively water violets, and one vastly outperforms the other. Good luck and let us know how it goes! A bucket or planting container without drainage holes will also do the job. Its survival along with my own has been very symbolic for me. Add water to replace any that evaporated to keep the leaf stem and roots submerged. Propagation . Nice work keeping that going for 23 years, that’s very impressive. This was because it required plenty of bright light, but couldn’t tolerate the chill, drafty windows of New England homes. Do not plant African violets too deep. I have a plant that I have had for almost 5 years. A few pieces of horticultural or aquarium charcoal placed in the bottom of the container can minimize or eliminate the need for water changes. Do I leave it or remove it? The leaf will produce a plantlet, but when I pot it into soil, it dies. Your goal is to remove the bottom of the root ball in an an amount equal to the length of the neck; in other words, if your violet has 1″ neck you want to remove 1″ of soil and roots from the bottom of the root… Read more », Awesome post! I think you’ve got a good system with those pots, essentially letting the plants do the watering themselves. I’m not sure what I’d do with that baby plant — has it grown in the last week? To re-pot an African violet with a neck, remove the plant from its container. Finally, to create a mini greenhouse for your cuttings to grow inside, you will need a clear plastic to-go container, the clamshell variety. Your African Violet leaf should still be waiting patiently on the side at this point. It is a great boomer but the stem has gotten so long that it won’t stand up right anymore. They prefer a west-facing window during the summer and a south or east-facing window during the winter months. But you can also pick it up at your local nursery, or find a suitable mixture online. It may sound intimidating to propagate an African Violet in the first place, but it is actually really simple – even beginning gardeners can do it. Could you please elaborate? Allow the soil to soak up the water completely. I came here to find an answer as to when I’d pot these. Watering is the area where African violets are most temperamental. African Violet Potting Soil Mix. I also had some pots that had a wick system to continually wick water. Many times African […] Watering an African Violet is different than watering your average houseplant, in that, it wants to be watered from the bottom. The only stipulation is that every two months or so you must water the plant from the top so that water drains from the bottom, removing any mineral buildup. National Geographic author Andrew Evans has written an eye-opening look at the delicate state of African violets in their native habitat, where unscrupulous gatherers are plucking rare species from the jungle to sell to collectors. A rather innocuous problem, a lack of flowers typically indicates that the plant is getting too little light. Why? As described in the article, inversion is a method of watering that involves setting a pot with holes in the bottom into a container of water to allow it to be absorbed from the bottom up. Seeds are never perfect replicas of the parent plant. Question: I root my leaf cuttings in water. As for those plastic pots, drainage holes are a must, and you’re looking for something small. Do I keep it under water till the roots are longer? Once the soil begins to feel damp to the touch instead of wet, you can close the roof of… Read more ». Yes a regular clear plastic container will work fine, its main purpose is to create a humid environment for the cuttings. To minimize shock to the vulnerable African violet root system, handle the plant gently and keep the growing medium very moist for at least a week after planting. But what confuses me is the varieties that do not grow from the center crown into a circular manner, but rather as other plants do… Read more ». That said, if you are going to replant them and carefully divide the multiple crowns, do it during the… Read more ». of water. I’ve never had this happen before. so your article will help me deal with all those beautiful, stripped-off leaves I found on the sunroom floor this morning. Cloudy water indicates bacterial activity, so replace it with fresh water as soon as possible. Should I keep it submerged until the baby leaves are bigger? Very interesting! What do I do with it? Position this container in an area that is bright, but not hot. Never Use Cold Water. By far, the most common way to kill an African violet is to overwater it. Carefully close the lid tight, ensuring that the cuttings and pots all fit inside of the container. It’s best to use a mature leaf, but not one that’s old and tough. Room-temperature water is ideal for African violets. See our TOS for more details. Soil should be porous and well-draining. I recommend filling the bottom of the container with about a quarter inch of water with the “roof” of the greenhouse open. Even inexperienced growers can quickly produce additional plants and expand their collection. I left the stem way too long but it has developed roots. Do we drill drainage holes in the part where we start the leaves. I’m glad the stripped leaves can be useful to carry on the legacy of your powerful and long-lived violet. Then we’ll all have something in common. I’d carefully wipe the leaves to remove the frass, and check every leaf and stem for pests. Be sure that you cut as close to the root as possible. Remove a fresh leaf from the plant that you wish to propagate. The second and vastly superior method is to fill the tray or container that your violets sit in with water. Methods of Propagation There are several ways that you can propagate African Violets. You don’t need much, only a fine coating. Drainage is always important for potted plants, but if you’re careful with your watering and don’t put in too much you should be fine without the drainage. – healthy African Violet plant – flower pot with potting mix – a shallow bowl of water – scissors – water. Remove it from the water after about 20 minutes, or until the potting mix is moist. Growing African violets from leaves or cuttings is a simple propagation method for new plants. ... water them in, and let them sit for an hour or more to let the mix absorb the water before using. For this kind of delicate work, I prefer to use pruners, like the Fiskars Softtouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snips. I told about a 23 year old violet in my sunroom that my husband’s puppy stripped of most of its leaves in order to bury her rawhide chew. I appreciate and will try what you suggested! After snapping or cutting off the chosen leaf near the base of the plant, make a diagonal cut with a sharp, clean and sterile knife or other cutting tool so only about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of petiole remains below the leaf. I may have to try to start a plant from a leaf cutting. There are a few things you can do to ensure you are properly watering your violet. #avsa #africanviolets #indoorplants #houseplants #saintpaulia. Well, they’re really easy to grow (and split and propagate) as long as you follow a few easy guidelines (and if you don’t know what to do, check out my Growing African violets post here), and they’re pretty! Wicking African Violets for Better Water Delivery. . 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