Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Propagating African Violets

One day about a month ago, I was messing around with my plants in the windowsill when I knocked off a gorgeous, healthy leaf from one of my African Violets. I was sick about it, so I decided I would try to propagate it. I didn't have much hope at first since I'd tried to propagate a leaf from S. 'melodie' last summer without success. Add to that, there was hardly a stem to speak of on the leaf I knocked off. I stuck it in the dirt as best I could anyway, gave it a little spritz, and covered it with a plastic baggie. I placed it on the counter near (but not too near) a heater, where it could get just a little bit of light from my south window. I was surprised when it didn't rot, and even happier when I noticed recently that roots had begun to form.

After my success with this leaf, I thought it was worth a shot to propagate S. 'melodie', which hasn't been looking so good in the past couple months. I worry it might continue downhill, so perhaps it was best to take a couple of the healthiest-looking leaves to propagate. That was exactly what I did. (This propagation was before the drastic surgery I performed in removing 30 leaves).

I sterilized a paring knife with hydrogen peroxide before cleanly slicing off two leaves. They were small, as all of the big leaves are steadily fading.
I then stuck the leaves in dirt, spritzed them a tiny bit, and slid a plastic baggie over each one.
The other day, I was delighted to find that they all had rooted!

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