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How to Start New African Violet Plants


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Handle African violets with care when propagating, because they are fragile and prone to rot and stress. Once you cut a plant, you are racing the clock before the cut tissue gets too stressed to use. African violet leaves and plant tissue samples do not harden off when idle; they collapse. Have all your tools assembled beforehand to ensure a quick and smooth process.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Healthy African violet plant
  • Scissors
  • Clean small pot
  • Alcohol wipe
  • Pencil or chopstick
  • African violet potting mix
  • Transparent plastic bag large enough to contain the pot and leaf cutting
  • Rooting hormone
    1. Assemble all of your tools in a warm room, between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A cooler temperature will shock the plant tissue and lessen your chances for successful propagation. Sterilize the scissors and pot with an alcohol wipe.

    2. Fill the clean pot with fresh African violet potting mix and wet the mix with tepid water. The mix should be evenly moist but not sopping wet. If the mix becomes too wet, let it dry down before you use it. Overly wet mix will cause your cutting to rot.

    3. Use a pencil or chopstick to make a hole approximately 2 inches deep in the center of the mix.

    4. Choose a vigorous leaf on a healthy African violet plant. Never propagate from a stressed, infested or sickly plant. The problems inherent in the mother plant will be passed on to the plantlets. Use only the most robust plant tissue to make new plants. Cut the stem with the scissors at least 1 inch below the leaf.

    5. Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone.

    6. Place the stem into the hole in the potting mix. When the leaf is just above the potting medium, tamp the mix down around the stem. The mix should be firm enough to hold the leaf upright but still be airy enough to breathe.

    7. Insert a pencil or chopstick in the pot against the side of the pot. This will be the tent pole for the plastic bag. Slide the planted pot into the transparent plastic bag and loosely close the bag. Do not let the bag touch the leaf. This would create a moist spot and cause rot.
    8. Place your propagation tent in a warm place between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit that gets soft morning light. The propagation tent can get too hot or dry if it receives too much light, which will stress the cutting.
    9. Water or mist the potting mix if it appears dry. You do not need to fertilize. The leaf will develop its own set of roots, may enlarge its leaf mass and will then put out plantlets. It will take eight to 12 weeks for the plantlets to develop their own leaves and root system.
    10. Repot the plantlets. They are ready to be set in individual pots if, when you gently tug on them, they firmly resist.

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