Today I want to share with you how you can propagate or grow baby African violets from cuttings. Perhaps you have a beloved grandmother who has a plant that you’d like her to share with you. The process takes some time, but you can easily propagate these beautiful plants.
I’ve always loved the perfect beauty of these delicate violets. I was always fearful of them because I though they were difficult to grow. But, I have found them to be simple and easy to care for especially with a two-piece African violet pot to keep them watered.
I think my fondness for African Violets comes from remembering these lovelies in my great-aunt’s kitchen. I believe my grandmother grew them also, but my memories of her are few and vague. My great-aunt; however, was a part of my life through adulthood. She was the grandmother figure in my life after I lost mine. She never had children; and therefore, my sister and I seemed to fit perfectly into her life. We helped fill a void in her life and she helped fill a void in ours.
Many days after school my sister and I rode the bus to her house. We sat at her small kitchen table and drank Coke out of cold coca-cola shaped glasses and devoured large servings of dessert. She loved dessert as much as any child. In season, fresh flowers always sat on her table. And the African violets sat there blooming all winter long. Oh, how I wish I had known then how to take cuttings and keep them forever. So, I’d love to share this process with you and perhaps you will keep an heirloom plant as a result.
Below is my mother plant. I purchased her at Lowes and placed her in this African Violet pot that I found at my Dad’s house. Unfortunately, she is not blooming at the time of this photograph, but typically she is filled with deep purple blooms.
The first thing you will want to do is cut off a leaf from the healthy mother plant. Cut the leaf at an angle and try to get as much stem as possible. Next, you will want to cut the top of the leaf off as you see below. The plant’s energy will then go into growing the roots.
You can add a root boosting agent to speed things up, but I usually just place mine in water, set it on the windowsill, and wait.
When you see that several roots have formed, you can now place your leaf in potting soil. (You can also separate the babies at this point and place them each in their own pot.) The African Violet pot hold water in the bottom and this will keep your plant watered. My favorite fertilizer to add to the water is Optimara Violet Food. I found out about this fertilizer from a lady selling gorgeous African Violets at the Nashville Flea market. This product was theirs and it is made in Nashville, TN. You will want to follow the package directions on the plant food. One box makes 6 gallons, so this is likely the only box you’ll need for a very long time.
Place the plant back in a windowsill and wait.
After several weeks you will start to see little baby violet leaves start to form around the “mother leaf.”
Once they reach this size, it is okay to cut out the “mother leaf” as I just did below.
Eventually, your plant will fill out and you will have another adult African Violet plant!
The image below was taken several months after I cut off the “mother leaf”.
Do you have fond memories of these beautiful plants too?