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African Violets from leaf cuttings


By balcony


African Violets from leaf cuttings

I’ve been growing AVs for many, many years & through another gardening forum (MyFolia) I entered into contact with a member who sent me a few plants of his own – but these were mini AVs – up until then I’d never even seen a mini AV let alone grown one!

I may have written a blog on here about them shortly after they arrived! I sent him one of my Amaryllis bulbs which he was delighted with, never having grown these beautiful bulbs before!

In June 2016 I took some cuttings of them & they rooted very easily. I potted them up & now the survivors are growing happily in the small window in our kitchen.

I’ve grown AV hybrids, (the type you can buy in supermarkets & GC all year through), since we moved into this flat over 15 years ago.

Though they don’t get any heat they spend the whole year round in the small kitchen window over our sink. The windows looks towards West North-West & for a few hours a day during the summer they get the late afternoon sunshine till the sun sets. For 8-9 months of the year they get no sunshine though they do get good indirect light all year round.

So you see you don’t need special lighting or extra heating to get them to grow & flower. Mine flower every year – though no doubt they would flower better & longer if they had extra heat & light!

I’m going to include some photos of what I did to get the plants I have from the cutting I took in June:

June 2016:

I put the leaves into plastic cups which I’d covered with kitchen foil. If done carefully the leaves will stand upright & the base of the leaves will be kept away from the water in the cup.

Make a small hole in the foil & carefully push the stem through the hole into the water. As the stems are very fragile this must be done carefully. Some weeks later roots will begin to form. A few more weeks will pass before the first little plantlets can be seen. At that point they can be planted up individually.

Rooted cuttings:

Potting up in August 2016:

September 2016:

I had several different plants that I propagated in this way. Unfortunately I had some casualties but as I had anticipated this I took more leaf cutting than I really needed.

October 2016:

I’m looking forward to seeing them flower for the first time. It’s always a good feeling to see a tiny plant grow & flower from a (leaf) cutting!

November 2016:

The above photo is of the big hybrids most people are familiar with.

The next two photos are of two of the mini AVs (unfortunately they are not of the cuttings I took in June!):

One of the advantages of growing them this way is that you will get a clone of the mother plant in the same way as when you take a stem cutting – with the added bonus of getting more than one plant from each leaf cutting!

I’ve included a photo of the kitchen window from outside where you can see the AVs, both the big hybrids (bottom) as well as these mini AVs.(top)

December 2016:

A mini AV:

A hybrid AV:

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Your blog is very interesting and very timely. I have my AV leaf cuttings set up exactly as you describe on my kitchen window sill with roots starting to sprout. I just added another leaf yesterday from a mother plant that is suffering crown rot. I now have a time frame as to when to expect to see flowers.

11 Jan, 2017


that's an interesting way to do it . I've always put the leaf into compost snuggled up to the part where the blade joins the petiole. that works well too.

they are lovely plants and my mum used to have them and when she died I took them over. I have about 10 now.

11 Jan, 2017


Have you visited the African Violet center at Terrington St. Clements on the A17 David its interesting ,I haven't visited for ages ....

11 Jan, 2017


Love the use of the foil to keep them above the water. Great blog

11 Jan, 2017


Thanks for your comments & likes on my blog!

I've also grown them in compost like you say, Seaburngirl. I get very good results either way!

No, I haven't visited the African Violet centre at Terrington St Clements, Amy. Didn't even know the place existed till you mentioned it! LOL! I've never visited an exposition of Africa Violets. Must be tremendous to see 100s of these lovely little plants in one place!

That's good Bathgate! So you will have lots more plants to enjoy!

Sandra, I once tried using cling film but the results are not nearly as good as the cling film doesn't keep the leaves in an upright position. Kitchen foil is much stronger - while you take care not to make the hole too big otherwise it's no better than cling film!

12 Jan, 2017

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