This post is for Beth Smith. I figured I’ve been quiet here for so long that I might as well start back up with a special request. Beth asked me how I propagated these things and since I was doing a bunch of new ones and a new way (to me) I decided to make a blog post. I have a few to write about plants and propagation so this is just one of a few that are coming up.
The first thing to do is to choose the proper leaf. You don’t want a leaf too old or too young. You also don’t anything with a blemish. In the picture, the leaves marked ‘X’ are older leaves or blemished and I wouldn’t choose them. I choose the next set in to propagate. The ones marked with ‘O’.
Once you’ve chosen your star leaf…
You want to cut it at an angle. Use a sterilized scalpel and make a good clean cut. This cut is where the roots and the baby leaves will form.
My normal method of propagation is to make a little hole in some damp soil
Then place the leaf.
Some people cut the tip of the leaf off but I usually leave it on. No reason, I just don’t bother to make that extra cut.
A method I had never tried is to place it in a cup of water. It’s not what I usually choose to do but I wanted to try it at least once.
These can be put into bottles or small vases, you want the stem in the water but not the leaf because it will rot. I have no small bottles so I improvised with some tape.
The roots are pretty cool to watch form. Eventually babies will form too. I don’t pull leaves out of the soil to look at them, they are too fragile and best left to do their thing.
I will need to plant it all at some point. I can plant it now, or when babies form. Which is why I go for the soil method most often. I feel like it cuts out a step.
As for what to plant in when you’re doing the soil method. I like using these plastic take out boxes.
I pop some holes in the bottom for drainage and away we go. The cap provides good humidity and I end up having to water less. Which also means I can be more hands off and not worry when I can’t get them when I’m traveling.
The takeout containers aren’t absolutely necessary. These plants will propagate well in just little pots. I do have a couple of grow lights set up but even those aren’t necessary. You can place the leaves in the same place you would put the healthy plants you’re growing. The one difference is that the leaves will appreciate the humidity of a cap. You can even use a simple baggie to create this.
Ok. Go make some new baby African Violets.