Excited Newbie Alert! (Getting Started with Leaves Soon)

claire25(7)March 28, 2013

Hi everyone,

First, I just want to say "thanks" to all of you a.v. experts on here. I am a long time lurker who has recently taken the plunge into (attempting) to start some new african violets from leaves. The wealth of information about leaf propagation on this forum that I've read about on old message threads has been so helpful.

I do have one concern that I haven't seen addressed on the threads I've read: my leaves will be arriving in the mail, and I assume several days will have elapsed since they were cut off the mother plant. Does anyone advise placing the leaves in water to rehydrate them before placing them in their rooting medium? If so, for how long? Or are leaves received in the mail from reputable nurseries in generally good shape and ready to be planted?

Thanks for any advice!


PS Aside from one NOID Optimara that has been growing like a weed for me for several years, and several Russian hybrids that I bought via mail-order this past fall, I have had very little experience with African violets. But now I think I have been "bitten by the bug"! I have a lot of experience with orchids and I am absolutely giddy at the prospect of growing a blooming houseplant that, unlike orchids, grows fast, blooms often, and (best of all) doesn't have to be carted to the sink or bathtub every time it needs to be watered! :D

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irina_co(z5 CO)

Claire -

it doesn't matter if they came from the nursery - or ebay or whatnot.

I would dip each leaf in a clorox solution (1 clorox :3 water), swish it there, rinse it in another bowl, and put it for sometime in a lukewarm water with a bit of sugar in it - depends on how wilted it is - may be for 10 min. I will recut the leafstalk to 1 inch with a fresh razor blade - and then it goes into a soilless mix in solo cup, or a small square pot with a label. They all go into a plastic box with a barely moist piece of acrylic blanket on a bottom, got sealed - and somewhere under the lights. Natural light is OK as long as it doesn't not get direct sunlight. 2 moths later you have rabbit ears sticking out - and you can move them in the open.

If you restart your own plant - just cut the leaf and stick it in. You do not need to go through the procedure.

Looks like you will have all your horizontal surfaces in a house covered with violets.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:09PM
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Wow, thank you so much, Irina! That is very clear--thanks for the step-by-step. I am planning to use a couple large throwaway-type plastic containers (think of the kind that pre-cooked rotisserie chicken is sold in) as my "greenhouses" with smaller containers (probably yogurt-size, because I have many of them) within. The idea of using a moist piece of acrylic blanket inside for humidity is a good one--thank you.

Regarding having violets taking over my house, you may be right, but goodness I hope not, LOL! I already think my poor husband is at his wit's end over the quantity of plants I have in here. But we shall see--I hope very much to have "rabbit ears" at least to brag about in a few months. :)


    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:30PM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

Last fall, my leaf orders came after two or three days in the mail and were all very fresh and ready to go. I washed them and made a fresh angled cut, then put them in solo cups with holes made in the bottom. I use Miracle-Gro AV mix with close to equal part perlite. I used to use half mix and half perlite, but I have changed to using two parts mix and one part perlite. I also use a lot of make shift containers, the foil baking pans with plastic lids at the grocery store make good ones too. I have only lost a couple of leaves since I started all this last fall and now I have tons of babies and small plants. For the miniature leaves I put them in condiment cups (with holes) and even tiny coffee creamer containers. I kept them all covered and they did just great. Irina's tips are great too, I have learned a lot from her posts.
I have a Photobucket album of my leaf propagation adventures, link is below. Good luck!
Susan. (Perle_de_Or)

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Propagation Album

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 1:08PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Susan -

You are going to have A LOT of them!

Happy Easter!


    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 6:52PM
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