how to start african violets without soil

michael1846(6)June 19, 2013

Ok so I'm sick and tired of everyone starting there leaves in soil in reality it's so much more fun and easy in water here is how I do it I take a glass cup of water then I put clear rap over it (the kind to save food) after that I take a rubber band and I band it then I poke moles and insert the leaf stem in if u put in where u normally put your cuttings u will soon see roots coming right out of the leaf I don't know if I'm luckey but I have never lost a leaf doing this unlike when I used to use soil

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irina_co(z5 CO)


- whatever works for you - is the best way.
it is like a question - which road is the shortest - the one you know!

I think you are correct - you probably have more chance to lose the leaf to rot in a soil (helps if soil is sterilized). I had trouble rooting one of "Sonoma's" leaves- it was very variegated - and the stalk was rotting all the time -I recut it - and it got rotten again - I eventually stuck it in vermiculite- and after a long long time I got a baby. I didn't even think about water - it would be a good way.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@michael1846: Thanks for sharing your experience. What currently works best for me is to start leaves in water exactly like you described, and as soon as roots start to show I transfer them to a soil-less mix and put under a clear dome. I find that starting in water and transferring considerably cuts down the time until I see mouse ears versus rooting leaves in soil from the get-go.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 5:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

so - when you are using just the water, does the stem actually extend into the water or does the humidity stimulate the growth? I've never had success with water, but I have several leaves in soil right now (been there for several weeks) and haven't see anything as yet. I'm willing to give water another try on a couple of them.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irina_co(z5 CO)

Make sure that you have a clean cut with a sharp razor blade - that's important. You need to submerge the stem under water. Michael described how you do it in his first post. When it starts showing the roots - you plant it in a lose barely humid soil - and use the water you had it in - it has growth hormones now. Keep it covered for a week or 2- and off it goes.

I am just plain lazy - if I put down a tray of leaves - - I do not want to go through the extra care - water - soil - move - what not. Most of the time they root - but it depends - fresh leaves from my plant always root - leaves from a mail order - that can be challenging. I got a set of leaves from a friend - and before packing she dipped the cut in Superthrive - I had first tiny leaves showing in 2 weeks. It was a record for me.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Do you know if the Superthrive was full strength or diluted? (I feel an experiment coming on...).


    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 1:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't root AV leaves in soil either..

Here's how I now root. I choose a healthy leaf in the center of plant. Not an old or new leaf.

I use a small, about 6", clear glass. Fill glass with room temp water. Place a piece of aluminum foil on top of the glass. Then, make a hole in the center of aluminum foil using a pen or sharp pencil.
I then insert AV leaf stem in the hole.
Water should be changed every 2nd or 3rd day.
Glass is kept in a north window.

Works like a charm. Toni

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I keep them into the water unroll I see leaflets coming out for fun I just hacked away being careless and stuck them in water just to see if u need a clean cut and I'm getting roots soil seems to difficult I also top water all I do is avoid the leaves and poor down I still get flowers I gess I'm just experimental >:]

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 1:50PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
African Violets/Yellow
Can someone please suggest a good and easy yellow or...
Announcing the "germination" of my "Miniature African Violet Tree
The project is not complete yet, but I think it has...
Nancy Robitaille
It occurred to me when I saw the post on propagating...
Looking for miniature AV culture advice
Boy, that title should open me up to a comment or two....or...
Copied from the Seed Exchange, explains reason for new Houzz format
The story none of us were told. kchd(7b/8a MS)February...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™