Violets over time
So I have lurked here occasionally, but not really posted much as my AV approach is so different than the showing, collecting, large-scale hobby approach. I just grow AV's because my mother and her neighbor did when I was growing up. I don't have to have the latest and greatest new best thing. Like anyone who has plants for a while and thinks about them, questions come up. You have all been generous with your time and expertise, and I appreciate that.
About ten years ago I bought a package of "Fantasy African Violet" seed and planted it on a lark. I was ordering my veg seeds for the year, and these were also offered, and I thought of my mom and thought "why not?". I couldn't believe it when I ended up with about forty violets from what seemed to be a bit of dust. Most of them were plain blue pansies, and as I am limited to natural light, I winnowed them down to twelve. Through various means of propagation I still have eleven of them today. So this leads to my questions.
First, does anyone keep violets for a long time? I mean it seems like folks toss plants right and left, and I guess if I had more than my time and a three dollar package of seed invested I might be more callous myself.
Secondly, do violets change through many propagations? If so, do growers for sale then toss anything that seems not quite like the original, to keep the named variety the same? I did have one violet, a pretty much plain red-violet pansy go rogue and after about seven years get a white streak down its blossom. I can't remember how many propagations I did on it before or since. I don't think I did anything differently when I propagated it that time. I have kept the plain and the streaked one. What I am noticing now is that there is variegation also in the foliage. I recently removed a sucker from the varigated plant and rooted it, and the new plant isn't showing the varigation or so much puckering. Is this a culture issue then? I know that my culture is not the best, as AV's aren't my main focus, and therefore get less time spent on them than other things. The mother plant is on the right, with the open blossom, and the sucker plant is on the left with the bud. Through time the leaves on this violet have looked like the plain ones on the sucker on the left. I was about to toss the mother plant when I noticed the lighter centers to the leaves and thought I would ask. I am guessing it is a salts build up issue, but just wanted to check with others and see what you think. Thanks.