Leaf Growing

lucky123July 24, 2014

I put a leaf in a Dixie Cup and put a plastic picnic bowl over the top.
That is enough room for a leaf or it was..
Now I find that one leaf is pushing the plastic bowl covering the Dixie Cup and the soil is drying out.
The leaf is outgrowing its humidity chamber
This leaf is not making any mouse ears.
Why is this leaf growing?
Where are my mouse ears?
Should I trim the leaf?
Should I find a bigger cover?
Any help appreciated!

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Hi Lucky,

Short answer, remove the lid and leave it alone, just water it daily or when needed. Longer explanation;
suggest you leave the leaf alone, don't trim it. As long as the leaf is growing, it has rooted and is haopy but will take longer to make new leaves. it will eventually. .Some leaves from the same plant will make new leaves in a couple of months, others take nearly a year. Personally, i have not found that trimming the top off of a leaf makes much difference. Others may have a different opinion.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:51PM
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The advice I've generally seen is to cut off the very top of the leaf. Honestly, I don't know what you people do because I've never had a leaf grow! ;-) However, I guess it happens. Trimming the top is supposed to force the grow toward the roots and propagation.

I don't know what your conditions are like, but it's been so hot and humid here that I've lost a couple of things that had been fine in bags. They just went to mush in the heat and humidity. I think I've identified 3 varieties that are sensitive now. Anyway, I'm saying be careful with the dome, especially after the leaf is well rooted. If you cut it, you can go ahead and sprinkle it with cinnamon; won't hurt. I would let it dry off before redoming it.

I did experiment by cutting the tops off all my leaves; however, the babies were pretty much big enough at that point that it wasn't going to hurt. Most of them survived fine, but there were a couple that showed what I'd call excessive damage from it. It's not something I do routinely but I do it occasionally. You can set the top half of the leaf if you want and you may find it growing babies faster than the bottom half.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:01AM
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Thank You Diana and Joanne
It has been 80 +/- with humidity 50-60%.
All the other violets are thriving and most of the leaves are doing fine.
The mouse ears from the last leaf of my walmart rescue Annabelle are now several, getting bigger and growing into nice little plants.
I put a bigger dome on the leaf that is growing. I am going to leave it for now while I consider all the advice.
I will check my records. If that is the only leaf I have of that variety, I will err on the side of caution as Joanne suggested but if I have more than one leaf of that variety I will give some thought to what Diana wrote.
I would wait a year for mouse ears rather than lose a potential plant.

This post was edited by lucky123 on Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 12:00

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:59AM
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John Cook of Cape Cod Violetry told me that if it took that long for a leaf to grow, that there was likely something wrong with the leaf. I am just repeating what he said and I respect him.

Some do take a bit longer but it shouldn't take a year.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:00PM
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I've trimmed the tops on some but it doesn't seem to do much. I've also cut junks off the bottom to provide more light for babies that came up behind the leaf. That works just fine.
Ones that needed trimming for rotted spots, they seem to grow very very slowly after that. There have been only two so far, and one of them ended up rotting entirely after all. The second, idk, I still can't see roots through the side of the 1oz cup, after umm, 3 months now I think.
I like to leave them alone until mouse ears show up. Which usually happens right after I give up hope ;-)


    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Hi Lucky, Optimara leaves root faster than many other leaves. All leaves are different. Some are natural rooters and others are not.
Diana, I have heard that, also, and used to wonder about it. My experience is different. I find length of time or ize of starter doesn't matter, the resulting plant is still a good one.
If a leaf is growing, I leave it alone, what would be the point in throwing it away? My maternal instincts say, live and let live. The leaves catch on sooner or later to what nature is prodding them to do.

I simply put leaves down in the nursery, which is a rectangular shaped domed tray made for that purpose. It has plenty of space. The dome is very high and is vented. Plenty of air circulation. The nursery is in a separate room, out of sight, out of mind. I just check it every couple of days for moisture. Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 14:27

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:18PM
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No, John was suggesting that there was a good possibility that there might be a problem with the plant the leaf came from. It simply should not take that long for a healthy leaf to reproduce.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:32PM
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Somewhere I read that fertilizer will make a leaf grow instead of making mouse ears.
I can't find the information now.
I may have given that leaf a bit of water with fertilizer when I was watering larger plants
I am not certain about any of that
The leaf has been in the Dixie Cup for about 8 weeks so I am going to let it sit for now.
Later I might trim it.
I am becoming Very Conservative about messing with my AV /leaf/plants.
I kill more plants/leaves messing with them than any rot/bug/dry/heat/overwater/underwater Ever Did!
I kill 'em with Kindness..yes, every one
So I am neglecting to do anything for now except replace the lid with a bigger lid
I am leaving the little mouse ears on my last-leaf-of-a-walmart-rescue alone and those little babies are doing fine
I do croon to them occasionally..but if I do it very loudly, they might croak
Best leave well enough alone

This post was edited by lucky123 on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 21:31

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:13PM
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Eight weeks is not an excessive amount of time for babies. Fertilizing, especially once, is not going to cause your leaf to grow at the expense of the babies. I only cut my tops off if the leaf is getting really huge and who really knows if that makes a difference? You can try experimenting with one cut leaf and one whole leaf of the same variety but, since all leaves are individuals. it is really not a true experiment.

Get a bigger dome and give it a while. If it gets monsterous, cut it and see what happens. It's all about experimenting and once you find a fool-proof formula, the bottom will give out and you will have to start from scratch. 'Tis the joy of growing.

And, like Joanne says, don't hover. You are correct-most plants are killed with kindness.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:07PM
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