How many leaves to keep after crown separation?
Hello! I'm new to both African violets and this blog. Recently I'm inspired by a colleague's AV that's robust and constantly in bloom under the office lights (which are on for 14+ hours a day), so I'm trying to grow some of my own. Thanks to this great forum, I've learned a lot in the past couple of days. But I can't seem to find anything relevant to this question of mine.
I've recently purchased an old AV off someone online (because some leaves on this plant have mosaic pink patches, but more on this later). When I picked up the AV it looked healthy, but the previous owner probably did little pruning: its leaves were crisscrossing from multiple crowns. Plus its original pot was definitely too big. So I decided to take the plant out and separate the crowns. After watching a YouTube video, this was not too difficult: the AV would actually let me separate its crowns naturally. I ended up with five crowns, all with portions of the original roots. I removed all suckers. The bigger crowns have 10+ leaves, while the smaller ones still have 7-8 leaves. I re-potted all of them in 2.75-inch terracotta pots, used light soil with added perlite, and waited a day before watering from the bottom. (I admit I did not put them in a clear container "greenhouse" or plastic bag: I didn't have these supplies on hand.)
My difficulty is the following: one day after, most of the outer leaves have gone limp and hang / "hug" the pot. Center leaves are fine. Is this normal? (maybe from shock or lack of moisture?) Are they likely to recover? When you separate crowns, do you keep as many leaves as possible (although they are still more sparse than ideal) to support the new plantlet, or do you remove all but the center 3-4 small leaves to let the plantlet grow out to a more perfect crown?
One last question on the variegated leaves: only mature, outer leaves showed the mosaic-like pink patches. Leaves looked healthy before crown separation. All the young leaves in the center of each separated crown are completely green. I haven't read of this kind of variegation. Has anyone seen an AV like this? I wonder if my plantlets will survive and show pink on their new leaves.
Thanks a lot to all your responses in advance!