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So many babies!!

Posted by annececilia z4a/N.Michigan (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 27, 11 at 13:39

Of the 5 leaves I put down last August, I have found that there are lots of variables from one violet to another. Blue Dragon is the most prolific - I have 7 babies on their own and one more still coming up from the mama leaf. I understand now how you all end up with extra to share. I was potting up some of the second round of babies and I just couldn't NOT pot them all even though lord knows I don't need this many! Kermit was almost that prolific; I have 5 sturdy plants - and really, how many frogs does one need, LOL? Rebel's Night Breeze gave me 3 nice plants and still looked good so I put it back to see if there would be more. OTOH, Pink Jade gave me two babies - and then turned to mush. I pulled the mother leaf (what was left of it) out yesterday and noted that the babies are small but seem healthy. I'm letting them grow on a bit more before I separate them - they're still pretty much white and I was reading about how the varigated types need more green before separating them. And then there's Royal Rage. It just sits there. The leaf is still solid and other than the tip I had to cut off when I first got it, it looks good. But no sign of any mouse ears. Is this normal, to have so much variation in results from leaves all started at the same time under the same conditions?
And then I have one last question - I would be willing to put up the extra youngin's on the exchanges forum when the weather warms but how on earth do you package them up to ship them safely?
I must say though that this has been a lot of fun for a minimum investment. You should have seen me yesterday rummaging through the recycling looking for little plastic bottles I could cut off and poke holes in to make little 2 or 3 inch pots for all the babies, LOL! It takes time, but it is exciting to start new plants and watch them grow right from the very beginning. :-)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: So many babies!!

Hi Anne! I have sent some rooted leaves to a friend of mine, but we're both in California so there was no chance of the leaves freezing in transit. But i think for you, sending them in the spring or summer is better. What i did was I wetted a paper towel, placed the leaf with roots and babies on it, folded the towel over it, then put the whole packet into a zip lock bag. I placed the bag into a small box (the cardboard small box that the checks come in is the perfect size for it) and sent it in the mail that way.
Do you have pictures of your plants? I have a few myself, maybe we can exchange some leaves?
Here is one of mine, a very strong rooter and grower, with a much larger size flower than the usual african violet; some leaves are 4.5" accross! But I don't know the name:

RE: So many babies!!

Thanks for the tip on how you sent the rooted leaf with babies, Sunseeker. I do think, however, that by the time the weather is warm enough for me to mail them, these babies will be well along in their little pots. That's what I don't know - how to send the potted planted without soil spilling out or leaves breaking off. Having never ordered a plant (just leaves) I've never seen how the growers pack them for shipment.
Your NOID with the large flower is simply beautiful! (I really need to get some photos taken.) Thank you for your kind offer; I'll try to remember to contact you when it's safe to mail and see if we can make a trade. :-)

RE: So many babies!!

Ah, the curse of the Last Year's Leaves...
I'm in much the same situation as yourself, annececilia, so if you want another person to trade with, do drop a line. ;)

As far as shipping goes, here's an alternative way: You wrap 'em in newspaper. Lay out a piece of newspaper, place the violet on top, smooth out the foliage upwards without breaking any, and roll.

You end up with a kind of a conical tube, with the violet in the center. Fold the excess newspaper on the wider edge down, so it almost touches the leaves. Then just put them side-by-side into a box, and indicate which way's up.

There's a guide to it online, made by one of the greenhouses that specialize in AVs, but I can't find the link for the life of me.

RE: So many babies!!

If anyone has a good guess at the name of sunseeker's NOID, I would love to have one like it.

It's lovely.

(I once had 15 babies on a leaf and I don't think that's any record. I do think it's too many though. I read one expert's advice to pinch off all but the strongest, but now that I've seen a fair amount of sporting, I'd hesitate to risk only one.)


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