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Posted by mbjos Pa. (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 13, 07 at 6:09

Have some leaves potted and they have babies(yeah!). But I think I'm going through separation anxiety! From what I read they can be separated at about the size of dime. Do I wait until all plantlets get that size? Also some of my av have suckers on them and I just transplanted them into new pots about 4 weeks ago. Is it O.K. to take them out again and remove the suckers? Will this be to much of a shock for them? This is becoming stressful! lol! Is anyone going to the MAAVS show in York,Pa? I'm looking forward to it. It's my first time to one. Any thing in specific I should look for?
Thanks and sorry so long.
Mary Beth

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Questions

Now Mary Beth stop getting all stressed. Growing violets is supposed to be enjoyable and a stress reliever. This is my opinion about separating and potting up babies. The little plants need time to grow a few leaves and roots so they can survive on their own. If you separate too soon, they will have less of a chance of surviving. Also, leaves are expensive. Sometimes you have three or four dollars apiece in them by the time you buy the leaf and pay shipping. So, separating too soon can give you fewer plants than if you wait for all possible babies to grow to a suitable size. I often try to save the mother leaf by gently pulling the babies away one at a time. If you can do that leaving mamas roots intact, you can put her back down to grow another batch of babies. But, Ive found the mama leaves are very brittle and often the stem breaks in spite of my efforts to gently separate.

How big is big enough to separate? Here is a link to a picture of some of my trays of leaves. The first tray on the right shows leaves that in my opinion are not ready to separate. Even though most of them have babies they just are not large enough to divide. The next tray to the left contains several that I would consider ready to divide and pot up.

Now about suckers. They can just ruin the form of your violets if allowed to grow large. The best time to zap them is when they are just beginning to grow between the leaves. As soon as you can recognize that it is a sucker and not a bloom stalk, take a toothpick or similar small instrument and remove the sucker. I have let suckers grow if it was a variety that I wanted to reproduce quickly. You can carefully remove a sucker when it has about 4 leaves and put it down to root to quickly make another plant.


Here is a link that might be useful: Trays of Rooted Leaves

RE: Questions

Thanks for the pictures. It clears up alot. My leaves look like the one on the right,so to soon to separate. Also I want to save the suckers to start new plants(just starting out). There won't be to much stress to the main plant if I just repotted?

RE: Questions

  • Posted by korina 9b, Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 18, 07 at 13:37

The nice thing about babies is that they can stay on the mother leaf until they get large enough that you feel comfortable handling them. Eventually you'll get enough experience that you'll be able to seperate the smaller ones (you should try seperating micro-mini babies -- oy!).

Good luck, have fun, and keep asking questions; that's how we learn!


RE: Questions

Hi MBJOS, Don't feel like the lone ranger. I stress out over my plants too. I know it is stupid, but part of my personality. Better to stress over plants than the real issues going on, right? Thanks itsdeb for the picture. This is a great website and really appreciate everyones help. Going away for 2 weeks. Kind glad I won't be here to hover over my plants. I'm leaving them in God's care. He makes them grow anyway. donnaviola

RE: Questions

Quick and perhaps silly question... but how does one separate the babies from the mom? I have ONE leaf that has sprouted ONE baby, and it's clear that the baby is growing directly off of the leaf stem. Will I just cut the leaf off and leave the stem alone?

RE: Questions

Violetta -

you can keep your baby together with a mother leaf quite long until you are comfortable to separate them.

In my opinion there 2 issues you will avoid if you separate them. Eventually the mother leaf or its stub will die from old age, start rotting and can pass the rot to the young plant. The second thing - is that your plant can start growing asymmetrically and/or start developing underground suckers from the stub/baby union.


RE: Questions

Thank you Irina. I'm still not sure how to separate, though? I'm fine with the when aspect. ;0)

RE: Questions

You said you are clear about when your babies will be large enough to pot up individually. So, when you are ready, remove the whole root ball from its pot so you can get a better look at the plants and roots. Lay it on its side. Each little violet will have its own root system and the mama leaf will have its own root system too. Gently start to work them apart. If you are very gentle and leave the mama leafs roots intact, you can even put her back down to grow more babies. Put each little violet into its own pot. I put a clear cover over mine but leave a little opening in the cover to allow some fresh air in. I set them in bright light but no sunshine. I keep them covered like that for at least a week. This allows them to get their roots established and gets them off to a good start. Its like a nursery!

RE: Questions

Hi Mary Beth,
I was thinking about going to MAAVS also but decided not to go because I am judging the Philadelphia show on Friday. I hope you enjoy the show and find some beauties on the sale tables.
Fred in NJ

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