How to Grow New African Violet Plants from Leaf Cuttings


African violet is the common name for several species of flowering plants within the genus Saintpaulia. The short, somewhat spreading growth habit of African violets bears a crop of showy flowers above a layer of furry, fleshy leaves. The leaves contain a large concentration of meristematic cells, which provide the means for growth and regeneration in plants, and they will quickly produce a new plant if potted in soil. Growing African violets from leaf cuttings takes little effort or time, and within six to eight weeks the plant will show signs of vigorous new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Floral snips
  • 6-inch pot with drainage holes
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Large plastic bag
  • Take a leaf cutting from a mature African violet plant that has no obvious signs of distress or disease. Choose a young leaf with mature coloring and a thick, fleshy stem.

  • Snip the stem 1-1/2 to 2 inches from the base of the leaf. Make an angled cut with a pair of sanitized floral snips or a sharp, clean utility knife.

  • Prepare a pot for the African violet leaf cutting. Fill a 6-inch plastic pot with drainage holes with a mix of equal measures potting soil and perlite. Leave 1/2-inch of space at the top of the pot.

  • Lean the African violet leaf cutting against the edge of the pot so the stem just touches the surface of the soil. Poke a 1/4-inch deep hole in the soil mixture below the tip of the stem. Set the stem in the hole and lightly cover it with soil.

  • Drizzle 1/8 cup of water over the soil. Let it drain.

  • Place the potted African violet leaf cutting inside a large plastic bag. Gather the opening of the bag and blow air inside to inflate it. Seal the bag closed.

  • Set the African violet cutting where it will receive very bright but indirect light and temperatures around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Open the bag for 30 minutes every three to five days to allow air to circulate around the cutting.

  • Check for roots in three weeks. Remove the plastic bag approximately three weeks after rooting once the African violet begins to sprout new leaves.

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