African Violet Fever

We popped into the C.N.E last night for a bit of picture-taking and happened upon the Toronto Gesneriad Society table displaying the largest selection of the craziest African violets I have ever seen! Some of the names were just a little bit naughty, and some of the plants over-the-top Vegas Show Girl shimmery, giving me the impression that the African violet world isn’t totally about doillies and perfect leaf formation.

I had a bag of cameras on hand that prevented me from purchasing any plants, however they were selling standard leaf cuttings for 2 bucks a piece. It took me a good 20 minutes to make a choice but in the end I chose 4 very ornamental variegated leaf varieties. I chose:

- Deadly Sting
- Ness’ Orange Pekoe
- Northern Seduction – Has dark burgundy flowers. Leaves variegated mostly along the edges.
- Sonoma Imapink

Growing African Violets from Leaves

It is very easy to grow an entire African violet plant (or two, or three) from a single leaf. All you need to do is cut the stem end on an angle using a really sharp blade. Then you just pop the stem into some moistened vermiculite and wait. Of course, don’t forget to keep it moist. Soon enough the leaf will set root and start to produce little plantlets around it. Transplant the babies and you’re off. You can have your own full-grown ‘Dirty Face’, ‘Lady Diana’ or ‘Nancy Reagan’ plant in six short months!

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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4 thoughts on “African Violet Fever

  1. I love African violets, too…it seems like such a miracle when they bloom! I have three mini violets I got at Canada Blooms in my cubicle at work. I have three others here at home, but I’m going to try to propagate more from the leaves as suggested.

  2. i have to admit, they make me think of little old ladies and lace curtains in airless living-rooms, but the ‘deadly sting’ may just sway me on that one…

  3. If you have problems starting the leaves try planting them in those clear grocery store food containers that have lids. It makes like a mini greenhouse and they do really well in them.

  4. I CURRENTLY OWN AN AFRICAN VIOLET THAT WAS GIVEN TO ME IN A DISH GARDEN WHEN MY 16 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WAS BORN. IT LOVES WHERE IT LIVES, BUT I AM CONCERNED THAT I MIGHT LOOSE IT SOON. I WONDERED IF I COULD ROOT FROM THE MOTHER PLANT. I DO NOT KNOW THAT MUCH ABOUT THEM THEREFORE NEED ASSISTANCE.

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