AFRICAN VIOLETS  (Saintpaulia ionantha) are a violet of a different breed and my experiences with them have not been as positive as with the above.  Perhaps the most important thing to know is that  African violets to be crowded in their pots. It isn't until the roots grow out the bottom drainage hole that it is time to transfer the plant to a larger home. Transplant to a pot that is only one and one half inches bigger in diameter than the previous pot.


If you are just starting off with African violets the best plan is to get them from friends who already have plants. You only need to cut one or two leaves from each of their plants and this will not damage their plants in any way. Pick healthy looking leaves from the bottom of the plant. To do this you will need a watering can with water that has sat for a few hours or preferably overnight, clean, empty jar or vase, waxed paper. (plastic wrap can be used but is not as good), string or elastic, liquid plant food (optional). Cut a leaf from the donor plant.

Cut a piece of waxed paper or plastic large enough to cover the top of the jar and to lap well over it. Put it over the top of the jam jar tie a piece of string (or an elastic) and tie it around the jam jar so that the waxed paper is tight across the top of it.
Cut or tear two holes in the waxed paper, one larger than the other. Put the stem of the African violet leaf into the smaller hole, resting the leaf part on the waxed paper if necessary.

Using the larger hole, almost fill the jam jar with the tepid water until it covers most of the stem but does not actually touch the leaf itself. You can add a drop of plant food but it isn't necessary

Put the African violet in a location with light and add water (continue to prepare water by allowing it to sit overnight) as necessary. In about 6 weeks several roots will appear.

Now using a short plastic or clay plant pot with at least one drainage hole, place pot in a deep, wide saucer filled with small pebbles, which is wider in circumference than the base of the pot. Place a pebble over the drainage holes in the pot and then fill half way with African violet soil or 1/3/ potting soil, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite or perlite in the pot. Place your leaf in the pot and hold in place while you fill the pot with soil. Pat down the soil and add more if necessary. Place the pot in the pebble filled saucer and fill saucer with water. After an hour dump the water out of the saucer except for a small amount in the bottom of the saucer. There should not be enough to touch the pot bottom.

Put your plant near an east or north window. African violets seem to prefer indirect light.

Every few days stick your finger in the soil of each plant. If the soil sticks to your finger and feels damp, the plant is O.K. If the soil crumbles away easily and doesn't feel damp, it's time to water again.  Always water from the bottom using the method used above, make sure you are using tepid water and if you allow the water to sit overnight chlorine will evaporate out of it. . African violet food can be bought and you just follow the directions on the box.
African Violets promise constancy anfd faithfulness while apart.
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