Ask a Question forum: African Violet Baby From Water to Soil?

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Name: Jasmine
Greenville, NY (Zone 5a)
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Jas84
Mar 19, 2018 10:23 PM CST
Hi Everyone- I've been trying to propagate a few African violet leaves since the early summer. Several of them were put into pots in a potting mix with equal parts perlite & others I suspended above water so just the petiole was submerged. I have several of these leaves with beautiful, long roots so far, and one of them has a baby plant growing from the very very bottom of the petiole. I was concerned (yet very excited!) when I saw this, because I know how much those violet leaves detest getting wet, but I didn't know what to do with it.. I guess I didn't plan ahead very well! I have continued growing it in the water, for fear of suffocating or shocking the baby plant by transferring it into potting mix, yet I now see that 2 of the tiny little new leaves have turned to brown mush. I know I need to move it out of the water immediately, but I'm clueless as to how to go about this. I can not find ANYTHING on the internet, believe it or not, on this exact subject matter, so I am lost! I have rooted herbs in water then successfully moved them in to potting mix, but this is very different- it seems to be, at least. Since there's a new little plant attached to the base of the stem, I don't know how to transition this little guy. Would I place it in potting mix & give it lots of water for the first few days or week to help acclimate it to its new environment? Would I leave the baby plant attached to its mother leaf (I assume so because the leaf is still looking quite healthy)? Would I gently & lightly bury the baby plant under the potting mix, or just bury the roots- leaving the baby plant & mother leaf hanging out above the mix? I really don't want this one to die. It has taken many many months to grow to this stage & I plan on giving it to my mother as a gift, since my grandma always had African violets & they remind us of her so much. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Mar 20, 2018 5:51 AM CST
Not so different from your herbs, I think it's fine to bury the roots, let the new and old leaf stay exposed as best you can, moisten the soil, and go. But I haven't done one for years, so might wait for more opinions.
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6b)
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BigBill
Mar 20, 2018 6:41 AM CST
Just one minor suggestion, use a fluffy potting soil with a lot of peat moss because until they become established the babies are fragile and will not enjoy soil that becomes too compacted!
Good Job and good luck!! I tip my hat to you.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Lin
East Central Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Mar 20, 2018 10:08 AM CST
I haven't propagated AV leaves in many years but when you move the babies from water to potting medium, be sure to add a lot of perlite to the soil to allow for good drainage as well as good air circulation around the roots.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 20, 2018 10:43 AM CST
The cell structure of roots grown in water is different from that of those started in damp soil. The transition from one to the other can be tricky, but you have done it successfully with herbs, so you should have success with your AV.

As Lin wrote, be sure to use a porous potting mix with added perlite. Try to keep the potting mix moderately damp, but not wet for long so the roots get just enough water and oxygen as they make the transition. If you use a very small pot, the chances of accidental overwatering are reduced.

You may have t sacrifice the baby plantlets if there is less than an inch of stem below them to insert in the soil.

One other suggestion, before you move it into the soil, shake off excess water from the roots and try to spread them out a bit when you move them into the pot.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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Name: Jasmine
Greenville, NY (Zone 5a)
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Jas84
Mar 20, 2018 7:06 PM CST
Wow you have all provided me with SO much help. I'm going to attempt moving them tonight, and I will use a very small pot and a lot of perlite. Thank you all so so much!!
Name: Lin
East Central Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Mar 20, 2018 7:10 PM CST
Keep them in a warm, brightly lit spot and they should acclimate and do fine!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


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