Propagating African violets from leaf cuttings

Most violets propagated from leaf will be identical copies of the parent plant. However, babies of fantasies, multi-coloured violets and especially chimeras propagated from leaves may not bloom true.

To propagate violets from a leaf cutting, follow these steps:

1) Choose a mature and healthy leaf. If the violet you are trying to propagate has variegated leaves, choose one that has a lot of green (it’s still going to have variegated genes to pass on, but will have more energy stored in it than highly variegated leaves)

2) Remove the leaf carefully (try not to squash it in the process)

3) Cut the stem on an angle, about 4-5cm away from the leaf

4) Set the leaf into damp potting medium

5)Put the leaf with its pot into a small greenhouse of sorts (clear plastic bag with lots of air in it, takeaway container etc.)

6) Place your “greenhouse” somewhere away from direct sunlight.

7) Wait. This is the hardest part. In about a month you leaf should grow roots. After that, it will start growing tiny plants from the cut stem. You should let the babies grow for a few months before you separate them from their mum. All up, it can take 6 (or sometimes even more) months before the babies are large enough to be separated.

8) Separate individual crowns, NOT individual leaves.

9) Plant each little baby into a tiny pot and put them into a “greenhouse” again.

10) After the babies lived in the “greenhouse” independently for a few weeks, gradually start exposing them to a non-greenhouse environment.

11) Wait for your babies to grow up and become beautiful blooming violets.

The whole process from step 1 (leaf) to step 11 (baby plant blooming) can take around 12 months.