How to Propagate African Violets

How to Propagate African Violets – 10+ Useful Things

Appreciating African violets means appreciating their many features. They’re enjoyable to grow from seed, stunning when blooming, and easy to care for.

Learn how to propagate African violets so you may add to your collection or aid your friends.

African violets may be propagated in a variety of methods; in this post, we’ll show you a few of our favorites, along with photos and useful advice.

It is very probable that spreading them will be effective. You will soon be responsible for a new generation of plants. There will be a plethora of them.

Prepare to begin spreading! Here’s more to read!

How to Propagate African Violets

There are various options available to you;

  • Leaf reproduction (water, soil, sphagnum moss…)
  • Plant division / crown clipping / seedling cultivation

Is it necessary to use rooting hormone when growing African violets?

It is not required, and there is no harm in include it, but African violets will root just well without it.

After successfully replicating the plant, the baby plant need the same care as adult African violet plants.

African Violet Propagation from Leaf

That is the easiest method, and the mother plant will not lose greatly in terms of beauty.

Fully grown but not too old leaves are great propagation material. Nonetheless, both new and old leaves will spread well.

How to Propagate African Violets

It may take them longer to begin roots. Any damaged leaf, whether intentionally broken or not, can be utilised for future development (like in our example, when the cat walked over the plant like a tank).

To maintain your plant healthy, remove the leaf with clean, sanitary instruments such as scissors or knives.

In any medium for growing African violets, cut the petiole at an angle for the best results.

Propagating African Violet in Water

While growing African Violets in soil avoids the need to plant them, propagating African Violets in water is far more pleasurable since you can closely observe the roots and little seedlings grow.

It is common practice to check the plant every 5 minutes to see if the roots have formed. However, don’t lose up if you don’t observe the first indications of growth right away.

You’re on the right track if the leaf seems healthy, even if the bottom end is a touch crooked (almost like it would be decomposing a little).

After cutting your leaf, just submerge it in water (including the petiole). Choose the right container to ensure that the leaf does not come into touch with the water.

Water should be at room temperature. Tap water is usually OK; but, if you suspect your tap water is heavy in minerals, you can replace it with filtered water.

You won’t need to replace it very frequently until the water becomes cloudy. Refill as required, and replenish the water every few weeks.

Place your cutting in a location that receives enough indirect light but not too much direct sunshine.

Now sit back and enjoy the show. After a week or two, depending on the season and the leaf, you should see the first signs of roots growing.

How to Propagate African Violets

However, it may take longer; they may take their time, just like reproducing a ZZ plant. Remember that roots can develop as long as the leaf is sturdy and healthy.

First Root after Two Weeks

Our first leaf has sprouted! When I examined on the other two, there were no apparent roots. Roots came on the second one after a few days.

However, the third one took nearly twice as long to finish (this was an ancient leaf).

The first two are making significant headway with their root systems. Even though the third one seems brown and mushy in the photo, it will still sprout roots (soon).

After a while, all three established themselves and are currently prospering. It’s enthralling to watch since there’s always something new to see.

2 Months Later

After around two months, the first small plants sprouted (in what seemed like an overnight thing). The roots are strong and healthy, and things will move more quickly from now on.

3 Weeks More

There will be plenty of healthy seedlings to select from in around three weeks. The oldest leaf, which took the longest to begin roots, produced the most offspring.

African violets growing in water can be placed in soil now, but you can always let them develop a little longer in a container first.

How to Propagate African Violets

Separate the Baby Plant From Leaf

Remove the little plant (with roots) from the petiole of the old leaf.

You should be able to remove the old leaf with your fingers, but if you’re concerned about hurting the new plant, you may also cut it away. Just make sure you’re using clean tools.

Place the young plant in the soil. You may use standard potting soil, but you can also get African violet soil.

Half-fill a small container with soil.

Make a hole in the middle (pencils are great for this).

Carefully place the little plant in soil, covering any exposed roots with dirt. Water sparingly but not excessively.

When propagating plants, we prefer to put the little plants in a ziplock bag for a few minutes towards the end.

This will keep moisture in and potential pests out. Your baby plant may look sickly in the beginning, but it will shortly recover and restart growing.

The plant looked like this after a week.

Supplies and Equipment Needed

The Saintpaulia plant is easy to grow. There is a rather minimal list of items necessary for the project at hand:

  • A plant that may offer you with green vegetables.
  • Plant Root Substratum
  • The Hormone of Rooting (optional)
  • Tools like a sharp knife, your fingers, or a pair of fine-tipped pruners are useful.
  • Flower vases in plastic containers for potting soil
  • Waterproof supports, such as plastic plant tags
  • A clamshell container made of disposable plastic.

The size of this project is entirely up to you, the gardener. To start the new plant, I only needed the leaves from one plant, but there were five of them.

When working with cuttings or seeds, it’s always a good idea to start with more than you think you’ll need.

How to Propagate African Violets

TakeRoot Rooting Hormone, a Safe Gardening Option

I used a rooting hormone to help these cuttings establish themselves. GardenSafe Take Root, which is available on Amazon, is my preferred rooting hormone.

Auxins are plant hormones located near the tip of the stem that encourage growth.

By augmenting the plant’s natural auxin supply with an artificial rooting hormone, the plant may manufacture more of the hormone and establish more powerful root systems from its cuttings.

I created my own media for root establishment. You may also buy an appropriate blend from a local nursery or the internet.

Miracle-Gro Perlite and African Violet Potting Mix are, in my view, the ideal combo. Perlite has always been my go-to material in the past.

It’s quite similar to vermiculite and comes in convenient eight-quart sacks, so it’s a no-brainer.

Many young plants thrive fairly well with Miracle-African Gro’s Violet Potting Mix.

It is not only beneficial to African violets due to its somewhat acidic composition, adequate drainage, and quantity of rich organic material.

It has previously served me well for a variety of brief jobs.

For mixing this, any regular kitchen basin will serve. (Don’t tell my fiancé, but I used one of our baking set’s measuring spoons.) A plant container or a bucket with no drain holes will suffice.

When I use pruners like the Fiskars Softtouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snips, I can work more precisely. You may get them at Amazon.

Fiskars pruning shears with a nonstick coating and a smooth grip.

When it comes to plastic containers, consider something small with drainage holes.

I did this by reusing some of the two-inch containers from the succulents I purchased a time ago. Never, ever throw away a pot. Because you never know when you’ll require them.

How to Propagate African Violets

You’ll need a pot about two inches in diameter for each leaf if you want to make one of these leaves.

I learnt another lesson in the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle credo by substituting recyclable plant tags for the plastic supports that came with them.

There are typically a few lying about. However, plastic forks or even little troops from a toy army might work.

Finally, a translucent plastic clamshell takeout container will suffice to create a little greenhouse in which to grow your cuttings.

You’ll need a container large enough to fit all of your pots while yet allowing the leaves to stand straight up when the lid is closed. My salad came from a supermarket salad bar.

10 Steps to Propagating African Violets

Now, let’s get started!

Step 1 – Prepare Your Rooting Medium

Saintpaulia demands well-drained soil, although cuttings are more picky.

The African violets’ potting soil was made out of two parts perlite and one part African violet potting soil. It should have the look of a delicious cookie strew.

Step 2 – Add Water

Water is required for the rooting medium, but only in minute amounts—enough to produce a barely-there clump.

People have urged me to imagine oatmeal, but I’ve never tried it. Building the perfect sandcastle seems like you’re just using a handful of sand.

Step 3 – Fill Your Pots

Fill the two-inch pots halfway with rooting material (or larger ones if you have them). Make holes in the ground with a pencil or something similar in size. The leaf stalks must be placed here.

Step 4 – Choose Leaves

The mature and healthy leaves of the host plant should be removed. These leaves must be fully grown and free of any pests or illnesses.

Cuttings can be made from the plant’s middle row of leaves.

How to Propagate African Violets

The youngest leaves form closer to the plant’s core, while the oldest are the largest leaves on the plant’s periphery. The leaves in the middle rows have the best chances of being clipped.

To avoid deterioration, remove as much of the leaf stem as possible from the crown of the host plant.

Step 5 – Prep Leaves

Trim the stems of the leaves to about an inch in length with a knife, your fingernails, or some sharp snips.

Step 6 – Apply Rooting Hormone

Before you begin, keep in mind that rooting powder is only a little irritant.

If it comes into contact with mucous membranes, it can cause irritation, and if eaten, it can cause stomach ache.

Wearing safety equipment such as gloves and goggles is advised but not essential.

Each stem should be gently immersed in the rooting hormone.

Shake some hormone powder onto a level surface; nevertheless, I’ve always dipped my cuttings right into the container.

Only half of the stems of the leaves need to be coated with hormone powder to get the desired effect.

A thin coating is all that is required.

Remove any extra powder from the leaf stem with a clean tap. Rooting hormone is similar to soy sauce in that a little goes a long way.

Step 7 – Potting Up the Cuttings

Insert the leaf stem slowly and cautiously into the growth medium. For optimum root growth, the leaf blade should lay softly on the soil’s surface.

The new plant rosettes will arise from this location.

To keep the leaves straight, firmly press the medium around the stems.

Step 8 – Add Support

Use the plastic plant tags as a support to keep the leaves from falling into the soil.

If the newly cut leaves are too tall to fit in the container, there is a simple remedy.

By making a single, clean incision through the centre of each leaf, the top half may be removed.

This has no effect on the plant’s ability to establish itself.

Step 9 – Create a Mini Greenhouse

Fill the clamshell planters with the potted, soon-to-be-beautiful African violets. Before sealing the lid, make sure the cuttings and containers fit tightly inside the container.

It is critical that the container has a tight seal so that the potted cuttings remain warm and moist inside.

Place this container somewhere that receives enough of light but doesn’t become too hot.

How to Propagate African Violets

At this stage, your ultimate goal should be to establish an ecosystem that is as near to Saintpaulia’s original habitat as feasible.

Plant the plants in a well-drained rooting medium and maintain them in a brilliantly lighted, tiny greenhouse to simulate their native cloud forest environment.

Fresh air can be used to remove excess moisture from the container, or it can be added as needed.

Step 10 – Transplant Your New Violets

You should see the first traces of real violet coloration in your leaves after around 8 weeks. Before they can be transplanted, they must be about two inches tall and have grown a few small leaves at the stem’s base.

Fill a pot one size larger with the same mixture of African Violet Mix and rooting medium as we used for the cuttings.

Propagating African Violet in Soil

Instructions for propagating African violets in soil. Similarly to water, but with a lesser emphasis on root examination. Cut the petiole to the same depth as with water propagation.

Place the leaf in a container with potting soil. I need to loosen up a little. Even if you pushed the problem in too deep, you can “fix” it.

By placing the plant pots in a transparent container, African violets may be easily propagated in soil.

Because the watering schedule will be blocked off, it will not cause any problems. Make sure the container is opened once every week or two to allow fresh air in and to replenish with water.

Anything translucent will do as long as it is a container. This salad was ordered to be delivered. Very handy!

The only thing that remains is to wait. The root system of the plant will grow quickly. If you believe you planted the leaf petiole too deeply, you can (gently) remove a part of the top layer of soil after the plant has roots.

After a lengthy time of waiting (weeks or months), you may detect little branches growing from the ground.

When the new plants have developed, remove the old leaf. Remove it with a sharp, clean pair of scissors or a knife.

You have the option of re-seeding the same leaf.

How to Propagate African Violets by Separation (Crown or Pups)

When an African violet develops many crowns or new plants, the separated sections (each with its own root system) can be transplanted to a new container.

There! With your gained understanding, you should be able to propagate African violets.

Water Propagation Method

A snip of the leaf stem (or “petiole”) can be rooted in water to create new African violet plants.

Even while I don’t advocate it since water-grown roots don’t persist as long as potting-mix-started roots, I’ll walk you through the procedure nevertheless.

Fill a baby food jar halfway with warm water and cover the top with wax paper to do it the traditional way. Secure the paper with the rubber band.

Make a hole in a piece of wax paper and place the cutting in it, immersing only the bottom and leaving the leaf above dry.

How to Propagate African Violets

You can repot the plant when the roots are several inches long.

A Few Tips

Use cling wrap to hold the leaf of your violet cutting above the water. Wrap cling film across the entrance of the water-filled container, then poke a hole in the middle with a chopstick.

After repotting the little plantlets, place a sandwich bag over the top of the container for a month or two.

A little greenhouse will grow around the plant.

Repotting allows you to start fertilizing your plants.

Once the plant is well-established and has 8 or 10 young leaves, you can remove the larger parent leaf for replication in water or soil.

To encourage faster root development in cuttings, cut the leaves in half. This is optional, but it encourages the plant to focus its energies on root development rather than leaf care.

Please be patient as new plantlets may not produce blooms for up to six months after being planted.

Talk to your friends and family about organizing a leaf cutting exchange to broaden your collection of leaves and flowers.

Starting Roots in Growing Medium

I was trained to root cuttings in water from a young age, but I later switched to the more tried-and-true method of using growing media.

There will always be some failures when propagating cuttings, but it’s reassuring to know that your strategy gives you the best chance of success.

You could have the same experience as I had, where roots growing in water were bloated and unstable.

Plants must undergo extensive re-adaptation after being transferred into potting mix before they can be regarded totally satisfied.

Those germinated on nutrient-rich, light-growing medium, on the other hand, tend to direct their resources toward developing healthy, new plantlets. The basic line is to do whatever makes you happy.

In this situation, I’m using a strategy that is common to many. I’m hoping you’ll be motivated to try it and make any required changes.

If you enjoy gardening like I do, this is just another way to keep things going even when the weather is bad.

How to Propagate African Violets

Occasionally, contrary to expectations.

  • It is prohibited to propagate patented plants. Locate and read the identifying tag.
    While it is legal to sow patented seeds, it is not legal to keep any of the seeds that you harvest.
  • This implies that you can’t replicate trademarked plants like African violets from cuttings.
  • You have the right to spread your idea without hindrance while the patent is in existence (20 years from certification date).


African violets are towards the top of my long list of “favorite plants.”

This is due to the fact that it is an African native, blooms consistently and abundantly, and requires minimal care. There is, however, an emotional component.

African violets were also regularly taken home as houseplants, and I’ve learned a thing or two about their tough yet delicate temperament over the years.

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