Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Plants and Making Presents

I promised one of my readers that I would put up instructions for growing African violets from leaf cuttings so here is the tutorial. This can be done with other plants although I have only used this technique for mint and African violets.

This activity is useful for 
  • teaching children about different types of plant reproduction. The new plants here are essentially clones of the parent plant as this is asexual reproduction.
  • making cheap presents.

Materials needed:
African violet plant with healthy leaves
Compost-I used potting compost but suspect that garden compost would also work. I just haven't tried this.
Narrow necked container: bottle or vase.
Opaque material: I used foil but black paper or polythene would also work.

Carefully remove 3-4 healthy leaves from the plant. Place these in narrow necked container filled with water and exclude light with foil or black paper.

After 4-6 weeks, the leaves develop roots and sometimes, little leaves. Pot using compost. Keep moist but not waterlogged.
Keep in a sunny place. I use a window sill.

The leaves that I planted last autumn were ready to be given away at Easter time. The leave in the picture above was taken off the parent plant in May.

This plant was grown from a leaf last autumn.

I would stress that I'm no gardener and growing African violets this way is really easy.

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  1. very interesting, thank you!

  2. Excellent idea! Now all I need to do is get an African Violet- I don't have a good record with houseplants :-)

    1. Gwen, I don't know whether this is any help-it depends a bit on your house! I kill every houseplant in sight unless they live on my kitchen window sill. I have a south west facing kitchen so it is ideal for plants and every time I wash up, several times a day(!), the plants are there and it is easy to see whether they need to be watered.