Rooting an African violet from a cutting

If you have friends who have African violets, you're in luck. You can cut one or two leaves from each of their plants, without damaging their plants in any way.

Before you go over to your friend's house, fill up a watering can with tepid water and let it sit (overnight is best, but a couple of hours is better than nothing). Then prepare your rooting set-up. You will need the following ingredients:

Cut a leaf from your friend's plant — better yet, take two or three, if your friend will let you!. Pick healthy looking leaves (from the bottom of the plant, not the centre - this way your friend's plant will look just as good!). Take them home right away.

Rooting process: take a clean, empty jam jar. Mayonnaise jars are O.K. too, but I've always preferred jam jars.

Cut a piece of waxed paper large enough to cover the top of the jar, and to lap well over it. Put it over the top of the jam jar and smooth it well down all around. Take a piece of string (or a rubber 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. The water should cover most of the stem but should not be actually touching the leaf itself. If you have it, you can add a drop of plant food, but it isn't strictly necessary. Do the same for the other leaves.

Put the African violet in a location with enough light (see The correct light for your African violet). Keep adding water as necessary. Wait about 6 weeks or so, until several roots have appeared. Then plant (see Potting an African violet).

Introduction | Getting an African violet | Type of flower pot | Potting an African violet | Potting procedure | The correct light for your African violet | Keeping your African violet humid | Watering your African violet | Encylopedia Britannica Article | Photos of African violets | Links to other African Violet Sites

This page created and maintained by
A. Steinbergs

Last revised July 12, 2005