Propagating African Violets

I have been growing plants since I was a child. I started out helping my parents and grandmothers with flower gardens and potted plants, and eventually bought a few houseplants of my own. Somewhere along the way, I learned how to propagate African Violets from leaf cuttings. By the time I moved to my first college dorm room, I had a large collection that went with me.

Propagating African Violets is easy and fun – you can collect interesting varieties from leaves of friends’ plants, or maybe even spark a child’s interest in growing things by starting a few new plants.

“African violets may be propagated easily by leaf cutting, and about 6 to 9 months are required to obtain flowering plants. Any leaf is satisfactory if healthy and firm. Remove the entire leaf with petiole (leaf stem) by snapping or cutting it off at the stem of the plant and trim the petiole to about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length. A combination of half vermiculite and half sand, by volume, makes an ideal propagating medium or the soil used for growing plants may be used. Insert the petiole into the medium by pushing it into a hole made with a pencil or similar tool. Roots normally appear at the petiole base in 3 to 4 weeks under good conditions and leaves of the new plants appear at the medium surface 3 to 4 weeks after root formation.” (

L_IMG_violets-3Photo – Virginia Tech (

For more tips on propagating violets and other houseplants:

-Ann Barnes