Growing African Violets From Cuttings or Starts

Learn about raising African violets for profit, includes tips on growing violets, the best temperature and locations for growth and growing equipment.

| January/February 1978

  • Learn about growing African violets from cuttings or starts.
    Learn about growing African violets from cuttings or starts.
    Photo By Fotolia/Kiya Grafica

  • Learn about growing African violets from cuttings or starts.

Growing African violets from cuttings or starts is easy using these helpful growing tips.

Starter African Violet Plants

Did you know that a plant can be patented? Well it can, and the very best African violets sold by firms such as George J. Ball, Inc. (P.O. Box 335, West Chicago, Illinois 60185, telephone 312-231-3500), are all patented. This means that before one of these companies will sell you any of its patented e starts, you will be required to sign an agreement which states that you will not propagate any new plants from the starters in sends you.

It's all right — in other words — for you to buy these patented starts, raise them up, and then sell them . . . but it's definitely not all right for you to buy the patented starts, raise them, start more plants from leaf cuttings taken from the original starts, and then sell the propagated plants.

If this restriction cramps your style too much, you'll be better off dealing with commercial suppliers of unpatented African violets. There are several — including Fisher Greenhouses, Linwood, N.J. 08371 and Tinarl Greenhouses, 2325 Valley Rd., Box 190, Huntington Valley, PA 19006 — and you should have no trouble finding a source of unpatented starts that you enjoy dealing with.

And if you're launching your new business on real shoestring, there's a lot to be said for growing your original "mother" plants from leaf cuttings taken from a friend's favorite unpatented African violet . . . cultivating the parent stock . . . and then propagating a regular supply of starts from their leaves. You'll spend a little more time getting your enterprise rolling this way . . . but a lot less money. And, once you are underway, you'll always make more profit on any plant you sell that you propagated yourself (for free) instead of bought from a supplier.

But let's say that you can afford to buy your first starts and you want to get into the African violet business as quickly and as easily as possible. Contact the supplier of your choice for current availability and prices of starts (the going price, by the way — at least for patented varieties — includes a colorful plastic name tag for each little plant). You will usually have to cover any shipping charges yourself, too, so make sure you know what it's going to cost to get the starts to you. (Air Express is the most expensive way to transport the plants. Truck and/or rail delivery is less costly and generally quite satisfactory.)

9/28/2007 6:59:54 PM

a number of thoughts come to mind. the light needs to be a filtered light, which is like a bright light but from a far. are you over watering or underwatering? home depot offers a wonderful pot designed for african violets. they are a pot within a pot. the outside pot holds the water, the inside pot holds the plant. this inside pot is designed so that it lets the right amount of water in for the plant. also make sure you have the right type of soil. you might also want to give it some african violet plant food which you can find in the gardening sections of the stores. hope this helps and good luck.

5/10/2007 1:34:55 PM

Can you tell me why my african violet won't get any blooms on it? It is on my windowsill but for some reason has not bloomed in a couple years now and I'd like to find out what the reason is.

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