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How (And When) to Separate African Violet Babies

How (And When) to Separate African Violet Babies

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African Violets can last up to 50 years. Not only do they have long lifespans, but you can easily propagate them.

You can effortlessly grow the roots from a leaf cutting or cultivate a new plant by division. Still, separating the leaves isn’t always a straightforward process, especially if they’re smaller in size, because they’re delicate at this stage.

In this article, we’ll detail how to separate African Violet babies. Read on to adorn your indoor plant collection with more of this beautiful plant’s blooms.

When to Separate African Violet Babies

Sometimes, a baby leaf may fail to grow into a new plant because it wasn’t mature enough before separation. That’s why you’ll need to decide, first, whether your baby African Violets are ready to grow by themselves.

Usually, a period of three to four months is enough to establish healthy roots. Still, there are a few other points to check before dividing your plant.

Inspect Baby Leaf Size

Larger leaves are easier to handle. They’re also more likely to survive because of their developed root system.

Depending on the average leaf size of your African Violet variety, the baby leaves should have a size of five to eight inches in diameter, before separation.

Inspect Baby Leaf Roots

The roots are what we’re most concerned about. If they show healthy growth, they’ll effectively support the new plant. You can check the roots without removing the plant from the pot.

All you need to do is gently tug the baby leaves. If they stay firm in their place, then it’s a good sign for separating them.

Inspect the Mother Leaf

The condition of the mother leaf is another indicator of its babies’ readiness. If the mother leaf has wilted and changed in color, then it’s about time you separate its African Violet babies.

Sometimes, the mother leaf might whither before the baby leaves reach an acceptable size. In that case, it’s better to remove the mother leaf while leaving the green part of its stem behinde.

This will provide support to the baby leaves, whose roots aren’t yet strong enough to hold them in place.

How to Separate African Violet Babies

Many growers prefer division over other plant propagation methods because the roots are well-developed. In this section, we’ll walk you hand in hand through the division process of African Violets.

1 – Release the Plant

Now that you’re sure of the plant’s readiness, you can start dividing the leaves. Before you begin, place a plastic sheet or newspaper on the workstation.

Then, take out the plant from the pot, with the hardened soil on the roots. You can use your fingers or a fork to break through the soil around the roots.

You’ll need to remove as much soil as needed to be able to clearly see the roots. Be gentle with this step to keep the roots intact.

2 – Separate Baby Leaves

After removing the soil, start by separating the mother leaf. If it’s still alive, you can give it a fresh slanted cut at its base.

Then, you can transfer it to water or soil and it’ll hopefully grow new roots, thus repeating the cycle.

As for the baby leaves, use a soft tool, like a toothpick or a pot label to separate the roots. These leaves are extremely delicate, so you don’t want to cut them from their roots.

You can separate them among as many pots as you want. Still, we’d recommend you go with the flow of the roots. If they resist your hands’ pull, just leave them together.

Even if you cut off some of the baby leaves by mistake, you can try placing them in water. They should hopefully grow new roots and join their siblings in a pot soon.

3 – Transfer Baby Leaves to Pots

Potting is the step we’ve been waiting for. You’ll need perlite soil or any well-draining potting mix.

Try to choose small pots to hold the small plant divisions separately. We believe the best initial pot for this delicate plant is a disposable plastic cup.

If you use one of those cups, make small drainage holes at its base. Then, fill the cup with soil half the way through.

Finally, place the baby African Violet leaflets and top them with another layer of soil. Tap the soil gently, but don’t make it too compact. You want the soil to hold the baby leaves upright while the soil remains aerated.

4 – Growth Conditions for New Plants

The next step is to give those newbies what they need to grow into mature African Violets. Generously water the top layer of the soil, and keep them in a humid room.

If your place is dry, we’d recommend you place the pots in Ziplock bags. This will trap moisture and encourage your plants to grow faster.

As for the light requirements, African Violets need indirect sunlight. Place the pots near a North or East-facing window, and rotate them once a week to fairly distribute the light.

You can also keep them under Ultraviolet lights if you can’t find the perfect spot near a window at home.

5 – Fertilize Baby Leaves

In most cases, you’ll need to fertilize African Violet plants if you’re after their attractive blooms. However, in the case of the baby leaves, you should dilute the fertilizer to half its strength.

We’d use less than half a teaspoon for each gallon of water. Repeat the process every four to six weeks for the best results.

Final Thoughts

African Violets are a true beauty of their own. Their flowers have captivating pink and purple hues and they can easily bloom in season

Additionally, learning how to separate African Violet babies can open a door for growing more varieties. Sometimes those small leaves grow blooms with different colors.

Best of all, you’ll get to expand your garden while extending the life of older plants. We’re also sure that your family and friends won’t mind getting free African Violets as gifts from your collection.

Try to keep the best flower colors for yourself, though!

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