May 29, 2013 IMG_0017

These are the babies from one of the leaves I bought from Lyons in early March. I got two leaves of each variety and this  pair of Carolina Ariosa leaves were among those planted in a 12-inch diamter plastic dish. The dish is about three inches deep and has a clear plastic cover. I used a mixture of half perlite, half African Violet soil mix.

I don’t like this approach (the community dish) , although the leaves seem to be doing as well in this community dish as the one planted at the same time in the same mix in 4-inch pots – two leaves to a pot. In both cases green mold/slime seemed to develop on the top of the mix in about a month or less and I’m not sure if that’s a problem or not, but I decided to remove covers and just water from the bottom with a weak mixture of water and an African Violet fertilizer.

My real concern now, however, is the babies? They look good to me from up top and some look like they are at the stage to be removed – the leaves were planted 8-10 weeks ago – so I have started to remove them. Here’s a photo report on my attempt with the third leaf – which went about the same as ones I did last week.  My concern is simple – only one baby with each plant shows any real root development. So I have planted the other babies in individual small pots, but I don’t have a clue how they will do.

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Babies and mother leaf as they came out of the communal pot.

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I find it very difficult to separate the babies from one another – it seems like a brutal process where only one ends up with substantial roots.

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Putting them into small, individual pots of African Violet soil was simple – but will they survive? Thrive?

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I cut the mother leaf in half, cut a fresh end on the stem, and returned it to the communal pot. The idea of cutting in half I got from a YouTube video, the theory being that more energy will go into root development if there is less leaf. (Of course if there is less leaf, then maybe it has less ability to put energy into root development!

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Logic tells me they should develop roots – but is this normal? Doesn’t seem right. (In my keying system these should be 3a.)

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