Monday, March 19, 2012

African violets

I got interested in African Violets after reading a novel where the woman faked her death to escape her abusive husband.  In preparation, she took a single leaf from each of her beloved plants, wrapped them into a plastic bag, and took with her.  The author must've loved them herself because quite a bit of description went into the how to of propagation. 
I can't think of the title,  later it was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts.

 I started each of these plants from a single leaf/stem that rooted in water.  My sister-in-law was kind enough to allow me to break off little starters from the plants in her south facing bathroom.  They rooted after several weeks in a narrow topped tiny vase. The leaves rot if they get wet, so I was careful not to let them touch water.

The red leafed plant is a begonia.  Flowers are small and delicate pink.
It is underplanted with an African Violet. 
 I don't know the names of any of the varieties. some have rounded leave, some are a bit oblong or have slightly ruffled edges.

Dumpster dived plates and pots.  The cute blue ceramic "watering can" is a favorite. 

Love the purple flower.  Will start saving and soaking eggshells.  
I read someplace that the calcium will increase the blooms.

Upper right shows 2 single, rooted leaves.  It takes a while to start a new little cluster.  One time I got tired of looking at a raggedy big leaf, stared to break off the "bad" parts of it, and discovered a little cluster of baby leaves growing under it.  Pretty hardy overall. 
These are all in a south facing window.

Mint! Also started from a small stem segment that rooted in water.

The other summer I had such good luck with rooting basil stems and increasing the number of plants.  The new plants kept the neighborhood thieves very happy I'm sure.

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