Propagating African Violets: Tips For Easy African Violet Propagation

Small Garden Tools Next To Tiny Potted Plants
propagate african violet
(Image credit: ChamilleWhite)

Delicate, fuzzy-leafed African violets are exotic, agreeable plants with flowers that come in a wide range of pinks to purples. They always lend a soft touch of bright color and coziness to any room. Do you find yourself wanting more African violets? No need to go buy new plants…they’re easy and fun to propagate. Once you understand how simple it is to propagate African violets, it’s easy to become a bit obsessed with them.

Propagating African Violets from Seed

You can propagate African violets from seed, but it does require a couple of specific conditions. To sprout these tiny seeds, it’s good to use a light soil mixture of peat, vermiculite and greensand. A bit of Epsom salt can help to lighten the soil even more. It’s important that you have a warm space, so make sure your room temperature is between 65- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 C.). This should also be the temperature of your soil for optimal sprouting. Your seeds should germinate in 8 to 14 days.

Growing African Violets from Leaf Cuttings

Propagating African violets from leaf cuttings is the most popular method because it’s so easy and successful. Plan to do this project in the spring. Using a sterile knife or scissors, remove a healthy leaf along with its stem from the base of the plant. Trim the stem down to about 1-1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm.). You may want to dip the tip of the stem into some rooting hormone. Place the cutting in a one-inch deep (2.5 cm) hole in potting soil. Press the soil firmly around it and water thoroughly with tepid water. It’s a good idea to create a little greenhouse environment for your cutting by covering the pot with a plastic bag and securing it with a rubber band, being sure to give the cutting some occasional fresh air. Place the pot in a sunny location, keeping the soil just moist. Roots will usually form in 3 to 4 weeks. The leaves of new little plants usually appear in 6 to 8 weeks. You should see several plants form at the base the cutting. Separate the small new plants by carefully pulling or cutting them apart. Each of them will give you a brand new plant.

Dividing African Violet Plants

Separating plants is another method of easy African violet propagation. Using the division technique involves cutting the crown from the plant or separating the pups, or suckers, from a plant, making sure that each portion you’ve cut away has a piece of the main plant’s root system. This is great if your African violets have grown too large for their pots. Each piece can be planted its own pot with suitable African violet potting soil mix to instantly multiply your collection of African violets. It’s fun to see your home propagated seedlings turn into full sized, flowering plants. Propagating African violets is a great pastime for people who love them. It’s fun to add to your houseplant collection with these attractive and easy-care plants. They’re so simple to propagate, you can easily fill a sunlit room or office space with them.

Caroline Bloomfield
Manager of Marketing Communications

Caroline Bloomfield is Manager of Marketing Communications at Gardening Know How since 2019. A northwest native, she has resided and gardened in multiple zones in the U.S. and is currently at home in Eugene, Oregon. Writing and editing for various publications since 1998, her BA in American Studies from Southern Maine University includes an emphasis in English. She was raised in California by avid gardeners and continues to enjoy the natural world with an appreciation for the concepts of sustainability and organic care for the planet.