Baby violets

Last September, I spent the weekend with my friends, Bernie & Linda, who live in Ellensburg. Linda is famous for her African violets, which thrive in the north-facing  windows of their living room, in the sunny window in the kitchen, actually (and contrarily) in just about any room in their house.

Violets are probably my favorite house plant. I fall in love with the endless variety of color and shape at the nursery, bring home a new favorite, tend it and admire it...  then the blooms fade, and the plant never blooms again.

My current violets are very happy in the south & west light they get in our dining room. They set new leaves, old leaves die, and one of them (I think it has gorgeous magenta flowers with a white edge, but it's been so long I'm not really sure) has actually sprouted a new little violet plant. But as happy as my two violet plants are, they don't bloom.

So Linda gave me a crash course in violet care and propogation, and sent me home with three leaf cuttings: each one in potting soil in a separate styro cup, with a "greenhouse" baggie over the top so they'll stay moist.

The violets rode home in the cup holders in my Pilot (bet Honda never thought of this use for a cupholder!). Once home, they moved in with my two violet plants, and there they stayed for 9 months while I watched for baby leaves.

In late June, tiny fuzzy leaves started to push their way through the soil in two of the styrofoam cups, and in just a few weeks, each plant had eight new leaves. The third leaf never sprouted baby leaves, but a tug on the leaf showed it was rooted.

Today I potted the new violet plants into the antique pottery flower pots I've been saving, and my little violet garden has now grown from two plants to five plants.

l to r:  Pink, Pink with purple spots, Purple with white edge

I hope they like their home as much as the grown-up plants do. And I hope they'll bloom.

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