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‘Propagation’ Category

  1. DIY Friday – How to Propagate African Violets

    April 6, 2012 by Jocelyn

    Propagating African Violets is easier than I initially thought.  As you may have seen, I’ve killed many of these pretty houseplants.  It wasn’t until recently that I seem to have gotten the hang of keeping them alive!

    Now that I seem to be able to keep the alive, the obvious next step is making as many of them as I possibly can, right? Here’s how to do it:


      Scissors and/or a sharp knife
      A Small container (I use yogurt containers)
      Good seedling or seed starting mix (it should be very light, not dense)
      Plastic bag or clear container


    First thing you want to do is prep everything. Your planting container should be cleaned, then cut a small hole in the bottom of it. Be careful while doing this, of course!

    Cut a drainage hole in the bottom of your container

    Now, find a healthy looking leaf from an adult African Violet plant. Use a sharp knife to cut the stem of the leaf at a 45 degree angle. Make sure the cut is clean.

    Cut a healthy leaf at a 45 degree angle with a sharp knife

    Now stick it in your container with some good seedling mix, and give it a good drink of water.

    Stick it in some dirt and water

    African violets like to be in an environment where the air is holding a lot of humidity, and that’s where your plastic bag comes in. If need be, use scissors to cut it to fit the plant. I happened to luck out, and my bag fit pretty well without needing any cutting.

    Cover with a plastic bag or clear container to keep moisture in.

    Now the easy part is done; caring for the small plant as it grows is the difficult part. I’ve found that they do best if kept in a humid environment. Keep in mind, that they do not like to be sitting in water, so it’s better to allow the container to wick in moisture as needed. Once a smaller plant starts to grow, I usually move them into a larger terrarium type container. I put small rocks in the bottom of it and pour in some water; the container then goes on top, and a lid goes over the whole thing. Having a few holes for air circulation is also a good idea. Keep the small plants in an area with bright indirect light, and they should thrive.

    Baby plant!
    Soon you’ll have little African Violets like these!

  2. Who Knew I had a Wandering Jew?

    May 22, 2007 by Jocelyn

    I have been going completely crazy for the past week or so, just waiting for the day when I can take my plants outside for good! We’ve had golf ball sized hail, rain, and snow all in the last week. I don’t know what the heck Mother Nature is thinking, but this just isn’t funny anymore! Anyhow, all of my summer outdoor plantings have been put on hold for another week or two, and I have been left to amuse myself with my houseplants. Which brings me to this goofy situation.

    Long story short, I have this plant that I had gotten from the local University greenhouse last summer, and didn’t know what it was called. It is really beautiful; green leaves with purple on the undersides of them. So I looked up the identification for it on Google, and managed to find that it is called a Wandering Jew. Aside from the strange name, I was happy to know more about the plant I had been keeping for so long.

    Now, I kind of feel like a nerd admitting this (because now I know I was totally wrong), but I had my Wandering Jew plant staked up. For some reason, I recall the plant that I had gotten mine from at the greenhouse was quite tall. Anyways, my plant was only staked up about 12 inches high, but the taller part of it was just hanging- it wouldn’t stand up. So I called upon the professional opinion of my peers on the UBC Botanical Garden forums. After writing out a lengthy, and what I thought was an informed post, the first reply I got back told me that “Wandering Jews are hanging basket plants…”. Honestly, I was totally embarrassed. But anyways, I just took his advice and let my plant hang. I rested the largest part of the plant on the table so it could get used to hanging, but of course I got home from work to find it had broken off. Apparently it had just gotten used to being staked up and couldn’t take the pressure of hanging.

    I was really sad that the biggest part of my colorful plant was busted. The rest of it (only a few short stems) was fine, and had no problems with hanging. But luckily for me, Wandering Jews are very easy to propagate. I know this because many pieces of it have been broken off before. All I have to do is stick them back in the dirt, and they will root after a while. With this large stem, I just stuck it in a cup of water to root first, as it is too heavy to just stick in the dirt without roots.

    So for right now, I’m just waiting for it to take root so I can repot it in a hanging basket this time. I am actually really excited about this plant, because it has been growing very quickly in the past few months. I will be taking it outside over the summer (if it ever decides to get here), and will hopefully see some little pink blooms on it again.

  3. Updated: How to Propagate Jade plants

    April 8, 2007 by Jocelyn

    Hello everyone! I’ve decided to update this post a bit. I’ve added some additional information, and hope to update with better images soon! Thanks for reading!


    Jade plants are my favorite houseplant, and are also one of the plants that I think I know the most about. I started with one or two of them, and over time that number has increased to the six Jades that I have now. Jade plant propagation is very easy!


    When I first wanted to propagate my Jade plant, I thought that I could take a leaf or cutting and just put it in some water. That is what I had done with some of my Ivy plants, so I figured that the propagation would work the same way. Needless to say, no new roots appeared and the plant cutting just died after a while in the water.


    After this happened, I talked to my mom (she is my gardening teacher) and she told me that all I needed to do was take a leaf or cutting and put it in soil.

    *Update: I’ve learned that a rooting hormone powder really helps with Jade plant propagation. My favorite is Green Light Organic. It’s pretty affordable, and seems to work well.

    So, all you do is take off a leaf and rest it against the side of the pot with the end of it just resting on the top of the soil. You don’t need to water it at all at first. I just water it sparingly about a week or so after sticking it in the dirt. You can start watering it more often once some roots start to develop.


    Starting a new plant from a leaf does take some time, but if you would like to have a larger Jade plant in a shorter amount of time, you can use a cutting from a healthy Jade plant to put in the soil. You may want to use the rooting hormone (as mentioned above), then stick the cutting into the dirt at least an inch or so; however much it takes to get it to be stable. If you don’t have rooting hormone, then I would recommend letting the end of the cutting dry out for a week or so before putting it into dirt. Again, water sparingly at first, and increase waterings as the root system develops.

    It’s important to note that Jades are notoriously slow growers! My mom’s Jade is about 2.5 feet tall, but it’s over 30 years old. So, don’t get discouraged if your jade doesn’t shoot up as quickly as you’d like!

    This technique should work with most similar succulents as well! If you have any questions, just let me know and I will be glad to give/find the answer for you!

    Like this post? Check out my article on How to Propagate African Violets!

    Thanks for reading!