Fun Activities For Kids
It is easy to just go to the store and buy plants, but it is more enjoyable and more interesting to grow your own.
African Violets grow in many colors and color combination, and their blossoms may be plain or frilled. Once you have established a routine for their care, they will bloom for many, many years.
This is a great activity for older children, or even younger ones, if they are supervised.
You can use your own African Violet plants to grow more, or perhaps take a leaf or two from a willing friend's.
To propagate your violets, you will need; a few healthy leaves, a small pot of good seed growing soil, rooting compound (make sure it contains a fungicide so your leaf does not rot), a piece of plastic wrap, and some small stakes. With those things on hand, you are ready to start.
1. From a healthy, disease-free plant, cut several mature leaves. Deal with the leaves one at a time.
2. Lay the leaf on a cutting board, and make a clean cut at the base of the stem.
3. Dip the cut stem into the rooting mixture. Poke a finger-deep hole in your seeding soil, and slip in the stem. Make sure the leaf jut below the surface of the soil. If it doesn't, remove the leaf. Cut off a bit of the stem. Re-dip in the rooting mixture and plant, pressing the soil firmly around the base of the leaf.
4. Press a small stake against the base of each of your leaves, and water well enough to moisten the soil.
5. Using large sheets of plastic, form a tent around the stake and the leaf. If your elastic does not cling to the pot, use an elastic band to keep it in place. You can also enclose your leaf and plant in a clear plastic bag. Hold it with an elastic.
6. Each leaf is now in its own greenhouse. Place your pots in a warm but not hot area. Do not place them in direct sunlight.
7. Check your plants every few days. After a few weeks, you will see that tiny plants have started to grow around the base of each leaf. How long this takes varies, so be patient.
8. As soon as the new plants appear, remove the plastic.
9. When these new plants are about two inches high, you can separate them into small pots and they will thrive on their own.
a) Never put water directly on the leaves of African Violets, or they will spot, and rot. African Violets originate in, yes, Africa. They grow in the shade of other plants and trees, where they are sheltered from direct rain. If you get even a few drops of water on your violet's leaves, dry them gently with a paper towel.
b) More African Violets die from over-watering than anything else. Water when the soil is just dry to the touch and make sure they are in well-drained pots.
c) African Violets like lots of light, but not direct sunlight, so choose their home wisely.
d) African Violets need good food if they are to bloom. There are several excellent foods for African Violets. Feed regularly as directed.
e) African Violets like a slightly humid atmosphere. If you home is dry, keep a bowl of water nearby.
Treat your violets well and they will bring you may years of beauty.