Monday, November 17, 2014

How to propagate by using a bloom stem

 So.... You may have heard that you can propagate an African violet by using a bloom stem.

Sometimes this is important to you because certain varieties of African violets do not "come true" or reproduce the same sort of flower if you simply reproduce another plant by rooting a leaf. Chimeras are one type of plant you must either take a sucker from OR start a bloom stem if you want the flowers to have the typical two color or striped pinwheel pattern on them.
To begin, you must put the name of the plant on the pot with permanent marker. No one remembers what that little thing in the unnamed pot is a couple of months down the road. PUT IT'S NAME ON THE POT!

Here you see some bloom stems just taken off the plant with the spent flowers still attached.
 Next you see that the spent flowers are trimmed off and the broken bent stem is trimmed so there is a fresh cut on the bottom of it.

There is still a little flower bud on the lowest one.... that should be taken off too. The stem needs to use it's energy on making roots and not trying to open that flower.
The topmost stem has larger "leaves" on it. The bloom stems that work the best are the ones that have the biggest "leaves" on them because they catch the most light and photosynthesize for the stem. Some varieties of violets produce bloom stems (or peduncles) that have larger green appendages ("leaves") and some produce ones that are almost nonexistent. Now, after the stems are in the soil, you water the pot and keep the pot moist but not soaking wet. Covering with a loose Baggie or a dome keeps up humidity. Many people prefer keeping newly starting plants covered till the new "babies" are 1/2 to 1" tall.


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