Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rooting Thanksgiving Cactus & Cupped African Violet

If only every plant propagated as well as the Christmas or Thanksgiving cactus. I have not lost a cutting of this ever, even when I can't get around to it right away. I have two humidity domes for high humidity plants, or for rooting some plants. I had totally forgotten about a few cuttings that I had pretty much thrown in the humidity dome, and today I found it laying at the bottom, hidden from view. The picture below shows roots already developing even though it has not been potted up yet. These are as easy to root as putting some cuttings in a baggie and giving it a spray of water. I did not pot this one up yet, I am going to continue to see how it does in the humidity dome.

So they are easy to root, and the root system develops quite quickly. I use small white Dixie cups when rooting various things, and the picture below shows the roots that have formed over a three month period. These cuttings were put in the cup (no rooting hormone) on October 24 2007, and three months later this is the root system it has developed.

Many of my first babies are starting to show small buds. It will be the first time I have seen some of them bloom, so I am really excited. The African Violet in the picture below is gearing up to throw out some flowers, but this one is somewhat different from my other AV's. The leaves are cupped, and they are unlike any AV I have ever seen. I know there are many leaf types when it comes to AV's, but this is the first one I have seen that has leaves cupped like this. When I first started noticing this trait, I thought at first it was having problems (low light, high light, not enough fertilizer). I have come to see now, that this isn't the case, as it has continued to grow quite nicely, and it is ready to bloom.

Here is a close up pic of the same African Violet pictured above. The first flower bud is just starting to peek it's head out from under the leaves. I can't even begin to imagine what the flowers look like, other than they look somewhat purple.

And last but not least I had to show off an African Violet that has steadily bloomed over the past few months. It is so nice to be able to see flowers in the dead of winter.

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