Friday, July 15, 2011

AFRICAN VIOLET LOVE

My grandma and I share a love of violets. If you look around my house, you'll quickly see I'm somewhat addicted to these lovely blooming houseplants, which populate tiered stands in one of my parlors—not to mention my kitchen, my dining room, my bedrooms, even my bathrooms. Many of my violets are more than 10 years old. They're a gift that just keeps giving.


We recently visited Grandma and I wanted to bring her a little something special. I knew just the thing that would light up her eyes! Grandma loves both indoor and outdoor plants. In fact, she often jests that she's never met a plant she didn't like (although I don't think she was joking!). My African violets were in need of some grooming, yielding extra leaves that I don't need. So I decided to assemble a little African violet surprise package—leaf starters and a teeny plantlet for her to add to her collection.


It's the simplest thing to put together. You just need a few small plastic cups (I clip off the tops since violets don't need a deep pot. In fact, they like to be potbound). Be sure to carefully poke a hole in the bottom of each of the cups for drainage! I find these little plastic food trays work great for holding multiple violet starters. The indentations perfectly fit the bottoms of the small cups! If you know the name of the violet, label the cup with it as well as the date you planted the leaf. I also like to print out photographs of what the plant will look like when it's full grown to give to the recipient. Depending on the variety, those leaves will sprout adorable babies (below) in just a few weeks to a month.


If you have violet leaves to spare, I hope you'll give this little gift idea a try, for we all know it is better to give than to receive. I can guarantee it will make a violet lover's day!

16 comments:

  1. What lovely photos! Also the cats are too cute...Thank You for stopping by. I agree on the dressing up prairie style....I think it would be so much fun....Blessings to you and have a nice weekend...

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  2. What green fingers you have!

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  3. What a lovely idea for a gift! Thank you!

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  4. Violets remind me of my gran too. When I was a little girl she gave me a tiny bottle of Devon Violets perfume and whenever I smell that now I always think of her. Your African Violets are so pretty.

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  5. I love African violets and had a really pretty one in my kitchen window. It did great for quite awhile and then, somehow I killed it! I bought another one...killed it too! Then I gave up. You sure have the touch - yours are beautiful.

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  6. That brings back memories. I used the grow African violets as a teenager. I was really into horticulture.

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  7. What a lovely gift, like you said "the gift that keeps on giving."

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  8. My big old man of a father loved violets. He raised them and people were always giving him a new one. I have tried, but they never seem to like me. I see them at the store and want one so bad, but I refuse, as I know I will soon kill it. Yours look so pretty on the stand. Good job. Richard from My Old Historic House

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  9. What a lovely variety of African violets you have. They look very pretty on the white tiered stand. I love the leaf starter gift idea too.

    Thank you for visiting me at Tea and Talk.

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  10. What a great gift idea. My mom used to always have african violets around the house. I didn't inherit her green thumb though. I can't seem to keep houseplants alive.

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  11. This is a lovely idea and I'm sure it will brighten your grandma's day! My gran was a plant lover too. She especially loved red geraniums and always had plenty of them around her home and garden, so whenever I see them, I think of her. I love the tiered stand showcasing your beautiful violets!

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  12. Is there a specific brand or type of soil you use for the cuttings? The one African violet I have seems to be dying, so I would like to use the remaining leaves to propagate new plants.

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  13. What a well-timed post! I have some violet leaves I need to do this with TODAY!

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  14. You really do have a green thumb! All your violets are so pretty. I love all the colors they come in. Yes, amber was one of the colors of that glassware. Take a look at the links at the bottom of my post and you may find a photo of your pitcher. They show all sorts of wrinkled patterns and various colors and shapes of the different pieces.

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  15. Thanks for all the lovely comments everyone. It's so wonderful to hear from fellow violet fans. And for those of you who haven't had the best of luck with them, I hope you will give them another try. I can send you a care sheet from the national African violet organization if you like. Just email me privately with your address info if you're interested!

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  16. My thumb is far from green, but African Violets are one houseplant that I can actually keep alive. I've never tried starting a new plant from a leaf though...I may give it a try! Thanks for the idea!

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