African violet leaves – can you buy and grow?

African violet leaf

African violet leaf

At present we have african violets (saintpaulias) for sale on our website ( but I’ve noticed that there are people who sell african violet leaves on eBay. These aren’t exactly cheap (around £1 per leaf seems the norm) so it’s something I’m keen to explore as we have a lot of different varieties.

We grow some of our plants from leaf cuttings (I’m going to say more about that in a different article) and it’s pretty straightforward. However, I’ve always wondered how viable an african violet leaf would be after a few days i.e. the time it takes to post one somewhere else in the UK.

Therefore, I’m going to conduct a very simple experiment with a set of leaves (from the same plant and all a similar size) to see if leaves stored in a certain way will still be viable. The conditions will be:

  1. Air-tight plastic
  2. Sealed paper pocket
  3. No container

All the leaves will be kept in the dark for four days before being treated as a normal cutting and introduced to some water.

I’ll let you know how I get on…

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1 Response to African violet leaves – can you buy and grow?

  1. Carole says:

    I have bought leaves on many occasions and from people both here in the UK and in Europe. On the whole they do very well and nice plants result. However I did receive some in plastic pockets with water in them and those leaves had rotted. I also had one or two which came by air I suppose from Germany and had been subjected to low temperature and those also failed. Normally, a dry leaf in a plastic pocket is fine. Some sellers put a little damp cotton wool round base of stem and then isolate the wet part by wrapping the cotton wool bit in silver foil so that no water leaks out onto the leaf itself. That seems to work really well.

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