Many years ago, I somehow obtained an interesting African Violet plant. If I remember correctly, I got it while I was still an undergraduate student at SUNY ESF in the early 1970s. I was into house plants at the time and I was struck by this particular plant because unlike all the other African Violets I had seen, this one had leaves with wavy edges. So it made it into my plant collection.
My Mom was also taken with it so I gave her a couple of leaves which she rooted. Over the years, I remember seeing it from time to time when I would visit my parents but it eventually faded from my memory.
Fast forward to 2015. I’m helping my Mom clean out her house sometime after my Dad passed away and she points to an African Violet she has and says “Do you remember this African Violet that you gave me all those years ago” or something like that. “Well, this is the same plant” I was flabbergasted and elated at the same time.
“Really,” I said. “Oh, I have to have one again.” Now it has been years since I did much with house plants. Oh, I had the occasional one, and I had balcony plants on my condos and I have a great rubber tree plant that I’ve had for years but my partner, J, is into plants in a big way and I just knew she’d love it.
Well, I live in British Columbia, Canada and Mom lives in Greenville, North Carolina so we hatched a plan. The next time she came to visit family on the West Coast, she would bring a couple of leaves and I would get them back to my home in BC. And that’s what we did. We had a family wedding in Portland, Oregon and Mom brought a few leaves in her luggage. She had put them in a plastic ziploc bag wrapped in moist paper towels to keep them from drying out.
As we had driven down to Portland from Vancouver, BC, it was no problem to get the leaves back across the border and into our home.
I put them in water, they successfully rooted and I planted them in small pots. I gave one plant to one of our good friends who also loves plants and just waited for the other plants to grow. And grow they did.
A couple of days ago, we were in a dollar store and saw some great pots and I thought, perfect for the violets. Yesterday, I transplanted them and one of them had already started to flower. That was one of the things I also liked about these African Violets. They liked to flower over and over and over….
And so the circle is now completed and continues. I was able to subdivide the original plants from the 2 leaves into 4 new ones and will keep passing them along to family and friends.