Getting an African Violet
Basically, there are several ways of getting an African violet plant:
1. Buy one in supermarket or garden center or preferably in the nursery
If you buy a small African violet plant, be careful to buy one with green and healthy leaves that are symmetrically growing from the center and hopefully have some, not yet flowered, buds in the middle of the plant. It is best to buy them directly from nursery, but they can sometimes charge you even more than supermarkets or garden centers.
Since it is more than enough to have 5-6 African violets (or even less) to fully enjoy having them, this expense is not so big. And it all starts with the very first one :)
2. Get a leaf or two from friends
If you can, get a leaf or two from your friends or relatives (with or without their knowledge :o) ). This is by far the cheapest way, and for me most fulfilling when growing my own African violets. Just be sure to take green and healthy leaves, of course without damaging original plant in any way.
If your friends or relatives are having African violets that you like, the best thing is to ask them to leave you a leaf or two when they plan to prune their plants - when pruning African violets, some healthy lower leaves are often removed and these can be used for rooting. Also, many people prune their plants 'as needed', so removing a leaf will not ruin the plant.
Of course, always be very careful, since you are dealing with delicate and fragile plants (especially if you working with those mini and micro African violet plants).
3. Growing African Violets from seeds
African violets can be grown from the seeds. Many people avoid this for several reasons:
- they don't know that their pet plants can be grown from the seeds,
- African violet seeds are very small and I mean really really small and somewhat hard to work with - if you sneeze, you can send them flying all over the place - literally.
- it takes more time to grow flowering plant from seeds than from leaf cutting. Not to mention that, when you are buying your African violet plant, you are already buying a flowering plant.
Purchasing African violet seeds can be risky - you never know what have you bought until you grow it. So, when ordering seeds, be sure to order them from established growers.
4. Online Ordering
With fast and global delivery, online ordering is one of the common methods of getting desired African Violet variety, regardless if you are ordering from African Violet growers directly, from reputable garden centers or from general online shops like, for example, Amazon.
When ordering online, one can order leaves only, rooted leaves, young plants, blooming plants or seeds. IMHO, if you have time, order leaves only - they are usually sent well protected and can endure the stress of transport very well. And they are the cheapest option, but require some time to become blooming African Violets.
On the other hand, blooming plants don't tolerate transport so well, but again, reputable growers are very keen to keep their reputation good, so they pack them very well and sent with fast shipping, practically door-to-door, globally. This option is also the most expensive one, but one gets fully grown and developed plant, practically 'ready for the show' :)