Propagation Of A Chimera African Violet With A Potato?

Perhaps this is one of the more odd posts I have done on this site, or maybe experimenter I have done in an effort to propagate a chimera Africa violet.  The inspiration  (if you want to call it that), comes from watching numerous (perhaps too many) YouTube videos on propagation of roses, zinnias, fruit trees, (you name it) and a variety of other perennials using a potato.  That’s right,  a potato!  Despite the myriad of such videos showing how to set it all up, I have never seen a follow through video showing you a well rooted cutting ready for transplanting  months after the original video.  So that missing piece alone tells me that more then a little skepticism surrounds this experiment.  But in all honesty these are the ones that are most fun.  So lets begin.

As we already discussed in earlier blogs we can use only flower stems or suckers to produce true chimera African violets.  In this case I am using flower stems produced from Neptune’s Treasure, from last months post.  And instead of using soil, we will be inserting it into a Potato.  I started by taking a fresh potato.  Fresh being defined as a firm non-soft of wrinkled potato.

Next I washed a 1/8 inch drill bit and dried it with a clean paper towel.  The diameter of the drill bit you will use should equal the diameter of the stem of the flower stem.  Then using 91% ethanol I soaked the bit for 1 min.  Attached the drill bit to the drill (without touching the part that will cut into the potato) and allowed the ethanol on the bit to dry by evaporation.   I then wiped with ethanol the area on the potato I will be making the holes.  Again allowing it to dry by evaporation.   Drill down only 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch deep.

I then drilled one hole for every stem I will be inserting into the potato.  In this case it is 9 holed as I have 9 stems.  The flower stems are mature in that they have fully bloomed.  I have used this type of flower stem in tissue cultures with considerable success so will use them here.   Four of the flower stems I dip the end into “Clonex” rooting solution and the other four I use no rooting media at all.  On the ninth stem I dipped it into water.  Sort of a control to a degree to the “Clonex”.  The stems are then inserted into the potato.

This is an image of how it looked after the process was completed.  I will now insert the entire potato with inserted stems into a bag to prevent dehydration (below image).

I will watch it carefully for signs of any mold growth.  And unlike the YouTube videos where there is never any follow up, you will see it here, for better or worse (I suspect worse).  I will post it.


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