African Violet Pot Watering

I have a few AV leaves rooted, and am now wanting to plant them.
I had a pot, 4 inches. It's one of these pots in a pot. Glazed on the outside, the ceramic ungalzed pot sits in this pot.
And Ive tried this in the past, and have over watered it. I kept it in the bathroom, I wonder if the humidity of showers had an ill effect.
At any rate, I have this pot, I have a newly rooted cutting. I used potting soil, it sits in the office at work in an east facing window, it's all I have. With this kind of pot, how much water should I put in, and how often. Ive searched this newsgroup and the net, with mixed results. The last time I used this pot, I assumed I could keep water in it 24x7, and the plant would get it as needed. I was young and foolish, as I think I totally over soaked it.
Also, if I am allowed a secondary question. I have 3 other leaves now rooting, and I can see the little green stems coming up from just above the new roots in the water. When I eventually pot these leaves, should I put the roots and new the new growth deep in the soil? Or should I leave the leaves in the water until the new sprouts get a little longer, so when I do pot them, they are above the soil line. And furthermore, how long can the leaves stay in water, growing roots?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks!
-peter
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I went into violets in a big way a few years ago. The best results I ever got was using plastic pots (just like the ones you buy them in) with a hole in the bottom. Through the hole I would run a piece of cotton rope or fabric. That must run along side the soil in the pot and down into a tray UNDER the pot with pebbles in it. Water the PEBBLES and let the cotton rope draw up the water into the pot. Don't let the water touch the bottom of the pot. This gives the plant the right amount of water AND humidity.
Clay posts and violets just don't seem to go together -- especially after the plant gets big enough for the leaves to touch the rim of the pot.
Rooting it water is easy but it tends to make weak babies so don't leave them there indefinitely. Don't repot the new leaves below the soil line. You may find you have two or more new plants to each leaf. Separate them gently. The mother leaf can be reused if you do it right. When you first repot the babies you might want to place a plastic bag over the pot for a few days to help them get established. Remove in stages. Keep the bag off the plantlets with toothpicks or other upright devices stuck in the pot soil. Don't let it get wet in there; you just want it to stay warm and slightly moist.
BTW, an east window would be better if there was a sheer curtain between the sun and the plant. The best light for violets is north light.
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About the pot in pot set up that I think you're talking about - I'm using one right now for an AV, and it was given to my by a friend who swears by them for AVs. However, if it's the standard small pot - @ 3+ inches in diameter, your problem could be that it's too large for a tiny new plant - too much soil and not enough roots to fill the soil leads to roots rotting.
And yes, as FragileWarrior points out, be careful about rooting in water. I think cutting should be potted up just as the roots get to be about 1/4 - 1/2". Longer than that, and you wind up with a lot of fine roots that are strong enough to grow in (through) water, but aren't strong enough to make it when transferred to a soil mix.
Good luck! Suzy, Zone 5 in Wis.
FragileWarrior wrote:

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About the pot in pot set up that I think you're talking about - I'm using one right now for an AV, and it was given to my by a friend who swears by them for AVs. However, if it's the standard small pot - @ 3+ inches in diameter, your problem could be that it's too large for a tiny new plant - too much soil and not enough roots to fill the soil leads to roots rotting.
And yes, as FragileWarrior points out, be careful about rooting in water. I think cutting should be potted up just as the roots get to be about 1/4 - 1/2". Longer than that, and you wind up with a lot of fine roots that are strong enough to grow in (through) water, but aren't strong enough to make it when transferred to a soil mix.
Good luck! Suzy, Zone 5 in Wis.
FragileWarrior wrote:

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One thing to keep in mind- "potting soil" varies tremendously from brand to brand and mix to mix. If the pot is very heavy in relation to its size when you pick it up the potting soil may be too heavy and need more perlite mixed in to allow your roots to breathe. Too heavy a soil gets waterlogged and stays soggy far too long.
When you look at the potting soil is it black or are there lots of specks of white or grey mixed in? Or did you use a specialized "African Violet Potting Soil"?
--
Toni
South Florida USA
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I know what you mean about the weight. I accidentally planted another plant in outdoor garden soil a few months back. The pot was very heavy! This is a very light soil, black/brown with some white and brown bits mixed in. I dont remember the brand. It wasnt specifically for african violets.
-peter
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Get some specifically for African Violets. That's why they make it.
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