“I dropped the pot the other day. See? The leaves have broken off so I can’t sell it now. You can have it.”
I couldn’t say no so I thanked the lady. I felt I had adopted an orphan; the plant no one wanted.
The bruised African violet (does anyone actually call it Saintpaulia?) didn’t look too bad despite being lopsided. But I wondered if it could have gone to a better home.
I had bought two pots of AVs a few years back when I was up in the highlands.
(wouldn’t you have found them hard to resist if you had seen this expanse of AVs?)
But a couple of months and a few leaf propagations later, I was ready to call it quits. To tell the truth, I find the AV a little fiddly.
I was tempted to pass the poor orphan to someone who could appreciate it but could not make myself do it.
So, I played the reluctant guardian. I bemoaned my lack of patience with gesnariads and my friends probably sympathized with the plant.
“So how’s the African violet? Is it blooming?”
“No,” I replied, “but at least it’s still alive.”
Then more buds showed. I felt like a proud guardian when the first bud bloomed.
And then when it was lovely enough to be part of the décor during the lunar new year, I knew it had come into its own.
But, would I like another AV? Er, no, I’ll pass. One is plenty, thank you.
Care and propagation: bright light, out of direct sunlight; potting mix; water generously at base; wick-watering recommended. Propagate using leaf-propagation method.