African Violet Chimera

Helpful Hints (Courtesy of Mr. Robert Albro)

Experience is the best teacher are some tips I've learned and would like to pass on.


Leaf Cuttings (Standards)

  1. When first putting down leaf cuttings do not feed until you see the babies coming thru the soil.


  2. When the babies are an inch or so high, cut off  the mother leaf and watch the babies grow.  If  it is a variegated variety make sure the babies have plenty of green showing, otherwise leave the

    mother leaf on until they do.

  3. When a mother leaf gets too big and is blocking light from others, take a pair of scissors and trim her back.


Tip Cuttings And Suckers

 When putting in tip cuttings and AV suckers, put some soil in the bottom of the pot and put in 4 or 5 pellets of 14-14-14 Osmocote slow release fertilizer, then finish putting the rest of the soil in the pot.  When the roots start growing and they reach the fertilizer it will give the new plants a good start.


Potting (All)

 Do not pack the soil around the plant with your fingers.  Tap the pot on the work surface to settle it in around the plant. Roots won't get the air they need if the soil is packed in.  It is very important to the learn difference.


Regular Potting Mix

This potting mix is what we use for bottom or top watering.

12 quarts Pro Mix BX

12 quarts course perlite

12 quarts course vermiculite

2 cups charcoal (optional)


Potting Mix For Wick Or Matt Watering

12 quarts Pro Mix BX

12 quarts course perlite

6 quarts course vermiculite

2 cups charcoal (optional)

If you wish to make the mix heavier or lighter, add or take away vermiculite.


Wick Or Matt Watering

Contrary to popular belief,  the size of the wick does not control how much moisture your plants receive.  Your potting mix does!


PVC Table Top Light Stand

Follow the photo for assembly. 


The table top light stand is simple and cheap to build. It is approximately 4' long and 31" high. It is made from 1" pvc purchased from the home store.

You will need the following: 6 elbows, 2 t's, 4 pcs cut to 5" long, 2 pcs cut to 19" long, and 1 pc cut to 49.5" to 50" long. These lengths should be varible to your own personal needs.

The only part you will need to cement is the two elbows at each end of the 49.5" cross peice This will prevent it from pulling apart. Not cementing the rest of the stand will allow you to take it apart for storage.
Now all you will need is a 4' flo-fixture, 40 watt, two bulbs. I do not recommend that you purchase the $8 shop light because the reflector is not big enough to distribute the light efficiently.


Matted Reservoir


Select a container with a matching lid. If you do not use a purchased one, but a used container, you will have to cut two holes in the lid to accommodate the wick. Next cut your mat (I use fleece) to fit the top of your lid. Note, this material must be a synthetic material and not a natural fiber. The natural fiber will rot. Now cut a strip of yarn 8" or 9" long depending on the depth of your container. Before you use your reservoir, you must pre-soak the mat and the wick for it to work. Fill your reservoir with water and plant food, Set your plant on top of the matting on the reservoir and you're in business. These reservoirs will last me 2 or 3 weeks. Mine are 32 oz in size. Some plants take up more water than others, so this may vary. 


The hole in the edge of the mat in the picture is for filling the reservoir. Align the hole in the mat with the hole in the reservoir lid for filling.
For me this method is better than the regular wicking method. It has far less failures.



© copyright 2007/08  AVChimera /

All material including photos is copyrighted and is the exclusive property of©.  Unauthorized use of photos or any material contained within this website is prosecutable by the fullest extent of the law.

All pictures with the Violets and Such footprint are used with the explicit permission of Robert Albro.  These photos may not be copied or reproduced for any reason and are considered copyright material that falls under the property restrictions of