Some plants have the amazing capacity to grow from cuttings.
The new plant will look exactly like the mother plant.
To propagate my African Violet, I just take a leaf cutting leaving about 1" stem, add root hormone if I am rooting my African Violet in soil. My Mom roots her African Violets in water. I tried that and my cuttings just rotted.
Rooting Hormone is not very expensive, but depending where you live it might be hard to find.
I bought mine either at Lowes or Homedepot.
If you have willow you can make your own rooting hormone.
Cut willow into 1" pieces and put them in a container.
Cover the willow pieces with 2" of water.
Let the mixture stand for about 24 hours or more.
Remove the willow and insert the new cuttings and let the cuttings soak overnight before planting.
I found it easier to just buy the hormone powder, but sometimes the stores where I live doesn't carry everything and I do have willow.
The best media for taking cuttings are moisture-retentive soil with good drainage, insect and disease free.
I just use Miracle-Gro Potting soil from Costco and add extra perlite, sand or vermiculite for drainage.
Last time I bought Miracle-Gro potting soil at Costco, my house was infested with fungus gnats, now I pasteurize my soil first.
Pasteurizing potting soil at canadian-gardening.ca
Basically all you have to do is bake the soil until it reaches about 180°F. to kill eggs, insects etc.
Or you can buy Miracle-gro African Violet Potting soil.
I like mixing my own potting soil and there's a video here from Youtube.
I just cover my cuttings with a clear drinking glass, but I have used a cloche. A plastic bag will work as well. Hold the plastic bag down with a rubber-band and prop the bag up with chop-sticks, so the plastic won't be resting on the leaves.
The structures will keep the surrounding air moist and minimize water loss until the cuttings starts to grow. Provide ventilation by removing cover for 1-2 hours occasionaly to prevent rotting.
To harden-off the rooted cuttings increase the removal time of the structure.
I like to wait until the plantlets are a good size before planting them in their permanent pots.
Use clean and sharp tools.
Do not start cuttings from a diseased or insected infested-plant.
With African Violets, I try to have at least 2 of my favorite color plants going all the time. When one dies I have a healthy plant to start another one.
I don't like doing this, because I'm always afraid of losing my plant. So far I haven't lost any. When I removed the plant from the pot, the stem was already hallow and soft. So, I cut the stem back to where it's still firm, removed most of the leaves and replant and cover it with a plastic bag, cloche or a clear jar. So far it has always worked for me.
I just did this and so far I still have 2 African Violets.
I removed the plant from the pot and separated the two plants giving each as much root as I could.
Picture of African Violets in separate pots and they're still alive.
I like clay pots and then I move them to decorative pots.
Sometimes I use just whatever I have, but with clay pots if I over-water my plant, which I often do, the clay pot will absorb the extra water and save me from rotting my plants.
I Like watering the pot saucer and let my plant take as much water as it needs, but I do water my plants from the top as well. Just the soil. The leaves don't like to be wet and if you water the crown it will rot your plant.
So far I only had mealy bugs and fungus gnats
For Mealy Bugs: - I used Q-tip and soaked in alcohol and just rubbed the mealy bugs off.
Fungus Gnats: - I used 4 parts of water - to 1 part Hydrogen Peroxide and watered the soil - sticky tape helps.
However, not to sound negative - this takes more time and frustration than starting a new plant from clippings. I try to save my plant first, but meanwhile I start rooting a new plant, just incase.
I love African Violets and I just bought two new ones at Homedepot. This is November and I didn't expect to see any of these plants until the spring.