Why don't African violets propagate "true"?
April 19, 2012 6:15 PM Subscribe
Why do African violets not propagate "true," in regards to color patterns?
posted by fiercecupcake to Home & Garden (1 answer total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I love African violets and have grown them for years. They're the only plant I seem to be able to keep alive. I have recently had success rooting both the suckers from established violets and the crowns cut off of old, leggy ones.
What I don't really understand is why, if I take the sucker or crown off a plant, when the newly rooted one flowers it will have a different color pattern. For example: I took a pretty large sucker off my geneva violet (purple flowers with white edges) and now that sucker's flowering, and they're white with purple edges.
I have found many, many websites about propagating violets, and about all I can understand from these is that yes, this is the way it works. But why? Are suckers chimeras? I've never gotten a leaf cutting to root, but do THOSE propagate true? Seeds would, right, if they ever made seeds?
Assume that I have very, very little knowledge of plants (I kill everything else!), and only a little of genetics. Pea plants and dominant/recessive, yes; cat coat colors, not really. What I need is an explanation for someone who knows nothing about gardening but loves her violets.