Guest Post – Growing A Show Plant

Growing A Show Plant
with a little help from my friends


G rowing for show seemed like an impossibility with schedules and tweaking the growing conditions which always seemed to be a bit off. Now, with assistance from well, pretty much everyone, the attempt will be made to groom and grow existing plants in the collection for show.

For this particular project, it seemed a fun idea to start a new plant from a leaf with the goal of it going to show. It may be a bit of a tight schedule, under a year, which played into the decision to pick a plant for its small size, increasing the possibility it will be ready for the AVSA 2019 National Convention in Houston, Texas.

In the three and a half years of learning this hobby, honestly, the plants have not been looked at every single day. That is now going to change. From leaf to show, this plant will be photographed every day – documenting the state of the project, touched, groomed, and inspected, by whoever is at the house.

The photos will be placed on a new Instagram account, @growing_an_african_violet, and also on a Pinterest board under the All About African Violets Pinterest account.  Major milestones may also make their way here as special posts.

Here is the first image from project, posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018. A leaf of Rob’s Cherry Soda.

The project leaf - Rob's Cherry Soda, put down and under a glass dome.

The project leaf – Rob’s Cherry Soda

This plant was chosen because it has been growing reasonably well, though definitely not show quality. With guidance from people who do grow for show, this plant will have an outstanding chance to shape-up and score well at the convention, (proof of learning to grow well). The leaf itself has interesting variegation, and when the time comes for it to show its first flowers many people will find those quite attractive as well.

You can see the original plant is attractive, even in its un-groomed state.

Rob's Cherry Soda directly after being removed from the plant room. Un-groomed, spent flowers, basically a mess.

Don’t Judge! Rob’s Cherry Soda pre grooming


The form of the plant is revealed after the flowers have been removed. The seedpod has been left on the plant.

The form of the plant after the flowers have been removed. Seedpod left on!

Rob’s Cherry Soda
8055 03/05/1994
R. Robinson
Semidouble light rose-pink sticktite pansy/dark rose-red fantasy.
Crown variegated dark green, yellow and beige, plain.

This project was conceived while driving home from this year’s convention. It took a while to choose which plant to try, and then, why not wait to plant it during a favorable moon?

So here we are, 345 days left, a leaf, a nervous husband, a curious bf, and a dream of a blue ribbon. Prepare yourselves for a long and at times monotonous photo documentation of an African Violet leaf being grown into a show plant.


Douglas “the digital dude”