What are African Violet chimera flowers?
- “Chimera” African Violet flowers have a typical ‘pinwheel’ or ‘radial’ stripe throughout the flower.
- The stripe pattern of two colors (bi-color) repeats on each lobe of the African Violet flower petal.
- Each of the chimera stripes/bands are of a distinct color and are found on the same flower.
- On each African Violet chimera flower the stripes are one color and the space between the stripes are another color.
- As a result, each petal of the chimera African Violet flower is striped with a distinct color and alternates with another distinct color.
- “Chimera” African Violet flowers are also sport flowers, usually bicolor, colored edge or fantasy flowers mutate to produce a sport, a chimera.
What Causes African Violet Plants To Produce Chimera Flowers?
- Chimeras naturally occur as an occasional genetic mutation usually in bi-color, fantasy or different edge flowers.
- Chimera flower stems contain two different types of genetic materials in the tissues.
- Within these tissues there are two layers of cells in Chimera flowers.
- One layer of cells is responsible for the overall color of the bloom and the other layer of cells is responsible for the color of the stripes. The stripes can be the another color or in a hue of the same bloom color.
- When a cross section of the Chimera bloom stem was taken, it displayed the cells inherited from the mother plant on the outer layer of cells and the mutated cells on the inner second layer of cells.
- The outer layer of cells is responsible for the overall color of the bloom and the inner layer of cells is responsible for the color of the stripes.
How To Propagate African Violet Chimeras?
- African Violet chimeras can only be propagated from bloom stalks or suckers or crown decapitation to produce suckers.
- African Violet chimeras can not be propagated from leaves, as we normally do for other violets. (For more information on leaf propagation, please visit our post, “African Violet Leaf Propagation: How to Produce Baby Plantlets?”).
- To propagate chimeras from bloom stalks, carefully remove the bloom / flower stalk from the plant. Select a bloom/flower stalk which has set of two leaves on it. Slice off the bloom or bloom bud, leaving you with only the bloom stalk. Slice the stalk down to an inch in length and pot them up them gently in moist soil mix, plain perlite or sphagnum moss. (For more information on African Violet potting mix, please visit our post, “African Violet Soil/Potting Mix“).
- Place the pot in a sealed ziploc baggie. In a months time, new baby plantlets will start to form.
- To propagate chimeras from suckers, carefully remove the suckers from the plant using a sucker plucker and re-pot in moist soil mix. Place the pot in a ziploc baggie and after a month, baby plantlets should appear. (For more information on how to remove and re-pot African Violet suckers, please visit our post, “African Violet Suckers: What Are They and Removal?“).
- To propagate chimeras by crown decapitation. First slice off the crown from the plant using a clean sharp knife/scalpel. Re-pot this crown, to again start growing. Keep in a sealed ziploc baggie. Now start working on the base of the plant containing the leftover stub.
- Keep the base of the main plant from which the crown was decapitated, place in a sealed ziploc baggie. Within a month, new suckers should form. Allow the suckers to become large before removal.
- If your chimera African Violet plant is a trailer, then propagating them is quite easy. You can just divide and pot up the growing crown or gently slice off a growing crown and re-pot.
- Its good to remember that not all suckers will develop a chimera flower. Wait for the plant to bloom and make sure its a true chimera flower.
What Happens If You Put Down A Leaf From An African Violet Chimera Flower Plant?
- If you put down a leaf from an African Violet chimera flower plant, in most cases you will get a solid colored bloom. The dominant color in the chimera, will be displayed in the solid colored bloom.
- From a single leaf if you get 8 babies, then one may be a chimera flower. The others will be different shades of the main solid color.
What Are The Optimum Growing Conditions For African Violet Chimera Flowers?
- If an African Violet chimera plant is under stress, it may revert back to its original bi-color or solid color bloom.
- Chimeras, like other violets prefer temperatures around 70F and regular watering. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
- Remember to regularly groom the plant, remove & re-pot suckers in fresh soil as they arise. The plant can get stressed if too many suckers are growing.
- If your African Violet chimera bloom has sported back to a bi-color or solid, it may be that the plant was not healthy when first transplanted, it went through extreme temperature fluctuations or the soil went through dry-wet cycles.
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