Seed? Here's a Closer Look
By Joanna Gaelic Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand
I got bit by the African violet bug in 2018 but got serious about hybridizing them when I moved back home to New Zealand last year.
I bought several leaves off another grower, but my impatience got the better of me, and before my leaf babies had even grown out, I asked around on our New Zealand African Violet Facebook group for spare seeds. Another New Zealand hybridizer said they had some excess to share, so I immediately bought them.
I just happen to have a handheld microscope (20x-60x zoom) as I raise monarch butterflies and need a way to check them for parasites. So, I thought, well, if I’ve got it, why not use it! I decided to do a little experiment: germinating African violet seeds on damp paper towels in a sealed container so I could capture the process of the tiny seedlings breaking out with my microscope. And what a fascinating process it is.