Reading 1001 African Violet Questions Answered by 12 Experts edited by Helen Van Pelt Wilson, I found a question that tweaked my curiosity.
"Question 156. I am asked, is egg-shell water beneficial?"The book's expert scoffed a bit at the notion African Violets craved calcium or that they would ever need to be watered with eggshell water. So I did a search to see if this was an old time-tested "grandma recipe" ...or a myth. Found other old-fashioned tips as well, such as adding used coffee grounds as fertilizer (which I've done to outside plants), banana peels beneath house plants (which I will not!) or inserting rusty nails into the plant pot soil to give it iron?
And RAINWATER is said to be a good thing.
(Don't get me started. I'm ready to run screaming from the house like a mad woman the instant the sun appears...mother of gawd is it ever going to stop raining?)
Got it into my head to experiment at some point with the eggshell ideas once a few extras of the African Violet "mouse ears" have grown big enough to separate. These leaves were started May 5th when my package of 6 plants arrived in the mail and needed to be repotted.
Not too surprisingly, babies appear to grow faster from a leaf under 12 hours of artificial light VS the 2 pots placed on the window sill above the sink facing north. Still nothing visible from those. Although there is also one pot of leaves from same date on the light shelf with still nothing happening ...hmmm.
During all of my searching using the word eggshell, I came up with a craft idea and decided to include my 8 year old nephew Kyle on Father's Day.
We made Eggheads!
I made one up ahead to give him an idea of what we were doing and he eagerly agreed to help, carefully drawing faces on 6 eggshells and then chose which plant hair-style to give them. He opted not to do the actual planting. (Baby-steps getting him away from Transformer obsession; a few minutes at a time!)
Note to self: washable markers NOT the best way to create lasting images on plant pots that get wet!