From leaf to bloom time

greenvein(8)January 18, 2011

It takes about 6 months between beginning to propagate a leaf and the first bloom from one of its plantlets. Does anyone know a way to shorten this time? Thanks.

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I know I'm slow, but I've never had one go from leaf to bloom in six months. I'd be happy just to make that happen :)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 11:13AM
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I agree with azpedsrn. My plantlets are 6 months out from putting down the leaf and haven't bloomed. I typically hear 9-12 months as the time to start expecting blooms.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 3:11PM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

I don't know that you can shorten it any further. Mine took about 6-7 months to first bloom, but I think it may also depends on the variety. I put leaves down in April/May of last year and got first blooms by December. Some of them still haven't bloomed, but most have. I just gave them good light during the whole process and fed them lightly as soon as they had roots, increasing the dosage as the plants got bigger. Once they were big enough to strike out on their own, I put them on either individual wick containers or on capillary matting. I also mix Biotone plant starter plus in my mix once I separate babies. It gives them a nice boost.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 4:29PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Depends on the variety - but without special babying probably more - I have all my starters blooming from leaves I brought from Raleigh in mid April - 9 months.

I would say if you want to have them earlier - root them under the dome - you will get the babies earlier. (At least in a dry climate). Separate them early - do not wait until they bloom in a clump. Keep them under the dome after separation for a couple of weeks to speed the rooting. Give them good light and decent humidity - and repot by mold potting as soon as they fill their solo cups with roots. T8 light is better than T12 - gives them a bit more energy. Give them a drink of fish emulsion every so often on the top of a good fertilizer rootine. (DynaGro plus a pinch of Epsom salt will work).

Generally - if you have perfect AV growing setup - and spend quality time with them - they will grow faster. if you a real "nut" - get yourself a CO2 contraption - and pressurize your growing room with extra CO2.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 4:46PM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

Paul Sorano recently switched from T-12s to T-8s and he said the results were outstanding, and fast. One of these days, I may do that too!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 5:01PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

For me it is not one of these days - I got a scheme - when my t12 shoplight dies - and they die because they all are "el cheapo"s from Walmart - I am dragging in the T8 from Home Depot - and not a shoplight - but a ceiling fixture - they have larger distance between the tubes.

So - my madness have a system


Here is a link that might be useful: fixture

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 5:16PM
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Thanks to all of you for your prompt responses. I suppose I will have to be satisfied with 6 months plus. Sometimes Nature's envelope cannot be pushed beyond a certain point.
I accidentally discovered that blooming violets can be put under an ordinary table lamp with a 100 watt bulb and they will continue to bloom indefinitely. I intended just to display some for a week and left them for a year because
they continued to be pretty.

I have photos showing this if anyone wants to see. Email me. I don't know how to attach a photo here.

Again, many thanks for your advice.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 8:02PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Provided you have enough ambient light in a room - why not.

my prompt replies are because I am at work and waiting for my jobs to run. I submit one - and have a break until it finishes and I look at it.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 8:25PM
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Sounds like you work in a production center. I used to do that, send to print, break while it's running and when it finishes, look at it to make sure all is well...

Violet :)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 1:26AM
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Sometime in July I accidentally knocked a leaf off of my African Violet, and stuck it into a small cup of potting soil. I put it next to some other plants on a window-sill, and have been watering it twice a week since then. The leaf has been happily sitting in his pot for some 6 months with not visible sign of change. There is no new growth, neither is there any sign of death, drying out, or decay. A few days ago, my curiosity finally got the better of me, and I depotted it. It looks like it has a pretty extensive root system down below. Do I just have a lazy leaf? Is there something else I need to do to get some sort of new above-ground growth?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 4:06PM
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When you say small cup, just how small is it? Dixie cup size? I find that a small cup confines the roots and I have more success. What kind of potting soil. Soiless medium or just plain potting soil.

Disturbing the roots may not have been a bad idea. Sometimes that is all it takes to get a lazy leaf to jump start.

I would also try to get it a little more light. You don't want to expose it to midday sunlight, but if you could put it into a brighter spot that might help.

If you have your leaf in a fairly porous mixture I would try covering the leaf with clear plastic. If you do this then make sure that the potting medium is not too soggy. Also DO NOT expose the covered plant to direct sunlight. It will cook the plant. If the mixture is not porous then don't cover it.

I hope this helps.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 3:54AM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

Cutting the top one third of the leaf off may help as well. A tip I learned from the veteran growers Marie Burns and Diane Richardson, in my AV club. It worked for me on most leaves. Some are just stubborn varieties and no amount of poking, prodding, moving, cutting, etc will force it to make babies.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 6:58AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Hear, hear!

It works.

The second way to deal with the broken leaf - stick it back into the same pot - if you have space in it -and provided you do not plan to show it. If the leaf is too large - chop the top of the leaf blade.

This way you get 1-2 babies - not 15 - and there is no danger you will forget what variety is your leaf,


    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 3:09PM
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Would one of you explain T-12s and T-8s? Does this refer to the intensity of the lights? Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 9:09AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Right now there are 3 types of fluorescent tubes you can get - T5, T8 and T12. I suspect that 5,8 and 12 is something like circumference in centimeters. Anyway - T5s are really skinny, really bright and expensive - T12 - they are the regular fluorescent tubes we used to see in shoplights, and T8s are in-between price wise and thickness wise.

They are marked on the tube, on the box and on a fixture - which ones they are or what type this fixture uses. Each type needs the designated fixture.

The smaller the diameter - usually the more intense is the light - but inside the same number = they can be hi and regular output tubes.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 7:31PM
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My lazy leaf is in potting soil in a 4 inch plastic pot in what is, unfortunately, the brightest window in my apartment. I'll try snipping off the top of the leaf, and report back.

Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 1:34PM
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HI Pete,
I think htat your pot is too large. A leaf must fill the container with roots before it pushes up plantlets. Also I would try to lighten up my soil mix or use just vermiculite and perlite.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:53AM
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