New to AV

jeh4zJanuary 31, 2008

I'm new to houseplants in general... I'm up to 3 now, with this guy as my latest addition. I saw him in Lowe's and he looked unhappy. I picked off all the wilting flowers, then put some warm water with the fertilizer stuff in a dish and let him soak it up. So, questions. Should the bottom row of stems be so droopy? Also, when I pick off the flowers, do I want to get the stem they are on too? I have him next to a big window, so I think he gets enough light. Any other tips on getting vibrant and frequent blooms would be appreciated... I'm new to this whole plant thing, but I love it so far. Also, I kind of want to know what type of AV it is, if anyone can identify it. Thanks!

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minibot(z9bNorCA Sz16)

Everyone has their own preferences or suggestions, but I'd say get some African Violet food. I use Schultz and it works great for me. I put fourteen drops in a two liter bottle and use that to water my AVs when they need it. I have a couple with a wicking system, which also works well for me. Your AV looks like an unnamed store violet, but it will grow stronger with proper care. Provided the roots are good on it, it should survive the abuse from Lowes. SOme of my prettiest and hardiest are unnamed varieties from the big box stores, but I'm not particular. I have a really pretty standard (which is the size you seem to have) with some single and some like triple frilly blooms on each stalk. It's a really pretty purple. I also have a nice pink and purple fantasy unnamed. It blooms like crazy! Welcome to the forum!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 4:21PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

jeh4z -

Welcome to the forum, hope it is your first AV out of many more.

Your plant came to your home very much abused. I would wait on fertilizer a bit or keep it on a very low concentration.

It was grown in a wrong soil, it was tossed and turned in a box with a bunch of neighbors, it was sitting in a dark for a week, it was not watered right - and you are asking why the leaves are droopy? You have a very tough specimen - Minibot is absolutely correct.

If you want it to be really gorgeous and a foot in diameter with tons of flowers - check at the very informative site of Rachel's Reflections - and go for it.

Good Luck and Happy Growing

Irina

Here is a link that might be useful: Rachel's Reflections

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 6:40PM
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minibot(z9bNorCA Sz16)

Check out my single and double blooms! All of those blooms on the bottom are on one stem. The ones towards the bottom are singles and the ones closer to the center are really thick doubles...I like to call them quadruples!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 6:56PM
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jeh4z

Wow that's gorgeous. I hope to have something like that eventually. Are these quick growing plants? And what I meant by fertilizer was that I had the AV food... it's miracle gro brand. You said it might be in the wrong soil... how do I know, and what are some signs of good health that I can look for? I'll go read into this Rachel's Reflections website.

Also, sub question... how expensive of a hobby is this? I got into it just seeing how cheap the plants were and how nice some of them looked. But now that I have them, I want to give them the best, but I can't be spending money left and right.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 2:53AM
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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

Your little plant is so pretty!

Most AVs you buy from local stores are planted in soil that is very heavy. That means it hold water too long, which tends to rot the plant.

We usually add perlite or vermiculite to what mix the plant comes in. Many growers prefer to make their own soil less mix using 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 perlite. This make the soil very light so water will flow through get wet, but be able to drain away very quickly so the water won't have time to rot the roots.

Baby leaves are rounded and don't look like the other leaves on the plant. These should be pinched off. The leaf hanging is probably a baby leaf.

When the flowers dry, cut or pinch off the whole stem.

Your little plant is probably a "standard" and may get to 12 inches across with TLC.

Do go to Rachel's Reflections. This forum is excellent for novice growers.

Good luck!

Nancy

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 7:17AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

No - this hobby is not expensive - and very enjoyable.

Plants can sometimes give you a first bloom in 4 months if you start them from a leaf and treat them right. There are just so many varieties that never make it to Lowe's.

It would be a good idea to investigate where is your local AV club is and try to go to their Show, may be you decide to join them - this is the best way to learn the skills - from somebody showing and sharing.

Good Luck

Irina

Look at the gallery of Avs on the AVSA site - and then return to the Local Clubs - check - what's where.

Here is a link that might be useful: eye candy

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 6:29PM
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