AV Soil - Add Perlite?

dezzo77(6a-6b)January 17, 2014

Alright, so I'm getting tired of reading about soil.

Basically, can I just use a good quality AV soil and add some perlite (and/or vermicute) to the mix?

The soil I have at the moment is Nature Mix brand African Violet mix. It contains Peat Moss, Humus, Compost, Perlite.

The "Nature Mix" brand is apparently a high quality line of soils. The same company also makes Pro-Mix which I am told will soon replace the Nature Mix brand. I like that it's made in Canada.

Should I add a bit of extra perlite (and/or vermiculte) to this mix?

How much would I use for a 3-4" AV pot?

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froeschli

I don't personally know the mix you're talking about. I've used miracle grow av mix, alltreat av potting soil and farfard av potting mix. The MG and AT worked ok on their own, but I've recently started mixing the av potting mixes 50/50 with perlite - which seems to be easier to handle watering wise (it needs watering more often, but gives me less issues with 'wet feet')
The last batch of alltreat developed a layer of mould on the surface of every pot, not so the farfard, which is also cheaper and has no added fertilizers (which makes feeding them more straightforward I think).
Just my experience - in the end you've got to find the mix that works for your growing conditions ;-)

Karin

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:28PM
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tommyr_gw

I never use "African violet mix". I find they're way too heavy. I use either miracle grow potting mix or Pro-Mix with extra perlite cut in.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 1:45PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I don't know what my mom used back in the 60's but it did have vermiculite in it, no perlite.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:11PM
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froeschli

as for prelite vs vermiculite - perlite increases humidity more, whilst vermiculite holds more water. many people mix soil, perlite and vermiculite in equal proportions.
i was being cheap (only wanted to buy one, not two bags), and opted for the one that would increase humidity more. that's why the perlite.
i just mixed the two bags together and stored it in a rubbermaid, not as flexible, but less work overall..

pretty much whatever you choose depends on your growing conditions and watering preferences. my mix seems fine for bottom watering and wicking as well (so far anyhow).

Here is a link that might be useful: perlite vs vermiculite

This post was edited by froeschli on Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 14:32

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:29PM
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Linda

Good article.

Linda

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 2:19AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

My mom always top watered. She had 4 large windowsills full. Probably over 50 plants.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 3:22PM
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fortyseven_gw

Yes, Karin, Great research you have been doing! Thank you for this article.
joanne

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 11:05PM
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froeschli

Can't take credit for the article, just came across it because I was wondering why anyone would bother keeping both in stock, if they are so similar...

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:59AM
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fortyseven_gw

Reading this forum has helped a lot. J

This post was edited by fortyseven on Fri, Mar 14, 14 at 14:46

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:29PM
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froeschli

He probably does, but the club I visited was very much "what?!?! You don't know what varieties your violets are?!?!?!?!?!!!" Like it was a sacrilege to waste growing space on NOIDs. Wonder how they started out themselves 100 or so years ago :-p
And yup, I just bought another NOID. It was the first av I saw with girl leaves. Can't say I like them much, but I had to have at least one!
Then I spent a day trying to figure out which anthoflores varieties have girl leaves - turns out there are none listed that I can find.
Ah well, I guess either loblaws lied about where they got them, or anthoflores doesn't bother keeping a public record of their plants.... Freddy it is. Mind, it should be a girly name, maybe Frieda ;-)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:53PM
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fortyseven_gw

You gave me a chuckle!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 9:53PM
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fortyseven_gw

Maybe Freida is a discontinued one. You might like the leaves better once it grows out a little and the coloring and shape has more room to display. On the other thread, I noted that the hardware store did not have either perlite or vermiculite, but the club said not to worry about repotting the ones I am donating because they intend to do a demonstration.
Joanne

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 12:10AM
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quimoi

Several years ago, Anthoflores(Harster) seemed to try to did a little more outreach to the public. I tried to find something recently and it looks like they gave up.

Back then, we decided that they had described their girl leaf plants as "curly." I had some and liked them fairly well. Rose (?) was one I kept for a long time. Of course, this may not help much with an id.

I recently killed a lot of my plants and one was a small double white which someone had said might be A. Little Wynn but I can't find any trace of that one. Apparently they used to sell a set of 3 from Canada - a dark blue double, a blue and white double and the white. I don't know for sure who the hybridizer was.

Diana in PA

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:16AM
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froeschli

Thank you for that tip! I still haven't found any with the right description, but at least now I know they have 'some' with girl foliage, which in turn makes it likely that it is actually one of theirs. :-)
not sure if that makes any difference, but I like knowing even a little bit more about my plants....

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:45AM
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kmb55

Hi. I'm new at this so please help if you can. I have an AV probably 2 years old. It seemed to shrink in the pot recently; the middle looked healthy but the outer leaves were droopy. I transplanted it, following instructions (cut off some root, removed droopy leaves, scraped the bare stem.) But I couldn't find AV potting mix. I used Miracle Grow seed starting potting mix which contains peat moss, perlite, a wetting agent and fertilizer. It seems very light & fluffy. Is this mix ok for my AV?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:17AM
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tommyr_gw

I wouldn't use AV mix anyway, too heavy IMHO. That should be o.k. but I usually add some extra perlite to regular potting MIX.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:31AM
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