Problems after wicking
I've been growing African Violets for many years and should be an expert by now but still struggle with many of my plants. Big box store african violets aside, I'd say only 20% of my violets grow well. I seldom have one die, they just grow terribly, i.e. leaves become stiff and waxy, center leaves become very small and tight; if they do manage to squeeze out a bloom, it's VERY small, and feels like wax. For years I thought I had bugs but now realize it's some sort of cultural problem. Example: Awhile ago I ordered 24 pairs of leaves. I potted them up for wicking but then kept them under a plastic lid. As the plantlets grew and space allowed, I'd put them on a reservoir under the same lights, where nearly all of them proceeded to do as described above. Today I had an "Aha" moment. I'd thrown some away due to poor growth and when I went to take some out of the the covered area, I realized that as long as they were being watered individually they were growing beautifully...looked like perfect small plants (minus flowers). So, my question to you experts....what is happening once I get them on the reservoirs to cause them to go downhill? The same thing happens to most of the violets when I buy plants from the violet show or plants I buy online. The only thing that keeps me going is that there are some that are beautiful. I've had one China Doll for probably more than 10 years and it has perfect foliage and is rarely without blooms. It's babies (started from leaves) also grow and bloom very well. Please help!