Asking for help

barb_roselover_inJanuary 30, 2014

I have three or four African Violets that need repotting.
These particular violets have two in the pot. Would you tell me what kind of potting soil and where I need to order. Any other information would be appreciated. Thank you Barb

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Linda

Barb,

Go to Home Depot or Lowe's. Get a bag of AV potting soil and a bag of perlite. You can also get some vermiculite but since you only have a few plants you may not want to go the extra expense. If so, choose the perlite over the vermiculite.

Mix your soil 1/3 perlite to 2/3 soil. Use a pot 1/3 the size of your violet and do not fertilize for a while because the potting soil will probably have fertilizer in it. It will state so on the bag.

Maybe someone else can tell you how long the fertilizer in the soil lasts. I have never used potting soil so I have no experience about the longevity of the fertilizer it contains.

Linda

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 3:19AM
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barb_roselover_in

Thanks , whitelacey for the help. Will do as you suggested. Do we have to be really careful when we pull these violets apart and how about the length of the "neck"? They have been reaching for the light in these dull days. They are on a stand by a north facing big picture window. You are very nice to take the time to help me. Barb

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 12:21PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Barb -
there is a bunch of photos on how to - at rachelsreflections.org
Good luck and welcome to the fold.

Irina

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 2:41PM
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Linda

Barb,

Most violets will pull apart fairly easily. If not, you can slice down the middle taking care to retain roots on each plant. Scrape the neck gently down to the green area and plant so your soil reaches the bottom row of leaves. Do not plant too deeply. If your neck is so long that you can't fit it in the new pot, just slice off the bottom until it is the appropriate length.

As Irina says, Rachel's Reflections is a great site.

You will find everyone here is most generous with their time and knowledge. If you have any more questions, we're here!

Linda

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 2:25AM
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aviolet6(7)

If you buy AV soil you may also want to sterilize it I. The oven before using. You can google how to do that. Otherwise may end up later with bugs or nematode worms.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 6:23PM
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fortyseven_gw

I thought the potting mix bought commercially was sterile. I will have to read the package. Joanne

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 9:37PM
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Linda

Packaged potting soil is sterile. Oven sterilizing was once in vogue when people used soil from their yards. It is not necessary with bought soil.

Linda

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:51PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

The problem with the bagged soil - sometimes it is contaminated with fungus gnats - probably if it is an off brand or if the bag got stored outside and got wet. You can wet it up with boiling water - and get it wrapped up till tomorrow in a parka. Works. Nematodes do not live in a soilless mix so it is not an issue nowdays.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:18AM
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Linda

I've never sterilized soil in an oven. From what I understand, it smells horrible and stinks up the house for days. Anyone have any experience with this?

Linda

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 2:22AM
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fortyseven_gw

Hi Linda, It was many years ago that I sterilized soil in an oven. I don't recall any odor. I had lots of ventilation. It probably depends on the soil. Joanne

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Linda

Well, it's probably good that we don't have to go through that process anymore. I'm not sure I could locate my oven if I had to... :)

Linda

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 12:26AM
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froeschli

The 'oven' is usually in a room called 'kitchen' - and traditionally you'll find that in the centre of the house ;-)

I've never sterilized soil. Heck, I only just started washing pots between plantings. I know I know....
I assume the smell would differ depending on how moist the soil is to begin with though.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 1:11PM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

As far as the fertilizer in the Home Depot AV mix (Miracle Grow AV mix), in my experience I don't think the fertilzer in it lasts as long as they say. So after about six weeks I started giving my plants a weak fertilizer. I no longer use that mix, started using Fafard mixed with perlite which has no fertilizer, so its easier to figure out.
When I was using the Miracle Grow mix I added perlite to it too.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 1:16PM
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Linda

Perle,

Do you like the Fafard mix? I'm thinking of trying it. I think Karin uses it, too. Any thoughts?

Kitchen...it sounds familiar but I just cannot place it....

Linda

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:18PM
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froeschli

I am undecided on the fafard so far. I am not as organized as most people here and never made a note of which mix is with what plant (either fafard&perlite or alltreat&perlite), so i cut down on fertilizing drastically in the last few weeks. That can't have been too bad a decision, seen as most of my plants are are going into bloom just now. All of them appear to be doing equally well I think, even though one soil mix is supposedly fertilized and the other isn't....
According to what everyone is saying, I ought to start fertilizing again soon though.
The fafard did have more dust in it though, whereas the alltreat (and MG if I remember right) doesn't look like you are washing the soil out as much when watering. For perspective, i have to admit I am still on my first bag, so it could just be a dusty batch ;-) I like the idea of not worrying about how much to fertilize more than dust-free soil, so I will be buying more....

Karin

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Linda

I like having control over my fertilizer-no wondering when it will run out, how much your plants are getting. It just seems like a bad system unless you are just growing very casually.

Linda

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:54AM
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