Brown spots on leaves of new African Violets

amarillo19(9 Florida)February 19, 2008

I ordered AV's from one of the retailers people mention on this site and have had them 3 weeks. Some are developing brown spots on the leaves which then turn soft. The spots seem to start out shiny then turn brown or they're copper/brown color. I have them under a grow light 12-14 hrs a day, fertilize with half solution of AV fertilizer, only water when the soil feels dry, and let the water run out the bottom of the pot. I need help from the pros on this site.


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irina_co(z5 CO)

Amarillo -

I think your plants suffered during the shipping. Eventually they will overgrow the stress. Remove the leaves that turn blotchy and soft. Your fertilizer should be applied at the ratio 1/4 teaspoon per gallon.

My violets grow on wicks - and if I have a troubled one - I put it under the dome for hi humidity - it gives them a boost.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 4:16PM
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amarillo19(9 Florida)

Thanks Irina. I'll be patient and wait for them to recover. I never worried this much with the AVs I used to buy in the grocery store. ;-).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 8:58PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Ann -

you buy Walmart violet for $2.87 - nothing fancy - and very hardy - and selected to be tough.

You get the fancy ones - and they bloom like WOW - but they are much more tender.

The plants you bought will never grow as well as your own babies - so it is a good practice - to remove all broken during shipment leaves - and put them down for rooting. In half a year you will have your own blooming violets - and they will be used to Amarillo ;-))


    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 12:14PM
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amarillo19(9 Florida)

Thanks Irina. There are more brown spots now and one leaf with fuzzy white stuff. (I picked it off.) I'm wondering if the grow light is too hot or too close. BTW, they're all blooming in spite of me. I should have the attitude that "what the heck; they're only plants". However I can't stand to let any plant die.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 11:49AM
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I had this problem once when I accidentally left the window open next to my African Violets, exposing them to a draft and cold temperatures. Check for drafts. Also, you might try cutting down on the fertilizer and moving the light farther away from your AV. Good luck :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 6:37PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)


you need to have your lights at 8-10" from the top of your plants. The fuzzy stuff - fungus - usually means that your humidity is too high. Dead tissue - your brown spots - is getting consumed by the fungi.

There should be some moderation - you do not want your plants die - but if they die - order some more leaves of the same variety - and wait until the end of the winter - so they do not get frozen next time. Check with the fellow AV lovers in Amarillo - do you belong to the club? May be somebody already has this variety - and will give you a healthy leaf.

And again - get the healthiest leaf off your plant in question - and put it down for rooting - just in case.

Do not get upset - there is always some loss - but if you share your plants with your friends - you can always start it again.

Good luck


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 4:27PM
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Oh the same thing has happened to me thank goodness it was only one but it was a very large AV i am in the south and it wasnt supposed to been shipped this soon because of the heat and she over watered it for its trip thinking it would keep cool, but anyway I deadheaded most of it took off the bad leaves and saved a few for rooting it just makes me sick to know it went through all that stress for nothing and the dealer will not replace her fault but you live and learn who to do mail order you violets from.
so far its gone from a 10 inch pot down to about a 5 after pruning the damaged leaves I am hoping it will come out from the baby's leaves that looks good and become a beauty next year.
bye for now

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 7:00PM
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for juliebees,

When posting a message here using the same lack of puntuation and caps as used when texting, it makes it very difficult to read your message. For the benefit of those of us that use our 'old school' keyboard skills, please remember you have a full keyboard available for punctuation and capital letters. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 2:13PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Barbara -

You are sure in a managing mood today ;-)). Can I join you?

Dear Violet Friends- may be it is my pet peeve - but if you have some topic to discuss - can we all start a new topic instead of unearthing something from days long gone?

Julie - it is a very poor idea to send an AV in 10 " pot. I actually saw trailers in 10" pots - not the standards (??? it should be 30" leaf span monster). I would say that 4" pot is as much as you can wrap and send, better something smaller - because otherwise you will get it all broken.

If I presume that somebody grew such a monster - and it was grown well - it belongs to the category Best in a Show - and should be transported ... I really do no know how - but with reverence in Cadillac with 3 personal servants holding it up.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 4:23PM
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I looked up brown spots on the internet. it suggested that my AV my have nitrogen problems, but it did not state whether it was too much nitrogen or to little. How do i fix this problem? Over feeding? under feeding? Plant is located near a window with strong east lighting.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 12:44PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

DeB -

there can be so many undesirable curcumstances that damage our plants - and they only have quite limited language to complain. So - brown spots can be - frost, too much light, infection etc.

If you post the pics of your problem plant - the AV growers here can narrow it down a bit.

You understand - that no matter what happen - the damaged leaves stay damaged. We need to figure out what caused the damage - to prevent more leaves to get spotted.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 2:50PM
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