Should I transplant these Violets?

OakleyFebruary 13, 2010

I received 4 small pots of baby AF's. Excellent condition.

Should I leave them in their current pots for now or should I transplant them to bigger pots?

Also, are they too young to be fertilized? I have AF potting soil along with AF fertilizer.

This is my new hobby so I don't want to get discouraged right off the bat!

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Wow I love the way they were packaged. Were they sent in a big box with more packaging material around them...they are in perfect condition? Were did you buy these violets...if you dont mind me asking? Sorry I couldn't answer your question, because I think i would like to know the answer to that too.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Below is the website I ordered them from. Yes, they came in a medium size box. Each plant was wrapped with many layers of newspaper stapled to the plastic. In fact, they arrived in the mail when I was gone all afternoon and it was only 33 outside! They sat on the cold porch for at least three hours.

I put them in a warm spot and they were just fine. I wasn't sure about watering them so I sat them each in a little tray of water for about 15 min. and they aborbed it pretty well, then I removed them from the tray.

The instructions say "If receiving a standard violet (mine are) pot into a 4" pot when it begins to bloom or about 6 months after the date on the pot."

Ack. I think I just answered my own question! lol. They're all dated 12/11/09. So I guess I put them into a larger pot in June. But these pots seem so tiny!

Here is a link that might be useful: Violet Barn

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 8:35PM
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African violets should be in pots 1/3 the size of their crown, so a 12" violet needs a 4" pot. Yours are fine. They'll just need to be transplanted once they outgrow those pots. I don't believe there's such a thing as too young for fertilizer but I could be wrong. I don't have much experience with baby plants.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 8:37PM
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Oakleyok, I would wait a week or so before fertilizing just to give the plants time to adjust to your growing enviroment. I have ordered from the Violet Barn in the past and just caution you to becareful not to overwater the plants as their mix tends to be a little heavy.

I agree with snappyguy. You want the plants to be a little pot bound as violets will bloom their best with their roots are pot bound. As far as repotting the guide I use is every 6 months. The minimum should be once per year. This keeps the soil fresh and the plant being disturbed seems to jump start the plant to push new growth.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 1:12AM
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Thanks for the information. They're definitely not pot bound yet so I'll leave them be.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 9:49AM
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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

Keep in mind that Rob uses a richer potting mix than most of us so plants may remain moist longer than you are used to watering. So you may need to water less than usual.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 10:18AM
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I have a feeling I'll need to water often. There's a heat vent above the ledge my plants sit on and it dries them out faster than normal. But I'll definitely stick my finger in there as far as I can without hurting them to check for moisture.

I'm confused about how much sun, if any, they should get. I have friends whose plants get a lot of direct sunlight, then I read on official websites they shouldn't get direct sun. I can control the light with the plantation shutters next to them. Any suggestions?

Oh, and how long does it take for them to grow more leaves? :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 12:51PM
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I have another question. We remodeled our house which is why I have a lot of room for new plants and why I want to grow the AF's. It's extremely cold here except in the house of course, but the granite counter they sit on is VERY cold. Will the cold counter effect the plants even though the room is warm and bright? At night I bet it's a lot colder though.

Should I set them on a folded towel to keep them warmer at night?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 12:59PM
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Oakleyok, your plants are probably already growing new leaves and should be noticeably bigger in just a month or two. Look in the center crown area and you'll likely see tiny new leaves growing. How fast leaves emerge depends on many factors. Temperature (75º - 77º is optimal according to some studies) and amount and length of light are main ones.

I grow some AVs in windowsills and many of the plants do get a certain amount of direct light each day. You're right that a lot of sites advise against direct light because depending on season, window direction, and even the particular hybrid, the plants could get burnt to a crisp! I don't know what direction your window faces so I've attached a link below with good information about windowsill growing. Since you can control the light with your shutters, that might be a perfect spot for your babies. One thing I can add to what the article says about south-facing windows is that my plants do very well all year in one with obscured glass (a bathroom window).

Here is a link that might be useful: Cultivation of African Violets

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 2:11PM
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Thank you Donna, I'll check out the site. They're in a south window but once late Spring and Summer arrive it won't get direct sun because the sun will be higher on the horizon, plus we have a lot of Oak trees surrounding the house. But it will still be bright in there.

This is kind of fun! I used to grow plants years and years ago but it got to the point I didn't have room anymore so I stopped growing them. Now that we've added on and remodeled, it's back in my blood!

For some reason I decided to tackle African Violets. :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 2:22PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

If they're in a south window, I'd put up a sheer curtain or something like that. Mine used to be in a south window that was completely uncovered, and while they did great for a while, by the time summer rolled around, I was getting burnt spots on leaves. I've since put up a sheer mesh curtain (they're extremely cheap at Ikea) and this is enough to keep them from burning. It doesn't really cut down much on light at all, but it diffuses it. Oh, I just reread your post, and you said you have shutters. I don't have any experience with them myself, so I can't say for sure, but I imagine they would help too. Give it a try. I can say, however, that when mine started showing signs of sunburn, it wasn't rapid, so I had time to notice and adjust accordingly.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 6:14PM
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Quinnfyre, I read online yesterday that the winter sun is okay for them since it's not strong, so I'm going to give them maybe 2 hours of sun or filtered sun each afternoon. I'll definitely keep a close eye on them.

And I love the idea of sheer panels but they wouldn't look good there. lol. Sheers would be perfect though!

Do you all recommend a good book for novices like myself? I looked at Amazon yesterday and read reviews on the books, what few they had, and nothing really jumped out at me.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 7:24AM
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minimac(6 So In. Louisville Ky)

That's an easy one Oakley! I can answer that. Most enthusiast would recommend GROWING TO SHOW: HOW TO GROW PRIZE WINNING AFRICAN VIOLETS, by Pauline Bartholomew. Its great for the novice and experienced grower. I saw where you ordered your plants from Violet Barn. They also offer this book among others that would be good. On their menu it is under Plant Care.

This is a great hobby. Glad you joined us.
Happy growing,

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 11:26AM
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Thank you Mac! I'll definitely order it. I can't believe I'm all excited about 4 teeny plants & all of you have been such great help to me. I'm always hesitant about posting on a board full of pro's. lol. And I can't wait until the spring comes hoping the nurseries will carry some larger violets. The odds of me killing the 4 I have are 50-50. :) But I am determined to keep on going.

I've see AF's all my life and didn't think twice about them, but for some reason I suddenly have to grow them!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 12:10PM
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I second the info that you purcchase Growing to Show. It is one of if not the best books for growing AV's. I admit that the name is deceiving, however, there is plenty of info for everyone in that book.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 1:23PM
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Book ordered! I called and talked to Rob. Ordered the book, African Violet magazine which I will receive a free plant with. Yay! I also bought some fertilizer which I thought I had but didn't, Neem oil which I need for another plant of mine, plus two Hoyas. I'm good to go! :)

I used to grow Hoyas years ago and loved them.

I think I'm going to enjoy this new hobby of mine, not just for the Violets but because once I get all of my supplies, it's relatively inexpensive from here on out and the rewards of the plants should be great.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 1:58PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Guys - I just got a best book - a thick volume by Melvin Robey "African Violets - Gifts from Nature"- from Paid $49 - instead of $214 i saw before...

And his beginner book - African Violets - back to Basics - is available for $12 something.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 6:10PM
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Irina, I saw Back to the Basics but one of the reviews said it was too technical or something, so I steered clear of it.

The book you bought sounds wonderful! If the new book I ordered doesn't have pictures, I'm definitely getting one with lots of them. I need pictures to keep encouraging me. lol

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 6:29PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Dum dum dum... (ominous music, not calling anyone 'dumb', ha)

Hoyas are REALLY addicting too. Just a friendly neighborhood warning... Yes, I am speaking from experience. Just realized I went from 1 hoya last year to 21 hoyas now. They will get bigger than AVs too. But they are fun.

Still, AVs can explode population-wise, if you start putting leaves down to produce plantlets. That's been lots of fun for me. It actually started the whole hoya addiction too; I traded AV plantlets for hoya cuttings. It all went downhill from there ; )

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 7:33PM
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Uh oh, so I may catch a new growing bug? Bring it on! lol. I remember having my Hoya for years, the leaves were pink and green, and it trailed.

I've heard about starting AVs from leafs, I think I'll wait on that to see if mine get bigger. lol

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 7:21AM
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Oakley, I love your enthusiasm and your picture! I am new to the proper care of these lovely plants as well. I got Melvin RobeyÂs Back to the Basics not long ago and loved it. I did not find it to technical at all and I found the illustrations really helpful. I would also recommend the Growing for show one. Honestly though I think I have gotten the most, best information from places like this forum, and these kind people. Check out a site called RachelÂs Reflections on the web. It is chucked full of wonderful information and pictures.

Irina, thanks for the tip, IÂm going to check on that one as well.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 7:26AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I am a technical person - and I need precise instructions. I read "...Gifts From Nature" book before - ordered it from the library catalog - all 320 pages - and decided that it covers everything - care, propagation, hybridization, light gardening - and a lot of info about other gesneriads. Good pics too. I didn't see the last edition on "basics" - but I read his book "African violets" - Queens of ." - and it is a very good basic book.

If you want to just enjoy the pics - and get some useful info in a range from really simple and basic - to quite technical - you would benefit from joining an AVSA and getting African Violet Magazine - it is a bi-monthly eye candy and good reading treat. And you can order a gorgeous calendar from them as well.

But sometimes we need a thick manual - OK - we have this problem - let's look at the page 299. Or we are building a light set - may be something here will tell us that the baker rack will never work because the shelves are way too close to accommodate the lights.

It is fun to collect the books on the subject - but sometimes if they are too old - you can get an advice to fight the bugs with DDT dust. Or mix garden soil with aged manure for the soil mix. And now we know that garden loam can have nematodes - and we do not need them ever.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 1:48PM
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Irina, what is the proper space between shelves for standard violets? If my violets get to be 8" tall, that would still leave 12 inches between it and the light. I can always raise and lower the light for the time being.

Raven, I agree this is a great site for information. If I'm being a pest the other posters aren't letting on. lol. I'll check out the site you recommended, thanks!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 8:27AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Oakley -

the thickness of the fixture - depending if it has reflector or not - can be up to 4", you need to leave 4" for your water reservoirs, the plant itself let's say 6" tall and you need 12" distance - 26".

Since you only have 20 - so your fixture shouldn't have reflectors - use lightsticks as I suggested
= 2", you will use small deli containers for reservoirs - 2", your plants still will grow to be 6" to the top of the leaves - and you have 10" left. 10" is acceptable, you just need to reduce the light hours - try 10 hours instead of 12" - and if the leaves look up - increase the time, if they hug the pot - decrease.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 5:28PM
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minimac(6 So In. Louisville Ky)

Irina, and Raven,

Thanks for the book tips. Ordered both several days ago. Plus, got on AVSA site and ordered Judges Hand book, wanted that one for a while.
I recently received and would also suggest Nancy Robitaille's "Insects, Pests and Diseases of the African Violet Family". Just in case. LOL. I wish I would have had this book first starting out, because you will get something a long the way, and it pays to be prepared Just as she states on the back cover, "Armed and forewarned you have a good chance to conquer any of these pests or diseases that sometimes daunt us."

Been busy. Not a lot happening here, so I also made my reservations for the Raleigh Convention. Signed up for most of the presentations - even 'The Hands-On African Violet Hybridization' - What am I thinking!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 4:13PM
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Irina, I put them under a grow light. I also received the book I ordered and after skimming it, I raised the plants higher because the leaves were reaching up towards the light.

I'm assuming my plants are "plantlets", and they need to be about 8" from the light.

So far so good! I love my new book!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 11:01AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Great - you just pay attention to your plantlets. Some varieties are hi light, some - low - so you can always reshuffle plants on a shelf - sending the "reachers" to the middle of the shelf - and "huggers" to the edge.

Mac - I didn't sign for Internet Friends meeting - but in my experience we can always crash the meeting and order our own food. I hope Dragonfly will be there too.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 4:53PM
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