African Violet weird looking flower like things

aniketaFebruary 2, 2014

Hi all:

I repotted this violet last year and now it has these weird bud/flower like things. Not sure what they are or what is wrong. It is in a bright kitchen window. Even the little ones I started are not blooming. Any ideas/suggestions. Thanks in advance. I circled them in the picture. Thanks.

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irina_co(z5 CO)

The whole plant looks really stressed. My best guess something wrong with the soil. If you have the same variety healthy - I would chuck this one. otherwise I would try to restart it from a healthiest looking leaf. Or leach it, repot it in a fresh soil and keep under the dome to increase humidity. May be it will loosen up.

i.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:58PM
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aniketa

oh dear, ok. This is new Miracle gro soil. Anyway I have two more started and they haven't bloomed yet either. So, may be I'll discard or replant this one. Thank you so much for your kind response. It did bloom once though. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 1:26PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

aniketa, I think those are flower buds that are malformed due to stress. Yes, your AV is trying to flower. Could you post a full shot of the plant?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 1:55PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Who knows what in this soil -may be it didn't get mixed well. you ca try to leach it. Run a barely warm water through the pot until the water runs clean. Hope you added perlite to your MG soil - it needs perlite to be lighter.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 2:13PM
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aniketa

Irina, yes I added perlite. I'll try leaching it.

jujujojo, I agree it is stressed but I can't figure out what. This is the first time I am seeing this.

Wonder if it got too cold in the box window. We also hung some plastics to winter some other potted plants outside. They block a lot of the light coming into the window. I am thinking it is one or the other, or as Irina said the soil. I am posting the picture of the full plant. I took it now with flash, I'll take one again in the morning and post that too. Thanks a bunch to both of you.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:08PM
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Linda

My first reaction is mites. Hairy, tight, stunted centers with off flowers. Do you use any pesticide preventative?

Linda

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:50AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Mite preventative? Unless you spray everything with Avid every month...

Yup - looks like mites. Can be something severely bad with a soil too.

Chuck the plant, leave a couple of older leaves, dip them in a clorox 1:3 solution - or similar concentration solution of rubbing alcohol. Make sure that your hands are clean as well - mites are transmitted by the touch - put leaves down for the babies. Watch the rest of your plants. You can kill the mites with spray - but the plant is so distorted - better to restart it.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 2:09PM
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aniketa

ok, (sigh), I guess I have to chuck it. I will try cleaning couple of leaves and starting new ones. I am surprised to learn it could be mites, as I can't see anything moving or bug like. I haven't used any sprays on African Violets so far. Well, I can't do anything for two weeks anyway and then I'll tackle it. Thank you all for all the help.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 5:39PM
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Linda

Aniketa,

Mites are so teeny-tiny it is unlikely you would see them even if you were looking for them. That's part of the problem: you don't know you have them until the damage is done.

Linda

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 7:14PM
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carol222

I agree it looks like mites. The hairy center leaves will be brittle and snap in two pretty easily if they have mites. I would not recommend even trying to start a leaf unless you soak it for 20 minutes under Avid.
The last time I got them I had to throw out my entire gesneriad collection. Sigh.
If you have a microscope you can see the mites in the soil, but even then, you have to be quick, because they hate light.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 12:50PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Carol -

throwing away the whole gesneriad collection??? Hope it was long ago. They sell Forbid 4F on ebay for $21 1/3 oz of concentrate - it is a systemic and it whacks the whole mite population in one go.

Several years ago Nancy Robitaille mentioned in our discussion on mealy bugs - that she will take mites any time - they are so easy to eradicate - while mealy bugs are extremely persistent. And then I brought mites from the Convention. That's true. You can kill them off easier than thrips. Just do not wait until they destroy the whole collection.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 5:24PM
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aniketa

Should I spray the leaves or the soil? I'd like to protect the other AV plants too. I am guessing I should spray them all. Thanks everyone.
I never had this problem before and even in Minnesota with all the heating. I thought they were most trouble free plants :(

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:07PM
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Linda

Interesting article on getting rid of mites.

Aniketa,

Mites are everywhere. They sneak into your house on dogs, cats, kids, other plants and through the window screens. Almost all plants can be affected by mites and some even have their own species-specific mites. Ex.-euonymus mite. Just know what to look for and catch them before they multiply!

Use Forbid at a rate of 1/8 teaspoon per quart and spray the top, bottom and all the nooks and crannies.One time should be enough. (Per Irina. Tell me if I got it wrong!)

Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: Mites

This post was edited by whitelacey on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 3:13

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 3:06AM
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carol222

Hi, Irina. I got the mites just after the convention in Silver Spring in 2009. I fought with them for 2 years before I tossed all the plants. I have gotten mealy bug, but they were killed easily. I will certainly get some Forbid f4, arming myself for the next possible infestation - although I dearly hope it never happens again.
Carol

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 11:08AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Carol -

2 systemic miticides are very efficient - and not as poisonous as Avid -it is Forbid and Pylon. Pylon is excellent for thrips as well - but it is very expensive and has a shelf life of 3 years. So -if you do not have them - do not waste your money. You can always buy it fresh as needed.

I dragged my mites from AVSA in Raleigh.

Why I think that Aniketa needs to restart the yucky plant - because no matter what she does - it will look horrible and distorted for a year- and if she restarts from a leaf - she will have new blooming plants in 6 months.

I.

PS Linda - I would say - if you are not as lazy as I - spray it twice.

Irina
And I sprayed everything with Pylon that was old.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 4:29PM
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