Advices from Mrs. Pat Hanckok - "Mother" of Buckeye series

1beautylover2012February 21, 2014

Hi everyone!
I am lucky to personally know Mrs. Pat Hanckok for a few years (amazing person!) and asked her 10 questions that the members from the Russian and Ukrainian AV websites wanted to hear from Pat. When I met with her the last time (she came to our AV club meeting in Columbus) I gave her a list with questions and she mailed me the answers in a little while. Also, I told her about unusual bloom of "Buckeye Seductress" - with white "polka dots" and she said I WANT TO HAVE A LEAF OF YOUR PLANT. I am flattered! Of course I'll give her a leaf. Here are the pictures of my beautiful "Seductress"

I want to share Pat's advices with you guys. Hope you'll find it interesting and useful. So, here it is.

Me: Pat, my virtual friends in Russia and Ukraine want to know more about you and Buckeyes and I promised to pass you their questions. Your Buckeyes are VERY popular there - I would say everyone has at least one Buckeye because looks like everyone loves variegated leaves.

1 Q. Is there a way to make leaves shiny? I've seen a show in Australia - the leaves look like polished.
Pat - Adding half cup of cow or chicken manure (dehydrated) to 8 gallons of soil mix adds sheen to leaves. Also, brushing with a soft complexion brush is helpful.

2 Q. What is a secret to grow a big plant without space between the leaves with full blooming? Should we let them blooming for the show only to save energy and have a big fat foliage?
Pat - Plants need to be totally disbudded until 8 weeks before the show. Plants should be started with only 3 or 6 leaves. Every 2 or 3 months, remove the 3 leaves on the bottom so that growth goes to the crown.

3 Q. What fertilizers should we use to keep leaf variegation nice and bright? What light is better for Buckeyes?
Pat - I used Jacks 20-20-20. One daylight and one broad spectrum is best. If plants grow too open, place closer to the lights. If they grow too tight, place on outside edge or further away from lights.

4 Q. Are you familiar with Russian or Ukrainian types? Did you ever used any of them for hybridization? What types?
Pat - I love some of the Russian blooms and I have tried to use them but so far have not had success. I would like better foliage on the Russian plants.

5 Q. How many years you keep a new type to be sure it's stabled? How many new types a year do you have? (not my question, but I promised to ask you)
Pat - Usually I have between 5 and 10 new Buckeyes each year. This year, I only have 5. I do at least 3 generations and, sometimes, 5 or 6. Fantasy blossoms are not as stable as other colored blossoms.

6 Q. Do you have your favorite types that you keep forever just for yourself?
Pat - Of course, I love my own plants best because I don�t keep them unless they please me.

7 Q. How to treat a big african violet collection in case of mites or thrips?
Pat - I have never had mites. In the case of thrips, if you cannot control them, you will probably eventually, get INSU and have to throw your collection away.

8 Q. Do you like chimeras? Did you work with it and did you get a result that satisfied you? I've never heard about Buckeye chimera.
Pat - Chimeras are very unstable plants. When I get one, I give it to someone else to play with. I don�t like to fool with unstable plants. A new Buckeye chimera is available from Steve Turner called "Buckeye Irresistible." There is one on the Internet from Belinda T. called "Buckeye Blockbuster."

9 Q. Why you wouldn't use foam instead of perlite?
Pat - Foam tends to release gas that is not good for violets. Large Perlite makes air spaces. Violets need air spaces in the soil.

10 Q. What did I do wrong if after re-potting my plant looks sad and the bottom leaves are soft and hanging?
Pat - Probably kept them too wet after repotting. Try placing them in a plastic bag for a week or two after reporting.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you so much for posting her answers. It looks like it took quite a bit of time to type in. I appreciate your answers to this forum.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Great article! Lots of useful information. How about posting your AV websites here so we can check them out?

Your Buckeye is beautiful!

FYI- The 'Buckeye' series is named for the great state of Ohio-the Buckeye State.

Linda ...a proud Ohioan

This post was edited by whitelacey on Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 1:00

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I never knew that!!! My Buckeye Colossal just bloomed for the first time. Its leaves formed a tight rosette, as Polina described above. The variegation is very slight, barely noticeable. I had not even realized it was variegated until you told me all Buckeyes are variegated. What is a "Buckeye," anyway?
Ohio is a great state! Good, hard-working people. Lots to recommend it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Joanne, buckeye is a North American tree or shrub related to the horse chestnut, with showy yellow, red, or white flowers. It's OH State tree, a symbol of OH state - look here About variegation - keep your plant in place where is cooler temperature and less light (I keep them on the bottom shelf on the side, not under the light fixture), give them (plant with variegated leaves) less food. You'll see the difference in a while.

This post was edited by 1beautylover2012 on Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 3:04

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Here's the Hort kicking in- Buckeye is the common name for the genus Aesculus. There are about 13-19 species included in the genus and as Lina says, there are shrubs and trees forms included in the genus. They are quite hardy here and are quite beautiful. The fruit, also called a buckeye, is a glossy reddish capsule about as big as a ping pong ball. The section of the seed that is attached to the capsule shows a large whitish scar-like the eye of a buck. Buckeyes are considered to bring good luck and some casinos here regularly hand them out to patrons!


    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very interesting! Thank you for posting. I do wonder what type of manure she uses. I had the notion to add some and had difficulty finding anything that seemed suitable.

Back when I used soil (and had nicer plants), "cow manure" was part of the mix.

Diana in PA

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I use bagged cow manure for some of my plants. Back when I had horses I used that manure but only for outside plants.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I trying to find the bagged cow manure, but then read that it was primarily compost anyway. That is, of course, what I'm referring to. I'd love to know names, etc.

I had a barn full of old horse/sheep manure but sold it (whole place). We still have sheep manure here and my mom used that to great effect outdoors but my husband never bothered. Chicken manure is much stronger, BTW. I did take some of barn stuff up to a cemetery plot where the plants were doing poorly and the improvement was immense. (This is a bit off the AV topic. I don't think we want to try sterilizing it in the microwave!)

If I asked nicely, I could probably still get manure from the barn . Nobody seems to want it.

Back to the subject though. I once had Buckeye Butterflies and while it was pretty, I thought the foliage was kind of dull looking. It was well variegated so maybe a change in my mix would have helped.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the info on the meaning of Buckeye and the links.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I know in the 'olden days' some people used chicken manure with great success for their violets. I don't know how you would sterilize it and what the amounts would be. It would be interesting to look into if you had access to chickens.
I'll check out my manure bag tomorrow and see if I can get you any info.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are selling pelleted chicken manure. Actually the chickens from those big farms produce so much waste that they pay the farmers subsidies to use it as fertilizer. I was looking for the old Hoffman cow manure but it looks like it may not be much use.

I'm not thinking about raw chicken manure :). I have no idea what form the farmers use, although I could certainly find out in a flash since I know someone. They use weedkillers and inject fertilizers - very different than most imagine.

I do wonder if the soil would have made a difference in that Buckeye foliage though. My plants were growing well at the time. That one just looked dull to me.

Diana in PA

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Fish emulsion works great for variagated plants. It stinks though!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irina_co(z5 CO)

As far as I remember - Pat Hancock has a special recipe for winning plants - it includes dehydrated cow manure, greensand, bone meal and something else including a local peat based soil mix she buys in OH stores. But after mixing she lets it rest for several months - so whatever ammonia it has - is evaporated.

Here is a link that might be useful: dehydrated cow manure

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have found several recipes from Pat Hancock. Either she has changed from time to time or she is like the cook who doesn't really give away her secrets :).

They are really quite different. Some use Promix and some don't. Probably some are older versions. The old dehydrated cow manure wasn't strong enough to hurt anything. I doubt there is ammonia in the pelleted stuff either (not like that fresh - whew!).


    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 6:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Do you remember where you found the soil recipes? I did a search and didn't come up with much.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's been awhile. I'll wait until I'm on the other computer and see if I saved any of them. I did find a place where she recommended fish fertilizer though.

I just tossed mine because it was so old and I've had some plastic bottles disintegrate. Can you imagine that one?


    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irina_co(z5 CO)

Pat Hancock probably shared her recipe in AVM may be 30 years ago. Polina is our best source.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 3:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I couldn't find the multiples now either. It was about 3 years ago and a lot of the web resources are gone.

Pat Hancock is probably just like the rest of us and has to adapt from time to time. I agree that Polina is the most current one - not arguing there.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 5:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If she's at our next meeting, I will see if I can some info.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 12:20AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
African Violets -New to this, need ideas on plants selections!
I recently placed a few orders with PJ's Violets. I...
Picasso african violet leaf, leaves
I desperately wish to grow the PICASSO african violettes....
When will the leaf cuttings send out new growth?
I potted up 4 leafs in 4 small pots. Actually they...
Too much light?
I thought that my miniature AV was doing OK with a...
Larry Mayer
Nancy Robitaille
It occurred to me when I saw the post on propagating...
Sponsored Products
Garmin GPS Golf Watch
$349.99 | FRONTGATE
Draping Leaf Gold Leaf Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
DENY Designs Leah Flores Let's Run Away III Outdoor Throw Pillow - 14894-OTHRP18
$49.00 | Hayneedle
Island Bay 11 ft. Sage Harbor Stripe Quilted Hammock with Stand - ALZ1141
$169.98 | Hayneedle
Round Resin Madison Planter - A114080
$59.99 | Hayneedle
Wesley Bird Die Trying Throw Pillow - 14060-THRPI1
$39.00 | Hayneedle
Black Metal Wardrobe - B48-26
$431.67 | Hayneedle
Ball Basket Five Arms Chandelier by Hubbardton Forge
$630.00 | Lumens
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™