Repotting "Girl" foliage

skeipMarch 15, 2013

Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster, and I've gotten lots of great info here over the years. I usually hang out at the Vegetable and Cooking forums.

A question about how to repot a plant with what I believe is called "Girl" foliage? It is very extreemely ruffled and variagated at the same time, with a pink double flower that blooms almost constantly. They have gotten to the "palm tree" stage as I call it. With the flat leaf varieties I would cut the stem, clean up a few basal leaves and the base and insert the rootless stem in new medium.

With these, the foliage is so convoluted that I would have to remove a majority of the leaves to get the crown within 2" of the soil. Do I simply go with aesthetics and clean up the plant, leave enough stem to reroot and go from there? The plants never really seem to form a traditional AV shape, they are almost ball shaped and lumpy.

They are very attractive if nontraditional. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

Steve

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Leafhead

If nothing else, you can obtain a lot of leaf cuttings! I would do whatever is necessary to get that stem into the soil. Fewer leaves may mean less shock for the plant as well.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:50AM
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petrushka

if it's ball shaped - it could be suckering. when the leaves are very dense, it's hard to see. take it to the window in good sunlight and move the leaves slightly with a chopstick or a spoon handle and peek inside.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:19PM
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Linda

Just for your information: "girl" foliage is a distinctive type of av leaf, not just one that is ruffled and/or variegated. It is a round, scalloped leaf with a cream blotch at its base. It is usually lighter in color and slightly cupped. It is so named because the first cultivar with this foliage was named":Blue Girl". If you google av girl leaves, you will find many examples of this leaf type.
Linda

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 2:06PM
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skeip

I researched this one some time ago and I believe that the variety is 'Rococco Pink'. My question was how to repot for best display. TYIA

Steve

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:42PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Girl foliage plants are not considered to be good show plants. So you can better keep it for your own enjoyment period.

You are supposed to repot your plant every 6 months, and not wait until it is a palm tree - so you do need to reroot the crown. Anyway - just go for the surgery- get the knife - and chop it off about as large of a piece as you need to root- and take the bottom leaves off. Palm tree with residual leaves will eventually give you suckers you can root too.

Good luck - and enjoy the diversity. Some people only grow to show - and some love different things. Girl leaf and wasps are not going to be judged high - but they are sure interesting.

I.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 6:19PM
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skeip

Thank you Irina, this is advice I can use!

Steve

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 12:36PM
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variegatednancy1

Girl leaves have a light yellowish spot near the beginnng of the stem where leaf meets stem. Some are difficult to grow in a flat rosette, but other varieties are pretty good show plants, example Ma's Melody Girl.

Can you tell if this is a trailer. Rococo Pink is not listed in the FC2 directory but may be an older variety. If it's a trailer, you want to save those crowns; if not, pinch those suckers out. Usually a plant doesn't flower very much when there are suckers--in all plants except trailers.

Nancy

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 4:06PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I looked at FC2 also - there is Rococo - which is not a girl leaf variety. There is a girl variety - Sassy Shell if I am not mistaken - that is sometimes sold in Home Depot = believe me or not.

Steve - can you post a photo of your plant? Because if it is a trailer -as Nancy mentioned = the treatment should be different.

Irina

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 6:56PM
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skeip

Sorry, but I've never been able to figure out how to post pictures, but I'll see if I can figure it out. I found a picture on an old GW AV forum and it looks right. It's not a trailer, and it doesn't have multiple crowns. I got this plant at a local florist about 10 years ago, and it has taken that long to need repotting. As I said, it blooms almost constantly. It is sitting in a shaded west window.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 5:13PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

No - you cannot give it a name just because it looks similar to some old pic. The only way to have named plants- is to buy named plants from a reputable source - and hold to the tag.

You call it Steve's Precious Girl ;-)).

It is a valuable and rare plant - it survived 10 years of non-repotting! 1 year maximum!!!

Irina

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 6:47PM
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skeip

Irina, thanks for the humor. Sometimes as humans I think we feel the need to classify and categorize and name! Anyway, that is what it looks like, and in a few weeks I will be repotting and if anyone is interested in a leaf I would be happy to send, when the weather is warmer of course.

True story about naming. My aunt Dorothy was that crazy african violet lady, she had glass shelves fitted in all her windows so she could grow and display her babies. When I was in Jr High (1968), and when I became interested she gave me as many as my mother would allow. There is one old pink variety, don't think I ever did know a name for it, but the plant has survived years under lights with my dad taking care of it while I was off at college and traveling and living around the globe. When I finally bought a house and settled down in 1994, that little pink violet was one of the few plants that my dad still had left. He said it was all mine now, what ever happens to it is up to me. Bear in mind, this is the original plant, not one that was regenerated from a leaf, did you ever hear of a 45 year old AV?. It's still in my window, got a little beat up by a rowdy house cat a while ago, but with some TLC it is coming back nicely. When it is show worthy again, I'll post a picture. She's a bit lopsided right now and not blooming, but I call her Dorothy after my aunt, and she's the pride of my collection.

Steve

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 7:32PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I think the longest on a record was a 58 years old "Superman". It changed several homes - and in a last one it just up and died for no apparent reason. They do get old an tired.

I.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:16PM
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