Mini Wick Pot Solution Found!

oriole6(9b)April 11, 2011

My hubby actually came up with this one -- he's like a dog with a bone when it comes to solving a problem. While strolling through the glassware section of WalMart, he found these Ball canning jars... they're the 4 oz. jelly jars with the lid that comes in 2 pieces. Then he found some 2-1/2 oz. stainless condiment cups in the next aisle over... these cups fit perfectly in the canning lids when the center plate is taken out... it just hangs there! See pics below. They even come with labels... ~ Robin


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quimoi

Your minis look lovely and how clever of your husband to think of the solution!

Now IF you should run into rust issues with the cups, they do make plastic ones, which will work fine. Speaking from basement experience, the jar rings might eventually develop some rust. If they do, you could replace them or perhaps look at the plastic covers for opened canned goods. They are white and would need to have the center cut out (but would never rust).

Gosh, my husband practically never solves any problems.

Congratulations! "Jelly Magic" ;) is lovely. The Jollys are semis aren't they?

Diana

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 10:55AM
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oriole6(9b)

Jelly Magic, that's pretty cute, Diana! Yes, I think the Jollys are semis... these mini's are my first AVs and the blooms on these are their firsts... gosh there are a lot of 'firsts' going on here...
Thanks for the heads up on the rust.. I hadn't even thought of that. Right now they're looking pretty sweet; they compliment the stainless appliances in the kitchen -- but the lids should be fairly easy to replace, now that we've discovered the canning section in WalMart... who knew?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 11:05AM
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Colo5B(5B)

I love this look! It's perfect for a kitchen display. Absolutely clever! --Jaye

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 9:37PM
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oriole6(9b)

Thanks, Jaye!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 5:57AM
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fred_hill(6)

Hi Robin and Diana,
The Jolly series of plants are minis and semis. Robin your plants look great in those canning jars but eventually there will be algae in the jar. If you add some Physan 20 to the water with your fertilizer it will greatly reduce the chance of algae and they will stay clear and cleaner longer.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 12:48PM
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oriole6(9b)

Fred, would I use the Physan 20 as a continuous treatment, and would the dilution rate be as indicated on the bottle?

~ Robin

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:46AM
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quimoi

Thank you, Fred. I had some notion that the Jolly name was used for the semis.

I had to discard mine but would like to get a few again if I get things straightened out.

Robin's jars almost made me want to enter "Martha Stewart" land :). (Robin, that is really quite a compliment!)

Diana

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:52AM
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oriole6(9b)

Lol -- thanks, Diana!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 8:30PM
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thominindy(6)

Robin.
I use about 2/3 teaspoon of Physan 20 continuously for my light stands. 1 full teaspoon for natural light. This worked well. The last few months I have been using 3 ounces of Peroxide per gallon instead. This seems to work well and I like the idea of peroxide much better than chemicals. I think there are other benifits to using Peroxide. I have not checked PH.

Thom

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 10:16AM
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oriole6(9b)

I'll be trying the peroxide, Thom. I already have some -- a plus! Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 11:27AM
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luvofroses

It has been a long, long while since I posted here, but I love the idea of the canning jars. I was wondering how it was working out and do you still like it? It looked so pretty. I was also wanted to know what you used for the wick and how large. I wick my larger ones but have had to go down to one strand of yarn to keep it from being too wet.Would love to try the smaller ones. Again great idea.
Ann

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 8:06PM
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ima_digger

Robin, I love your idea with the canning jars. I'm off to Walmart this afternoon. LOL I have a question on how you are watering them. I don't see any wick in the jars. Do you just water them by hand? I have most of my violets wicked with mason twine that I get at HD or Lowes. It works very well. If you use those stainless condiment cups, how would you make holes in them?
Eileen

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:40AM
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oriole6(9b)

Hi Ann and Eileen, I'm happy to report that the canning jars are still working out and I'm still happy with them! You just have to wipe out the algae occasionally (so it's not unsightly), but it's not that big a deal. I use mason's twine from HD or Lowes; it's the standard size one with 3 ply. For these minis I pull one of the strands to make it a 2-ply, and it seems to be the ticket. I just drilled a hole in the condiment cup with a regular 3/16" bit and voila! See a few happy violets below:

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 5:22PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

Robin:

You can use plastic sandwich bags (not the zippy kind) inside your jars as liners. Then when algae appears you just throw out the bags!

Linda

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 6:14PM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

They are absolutely gorgeous! What varieties are they please?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 7:12PM
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oriole6(9b)

Thank you, bunnycat! The last photos posted are Jolly Magic, Kentucky Gooseberry, and Rob's Shadow Magic. The very first photos in this thread were taken just after I bought them as babies. Now these babies have babies! I'll have to post something in the 'Exchange' forum...

~ Robin

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 7:22PM
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luvofroses

Robin,Thank you for getting back with us after such a long time.Your violets are beautiful! I use aycrlic yarn. Well when I did repot recently (after a sinfully long time) I realized that they all were too wet but doing good so I used more perlite to my 1-1-1 mix,cut them back, trimmed roots and since they are all smaller now I am only using one strand. So is the mason twine smaller or less absorbant than yarn. I will be buying some smaller violets and lovely jars when weather warms up some.This really sparks the imagination tell husband thank you. I just love this idea.
Ann in So Ut

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 1:29AM
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oriole6(9b)

Hi Ann, It's been a trial-and-error type thing with these minis, the size of the wicks, and the soil ratio. The experts here on this message board have been of invaluable help! I can't compare the mason twine to the yarn, as I've only used the twine. I, too, use the 1-1-1 mix and they seem happy with that. Oh, and the bigger the plants have gotten, and especially when they're in bloom, the more water they drink. I fill them about every 2-1/2 days to just under the bottom of the condiment cup.

~ Robin

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 1:55PM
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luvofroses

Thanks so much yes everyone here has been helpful to me over the years too. Well I am going to take the plunge and see if I can get minis to look like yours. My husband finally put my shelf up that goes across my bay window so now to fill it up.
Ann in So Ut

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 11:59PM
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oriole6(9b)

That's the fun part! : )

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Kimmycakes50

This is the best idea I have seen for wicking with AV. It is really attractive and your violets look amazing. I am receiving new leaves tomorrow and will definitely be implementing this technique! Thanks for a great idea!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:48PM
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oriole6(9b)

Hi Kimmycakes - the plants are still doing well, I'm happy to report. I've also found that I can use the jars for the mini's that are so young they're still in pepto-bismol cups. (At least that's what I use when baby root balls are teeny-tiny). Just sit the temporary cup inside the condiment cup, then thread the wicking twine through the holes in each cup and down into the water.

~ Robin

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 5:19PM
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Kimmycakes50

Thanks Robin- I was planning on starting my leaves in the little plastic condiment cups from my restaurant. They will fit perfectly in the stainless ramekins and I can implement this look right away. Absolutely love your Kentucky Gooseberry!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:21AM
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oriole6(9b)

Isn't she pretty? So far she's been a very prolific bloomer... only taking short breaks, then exploding in blossoms again.
Truthfully, I haven't tried starting leaves in the jelly jars because I like to do that in plastic bags hanging out of the way somewhere.... let us know how it goes!

~ Robin

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:36AM
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fawnee0214(9)

Stunning Kentucky Gooseberry! Amazing!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 5:05PM
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oriole6(9b)

Thanks fawnee!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 5:11PM
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GEDUNN

Hi, I think those violets look gorgeous, but I don't get how you did it. Could you describe it a little more detailed for someone without imagination. Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 3:17PM
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bttrflii

i just want to thank oriole6 for the pictures and her husband for the idea. i'd been having a horrible time trying to figure out what i wanted to use as pots that didn't look tacky or cost a lot, and this idea was right up my alley -- both customizable and usually under $2 per pot. awesome! now instead of trying to find pots that don't cost $15 or more, i'm on the lookout for jars with the right size of mouth to put more cups in. :p

years ago i had a square glass jar that came with fragrance in it... you know, the kind where the scent evaporates out of the decorative-but-holey lid. well i liked the jar so much that i washed it out and hung onto it, but i never did have a use for it. imagine my delight when i was able to replace the fragrance lid with a canning jar lid and put the condiment cup in there! that old fragrance jar now hosts my very favorite african violet.

so anyway, thanks. :) you made a fellow grower very happy!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:17AM
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bragu_DSM 5

see, husbands can be useful things ...

psst, don't tell my wife. The list will get longer

ÃÂ _ ÃÂ --~

dave

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 5:41PM
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elesi24

So right after I read about this idea I run to Walmart but the jars I found don't work!! The cup goes right through the hole!!! I couldn't find the jars used in the post :(. Please if anybody can still find them let me know. Right now I'm using clay pots I found at Michaels but I would prefer to use the condiments cups!!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 2:04AM
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bttrflii

i have four options for you, and i have personally tried all four.

1. the walmart cups my coworker bought after seeing mine worked. did you try all four? the reason i ask is that...

2. i bought 24 cups from amazon because i couldn't find any in town, and 20 of the 24 worked. four fell through. you can tell which ones will fall through just by looking at the stack of them, because the lame ducks aren't made *quite* the same. the cups that do work are great quality, however.

3. if you want almost the same size as those metal cups but would prefer not to have to buy a titanium drill bit to drill them with, you can go to clear plastic cups. these are the same brand and size of cups that i received online-bought plants in (i believe from the violet barn), 'cause that's where i got the idea from.

4. if you're actually wanting to conform more to the "shallow" theory of pots, then a more shallow version of #3 exists in both white and black. i bought the black ones and figured i'd try both "regular" and shallow. these shallow ones give more room for water in the tiny pots, which means you don't have to refill it as often.

EDIT:
i forgot to mention on the plastic cups... these plastic cups can actually snap into the canning jar lid, after which they simply do not move if you shake the jar. you don't *have* to push the cups all the way in to snap the cup and lid together (and if you do and don't like it you, can snap the cup back out), but if you want a very stable "pot" that doesn't wiggle around like the metal cups in the jars do, then this is an option. :)

This post was edited by bttrflii on Mon, Aug 26, 13 at 10:00

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 8:48AM
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oriole6(9b)

I eventually ran into that problem too, elesi24. Difference in manufacturing, I guess. I just cut a gasket out of cardboard that would lay on top of the metal ring of the Ball jar and I cut a hole in the middle of that to accommodate the condiment cup without it slipping through. A stiff plastic material could also be used. You can't see it because the leaves cover it. - Robin

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 9:48AM
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Nancy Nash

for the minis I have started using those Keurig - K- cups. everybody tosses them out and they even have a little hole in the bottom! I love this idea of using the jelly jars. so cute!

    Bookmark   on Sunday at 2:29PM
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