Is it too late for my plant?!

Eden(4b)April 9, 2014

This poor African Violet has not received water in months...it looked dead until I started taking off the dead leaves. Now I am wondering if I can revive it since there is still some green to it. Can anyone give me some advice? I informed today that was given to me by my grandmother when I was in the hospital. She passed away back in September of last year and would really like a second chance with this precious plant now that I am aware of its story...

I had it on the table where it received water and care, but last Christmas it was moved aside for a potluck and forgotten about..(out of sight out of mind) This is what it looks like after I trimmed some of the dead leaves and found the green.

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Eden(4b)

Here is a close up of the green I found.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:49PM
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lucky123

I know just enough to be dangerous and with that caveat, here is what I would do:
I would get a bowl several sizes bigger than the pot. Put room temperature water in the bowl, just enough so the bottom of the plant pot was in the water. Let the plant pot soak up the water for a while. Not too long, 10-15 minutes .
Set the plant out to drain. While it is draining, take scissors and carefully clip off all the dead, dying decayed and not green leaves. Put the debris in a plastic bag.
After you have cleaned the plant, wipe the scissors with a 10% Clorox/90% water solution. Add dish soap and very hot water to the Clorox 10% solution and use that to wash the bowl you watered the pot in. Cleanliness is Key.
Take the plastic bag of dead, decayed debris, close it tightly and dispose of it.
Now, you will be able to see what is actually green and healthy, if anything.
Take a picture, post it and someone will probablyexplain isolation and quarantine.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 9:25PM
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smishgibson(7b)

I agree with lucky here, although i would add, try and not get the soil *too* wet because the plant does have much, if any, strength or living root system. It will take for EVER for it dry out all that soil, and in its weakened state this could spell disaster in the form of root rot.

Perhaps if it shows signs of life after cleaning up and watering you can keep the soil just barely moist and get it going strong enough to move to a smaller pot. I would be afraid to try and repot now, with it so very weak.

Thoughts?

Best of luck eden!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 9:53PM
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Eden(4b)

Thank you for the responses. Not sure how much more I should cut.. Some leaves still look green but feel dry. Others are green and seem more flexible as in the second picture.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 1:10AM
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Linda

Eden,

Remove all dead material. If there are leaves that are damaged, leave them. For a weak plant, damaged leaves are better than no leaves.

Water carefully around the plant. Do no saturate the soil as this plant has very little root system left. Wetting the soil too much will lead to rot. Place it under a dome or in a plastic bag; seal TIGHTLY. No holes. If the baggie develops condensation, (more than just a little), vent for a bit and then reseal. Watch the crown and if and when new strong growth appears, re-pot into a pot 1/3 the size of your plant. The pot will be tiny.
I think your plant is too weak to re-pot now.

If it were my violet, after re-potting, I would return it to the dome/baggie until it has attained some good growth.

I doubt that you are dealing with a bug or disease, just neglect.

Linda

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 1:18AM
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Eden(4b)

Yah I am 100% sure that it's only the lack of water that has caused this. Being completely in a panic I already watered the soil quite a bit. Should i leave it out of the bag until it dries up some?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 1:24AM
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pembroke(6--Louisville KY)

I may be way off base here and that's OK because I've been that way before. After looking at the second pic I believe I'd wait a couple days after watering and Not putting in bag I'd would VERY CARFULLY remove the plant from all that large amount of soil and clean off all dead matter with only the 4 or 5 leaves that look green and pliable and put in very small pot and water lightly,THEN I'd put in baggie with small opening so I'd not cook the little plant. PLEASE do all this VERY SLOWLY AS NOT TO BREAK LEAVES OR ROOT SYSTEM. Pembroke

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 7:24AM
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Linda

I thought about removing some of that soil, as well. My only fear would be removing some of what's left of the already compromised root system. If you do that, you must be very careful. You cannot leave it in a pot full of wet soil. It will rot. Just as you give a sick person soup and not a full course meal, you must give your plants sips of water, not a deluge. If you decide not to remove the soil at this point, take the plant out of the pot and place it on some paper toweling or newspapers to absorb the excess water. When just moist, put it in the baggie.

And, as I tell my clients, next time-ask first, act second!

Linda

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 11:27AM
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BlondieJan

I think it is a lost cause....give it the pitch, and buy a new one from the grocery store or Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Time to start anew.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 4:09PM
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lucky123

Blondie
I can agree.
But what about the next plant? A person has to learn sometime and somewhere about basic culture or all the plants a person might buy are foregone lost causes. A plant like this might be a good place to start. A person has to learn about AV's to revive that plant so the next one will get much better care from the lessons learned
Sometimes it is my worst plants that teach me the most about culture Who knows, maybe this tough little plant will like grow like a weed and flower for years.

This post was edited by lucky123 on Thu, Apr 10, 14 at 22:48

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 10:38PM
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fortyseven_gw

Perhaps do both, get a new one in memory of the grandmother and enjoy the beauty of it. Working with a healthy, normal plant is one way to build confidence in understannding plant care. Then perhaps remove the leaf that is still green and try rooting it in spring water or perlite mixed with a little AV potting mix to try to restart it. But don't expect too much if it doesn't take root. Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 13:46

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 10:54PM
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aegis1000

Some African Violets are amazingly resilient to a LACK of water.

I've had plants that I let sit for months without getting water ... and was able to bring back to vibrant health.

In line with what has been said ... give the plant JUST A LITTLE water ... maybe at weekly intervals, ... and see if the plant grabs ahold to that lifeline and pulls itself out of decline ....

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 10:01AM
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fortyseven_gw

Perhaps AVs are related to succulents.
Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sat, Apr 12, 14 at 18:52

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 12:07PM
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sueok_gw

EdenB,

I hope you don't mind me asking, what does the plant look like by now? I'm so curious if you are going to be able to save it!

Sue

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:32PM
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Linda

I'd like to know if there has been any progress, as well.

Linda

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:48PM
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