African Violet questions.

birdsnbloomsMay 19, 2008

Hi. I've been growing AV's for a number of years, but tonight while browsing the internet I found sections that mentioned suckers.

What exactly are they? If left on an AV, will they take over/kill the plant? Similar to rootstock on a grafted tree?

It also stated suckers can be rooted. How is this done?

What exactly do suckers look like?

It also said, AV's should be repotted every 6 months? I think they do best when potbound, so do they mean adding fresh soil without increasing pot size? My AV's are in 4" pots.

Oh and would anyone happen to know a standard 'large' AV by name? Large leaves and/or flowers?

Fertilizer was another mystery..I've been using AV fertilizers for years, but a few articles suggested adding a balanced fert like 20-20-20. Not to mention at every watering. Isn't that a bit much?

One more question. Has anyone ever shopeed at Violet Gallery? If so, do they ship healthy, nice-niced plants? Most of my AV's came from Violet Barn/Robs in 2004, but I've heard they now send smaller this true? If anyone has info on either nursery, can you please fill me in? Thanks so much..Toni

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Hi Hopefulauthor,

Suckers are offshoots growing from the main stem or among the leaf axils that will grow into new plants/crowns. Unless the violet is a trailer, suckers should be removed because they destroy the prized symmetry of a single crown plant plus eventually result in fewer blooms. African Violets want to reproduce - either sexually (flowers) or vegetatively (suckers). If you don't let suckers grow, the plants try blooming instead. I put a link at the bottom with sucker info. Below the pictures, click on back to index page. When you get there scroll down and there are lots of helpful links, including starting suckers.

When repotting, the plants go back into no more than a 4" pot. Growers recommend a pot size that is 1/3 the plant diameter to keep the potbound effect and to avoid root rot from excessive moisture when the violet is overpotted. A good link with illustrated lessons is

A large standard African Violet refers to a 14" - 16" diameter mature plant(show plants can be much larger), not to the flower size. To find large plants check the descriptions. For example, at Violet Gallery, look up the description of Wrangler's Cowboy Blues and note that at the end of the description it says "Large."

One reason for lack of blooms is no fertilizer or fertilizing too infrequently. Over-fertilizing can create problems, but it's okay to fertilize each time with a dilute solution (a lot of people prefer that since they don't have to keep track of when they last fertilized).

I hope this helps. There's so much great info online. Another good site is It has a wonderful photograph section to drool over!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sucker Pictures from Rachel's Reflections

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 3:08PM
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Hi Toni,
I checked the MVL list in FC2 and did a search for large plants. There were almsot 3,000 listed, too many to list here. As I scanned through the list I recognized a number of names. The most familiar to me was Tiger.
Tiger (3433) 06/01/1978 (I. Fredette) Semidouble dark blue-violet. Variegated. Large
This hybrid was hot when I first started growing AV's way back when. It made most of the best varieties lists since then and still is around for people to get leaves.
As for Rob's plants being small, yes many of them are simply becuase they are minis and semis. But he also carries his wife's hybrids which are Ma's plants. Quite possibly the small plants were purchased at the end of the season when they have very little left becuase they ship and sell at a number of shows in the spring including the AVSA convention.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 5:54PM
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Donna, thanks so much for the websites. I'll read them later, (lots of reading) I'm sure they'll help me better understand this sucker thing.
I fertilize once a month with AV fertilizer. I didn't realize they needed balanced ferts, too, so that's going change. I also add Superthrive. Most of my AV's bloom throughout the year/s, but a few, like Gillian, 4 yrs old, has never ever flowered. It's in a 4" container, the same, south window as other AV's. I don't understand.
I keep a plant/pet journal, have been for whatever plants gets fert/ST, etc is written down in a certain section of this book, on the date.
I can't believe AV's grow so big..Amazing. That'd be one beautiful plant. Especially if leaves are variegated and flowering.

Fred, thank you too. I think you meant " instead of ' vs feet.
I ordered some of VB's Ma plants, well, Ma Corsage. But now that you mention Tiger and Wrangler, I'll add to my Violet Gallery list..So any Av that says large should grow large, right? What about pot sizes? I keep AV's in 4" so would a large, when mature, be potted in a say 6 or 8" pot?
Thanks for the info about VB's sizes..perhaps ppl who mentioned his plants being small didn't realize they ordered mini types. Those I got from VB in 2004 were a nice size. I've got a lot of reading to do tonight, (making dinner now)
Thanks to you both, Toni

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 6:38PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Hi Toni!

Suckers can be a smidge tricky to figure out at first. I had to Google numerous times to see various pictures before I finally got it. I recommend using a strong light and a stable surface when you start examining them, or even a flashlight (something with a beam you can direct, basically...) so you can move leaves around with both hands to check things out. They're easiest to spot when just starting; you're looking for any new growth that isn't coming from the center (crown).

I think the rule of thumb is that you take the total leafspan, divide by three, and there's your pot size. For example, 12 in from tip to tip means a 4 in pot. Oh wait, Donna answered that already : )

Violet Barn ships starter plants. So yes, they start out smaller, and need a bit of growing out before blooming, generally. But most violets I get go through an adjustment period anyway, so this doesn't bother me much. They do state this on their ordering policies page, along with an example of how big their starter plants usually are.

Haven't ordered from Violet Gallery. Thinking about it though. I bought plants of theirs from the Philly Flower Show, but I don't know if that's representative of what they send when you order. So let me know how it goes.

I fertilize every single watering. I use Optimara because it's urea free, and for AVs, but you can use any balanced urea free fertilizer. Urea is thought to burn the delicate roots on AVs. Optimara's is 14-12-14, I believe.

About repotting, yes, definitely check out Violet Barn's lesson page. When you repot, you often remove older leaves, and trim off some of the rootball at the bottom, as well as replacing the soil. This is to avoid a neck, and to keep it in the optimal pot size.

Lastly, if you want larger plants to start with (meaning more established, fully grown plants, not larger growing) check out Bluebird Greenhouse, who does sell full-size plants in 4 in pots. If you like their selection, this could work out well for you.

Hope this all helps!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 11:25PM
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Hey Quinnfyre..
How are you? It's been a while since we talked. I hope all is well. How are you Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving cactus?
We stopped at Walmart tonight, and sure enough, they had 3 different colored flowering Easter cactus. Pink, orange and purple..Guess who came to mind after seeing these plants? YOU..LOL..Then to come home, turn on puter, and seeing your name on an email from Gw was ironic..LOL.

I didn't know you were into AV's too..How many do you have? Just counted mine, so far 27..LOL..Yesterday, ordered from Violet Barn..
Ma's Corsage, Happy Harold, Warm Sunshine, Midnight Valentine, and Frozen In Time.
Tonight I ordered from Violet Gallery..Night Fever, Irish Laughter, Jeanett's Apple Blossom, Apache Show Off, Witch Doctor and a couple larger types with Donna and Fred's help..To be honest, I can't recall the (larger) two I chose since, while the owner was on the phone, I was looking at pics on VG's site, trying to decide which to go with..LOL. I'll have to check out the sites you guys mentioned, but dh will kill me if I order more..LOL.

We looked for 20-20-20 fert at HD tonight, but they didn't have any balanced types, so if it's nice tomorrow, I may stop at Ace Hardware and see if they have any. I had several boxes of 20-20-20 but thought they were stale/spoiled so tossed..Hope I saved one box..fert prices have increased, and if I find locally, will save on shipping. We looked for Vermiculite too, but none, not one package at Walmart or HD.

I'm still confused about repotting larger AV's. (Since we shopped, and I had a ton of things to do, I haven't yet read the articles Donna posted, but I plan on reading soon)
I don't know if larger Av's should go in 5"+ pots..also, most of my AV's are in plastic, a few in ceramic..what about clay? Would clay suck up too much moisture? I don't care about ceramic pots, even though they're pretty, but dh thinks I should invest in nicer containers. When he gets my cc statement, he won't be talking about buying ceramic anything..LOL.

When u get a chance, drop me a line. I'll let you all know how plants from Violet Gallery look. They should be in this week, I hope..thanks to you all, Toni

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 12:59AM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Um, I think you have me confused with someone else, as I have exactly zero Christmas cacti, or anything of the sort : ) I have a legion of African violets, a growing army of orchids, and a variety of other houseplants, but Christmas cactus hasn't been among them in probably 12 years...

I have Frozen in Time, and I have Witch Doctor... actually, I have two of each, one set from Violet Gallery (at the show) and one set from elsewhere (Violet Barn and Bluebird Greenhouse). I adore Witch Doctor even not in bloom, the leaves are so neat!

Clay is generally not recommended for AVs because fertilzer salts build up on the clay, and AVs almost always have leaves touching the rim. These leaves get damaged from the fertilzer salts. You could always have them in plastic pots, and set the plastic pots within ceramic. Pretties up the pot without actually planting in the pot. Or you could set the plastic pot within nontraditional containers (teacups, bowls, etc). Just don't water em in the containers unless you are diligent about pouring off any excess water. It still won't work for the clay, though, unfortunately... leaves will still come in contact with the clay rim. Anyway, since hubby thinks you should invest in nicer containers, you could always use that as the excuse (ha!) Me, I grow exclusively in plastic 2 in, 3 in, and 4 in pots, with clear plastic saucers. If the plant was from Violet Barn, I peel off those sticker labels and slap em on my pot. The others have plastic tags.

As for how many... I'm probably approaching 50 now... whoops... ha! But strangely, my house is not crawling with them. I've been gravitating more and more to semiminis. We'll see.

Enjoy your new plants!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 1:24AM
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Quinnfyre, I'm so sorry..There's another Quinnfyre on Gw. She and I met on another forum..Oh God, I'm embarrassed..LOL.
Where does Violet Gallery have a show? Which state? I'd love going to an AV show. Other than the show, have you ever ordered from their nursery? If so, what size plants do they ship? Who's are larger? Robs/Violet Barn or Violet Gallery? Guess I'll find out when they come in.
I'm waiting to hear from VG..Phoned in an order yesterday, talked to the owner (man) He said his wife would email me, let me know if the AV's were in stock, and if not I was to email back with other choices..they were supposed to send a confirmation email, too, but guess they're busy because nothing came in.

I've been looking for a true blue (not purple) AV, plus yelow and green. True yellow and true green. I wonder if there really is such an AV.
There are very few true blue plants of any type.

Okay, clay's out. I'll stick to plastic..IMO, bottom-watering AV's work best, with occassional top water to leach. Another reason I don't want ceramic; bottom-watering ruins the pot.

Quinn, hubby changed his mind about buying ceramics..we went to Walmart and Home Depot last night to check out prices..5.99+ for 4" ceramic pots. Ha. That's absurd.
Think I have 26 AV's, one is a mini, barely hanging on, and new plants coming in. So, buying ceramic pots per plant would cost a small fortune.

Wow, you have 50 AV's..lots of work. Do you add fresh soil every 6 months? If so, which soil works best?
While viewing the info Donna posted, they mention Vermiculite. Of course, it's nowhere to be found lately. So, I'll stick w/ my home-made soils...

Mini's are really pretty, but for some reason mine die. So it's strickly standards. But since you have 50, I can see why you're going w/minis..LOL. What size pots do you use for minis?
I can't wait to get in new AV's. I'll let you guys know what they look like.
I don't know if Violet Gallery is a new nursery, but so far they have 100% positive feedback on GWD.

Thanks for your help. Have a great week, Toni

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 4:53PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

No, I think I'm the same one you know, you just thought I had Christmas cactus for some odd reason... that's okay. I like Christmas cactus, but I don't have the room. I think I met you from the houseplant forum. Either that, or the fragrant plants forum... I'm the one with the uber fussy stephanotis that won't grow.

Violet Gallery was at the Philadelphia Flower Show, in March. It's an annual show, and they had a booth. My plants are okay, but a little strange... they have extremely long stems and look gangly. New growth is coming in normal. I've seen this before when ordering plugs. I don't know if their mail order stock looks like this. You can let me know. I don't have a major problem with this; I've just been taking off the long stems as new growth fills in, and use the leaves I took off to propagate more.

Funny enough, the colors you want are the harder colors to get. True blue doesn't exist, but some almost blue ones do. Yellow is also difficult, and there are no bright yellows, only yellowish whites. Green as well, mainly greenish whites or pink edged in green. A "blue" I've enjoyed is Opera's Romeo, which is a large plant, with almost black leaves (the leaves were as big as my palm) and bluish lavender flowers, with pale pink spots and a white edge. Flowered lots, but it died over the winter. I have another one, but it's teeny tiny, and has a lot of growing to do before I expect any blooms. Warm Sunshine is supposed to be a good yellow, as is Golden Threads. For some reason, I feel jinxed with Warm Sunshine though. My plant from Violet Gallery croaked within weeks of getting it, and none of my leaves took. Oh well.

I do change my soil approximately every 6 months. I use Bluebird Greenhouse's soil mix, but it just occurred to me that their shipping is expensive. I like the mix though, and I like getting supplies from them, so I'll still continue getting it, but I wouldn't expect everyone to do so. I also have no car, so the convenience of shipping does appeal to me, even though I pay for it.

Vermiculite is sold at Thompson and Morgan's site. Probably elsewhere too, but that's what comes to mind immediately.

My semiminis (a smidge larger than minis... minis actually weird me out a little bit, don't know why) are in 2.5 inch pots. My experience is that they need more light than standards. I place mine closer to the window, in front of the standards (relative to the window, that is). The only problem with that is that I can't see them as well. I have a big problem with "out of sight, out of mind", which is why I try to store things in clear bins, and why I pull out every single plant when watering them, to inspect them, and avoid forgetting anyone.

I don't find 50 much more work than 30, or 10. Definitely more work than 3, which is what I had, once upon a time. But I do find that 50 gets you much more flowers. Nothing like multiple plants in bloom at once.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 1:01AM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Oh, by the way, once you get your new plants, you'll be closing in on 50 too... ha : )

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 1:06AM
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Quinn..this is true, I will have close to 50, plus the other 250-300 plants to care for..LOL.

Well, Quinn, could have sworn you were the Quinnfyre w/Christmas Cactus..LOL..I'm really sorry about the mix up. Now I can't recall who it was that offered me a cutting of their salmon colored CC. Actually I declined, since even though I adore CC, I have several and the squirrels find them appitizing.

Ironically the color AV's I like are rare or don't exist..what's funny is, when you look at pics on nursery sites, I don't know if they paint colors or use certain lighting, but yellows look yellow and salmon look salmon..yet, when we get them, and plants flower, the colors look NOTHING like those in the pic..LOL..

I don't like when they call Purple, Blue..the flowers are NOT blue they are purple..why can't they be honest??? I once bought an outdoor rose called Blue Boy or Blue Girl..the pic in the catalog looked true blue..surely enough, after planting and flowering, it was true Purple, looked nothing like blue..

I'd also like an AV with variegated yellow and green leaves..Does such Av exist? Last year I ordered AV's from a seller on Ebay.
Actually, I wasn't too happy..for one, her plants were planted too high up in soil, so if touched, the whole plant would pop out of the little pot.
Also, I bought one AV that looked to have yellow and green leaves..It wasn't cheap either..way more than I'd pay for a plant..It sure had NO yellow..
One Av is gorgeous's called Fisherman's Paradise. Even though it arrived small, it's really grown, thanks to Superthrive and just a touch of fertilizer.

Speaking of fertilizer, where can I find an All Purpose fert that is Erea free? Both AP types I have now, Shultz and Miracle Gro, contain Erea. We also checked HD and Walmart. Is this a special order fert or can you buy it, at a reasonable price, online?? I checked Ebay but couldn't find it.

Well, Quinn, even though shipping is high, in the long run you're probably saving money considering gas prices..LOL..Is that awful or what???
I couldn't afford to order soils/mediums online..Not after discovering recent shipping costs..forget it.

Quinn, why do you think your Warm Sunshine died so fast? Was it tiny? Did you repot as soon as you got it home?
I'm still waiting for a confirmation letter from VG..wonder if I should phone them??? What do you think? I gave them my phone number and email addy..And w/the holiday coming up, mail is going to be behind for a while.

These are some of the plants I got on Ebay last year. Do you or anyone else know anything about them? I compared them to VB and RB's, and found some info..but there's one that has me stumped in particular. It's called:
0Z0 499 senks..anyone ever hear of it?
Here are the others: Red Pepper. Ma's Winter Moon. Rob's Hall. Ramblin' Amethyst. Orange Pekoe and Alamo Gold Rush.
The 0Z0 died, but it was's leaves looked like those of Steptocarpus. Long and fuzzy leaves.
I bought leaves too, but only 2 lived.

Yesterday, I finally got around to repotting all AV's..thank God that's done. There's sooo much to do this summer, so many plants need repotting or fresh soil. Then there's gardening, sigh..

Quinn, do you take AV's outside in summer? If so, where do you set them so they don't burn or get rained on? I'm too chicken placing them

Well, if anyone knows where I can find All Purpose fertilizer without Urea, please let me know. I don't know anything bout organic ferts, (other than Fish Emulsion) so that's out..Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 6:10PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)


I had Ma's Winter Moon and Ness' Orange Pekoe. MA's is very nice - and Pekoe - is super.

No-urea fertilizers - Peter' s African Violet Specialty - I get it in Lowe's and DynaGro - order it online.

You can try growing your spare AVs outside in dappled shade - but treat them as annuals. Means do not bring them back - you can get thrips, mites, mealy bugs with them.

Good Luck


Here is a link that might be useful: DynaGro

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 8:18PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

For some strange reason, bluish violet or lavender photographs to look true blue on digital cameras. So I wouldn't automatically think that someone was deliberately trying to deceive, necessarily. My pics of Opera's Romeo look startlingly blue, even though it was not actually blue.

Can't help you with the variegated green and yellow. I don't even have any idea if it exists. It's not a color combination that appeals to me, so I wouldn't be looking out for it at all... sorry.

I think Warm Sunshine was too wet when I brought it home, and I was too busy to remedy that. It showed all the signs of dying of rot.

I am quite fond of Ness's Orange Pekoe, even though I haven't seen it bloom yet. It's got velvety soft green leaves edged in pink and white, more subtle than some. A very pleasant plant.

I got my fertilizer directly from Optimara at Selective Gardener. Dyna Gro is a good fertilizer too.

I don't ever take my AVs outside. I'm not a big believer in indoor/outdoor plants in general. Those that grow inside, stay inside. Those that grow outside, stay outside. I made some exceptions for some plants that I felt were not mature or established enough, but this year, I'm wrapping em up and they're staying outside. Well, except for the mandevilla... I think that still has to come inside. But it gets isolated from the rest for a while.

The last thing to remember is that unless your growing conditions match the grower/photographer's conditions, your plant could very well look different, in variegation and in color. I have a few plants that barely look variegated at all, because there wasn't enough light over the winter to bring that out. All my blooms don't necessarily look the same... earlier in the year, they might be more like one color or color combination, and a different one later in the year. I guess you could make it more stable by growing under lights, but I'm trying to reserve the lights for my smaller orchids and my jasmines, so I only have one little experiment going with semiminis under lights. But they're looking fabulous. Not blooming yet, but looking good.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 10:25PM
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Irina..I'm confused..LOL..I have AV fertilizer, (Shultz) but read via AV nurseries and Gw that AV's should be fertilized with All Purpose fertilizer, too. Did I misread? So, which fert should I get? Dyna Gro All Purpose or Blooming?
Thanks for the link..I notice both AV and All Purpose do not contain Urea.
No Lowe's anywhere near here..I wish..

Irena, AV's are too expensive to grow as annuals. I haul plants outdoors every spring/summer/autumn, and only on one occassion did plants attract bugs: Whitefly.
Or is it AV's in general that attract insects?
Some plants, like citrus, gardenias and hibiscus do great outdoors when warm and humid. But I will keep AV's in the house. Don't want to take chances.

You said you 'had' Winter Moon and Orange Pekoe..'had' as in past tense. Did something happen to them?

Quinn, the thing is, it's not one website that purple's look blue in pics..this happens on many sites.
Perhaps I didn't explain right. I have the AV's mentioned above. It was info pertaining to each AV I needed. Meaning, standards, minis, etc. Sounds like Orange Pekoe is a favorite.
Is Optimara organic?
Quinn, when you said you're wrapping your plants up and they're staying outside, do you mean in winter too? Because you're in a cold climate, how do you go about doing that? Won't they freeze?
I had AV's on a shelf w/lights for two years, they stopped blooming. Lights are kept on 9 hours per day. Because the house has plenty of windows, they're now back in south windows, and since have again bloomed.
Quinn, do you not like variegated foliage? You have to see the yellow and green AV's. Wow!! There's actually more yellow (canary yellow) than green.
My dh and I shopped at Jewel Foods several years ago. They just got in a batch of AV's. There was one solo AV w/all white leaves..Dh found and grabbed it before I could. LOL..I know, I know, it's been said all white leaf AV's do not live, but I wonder..Dh had it more than 2 years, it bloomed, grew larger, more white leaves..It was only after his company relocated, the new building had fewer windows, less light, did it die. I'd love getting one, but no one will sell an all white..they say they won't make it 6 months, even after I explained the story about my dh's plant.
BTW, while working w/AV's, I 'think' I found a full-leaf sucker, so cut and repotted. We'll see what happens.
Again, I want to thank everyone for their help..hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 12:03AM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

I mean in general... purple appears blue. In my pictures, on websites, all over the place. So unless I know it's possible, I assume blue means bluish purple of some sort.

I have no idea whether or not Optimara's fertilizer is organic. My immediate guess is no.

The plants that would remain outside are hardy to my zone, and should return in the spring.

I DO like variegated foliage, I just don't like the color combination of yellow and green. My variegated plants are either green and white, or green, pink, and white. No yellows. I like yellow flowers with green leaves (actually I like yellow flowers a lot), but I'm just not a fan of yellow and green on leaves. That's why I'm not a huge fan of regular pothos, and while I do have a sansevieria that is yellow and green, and happen to like it, that is an exception.

My AVs that are under lights get 14 hrs of light a day. Perhaps 9 hrs wasn't enough. But if you have window space, that should work just fine. I ran out of window space, so that's why I've got some under lights.

Good luck with the sucker, hope it roots.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 12:46AM
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Hi Quinn. For the time being, I may pick up Optimara. A seller on Ebay is selling several 25 packets for 9.99 shipping included. Then again, I found Dyna-Gro at reasonalbe prices, too, so may order that..LOL. I'm still unsure if I need to order DG for flowering or all purpose plants.
Thanks for being patient with all my questions, and it's been great talking to you again, Toni

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 2:18AM
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I use Dyna-Gro "Grow" formula 7-9-5 with great results. 1/4 teaspoon per gallon with each watering.
Also use urea-free orchid food by Better-Gro. Two formulas 11-35-15 or 20-14-13. These are available at Lowe's for less than $4 for 16 oz. They work great for both violets and orchids.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 8:11AM
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Hello all,
I feel that I need to toss in my 2 cents on Dyna Gro. I also used it with great success when it was fresh. However after a while the liquid began to evaporate and crystalize on the bottom of the bottle which eventually made the fertilizer weak. I found no way of disolving the crystals so eventually I just tossed it out. My suggestion would be to buy the smallest quanatity and use it before it begins to crystalize.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:41AM
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Dragon Fy and Fred..You guys/gals got me stumped..LOL.
Last night ended up buying both flowering and AP Dyno Gro on Ebay.
Fred, do you think alternating Dyna Gro with another brand of fertilizer would prevent the crystals from forming? (do you do top or bottom-water?)
What about Optimara violet fertilizer? A seller on Ebay has 25 packets for 9.99, that includes shipping..Is that a reasonable price? I'm assuming one packet would fert all my AV's. I think. LOL..
The problem is, I couldn't find much info on Optimara.. for instance, does it contain anything other than NPK? Minerals, etc?

Got 5 AV's from Rob's today..they're pretty good size. Much larger than those I got on Ebay. The 5 are: Ma's Corsage, Happy Harold, Warm Sunshine, Midnight Valentine and Frozen in Time..

Please let me know about Optimara..Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 4:46PM
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Sorry about the confusion. When I said the fertilized developed crystals I meant that crystals formed in the Dyna-Gro container not on the plant. It's always a good idea to change fertilizers because many differ in their contents. Optimara fertilizer is available from Cape Cod Violetry at a bulk price rather than in those tiny packets. My watering is done by wicking. I use half the recommended amount of fertilizer since they are constantly being fed.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 6:36PM
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Fred's right (of course). When I use the optimara fertilizer, I use 1/2 or 1/3 of the little packet per gallon. I think I have tried every fertilizer on the market! It is fun to experiment if nothing else.

If you like green blossoms, I think you will really like "Frozen in Time" - it is an almost constant bloomer for me and the foliage naturally grows in a nice rosette.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Fred, no problem. Thankfully, I bought the smallest DG containers.
I looked on Cape Cod, but couldn't find Optimara. I'll have to recheck.
BTW, wanted to mention I also have Shultz AV fert, but it contains Urea.. Is this not a good fert, and/or would it be okay alternating w/DG?

Also, no one answered my question about using All Purpose fert on AV's..LOL.. Because AP contains larger amounts of N and K, would this benefit an AV???

Dragonfly, don't worry, I never use the amount they recommend..I divide in half. We all know fert companys want to SELL their product, so naturally they're going to up the dosage, use 'x' amount per gallon of's worse with chemical ferts. Way too strong, especially on tender plants. Cactus and Succulents, or slow-growing plants shouldn't be fert much and when they are, dossage cut in half or thirds.

I bought two bags of AV soil, I add other mediums in the mix. What I didnt know was the soil contains fertilizers. In fact, so far, no matter where u shop for AV soil, or others including Cactus and AP, Fert is included, prices higher. At least here in IL.
One AV site stated soil w/added fert should be avoided. Had I known I wouldn't have's too late now.

Dragon, thanks for the tip on Frozen in Time. I hope mine does as well as yours. It's still young, so may be some time before seeing flowers. Thanks to everyone..Toni

One more question..LOL..How old/large do AV's have to be before they set out their first buds/blooms? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 5:30PM
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The Shultz fertilizer and many others with urea are ok to use but you must realize that some plants (not all) can't tolerate urea, especially the Optimaras and Rhapsodies. If you call Cape Cod Violetry and speak to John Cook I am quite sure he will tell you that his bulk fertilizer is from Optimara. I have been using it for a few years now with no ill effects. As for size of the plant for it to bloom I would say there is no definite size. My plants seem to put out bloomstalks when the roots fill the pot. If you really need to see bloom early, keep it in a tight small pot and give it some bloom booster fertilizer.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 7:50PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Tony - hi - I was out for some time.

I think you got a lot of useful info on fertilizers. The thing you were confused about - if you still are - not all purpose fertilizer - but balanced fertilizer is recommended - with about equal amounts of N -Ph -K. All purpose - it sounds kind of too generic - and usually includes N in a form of urea - since it is the cheapest one.

I had Ness' Orange Pekoe for several years, loved it, lost it. The problem - way too many violets - do not check them all often enough. Ma's Winter Moon - I think I gave it away.

Why not to put the violets outside - for example - you have 3 plants of the same variety - and one is kind of old - you can toss it - since you have a new vigorous starter - or put it in a soil outside - so you can enjoy it in summer.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 2:16AM
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Fred, my AV's are kept rootbound. Standards (mature) are in 4" pots, nothing larger. The new AV's from Rob's are still in the pots they arrived in..when they mature, I'll up containers to 4"..The couple minis are in 2" pots indefinately..
Ironically, no one ever talked about Urea in the past, so we used whatever ferts we could find..Especially pre-internet days. LOL.
I still have a few old ferts lying around which contain Urea. ((I checked) All ferts sold in this part of IL sell the same generic ferts w/Urea.
I've been looking for Palm fert too, having the same problem. Unbelieveable!!
What do you mean by 'Especially the Optimaras and Rhapsodies?' Are they brands of fertilizers? I don't know what Rhapsodies are..please explain.
Ironically, while browsing through ferts, I found a brand new bag of Peters Specialties..12-36-14..NO Urea. It's not balanced, but that's the best I can do right now.
One problem with this Peter's is, it says fertilize at every watering. Isn't that a bit much? I prefer fertilizing once every 2 wks or once a month at most.
I went to Cape Cod Violetry's site (via GWD) Their home page shows pics of fertilizers, (mostly Shultz) states their location in MA, but no other phone number.

Hi Irina..Hope all is well with you.
I understand the concept of AV ferts now, but trying to find a balanced fertilizer w/o Urea, is almost imposible.
Especially in IL..
Yep, that's the problem with 1 or 100 too many plants, sometimes a few are neglected. LOL. If you want a couple Ness Orange Pekoe leaves, let me know. You'll have to explain how to ship leaf cuttings. I've sent tropical and succulent cuttings, via snail mail, but never AV leaves.
Irina, I don't have 3 AV's of the same variety, but thanks anyway: besides, I'm chicken. Our weather has been horrible, a couple days were 87F, AND nights as low as 36F. So far, I've only set out a few plants that can take cool temps like Gardenia, a couple citrus, etc.
So, do you set AV's out in summer? If so, where do you keep them? In the ground, under protection? How do you prevent them from getting rained on? I'd worry leaves would get wet, then either sun would shine on plant, or temps would drop..wouldn't they die? I don't discard plants. It's hard enough leaving annuals to die.. LOL The only plants I'll toss is (if, and this is rare) a plant got mealybug..I can rid scale, mites, etc, (naturally) but can't find an organic way to kill mealy. Thank God they normally steer clear. The last time they attacked a plant was a variegated Purple Passion, (Gynura) two or three years ago. Thankfully, they didn't attack neighboring plants.
Anyway, as for putting AV's outdoors, my yard and front will be cluttered w/tropicals and succulents, (soon as temps remain warm.)
Another addiction of mine is (Euphorbia) Crown of Thorns, and (Adenium) Desert Roses. (different varieties, not the same.) They take quite a bit of room out back. It's too bad their are so many dishonest people in our world, otherwise I'd like to keep plants in front too, but some people have sticky fingers and can't leave things be.
Anyway, I'll use the Peter's and alternate w/Dyna Gro when that comes in. (for now) I want to thank you both for being so helpful..Have a great, safe 3 day wkend, and Happy Memorial Day..Toni

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 3:35PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Toni -

Happy Memorial Day to all of us and especially to the Veterans in our families! My Veteran is sitting on a sofa and watching Mars landing right now.

I kept the Nemathantus outside last summer - and it did OK, not great. It was so huge - I needed to take cuttings and restart it anyway.It is so dry here - that gesneriads just cannot survive outside.

Optimara and Rhapsodie - are the patented names of the AVs created by Holtkamp Greenhouses. You see their violets with a distinct tag very often in big box stores. These varieties are good, reliable, hardy - and bred to be very presentable in a store - while a lot of more flashy hybridized varieties are just too tender to survive transportation.

Mealy Bugs - the best thing to deal with them is imidacloprid - brend name Marathon, Merit etc. Ortho sells rose spray with Imidacloprid - it is usable too. It a synthetic "tobacco" type poison and not the worst of the poisons. If you add it to your soil (always work in gloves with your soil - it keeps dirt from getting under the nails) - it will take care of MBs.

Peters specialty and DynaGro - that's what I use - and I water all the time with 1/8 of a teaspoon per gallon. For you - since your air is not so dry - 1/4 of the teaspoon per gallon - is more appropriate. Optimara fertilizer is a good one too.

No - I do not need any more plants - but thank you very much. My friends from the club came yesterday - and we put 200 cuttings for the table favors for the Gesneriad convention in Denver - it is coming in a month. I an still struggling to figure out where I can put them. Means they go to the premium spot - but what I'm going to do with the plants that are there now...

Good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: Optimara

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 2:43PM
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Hi again hopefulauthor,
I think Irina covered most of the questions you had asked me in your post. Thanks Irina and good luck with housing all the plants for the gessie convention. As for the use of fertilizer, I wick water all my plants and keep them on pint reservoirs. Since they receive water and fertilizer all the time I cut the strength by using 1/4 tsp per 2 gallons of water. This lasts for at least 7 days on a standard plant with minis and semis about 10 days before I refill the reservoir. I also try to keep the size of my standards down by keeping them in 4" pots. Occasionally you run into a plant that needs a 5" or 6" pot because it is too large for even a 4". Besides it's nice to be able to exhibit the large ones in an AVSA collection class. As for Robs plants, I never put them into anything larger than a 3oz. plastic bathroom cup. If you do use a 4" pot the plant will grow too large for it to be judged in it's semi mini class. I have a few of his wife's hybrids which are standards that I would not hesitate to put into larger pots.
Hope this clears up some of the confusion which I seem to have generated.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 10:34AM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

If you mean plants from Rob's, rather than plants named Rob's, and they are standards, they are good in 4 in pots when mature. (Plants named Rob's, for example, Rob's Scrumptious, are semiminis or minis). I actually recommend repotting them into new, lighter soil, in 3 in pots if they are baby standards (which they probably are) or 4 in pots if they are full grown. I find Violet Barn's mix too heavy, and it doesn't dry out fast enough for me... and then the dreaded rot. And this coming from an underwaterer. If you are from the Chicago area, then I imagine you'll be getting nice and humid soon enough. Translation: jungle muggy disgusting : ) Almost as bad as here.

Although, if you have gotten plants from Violet Barn before, and you are okay with their mix, then by all means, wait till they grow up a bit. Just sharing my experience in case it is helpful.

I fertilize every watering too. They seem to like it.

Enjoy your new plants!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 12:25AM
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Howdy Irina..Belated Happy Memorial Day to you and everyone here..I have two Vets in the house..dh and ds. Was yours in the army/navy? If you don't want to discuss it, that's okay.

Irina, I don't use chemicals..of any type..well, wait, I add fertilizers but that's as far as it goes..there's two, I don't like them, don't want to breath our handle..the second reason is more important. I have birds..don't know if you know anything about our feathered friends, but they can't be near chemicals..if by chance, one flew and landed on a plant, (treated) and either nibble or sit on long enough they absorb the chemical, they will die..
I also breed/bred cockatiels..sometimes the chicks, when learning to fly, take off and land on a you see what I'm up against?? thanks for the suggestion though. I'm considering using weed killer outdoors though..but don't know how it's done, since we pull weeds once a wk..but they've pretty much taken over, and the weather isn't cooperating. LOL

Thanks for the AV explanation..problem is, most Av's sold here at Home Depot, Walmart or grocery store, wear a very generic tag glued to the pot..It says, African Violet, 4"'s possible a family owned gh's name plants..some time in the future, (if gas prices drop) I'm going to ask dh to drive me to 2 local nurseries that sell AV's and a zillion other plants..both opposite directions, but you should see their plants!!! They also sell supplies so maybe I can find proper fertilizers for Palms..

Irina, when you fertilize, do you do so at every watering or space between? Also, I'm assuming you don't mix both ferts together, right?

Oh my goodness, 200 plants??? Are they potted? Good luck, girl..LOL. I hope they make it till the show. I wish we travelled, I would love to go, but w/the pets, birds, dogs, and iguana, it's impossible. Are you in charge of these plants?
Hi Fred. You didn't generate confusion; I'm a dunce..LOL..
Now you have my attention..You mention, in some cases, using larger pots, 5-6"..The AV's at say, Rob's Violet's or Violet Gallery, that state, 'Large'..when mature, should these AV's go in 5-6" pots. I've never used a pot that size fearing AV's wouldn't flower or excess soil would rot, (if overwatered) which doesn't happen here.
I've seen pics displaying huge AV's..large leaves, wide in size..would you happen to know if these AV's are potted in larger than 4" containers?

I've never 'wick' watered plants, but assume it works well. Is it similar to using self-watering pots?
Actually, when I won AV's off Ebay, the seller sent them in little, 2" plastic cups, w/drainage, and a red wick per pot. I didn't know how to use it so ended up watering similar to other violets.. To be honest, violets did best when they were bottom-watered, plus leached once a month or so. A few AV's are still in pots that can only be top watered, but eventually will go in those ugly, plastic pots..LOL
Fred, I only have a few, 'mini/dwarf' AV's, possibly 3..All the others are standards. That's one reason I asked if anyone heard of plants I bought on Ebay..the seller didn't mention which were standard or mini.
One more say you won't pot an AV bought at Rob's in a pot more than 4"? Does he not carry Large AV's?

Hi Quinn..I meant, plants from Rob's Violets/or Violet Barn whatever name they go by..The nursery, not the plant. I don't even know any Rob's AV's..LOL

LOL, I'm assuming you don't like humidity..I love it..can't live w/o winter, we run 2 humidifers, 2 indoor fountains, daily misting and showering plants/people, humidity trays and little cups of water hidden behind plants..LOL..In summer, NO A/C or C/A..only fans and windows..heat and humidity is something we love..90F degrees, and I've got super energy..Of course, I'm the only one in the neighborhood working outside, while the neighbors sit in their a/c'd homes watching tv..LOL.
I really didn't notice Rob's soil being heavy..I'd best check..Now you've got me far, thank God, I never had rot problems..I mix soils for ALL plants, using Perlite AND HD's Builder's Sand (and other mediums)..Not beach sand..Builder's Sand isn't as fine as beach, so it doesn't retain water, on the contrary..been using this mix many many years.

I'll have to think about fertilizing w/every watering. Do you guys fert in winter, too?

Again, I want to thank everyone for your help. Wish me luck finding a Palm Fertilizer..LOL..Toni

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 6:53PM
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Hi Toni,

I found palm fertilizer either at Home Depot or Orchard Supply Hardware. It wasn't in the section with the large bags, but in a specialty fertilizer section (Azalea, Citrus, Avocado food, etc) in cereal-sized boxes. The home Depot web site also shows 20 lb. bags (link below).
~ Donna

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Depot Palm Fertilizer

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 10:44PM
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Hi Again,
Let me say at the begining of this reply that AV's should be grown in a pot that is about 1/3 the size of the plant. A plant in a 6" pot should measure 18" across. Actually at a convention in Lancaster in '92 I saw a few of Marie Burns' plants that were easily 18" across and were in pots larger than 4".
Now to clear the confusion about Rob's. Ralph Robinson is the owner of the Violet Barn in upstate NY. His nickname is Rob which he uses when he registers his hybrids which are for the most part semiminiatures and miniatures. These plants should never be in pots over 2.5 inches. I keep all my minis and semis in 3oz. plastic cups. He do es carry standard AV's many of which are his wife's hybrids
His wife is Olive Ma Robinson. She too is also a hybridizer but concentrates mostly on standards. Her registered plants names always have Ma as the first word of the name.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 10:57PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Goodness gracious... yes, I am not a big fan of heat plus humidity. I've not really experienced a dry heat (so far as I know) so I can't say anything about that, but humidity in cooler temps are just fine. I can't say what AVs think of such heat, but you've had some for years, you said, so I guess they're fine with it.

Yes, like Fred said, plants that are called Rob's are minis or semiminis. For example, I have Rob's Pewter Bells, Rob's Scrumptious, and Rob's Boondoggle. These are all semiminis. I also have plants name Ma's, which are also from Violet Barn, Ma's Easter Parade and Ma's Debutante. Plants named Ma's are standards. In this case, they are large standards.

Ness's Orange Pekoe is a standard. Ma's Winter Moon is a standard. Rob's Hall (if it is a Rob's plant, but I haven't heard of it) should be a semimini. Alamo Gold Rush is a standard, I think. Rambling Amethyst sounds like a semimini trailer, but don't quote me. The others, I'm not familiar with.

Here's how you figure out what to pot them in. Take a tape measure, and measure the distance from the tip of one leaf, to the tip of the leaf on the other side. Basically, you're looking at the total leafspan. Divide that number by three. Don't worry about how big it will get, just how big it is now. Pot it in a pot appropriate for the size it is right now. If it grows a lot, you'll just repot it next time, probably six months from now. So even if you have a large growing standard, if it is only 9 in from tip to tip right now, put it in a 3 in pot. Worry about whether or not to put it in a 6 in pot when it gets 18 in across, and not until then.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 12:35AM
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Hey Donna, thanks for the link..I've stopped at 2 local HD's, but the only palm fertilizers they sell are stakes. I don't use stakes for any plant. I wonder if fir tree fert will work, but fear it's too strong, considering my palms are pot-grown. The same applies to a few palm ferts online..they're basically for outdoor palms. I wrote to a seller on Ebay, he didn't sound very optimistic when I mentioned it was for container palms..he warned, use very little. In other words, he wanted to sell the fert, on the other hand, was cautious. LOL.

Hi Fred, Fred, everytime you mention AV's being 18" across, it astounds me..I've never ever seen an AV that size. Do you have any? If so, would you mind posting a pic if it's not too much trouble.
Or if anyone else here has a site or pics, and not too much work, can you post?
Fred, I ended up reading Violet Barn's history..It's funny because I've seen 'Ma' AV's listed on their site, (Rob's,) but have also seen 'Ma' AV's on other sites..Are 'Ma' AV's that are sold at other nurseries the same hybrids as those at Rob's?
In your opinin, Fred, you seem to know a LOT about AV's, how long does an AV take to grow 18"? Also, how do they grow so wide? (I mean, is there anything that needs doing?)After my AV's get 'x' large, I remove the bottom leaves, sometimes two bottom layers. Should I stop doing this? I once read after so many crowns, (I think 3-4) to this incorrect?
What can I do or not do to get standard AV's to grow 18" or larger? Does one AV grow large, (width) or is there more than one AV potted per pot? Please forgive all the questions, but I don't know any other places that explain, Plus, I'd rather hear it from people who actually grow plants. I have a couple, older AV books, but there's no mention about larger AV's. One book is by Orthos.
Okay, one more thing..well, maybe two..LOL..So you're saying, when an AV grows 'x' size, the pot should be 1/3rd size of the plant. I'm guessing this applies to all ages.
I hope I'm not giving you a headache..LOL..wish I could email u an aspirin, if you think I've overstepped by asking so many questions, please disregard.

Hey Quinn..People are different.. I notice, espeically since the internet, many ppl prefer cooler temps to warm. It's a matter of opinion.
AV's are kept in the LR w/3 big, south-facing windows, and a ceiling fan. Plus, we keep a stand=up fan, though it doesn't aim at plants. (or birds)
So you pretty much have different size AV's..How big do your Ma's get? What about Gillians? I have an older Gillian, (think that's what it is) another coming in. It's possible the tag is mislabeled. One summer, while windows were opened, a strong gust knocked a bunch of AV's on the floor, (babies) so some tags may be in the wrong pots.
What attracted me to Gillian were its large, white flowers..
I heard of minis, but knew nothing about them, like the fact they required smaller pots. Over the years, I purchased a few minis at our grocery store..they were in 2" plastic pots, but duh, as they grew I repotted in 4": they died. Now I know the reason, thanks to you all.
I now understand selecting the correct pot sizes..So Fred, if you're reading this, I now know not to worry what size it'll be in the future, but the size they are now..that makes sense.
But I'm curious how AV's grow so large..I guess I'll stop removing bottom two layers of leaves.

Violet Gallery are shipping new AV's this week..Can't wait to see them..LOL.
There's another AV nursery called Federicks..has anyone bought plants from them? While browsing through Bookmarks, their addy popped up. Of course I had to see what they had..Most AV's were 4.50..One problem is, unless one knows names, it's difficult choosing an AV since most have a brief discription, very few pictures..I need pics..

Thanks again, people. From now on before repotting, I'll keep a measuring tape, (soils and pots) handy. It's much easier that way.

Wanted to add, I forget who said this, but I agree VB's soil isn't very well-draining. I dont know what to do..Repot or wait?
Thanks Again, Toni

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 4:33PM
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I emailed you two photos of large AV's one of which was mine and the other by a grower at a show I judged in 2007.
To get a plant to grow to that size, picking the right hybrid is important. I remember back in '92 at the Lancaster AVSA convention, Marie Burns entered three of her hybrids and each one was at least 24 inches across. It more than likely took 2 years to get to that size. I am growing a hybrid called Dumplin' which was about 4 inches across last December. Presently it is over 13 inches. I keep increasing the pot size every time it gets to more than 3X's the diameter of the pot. Right now I am getting ready to put it into a 5" pot. Repotting frequently helps to grow it larger. Also keeping the conditions steady and not letting the plant get out of water and fertilizer helps. I only remove leaves when they start to turn yellow or droop severly. Then again using a violet ring to support the leaves is a help also.
AS for the plants dying after you repotted into a 4 inch pot it was more than likely because you repotted in too heavy a mix which retained too much water. I use a very light mix 1 part peat or potting mix, 1 part coarse vermicultie and 1 part coarse perlite. I wick my plants and they receive water and fertilizer all the time. I try never to let the plant go dry.
hope this helps. If you have any further questions don't hesitate to ask here or use my email at the top of each response.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 9:18PM
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Hi Fred..I received and answered your email.
For those of you who haven't seen Fred's AV's, they are really gorgeous. For one thing, I adore the flower edgings, colors which contrast to the petal's color and nicely variegated foliage.

I don't know Marie Burns, she in Lancaster PA or England? How is she affiliated with AV's or visa versa?
Fred, I don't know where you live, but it says zone 6. How in the world did you get an AV, (Dumplin') to grow 9" from Dec to well, basically June? Are your plants in windows, under lights, or both? Which direction and do you take plants out in summer? Maybe there's something to wick-watering and frequent ferts afterall.
One mistake I'll never again make is remove lowest foliage without cause. Other than the artilcle I read that recommended removing leaves to keep 'x' amount of crowns, there was no reason to do so.
What is a violet ring? What exactly does it do? Sheesh, I've a lot to learn about AV'
Fred, I'm sure you're correct about me using the wrong soil with minis. I have one left, (have NO idea what it is, it's never flowered,) but had it planted in a shoe planter which was way too large..took care of that last week..It's now in a 2" pot.

Believe me, Fred, 99% of my soils are well-draining. I mix according to plant, be it AV's, cactus, citrus, etc.
Most mediums I purchase come in 40-50lb bags..(locally) not via online nurseries..This includes Peat, Builder's Sand, and All Purpose. Perlite, Charcoal and a few other mediums come in small bags.

Hope this work..I'm going to try dl'ing pics here..hope it's no problem..maybe you guys can ID them.
Wish I still had babies bought on Ebay for ID's, but lost them (they were on desktop) when my puter broke..

If you guys see anything wrong, or something I can improve, please let me know..I know two variegated leaves lost some color on bottle leaves..

Thanks again, and Fred, thanks for the email, you're a sweetheart..Oh this isn't an online pick-up..LOL..I'm married, and now on the prowl..LOL..just enjoy talking plants..thanks again..

Hope this isnt' too many pictures..
Oh one more question..Does anyone know what Sideras/Spiderwort is? I'd like to know if it's related to AV's. I have a pic if necessary..Thanks again, Toni

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 12:33AM
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Hi Toni,
Follow the link below to see a photo of Marie Burns holding one of her amazing plants at the MAAVS show. She is flanked by the other two of her winning plants taking first, second and third best in show. I believe she is from Richmond VA. area. She is a hybridizer who loves to hybridize large AV's.
As for me I live in Burlington County in NJ which is about 10 miles south of Trenton, the state capitol. The photos I sent you were not all grown by me. Royal Flair was grown by someone in the Burlington county show last year where I judged. My plant was Buckeye Cranberry Sparkler. I do not enter plants i,nto shows where I judge. I am a member of the Garden State AVC and I exhibit at that show in May and also the Tristate AVS in November. Copy the link into your browser and you will see a few more of my plants. Dumplin' is a fast grower for me and by moving it up into a larger pot every 3 months is gets there very quickly. I grow all my plants on wicks using a constant feed method. My plants always receive water and nutrients all the time and I grow them under flourescent lighting.
And finally a violet ring is a plastic support that holds the leaves in place but is removed when at a show.
Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Mid Atlantic African Violet Society

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 12:45PM
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I can't believe pics didnt show..I'll try again later; I don't expect anyone to write each addy w/1000 letters/numbers..LOL

Fred, thanks..I browsed through the sites you sent, but been plucking weeds again today so don't have time to read all this minute. I'll finish the articles and info later tonight.
I did get a look at the Fisherman's Paradise on one site, one I got from Ebay..out of all the plants the seller shipped, FP is growing the fastest and most colorful..In fact, since Dec the FP was repotted once so I guess it's a fast grower???
Of what I saw on the site, those AV's are beautiful and definatly well-cared for.
I didn't know AV's weren't tropicals..
Fred, out of curiosty, do you grow other plants, (tropicals/cac/sux/outdoor gardening) or are you dedicated to AV's??? You don't have to answer if you feel it personal.
I'll have to check out Dumplin'. I want to see who's plants, between Robs and Violet Gallery are nicer..Then there's Florals of Fredericks, too.
BTW, I checked out the plastic ring you mentioned..they're sold at FOF's..after viewing the pics, I don't see how they work..LOL..the ring looks flat to me, so I can't figure out how the leaves/flowers are held up..

Also, does anyone know a Standard Trailing type AV? Back in 1988, when Park's Seed had reasonable prices and customer service was helpful, I used to order their seeds. One was a trailing AV Standard. Had it for 3+ yrs..a friend came over and asked for a cutting..Don't know the reason, but after removing a cutting the entire plant died..weird huh? Anyway, I'd like to find another AV, that hangs, standard size, not mini. Oh the one I grew was also veriegated. If anyone has an idea, will you please give me a name?

I tried copying and pasting the addy, but it didnt go through..I'll type it manually.

So, you're in NJ and grow AV's under lights..What type of lights do you use? When I kept AV's under lights, they did nothing..plants thrived, but NO flowers. They were adjacent a south window (no curtains/blinds) but another shelf w/C&S's stood before the south..They also got sun from a west exposure, but again, another shelf stood before that window..
Lights on shelf w/AV's were on about 10 hours a day. I kept them on the shelf about 2 yrs..

Fred thanks again..I have quite a bit of reading to do
One more question..when you discuss repotting, it sounds like you do so continuously..What sizes do you repot in? Say you start at a 2" (for standard) what's the next size you go to? Toni

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 4:49PM
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There are two wonderful new books available that answer all your questions - 'Growing to Show - How to grow prize winning african violets' - (newly updated in 2008) and 'You can Grow African Violets'

Here is a link that might be useful: Violet Books

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 1:13PM
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Hi Dragonfly..Thanks..Gotta wait a while before spending..'sort of' got carried away buying plants, and it's only June..LOl.
I have African Violets & Flowering Houseplants book by Orthos which has some helpful information, but it's an older book, copywritten in 1985, a lot has changed since it was published.
So for now it's reading older books, and thanks goodness, GW. I can also go to the library, but the problem with that is, we have Cockatiels..They fly around the room I'm in now..One tiel, Sparkle, loves chewing..he chews books, controls, etc..Most of our books are with half a cover..LOL..little nibbles here and there..I don't think the library would appreciate bringing in books with half a cover, and bottom pages chewed like a mouse nibblin' cheese. LOL

One article in AV Orthos book discusses Creating AV Hybrids...I've been meaning to try it 'for years,' but never got around to doing it..It sounds simple enough.
I'm curious if anyone here has tried it? If so, if it worked, how long does it take for seeds to germinate? I'm jumping the gun, (considering up till last wk I didn't know what a sucker was, lol) but what can it harm? As long as mom AV doesn't die..

Fred, all I can say is WOW..your AV's are gorgeous. Of course now that u posted, I have some questions..LOL.
The Maa's Angela..what type of leaves are they? I've never, ever seen leaves on Av's w/lines??? They're amazing.
Also, the Maas' Chris flowers looks salmon. I love them!!!!

The S. Sigi Falls leaves are also amazing. They look to have a silver streak/veins? Oh another thing about S. Sigi is the flowers..They look true Blue..are they or is it the pic? Lighting?
The Optimara groups are also stunning. I'm considering a couple for future AV orders..

Is the Rob's Gizmo a mini? Its flowers look as large as foliage.
I see why you like Dumplin'..Those flowers are gorgeous..they look like carnations. Are they what is called double flowered? I've seen names with single, semi-double and double, but can't tell the difference. (There's one at Robs called Gillian with similar flowers. Are they double? The same as Dumplin?'

Fred, is that it? For some reason I thought you'd have hundreds of AV's..LOL.
Sorry for typos, gotta get outside and weed before it rains..Again thanks for all your help, and thanks for the pics..the problem is, after seeing them, I want one of each..LOL..after cc is paid off, I'm going to place one more, ahem, order..Fred I'm going to keep your pics for future reference..Toni

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 3:29PM
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Here we go again Toni,
Maas' Angela has clackamus foliage sometimes called watermelon foliage. Maas' Chris is a definite pink, I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. S. sigi falls is about the closest I have to a true blue but again I see it more like a blue/violet color. Rob's Gizmo is a semi miniature and is a good bloomer. Dumplin' is a full double flower like Gillian which I am also growing. However I believe that Gillian is not as large a plant or at least the leaves are not as large. I will let you know about Gillian if you check back with me in a few months since I have just started to grow it.
Dumplin' (3931) 05/23/1980 (J. Swift) Double pink two-tone. Plain, quilted. Large (TX Hyb)
Gillian (8619) 06/16/1997 (D. Ferguson) Double white large star. Medium green, plain, quilted. StandardGail (2695) 05/28/1975 (Union County Chapter AVS/Max Maas) Double dark rose. Longifolia. Standard
S. Sigi Falls Single variable blue-violet, 2-4 per peduncle, medium to difficult to bloom. Dull green, tends to look mottled, longifolia, may spoon, thick, tough, very hairy, varies in size/purple-red back. Multi-crowned. Never declared a true species. Large standard to bushy trailer. Saintpaulia species.
Rob's Gizmo (8609) 05/31/1997 (R. Robinson) Semidouble medium pink star. Dark green, quilted/red back. Semiminiature
The photos in the album are only a small portion of my collection. I hesitate to count but I think I have somewhere between 100 - 150 plants of various sizes.
Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Freds AV pics.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 4:50PM
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Howdy, Fred, out of your list I'll eventually end up with, S. Sigi Falls, Maas' Chris, Dumplin' and Maas' Angela. I checked Flicker (your site) but couldn't find any remaining AV's. Maybe they're not listed???

I don't know if you guys heard of these two nurseries, but a friend phoned tonight, told me to get online to check them out..OMG!! One is called Brennans Orchids, the other Lyndon Lyon..
I don't know if anyone here likes Episcias, but LL has E. Ember Lace for 10.50..problem is there's a waiting list.
So far I want 7 AV varieties from Brennans, and 18 from course I can't get them all at once, but I'm thinking 3 or so a month..prices vary.
There's some high-priced AV's at Lyndons..Harmony Little 25.00. Raspberry Halo Sport 20.00 and Rob's Lucky Penny, 20.00.
While viewing their plants, I notice two desciptive adjectives for AV's...'Fantasy' and 'Plain'..What do they mean? At first I thought plain meant green, but one AV was variegated yet it said plain leaves. I don't get it.
Also, they sell Russian Violets..Are they from Russia? Is there a differce from Russian than American?

One other thing I want to state. Brennans sells Standards, minis, and trailing, but they also have a few they call 'Large.' I wonder how 'large' they get. I'll have to buy one to see what the difference is.

Just wanted to inform everyone about these two nurseries. Have a great night..Toni

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 1:17AM
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I have bought many violets from Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses - I highly recommend them. FYI - Fantasy refers to "speckles" or "dots" of color on the blossoms.
Yes, the plants described as Russian violets were hybridized by people in Russia. I have several nice Russian varieties.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 6:50AM
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Hi Toni,
There are many different types of AV leaves. As you have seen Maas' Angela has clackamus foliage. There are girl leaves which have a white spot where the stem meets the leaf. Quilted foliage looks much like a traditional quilt. Scalloped leaves have edges that look sort of bumpy while longifolia leaves look longer than traditional leaves. Bustleback leaves have a protrusion that sticks out of the rear of a leaf. And then there are plain leaves which are exactly what they look like, plain and simple with nothing fancy or strange.
As for the high priced plants at Lyons, they are more than likely Chimeras. Chimeras are plants which can only be propagated by sucker if they are to bloom true. In the case of Rob's Lucky Penny, rather than the blossom blooming true it's the variegated foliage. Usually chimeras are recognized easily by a striped or pinwheel blossom and it's because these plants must be propagated by sucker that they are so expensive. I will add that chimera plants are at times unstable and it's because of thei instabiltiy that we have chimeras. They do not always bloom true. Click on the link below to see a chimera.
Toni, if you want a good book that will help you with growing order "Growing to Show" by Pauline Bartholomew. It's available from AVSA and has just been revised.
Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Chimera bloom

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Hi, Tony,

I want to add my 2 cents in here too. Fred gives excellent advice when he suggests you order the newly revised book by Pauline Bartholomew, 'Growing To Show'. Even if you never have any intention of showing, it is a wealth of information about simply growing African violets at their best.

Since you want to increase your collection of varieties, does it not make sense to invest some of that expense in a very good reference book? FIRST?

The information you get on this forum is generally excellent, but the nature of the beast is that it comes sort of piecemeal, since few of us have the time or inclination to respond with what would be at least one chapter on 'watering', or 'propagating', etc.

We all want to see everyone grow lovely healthy plants, and getting that 'basic and beyond' education about this plant is really important to help reach that goal. If you cannot afford to purchase it, check out some books from the library and keep them away from the birds. Makes great nighttime reading.....

Mel Robey's books are good, Tony Clement's are too. Ortho is pretty generic but sort of outdated. Pauline's is really good and reasonably priced.

I would also spend some time looking over the various topics on a couple of websites; the Violet Barn has great culture info, as does the AVSA website and Rachel's Reflections.

I just completed a trip and visited the Violet Barn (home of Rob's and Ma's series), Fay Wagman (Violet Venture), and Lyons Greenhouse. 44 new plants to care for.......violet heaven....

Good luck.


Here is a link that might be useful: rachels reflections

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:11PM
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Fred, Lyons sells Chimeras too, (they're beautiful) but the few I mentioned are AV's..You're right though, after checking Chimera prices, they are EXPENSIVE. Lyons also sells AV for 6.00 and the future I'm going to try a couple from both nurseries..but not for a while..Thanks for the explanations. I wonder if Plain AV's sell as frequently as those w/fancier leaves.

Dragonfly, the Russian Av's are really pretty. Perhaps in the future, I'll add one to my collection. I'd also like a Chimera. I'm assuming Chim's don't root as leaf cuttings, only suckers which makes higher prices understandable.

Barbara you trying to get rid of me? LOL..I'm sorry, once I get started talking about plants, especially with people who know about them, enjoy them, it's yap, yap, yap..
Perhaps, I should give it a rest..huh? Sorry, I didn't mean to be a pain...
I should have realized I was 'yapping' too much when Fred said, "here we go again."
Thanks for all your help, I've learned a lot about AV's from you guys, (guys meaning gals, too.) More in a week than I knew in all the years I've grown them. Now I know what a sucker is, NOT to use UREA in ferts, and can distinguish foliage. Toni

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 4:42PM
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You are NOT a pain! I, for one, enjoy your enthusiasm! It sounds like you have caught the African Violet bug!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 5:10PM
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Of course I'm not trying to get rid of you! I just would like to see you invest in a really good reference book before you spend a lot of money and then run into problems that you don't know how to deal with. By reading a really good book, you should be able to either avoid or at least minimize problems that are much easier to deal with on a smaller scale. You are probably going to add plants as fast as you can cause you have the bug. Rather than ping-pong your way thru it, get a good reference book to help guide you thru it. Again, the advice you get here is really good, but piecemeal.

Good growing.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 5:11PM
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Hi Toni,
I really wasn't suggesting anything by my 'here we go again' comment, I just love to kid around a bit. I really enjoy answering questions about av's and love to spread what little knowledge I have about them around. At one point I would go out and speak to garden clubs and other av clubs about growing but now getting around has become a chore rather than fun so now I fill in those gaps with the internet. I just hope I haven't offended you in any way and if I did please forgive me.
As for buying plants, I find the best place to purchase plants is at a local show. I have no idea where you live but if you can try to find a show in your area. Most AV clubs have an annual show usually in the spring. A few do have fall shows. You can also find a club near where you live which would welcome you with open arms. Most clubs are very generous and share extra plantlets and leaves with their members. To find if there is a club in your area look at the site and hopefully there is one nearby. Other than that I would suggest sending to Lyons or Rob's for plants. At all costs I avoid ebay. Plants there always seem expensive and the shipping is high. I would also encourage you to join AVSA. The magazine they put out every other month is worth the membership cost alone. And you can even purchase "Growing to Show" from them at a members price.
Any more questions? I will be more than happy to answer them if I can. I have lots of time on my hands to answer what I can.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 9:02PM
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Dragon, Barb and Fred..I'm sorry..I'm too sensitive a person and sometimes take things the wrong way. I shouldn't have said what I did.
The weather's was fanastic all week, then today it rained, and temps dropped..I'm also over-tired from working outside, (hand-pick weeds) trying to get all house plants fertilized, ST'd and ES'ed, keep the house, cook, and take care of 7 pets..
I think you guys are great, knowledable, and love talking about plants. Like I said earlier, in the last week, I've learned more about AV's than all the years I've been growing them..
Plus I read everything you guys recommeded on various sites, which was also helpful.
I wish I could delete the post, but after clicking send, that was it..oh well, let's disregard it, Start Over.

Okay, what's a Sucker? LOL j/k..Speaking of suckers, the sucker set in soil is doing fine, so far..I'm debating whether or not to surround with plastic for humidity.

Dragon thanks so much..I love talking to you, too. Since you sent the first email (via GW) made my day. Barb, I will eventually invest in the AV book. Obviously, buying reference books before purchasing something, (like a pet) is a good idea, but I get hyped up when it comes to plants, like they're going out of style. I really cannot borrow any book from the library. Birds are up till I go to bed, and Sparkle goes out of his way getting to them.

I know I shouldn't have done it, but because I was feeling blue, I ordered 4 Av's from Brennans..Rhodeo Country, Violet Kris, Ma's Winter Moon and Silver Grade Spells. LOL
Isn't that a great excuse???? LOL

Fred, you're the best.. :) You have been most helpful. I truly love your plants, but wish you'd send more pics..LOL.. You may not realize it, but you've explained so much in a week, stuff you may consider trivial/basic, but important to me.
BTW, I live in Illinois.
I know not to buy AV's from sellers on Ebay, learned that lesson last year.
A few years ago I checked our neighborhood paper for flower shows, etc, but the nearest place was about 30 miles west...mostly herbs and annuals. But I'll check on may have info the paper didn't. So, thanks again.

Again, I apologize. I really like this forum. There's so much to learn...even when someone mentions a plant they have, care for, explains its needs, dislikes, growth patterns is very helpful. It's also nice talking to people who have the same type of AV..there's really a LOT to learn, and YES I've come to love those fuzzy leaf, profuse flowered greens.
Have a great night, hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 1:06AM
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Hi, Toni,

Out of curiosity, I just checked on AVSA affilliates in Illinois. Gasp! There are 10! I hope at least one of them is near you. If so, I strongly encourage you to attend the meetings and join. You'll find so many nice people with lots of information, leaves and plants to share, and have a good time.

We have started a club here in Maine, and it is a wonderful way for some of our less experienced growers to increase the size of their collections without buying mailorder.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 3:46PM
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Hi Barb, I tried emailing you but it wouldn't go through. I'm using Vista, (new tower) and for some reason when I email directly from a site it won't send. It'd work if I could email you directly under your GW profile. You know what I mean, where it says, Email so and so?

Thanks..actually I saw 9 IL Av groups on AVSA..the problem is all are far, unless the one I didn't see happens to be nearby.
The closest burb is Des Plaines which is a 30 miles.(My dh works there) Des Plaines is north of Chicago, we're southwest. Norridge is about 45 mins away, (north,) my sister lives in Norridge. 5 out of 9 are up north. A couple west, and Moline is sw, about 1 1/2 hour drive. Never heard of Murphyboro but I'll check it out. One says locations vary, but the person to contact is in St. Charles, (a prison town) LOL which is somewhere sw of us. St. Charles is at least an hour away.
If you don't mind, will you please email me?? My addy is
I want to thank you for checking.

I'd love to go to Maine some time, the land of Stephen King. LOL. A friend of hubby's has a home there; we're invited to stay if we want, but travelling is almost impossible with the pets.
We have friends who vacationed in Maine and boasted of its beauty. Apparantly, Mainer's love to garden. It seems like a nice, serene place to live.

How often are your meetings? What do they discuss? It's great you get to trade with fellow members, that's one way to increase your collection, and safer than sending leaves through the mail.

Thanks again, and when you get a chance, will you send an email? Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 4:49PM
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Hi Toni,
If you can I would enclose the sucker in some kind of clear topped container. I bought ice cream take-out containers from a local restaurant supply, it has a styro bottom and a clear plastic dome top. The humidity is increased in the container and it doesn't dry out like it would just sitting in the open. The other thing I do is to wick new suckers in Solo bathroom cups. I have added a link to my local clubs site.
Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden State AVC site

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 7:55PM
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Hey Fred...I don't have any ice cream containers, but I have clear, plastic pots I can set (upsidedown) atop the sucker pot. You didn't mention ventilation. Does the plastic need slitting for air circulation? Also, since I've never rooted a sucker before, do you have any advice on how moist soil should be? I'm afraid if too wet it'll rot. Too dry and it'll there an in-between?
Okay, I give up..I looked at Garden State AVC site, but couldn't find the added link..I'll recheck. Can you give me a hint what I'm looking for? Seems like I'm playing the puzzle, (find the picture) LOL

Fred, one more thing..I know I said I wouldn't shop for AV's on Ebay, but ended up browsing anyway (the shame is killing me, lol) Guess which AV is being sold? S. Sigi Falls..What would you do? LOL. Actually there are 3 AV's from the same seller that are quite interesting. The Sigi, Senks Longlegs which looks spectacular and Spite-ly which is double white w/yellow variegation..Quite variegated.
I didn't see any of the 3 listed on AV nursery sites..the long legs is so different, and I've got a thing for yellow leaf variegation.
I know the seller, (not personally, only via emails.) What to do? Time is passing as I has 2 hours left. Toni

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 4:19PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Boy, you got the bug bad! Tee hee. I think you've surpassed my number now. I'm quite happy with what I have right now, though. Orchids, on the other hand... good thing I have no more room.

You would love the weather we're having right now. 80s and humid. 60 percent humidity in my house right now. Whew.

Where is your burb, if you don't mind my asking? I went to high school in SW suburban Chicago, so I'm just curious.

For rooting... I get the soil damp, but not soggy. If it looks like you can wring water out of it, that's too much. I then seal it in a plastic sandwich baggie. I keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't dry out or start rotting, and also to see if there's any action going on. Um, very slow paced action... ha. Just don't leave it in direct sun, or you will bake your poor little leaf or sucker.

Ok, off to try and accomplish something today without melting...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 6:24PM
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LOL Quinn..Where have you been?? I thought you were hiding out, you've been gone so long.
Yes, guess I caught the AV bug, and the more AV's are mentioned and seen, well, you know the rest :)
I don't know how people can live without some type of greenery in their homes..Not artificial..the real deal.
There's a new home built nearby..the entire front and part roof is glass..NOT one plant..What the heck?
Oh I live in Brookfield..Ever heard of Brookfield Zoo? We're about 1 mile away..
What school did you attend? and which burb?
I was born in Chicago, but we moved out of the city 20 yrs ago, mainly to get away from gangs, drugs, and all the other crap..Too bad the burbs are now having problems, but nowhere as bad as the city..My brothers a Chicago Police Officer..I worry about him every time he goes to work..he works in dangerous neighborhoods.
Anyway, back to plants, lol...I'd never allow soil to get wring-a-sponge wet..other than Papyrus, Juncus, and a Draceana (can't recall its name) that is grown in water, plant soil drys a bit between watering, cactus and succulents even more.

Quinn, you think I have more AV's than you? How many do you have? Not that I'm comparing...actually feel better when people tell me they have 5 times as many as I do..LOL..
I'm curious about one posted on Ebay turned out to be a mini..I don't want to get into minis, 'just yet.' I wonder if Senks come in standards. I'd love a Senk with long leaves, but standard. Dark or variegated leaves, flowers don't matter..Do you know if anything like that exists?
Oh wanted to add, it's in the high 90's and humidity is about fact, I've been bringing plants outside most of the day..finished dinner..After this post, it's back outside..Problem is running out of room..LOL..
Oh Quinn, don't say you don't have room for more plants. There's always room for one, two, three about minis?
What type of orchids do you have? You may have mentioned it, above, I'll have to reread. I only have a Dendrobian, spelling. 1 green vanilla 1 vanilla variegated and 1 Ludisa. That's it..I think.
Well, off to work outside..been procrastinating..LOL. Take care, and don't be a stranger, Quinn..hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 7:45PM
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Hi Again Toni,
Suckers are pretty easy to start. I cut it off the main stem and take off some leaves, enough to give me a stem to set into damp soil. Try putting a handfull of mix in your hand and squeeze it, if it drips it's too wet, if it falls apart its too dry. Look for a happy medium where it holds together but falls apart when poked with a finger. I cover it making a greenhouse and put it back on my stand. Never in a window with direct sun. I seal it tight to retain the moisture and check it weekly to make sure it hasn't dried out.
I sent you the link to our clubs site so you could see some of the things that go on in a club (I'm trying to con you into going to a meeting). My local club is about 25 minutes away from my home. The Tristate AV council and judges council is about 90 minutes away but that meets on Saturday mornings three times a year so traveling to that one isn't much of a problem since I car pool it with another member.
As for Senk plants, to me they are oddities that are too sparse on bloom and out of control in symmetry. I don't grow any of them and don't intend to in the future. The closest thing I have to one is a hybrid of George McDonalds which he crossed using one of his plants. It doesn't bloom well and suckers like crazy. I think S.sigi falls is a good plant but it doesn't bloom well. It's easy to grow all you have to do to it is repot it every 9 months and let it sucker. I would look for a start at a vendor who carries species. Leaves are good and a lot cheaper than entire plants.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 8:31PM
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Good evening Fred and AV'ers. I had to take a break.. so far got about 85% of my house plants outdoors. Still have the front yard to work on, but that'll be done either tomorrow or Sat since it's 8pm. Friday is my big house cleaning day, but hauling plants out AND fertilizing is the number 1 priorty. It feels good getting outdoors after being cooped up all winter. I can use some sun..We Illinoinians don't tan between Oct-May.

Will a north window be enough light for the sucker, Fred? The window is unobstructed, in front of the kitchen sink where I can keep an eye on it. What do you think?

It's 9:09 pm now. Went back out to weed, but after getting attacked by bugs, and being a tad shady, lol, I gave up.

I mix soils using different mediums for different plants. Av's, Succulents, Citrus, etc.. Hopefully I'll get my hands on Virmiculite somewhere..
Some guy on Craigslist is selling Perlite in huge bags at super bargains. This may sound weird, but I don't know if he's legit..In other words, it's too good to be true, know what I mean??? He said his large bags are equivalent to 15, 8 quart bags sold at the store. First he said, if I picked them up they'd be 8.00 per bag.. if he ships, they'll be a little more. BUT, when I said, it'd be easier if someone picked them up, he said, I'll tell you what, I'll sell each bag and include shipping for 8.00..What do you guys think? Too good to be true or what?

Trying to get me to go to a show..LOL..We'll see, Fred. I just wish they weren't so darn far. Gas is, 4.25 per gallon..the closest show is let's say 25 miles to and 25 back. I dont know how many gallons our car gets per mile, but let's say
Anyway, I'm really really busy and will be for a few weeks. Still have to dig up two+ sections in the front gardens. Dig as in using a shovel. Transplant a couple bushes..then mow. By the time that's finished, it'll be time to weed out back again..

Fred, do you root leaves in soil or water? If you root in water, do you add fertilizer?
Oh it's true leaves are less expensive then plants, but sometimes they root and other times not. Ironically, I have better luck rooting variegated leaves..

One more question. lol. All AV's are in 3 south-facing LR windows. They don't get direct sun; bright light is more like it..No curtains or blinds..But some ***** planted a tree so most light is blocked. The LR gets warm, but a ceiling fan runs all day and windows are opened.
We have a front plant room. 5 windows facing: 1 north, 3 west and 1 south. Problem is that room gets really HOT in summer. (Winter isn't a problem because AV's do best in the LR so that's where they're staying.)
We're thinking of having new windows installed in the plant room in a few wks, but my question is, which room would be better? The LR that gets less light but cooler (not cold) or the front plant room that is hot but sunnier?
Oh, btw, I have a little rotating fan for the front plant room. I'm unsure what type of windows we're getting, the current windows are old and won't open which is why it's so hot.. But even with a fan going, temps can exceed 100F. Toni

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:55PM
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Hey Toni,
I'm hopefully ready for this barrage of questions.
A north window if the light is strong should be ok to root the sucker especially now that the days are longer. If it were shorter daylight hours I would recommend adding a bit of artificial light to it.
Sounds like a great buy for perlite providing it is COARSE.
The fine perlite doesn't work for me. I tried finding the site on Craigs list but got nowhere.
I can only say that in defense of the cost of getting to a meeting that the info and many times the leaves as well as new friendships as the TV commercial says "priceless". Get to a meeting at least once and I know you will be hooked. IF the club runs like most clubs in my area, we take the summer off and start up again in September. Twenty fice miles is just a short jaunt for some AV junkies, so toss a cd or a tape into your player, sing along with it and poof you're there.
Rooting in water is the old way of starting plants. It has been said that this method produces water roots and when they are put into soil mix they have to start from scratch again. So......I root all my leaves and suckers in my light mix. Many people use a combo of vermiculite and perlite but I feel that's like rooting in water. If I wick my leaves I feed them with fertilized water.
100 degree temps are too hot for the plants so by default I would use the cooler room and add a couple flourescent fixtures.
Hope this covers all the questions. Rigbt now I am preparing myself for the next
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 8:12PM
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"Right now I am preparing myself for the next" ROFL

Oh Fred you're going to kill me.. You said you looked for the ad on Craigs List, but the problem is you could have searched all day and never have seen it because it wasn't on Craigs List..It was at Not sure if that's the correct spelling..LOL..I'm so sorry. Do you know of this site?

Oh sheesh, I had no idea Perlite came in different textures.. The only available Perlite here is sold by Miracle Gro. It'd be a nice gesture if the seller sent a picture via email to compare his to Miracle Gro Perlite.
The seller is pretty persistant. He emailed again today asking if I was still interested. He also said he sells on Ebay..I'll have to check Ebay to see if he's listed. Is it illegal mentioning the screen name he uses on Kijiji?

Fred, I doubt AV's would flower or keep variegation if grown in a north window, especially in winter. But in 2005, I purchased a 7" Richardsiana Begonia, 'grown as a bonsai,' and has since lived in this north window. Underleaf and stems are red, and flowers all summer..same type of flowers as Wax Begonias. It's now a mature plant and pruned many times. I've also rooted 3 Opuntias, (Prickly Pear Cacti) two different types, in this window..Let's see, there are 2 Avacado pits rooting, and various Pothos 'in water' off the side. A Purple Passion, (Gynura) bought last winter..Since it gets monthly pinching it grows compact, and has kept it's velvety purple color. There's also a variegated Spider Plant, but its lost most variegation..One Pineapple Dracaena, and a cutting (hopefully rooting) of a vining Schefflera. I'm trying to find an ID on that guy..
In the second north kitchen windows are ferns. 2 Bostons, one called Tiger Fern, the second, Golden Fern. A huge, old Leather Fern, a Curly Fern, and Fuzzy Ruffle Fern. LOL.

I have to repot a few Hibiscus, they're the last plants going outdoors.
Hopefully, if it's nice tomorrow, (nice being 85F+) I plan on working out front..Once that's done, then the fun project, Fertilizing, Superthriving, and some plants will get a dose of Epsom Salts...Fertilizing take 2-3 days..LOL. I use several types depending on plants. Like soils.
Well, that's about it..I don't think I asked too many questions,right? LOL..There's another.
Hope you guys have a great weekend. Take care, Toni

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:17PM
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Variegated AV's grow best when there is a 10 degree difference in temperature at night. If it doesn't get that drop, eventually it will lose its variegation. Thats why so many variegated plants look all green during the hot summer months. So a north window during the winter will produce bloom on plants if it is given a few extra hours of artificial light after sunset. My mother at one point had a violet on a table next to a north window that was well back from the window. She had a table lamp with a 60W bulb on a timer that was on for about 3-4 hours and the violet never stopped blooming.
As for the perlite, I searched ebay and found a few listings. The one that seemed the most reasonable to me was Krums Perlite. It was a large bag of 120 quarts at a good price, so if you have the room it sounds like a good buy. If you enlarge the photo you can see the word COARSE on top of the bag.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 11:21AM
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"If you mean plants from Rob's, rather than plants named Rob's,..."

1/2 the plants coming outta Rob's (aka The Violet Barn) ARE named "Rob's", 'cos Ralph Robinson (the owner or co-owner or whatever) is the hybridizer of the Rob's series.
The other half coming outta there are hybridized by his wife Olive and are named "Ma's".
You can find Rob's and Ma's plants elsewhere, but they all originate from "Rob" & Olive.

"...and they are standards, they are good in 4 in pots when mature. (Plants named Rob's, for example, Rob's Scrumptious, are semiminis or minis). I actually recommend repotting them into new, lighter soil, in 3 in pots if they are baby standards (which they probably are) or 4 in pots if they are full grown"

Plants named "Rob's" (or any other minis & semis) are NOT baby standards, minis & semis really stay small even when fully mature. Putting them in 4 inch pots is a great way to kill 'em--which can come in handy if yer looking to cut down yer collection, but a better option might be to give away/send/swap them to people who love minis LOL

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:28AM
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"That's one reason I asked if anyone heard of plants I bought on Ebay..the seller didn't mention which were standard or mini. "

Red Pepper - Standard
Ma's Winter Moon - Standard
Rob's Hall (musta gotten abbreviated somewhere along the line, should be Rob's Hallucination) - Semiminiature
Ramblin' Amethyst - Standard Trailer
Orange Pekoe - Large Standard
Alamo Gold Rush - Standard

The "0Z0 499 Senks" sounds like a Senk's hybrid that perhaps the seller labeled using their own "stock number" or whatever and mayhaps forgot to put the actual name on (or maybe even perhaps lost track of the name entirely)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:47AM
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Hey Fred,
Isn't it amazing how our mothers/grandmothers cared for plants in ways most would panic hearing now? The soils they used, pots, etc??? My parents hated plants, but my gramma had an Av, at least 9' from an obstructed curtained window. I can't recall which direction it faced. Her AV was planted in a pretty, ceramic pot, (don't know if it had drainage,) she never fertilized, used heavy soil..Yet, everytime I visited, the AV was blooming..LOL
I'm assuming your mom likes plants??? Was it she who inspried you?

Fred, I really can't complain about variegated plants..We keep temps set at 68F in winter, but it's cooler by the windows. Each room is different in temp. Before new windows were installed in the back room, a few nights temps dropped as low as 23F, which was a fluke..but accurate..I set two thermometers and both read the same..In fact, I lost a Pachypodium one night because the temperature dropped drastically.
I'll check Krums Perlite on Ebay..the seller mentioned two burbs, both of which aren't too far. Thanks so much for checking..I feel bad because I haven't notified him, but before handing over cash, I want to be sure he's legit.
BTW, there's room for big bags of Perlite in the gh, shed or garage..

M3, thanks..I've got it figured out now, meaning Ma and Rob's AV's. Now it's only the remaining 50,000,000,000 AV's left to remember..LOL.
You're right about Rob's soil being heavy..I didn't notice at first but after checking soil on a daily basis, I see what you mean. Someone mentioned their soil being heavy in an earlier post.
The problem is, I'm afraid to pot up new plants, especially when they're small, but in this situation, it'll be better in the long run.

M3, thanks for checking AV's..After checking I discoverd the RH is a semi mini..I know now 4" is too large for a semi mini or mini..Would a 2 or 3" be better for the RH's?
The other night I went through Robs, Violet Gallery, Lyons and Brennans to find sizes for my AV's with names. There's still a few I can't locate. So if you or anyone has info can you please let me know?
Each name doesn't have to be typed out, I don't want anyone spending time typing on my account. Thanks for your help M3..And of course Fred..
Here are AV's I couldn't find..

Alamos Gold Rush
Gillian..I think it's standard.
Happy Harold.
Lemon Whip
Midnight Valentine
Ness Orange Pekoe..I think this is a standard, too.
Warm Sunshine

Thanks for everyone's help. I can't wait to get my other orders..LOL..I forgot which, but one nursery has a 3 week waiting period. Now that I think about it, I should have ordered one Chimera. Just one. LOL.

One more question..LOL..I asked before but it's possible it was an oversight or the question couldnt be answered.
Is Sideras (Spiderwort) a form of violet?
If the file doesn't open, don't bother..It's not the best pic anyway,...Thanks again, Toni

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:36PM
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Hi Toni,
My mom was always interested in outdoor gardening and never had an indoor plant when I was growing up. We had a good sized yard with a few rose bushes and one gigantic climing rose called Blaze. The only other name of a rose I can remember was Talisman, a hybrid tea. Blaze unfortunately was only a June rose and once it bloomed that was it for the remainder of the year. She loved iris and had quite a few different varieties and always had a round bed of tulips in the center of the lawn. The tulips always gave way to Salvia in the summer. As for AV's, I can remember my Aunt Jenny who lived in central NJ had one of those "new" plants that came from Africa. I remember she kept it on a small stand in her dining room. It was in a terra cotta pot and boy did the soil look ever so heavy and wet. All I know is that no one could touch the plant or in fact even breathe on it. I was warned not to go near it under penalty of being sent to the outhouse for the day. In any case I never saw any bloom on it and if it did I am sure that the bloom was sparse. The next time we visited the plant was gone.
My intro to AV's was simply that I felt sorry for two that I saw in my local Grand Union in the early 80's. I got them on sale and paid 69 cents for each of them which was a big splurge for me on a teachers salary. I had a fellow teacher that was growing some and she coached me on what to do. Lo and behold when spring arrived they were blooming due in no way to my sloppy care. She was a member of a local club and told me to bring them in to their show that week. I did and entered them into a non members class and won two blue ribbons, and I was hooked.
BTW it was at that show I saw Tiger for the first time.
The prize for the non member was a membership in the club. Ever since then I have been a member of one club or another.
Toni, if you think Rob's soil is too heavy I'm glad you weren't around when Tinari's was in business. I don't know how they managed to grow plants in what they used. If I bought a plant from Tinaris I would remove it from the pot and wash the roots because the mix was more like clay. Their plants were great but the mix? UGH !!!

Here are the descriptions of the plants you were looking for:
Alamo Gold Rush (H. Pittman) Double gold and pink shaded. Variegated dark green, pink and copper, wavy. Standard (TX Hyb)
Gillian (8619) 06/16/1997 (D. Ferguson) Double white large star. Medium green, plain, quilted. Standard
Happy Harold (2169) 02/01/1971 (Rienhardt) Single red-wine. Variegated, plain. Standard
Lemon Whip (7964) 10/08/1993 (S. Sorano) Semidouble white frilled star/yellow mottling. Medium green, wavy, serrated. Standard
Midnight Valentine (7976) 10/08/1993 (S. Sorano) Double dark red star/white edge. Medium green, plain. Large
Ness' Orange Pekoe (D. Ness) Semidouble-double coral large pansy. Variegated dark green, pink and cream, scalloped/red back. Large
Tomahawk (7269) 01/22/1990 (K. Stork) Semidouble-double bright red. Dark green, plain. Large
Warm Sunshine (9546) 12/17/2005 (Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses/P. Sorano) Semidouble-double pale yellow star. Dark green, plain, spooned. Standard
I don't have any idea if spiderwort is related to an AV. For all I know it may be a gesneriad.
That's it for now.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:16PM
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After checking I discoverd the RH is a semi mini..I know now 4" is too large for a semi mini or mini..Would a 2 or 3" be better for the RH's?

I assume you mean Rob's Hallucination, but the thing is--I can't tell you what size pot just based on the name.

I have a ruler, but I can't reach my arm all the way to Illinois to measure your plant, so you'll have to do that yerself & then pot it into something 1/3 smaller.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 12:22AM
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RH is a semimini and should not be put in anything larger than a 2 1/2 inch pot. I grow all my semis in 3oz. plastic Solo bathroom cups. The size limit on a semi is 8" tnerefore if it grows to that size, using the rule of thumb of 1/3 the crown size, a 3" pot is too large.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 9:21AM
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birdsnblooms I mentioned on the other thread, sorry I didn't reply, but Fri is Big Cleaning Day, and Sat shopping.
The few days/nights it hasn't rained, I've been plucking weeds and planting annuals.

Fred, it's nice going back in time, recalling fond memories. Since your mom had a love for her special Rose and Iris, and your aunt, with a non-touchable AV, (so untouchable you'd be in the OUThouse if touched) you too inherited a love for greenery.
Other than my grandma with her AV, and an aunt and uncle who owned a gorgeous, huge farm in MI, nobody grew plants in my family..My father mowed the lawn, my mother didnt touch anything outdoors. Though, when we bought the house, the previous owners planted a rose. One Nov, it bloomed. That was the only time my mother showed any signs of amazement. She went as far as phoning her family to tell them..Roses do NOT bloom in IL in Nov.
It's ironic you encountered a teacher who not only loved AV's, but involved in shows.
Was there something special about the AV's you entered that they won blue ribbons? Were they rare or was ut something you did? Also, by chance, do you recall what type of soil you used? I'm assuming it was a while back, (since you've mentioned outhouses, lol.)

Nope, never heard of Tinari's..was it an online nursery?

Fred, thanks for typing the AV didnt have to go through all that work though..I've entered all in my plant journal,, thanks so much. You think I like standards? LOL..

I got an order Friday from Brennans..don't worry, I've got the info so no need for descriptions or sizes..LOl
Ma's Winter Moon
Rodeo Country
Silverglade Spells
Also, while shopping at the grocery store, they had a display of AV's, newly stocked for 1.49 each, so 3 Standards jumped in my cart..LOL..1. white flowers, 2. pink edged with white centers, 3. purple center w/white edges.

M3, that'd be one BIG ruler.. Do you think a tape measure would do?

Fred, Rob's Hallucination is now in a 2" pot, all comfy cozy..since repotting it's grown two new leaves. It's in the north window till autumn.

I hope you guys had a great wkend w/o sure has been pouring here..Toni

BTW, Brennans AV's are really rootbound. They're in 3" pots now. I cannot find 3 1/2" pots anywhere..should I up to 4"??? They're so potbound they won't stand erect. Roots are seeping out of drainage holes. Some roots are thick..That's something I've never seen happen with an Av before.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 8:12PM
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Toni, I just sent you an e-mail that includes the catalog from Cape Cod Violetry. They have 3 1/2" pots.

Regarding the pot size, Toni, repeat after me, "measure the diameter of the plant from leaf tip to leaf tip. Divide that diameter by 3. The resulting number is the size of the pot the plant should be potted in." This seems to be a difficult concept for you to grasp, so let me explain how this standard is used by experienced growers. When repotting a violet, you will want to do any necessary grooming at that time. This includes removing any deformed leaves, any dead ones, any immature ones growing form underneath, and any suckers. Looking down on the plant from above, look to see if it is symmetrical. If one leaf sticks way out compared to the others, take it off. What started out as 12 inch violet may end up to be a 9 inch violet, or even smaller after all the trimming is done! Especially if there are a lot of separate crowns or suckers. Now, the pot size needs to be appropriate to the plant you have in your hand, not what you started with. Now is the time you measure the diameter of the leaves, divide by 3, etc.
Good luck.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 8:55PM
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Hi Toni,
The violets I entered into that first show were in bloom at the time of the show and my teacher friend had been coaching me on growing for a few months so when the show rolled around they were ready to be entered. Tinari's was a violet greenhouse outside of Philadlephia. It was owned and run by Frank and Ann Tinari. Frank did the hybridizing and Ann (who recently passed away) ran the shop and was one of the founders of AVSA. Both the Tinari's were heavily involved with AV's and were big supporters of the national orgainzation. Ann was very friendly and was always wonderful to chat with at her shop in the Willow Grove area. She was the person who spearheaded the push for an AV stamp which was released in the early 90's by the US Postal Service. Sadly now the store was taken over by their sons who turned it into a landscape business. I guess AV's didn't pay enough to keep the place running.
As for the soil I used on those two plants i really don't remember. It probably was much heavier than the one I use now simply because all my plants are on wicks which requires a light porous mix.
The info I sent to you I just copied and pasted from First Class 2 which is a disk of the Master Variety List which is available from AVSA.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 10:03PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Wow, this thread is still going...

To clarify, I didn't mean to imply that plants named Rob's were baby standards. I just meant that standards FROM Rob's were usually baby standards. Plants NAMED Rob's are still semiminis or minis. My baby standards are still in 3 inch pots, and need to do some growing before moving on up to the 4 inch pots. I've also had to pot one or two down, because they'd gotten smaller due to their not enjoying my winter. That's my favorite lesson right now, actually: don't be afraid to pot down. If things go awry and your plant loses leaves and becomes too small for the pot size it is in, go ahead and pot down. My troubled ones are much happier now.

My other favorite lesson is: bag your leaf starts. I'm actually getting some results faster now. In fact, I started Princess Jade in late April, and have had a bunch of babies sprout already. Before, I could never start a sucker, and had low success rate with leaves, partially because I keep managing to work a six-day work week, and couldn't keep them properly moist. Did I mention I'm a chronic underwaterer? : )

As for your question, I do think you have more than me now, Toni. I've evened out at about 50. That isn't counting my starts, but I'm kind of really just propagating to have backups and trading/gift material, and also for education, so I hope to not have all my starts live here permanently... I feel justified in not counting them : )

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 10:54PM
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Quinn, I was going to mention the length of this thread it customary here on AV Forum?
I think there'd be more meaning if it started as a seedling question. As in growing - big?? I know, dumb.

Barb, I still owe you an email..sorry, never finished..I'm way behind in the email department (for one thing my hubby's puter needed a part so he was using mine)
I received your two emails, which I'll try getting to today. Thanks for sending. I'll check them out.
Barb, I understand the concept of sizing AV's, but I asked about repotting in a 4" pot because I don't have the size needed..I admit, 12"+ diameter AV's is baffling since I'd never seen one that size..Ever. (not in person) To be honest, until coming here, I'd never ever heard of such a size for this plant.
I'm a firm believer in grooming ALL plants..With AV's, any dead, yellow or broken leaf/ves is/are removed..Faded flowers deadheaded. Pots are cleaned off. Soil checked.
Sunday, when we had a wanna-be tornado, my new AV's went flying..What a disaster!!

Howdy Fred..But you still haven't answered my question..or are you avoiding it? LOL..j/k..Your AV's were in bloom..But wouldn't other entries have flowers too? Was it the type of flowers that won the ribbons?
It sounds like the Tineras did a lot to get the ball rolling.. I wonder if I kept the AV stamp the misses had in the world did she accomplish such a feat? That's impressive. I wonder if she's listed on Wikipedia? That's some accomplishment. Not to mention everything else they'd done..and to find a husband interested in something you love, well, is rare..LOL. How's Mr. Tinara doing? Have you or anyone else spoken to him?
Landscaping huh? Well, at least it involves plants, guess people have to do what brings in the bread and butter.
A couple here have/had at least 2 gh's we're aware of. Their children have NO interest in son is a fireman..the owner one day jokingly asked me if I wanted one of his gh'es..I THINK he was joking..LOL..One gh burned down a few yrs back..I'm not sure the Mr is alive, last time we saw him he had to be in his late 80's, early 90's, but was at the gh daily. The second gh is a far drive.
Oh got my Violet Gallery order yesterday..LOL
Here's the list.
Apache Showoff
Irish Laughter
Jeanette's Apple Blossom
Night Fever
Witch Doctor
Wrangler's Cowboy Blue
Lemon Whip (free gift)

Quinn...I'm not afraid to underpot..I've done this with plants shipped with very few roots..(not AV's)
I know what you mean about Rob's plants..LOL

Is Princess Jade a mini? Sounds pretty. When you say bag your leaves do you mean cuttings? If so, I do..Especially in winter. Our house is very humid this time of year, since no a/c or c/a is used..believe me, my hygrometer's needle cannot get any higher..LOL.
Well, better you're a bit of an underwaterer, than an over-waterer..Most ppl kill plants by over-watering..any plant..I've talked to ppl use water 2-3 times a day!! I'm not talking AV's, but other plants like Citrus, etc. A few even have done this with succulents, which is a BIG NO NO. Then they wondered why their plant
I beat you? You're, this wasn't intended to be a contest, but I believe you..Still, after my next order, lol, that's going to be it for a least until I figure where they're going in winter. Okay, just far, 47..LOL..I have one more order coming in, okay, I admit it, I went ahead and ordered from sue me..I asked my hubby, he said oh go for the books, we'll get them at the library, and hide in the bedroom, (Barb's advice) so the birds can't chew pages..LOL.
Today, AV's are getting a nice drink of room temp water that's been sitting out over 24 hours..maybe some Superthrive, too..
Well, again thanks for listening and your help..Toni

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 3:19PM
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Hi Toni,
A general rule of thumb in AVSA shows is that all violets must be in bloom. However, bloom on a violet is a subjective call. A mini with 8 blossoms may get a blue ribbon where a standard with the same bloom count may only rate a red or white ribbon. As for my entries, they were entered into a non-member class. Judges when rating or judging such classes tend to be a bit more lienient on the plants if only to encourage the exhibitor to continue growing. In other words they try to get you Well anyway thats how they got me. When judges evaluate plants they assess the entire plant and use a point system to score the plant. A plant that scores 90 and above gets a blue ribbon, 80-89 a red, and 7u0-79 a white, below 70 the plant gets no award and probably should not have been entered into the show. Yhe plants are judged on Symmetry, condition and bloom.
As for the Tinaris, Frank passed away about 10 years before his wife Anne. Frank was the hybridizer from what I understand and Anne took care of the retail business as well as their involvement in AVSA. Anne had been in contact with the postal service for years trying to get a commemorative stamp with an AV on it. Finally her efforts paid off and was announced at the 1992 Convention in Lancaster. I gave you a link to the Tinari site. I don't know how up to date it is or even if they are still selling plants. After a quick look it seemed to me to be more into orchids than violets. As I said I'm not sure if they are still operating.
Do you need descriptions of your new plants? If you do let me know and I will copy and paste again.
Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Tinari web site

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 9:18PM
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We've been real busy the last few weeks. When it hasn't rained, the front, sides and back were weeded, (what a joke! since we don't use weed killers) and new perrenials/annuals added. I've discovered some annuals are sold as house plants, which mean, come autumn, they're going into pots and brought indoors..I plan on taking cuttings too.

Fred, remember the sucker you and the others told me to remove, and pot separately? I followed instructions and now It's Blooming!!! The flower is white edged w/light purple center. I'm sooo excited. This tiny little sucker has one flower..The sucker is from a 'Ma' African Violet. Ma's Winter Moon as a matter of fact.
As for the mini, (remember I discussed it earlier?) how often do they bloom? It's been years since. I can understand the reason it hadn't when it was potted in too large a container, but now that it's in a smaller pot, nothing is happening (as far as buds) Remember I set it in a north window? Could that be the reason it's not flowering? Perhaps north isn't bright enough???

Fred I checked Tinari's site..I think they're strickly into landscaping. The links don't open.
I'm using Vista instead of XL..there are several sites that won't open which means this puter needs updating or whatever. Something's missing. So, it's possible the links work, just not with my puter.

Thanks Fred, but I jotted down descriptions for all new AV's. If only I could remember each plant, eg. which are standards, which large specimens.
I have another question. Years ago I read AV's shouldn't have more than 4 or 5 crowns. So, as leaves grew, I removed lower leaves..Now I'm baffled. When you and everyone talk about large AV's, how is this done? Should I not remove leaves? I'd like my AV's to grow large, so if bottom leaves are removed, I'm assuming, this will never happen. What should I do? As long as bottom foliage is healthy, should I let them be? What do you think?

I hope everyone is well, and enjoying summer. Are you guys getting a lot of rain? It seems to be a daily thing here. We haven't had full sun for some time. The sky is bright one minute, then cloudy the next two hours. Since I don't use plant lights in summer, my violets only get light provided by the sun which is, IMO medium light. I worry the variegated will lose color.
Oh well, what can ya do? Take care, Toni

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 4:41PM
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Hi Toni,
Boy this thread seems to go on forever. I have listed the plants you recently received with their description. As far as I can see there is only on designated as large in the group. I could not fine Jeannette's Apple Blossom in FC2, so it's either very new or never registered.
Give the mini some time to grow and adjust to its new container. Some plants need time to grow before they bloom.
The north light isn't always the best for growing n
av's you amy have to add some artificial light to help it out. As for the the plant you want to grow large, you should only remove leaves at the base of the plant if they are yellowed or dying. You should also remove any leaves that are smaller than the ones above it (secondary leaves) Keep repotting the plant until it reaches the size you would like it to be. BTW i think you are confusing crown with row. All violets except for trailers and some species should have ony one crown.
Congrats on getting the sucker to bloom. Keep up the good work.
Fred in NJ

Apache Showoff (J. Munk) Semidouble hot pink large pansy/red eye, rays. Variegated dark green and pink. Standard (DAVS 1472, TX Hyb)
Irish Laughter (9527) 12/17/2005 (Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses/D. Herringshaw) Semidouble-double white star/frilled green edge. Medium green, wavy, serrated. Standard
Night Fever (8538) 11/09/1996 (S. Sorano) Semidouble burgundy pansy/variable darker streaks. Dark green, plain, quilted/red back. Standard
Witch Doctor (J. Gehr) Double burgundy/near-black tips. Mosaic variegated dark green and silver. Standard
Wrangler's Cowboy Blues (6220) 05/20/1986 (W. Smith) Double blue. Variegated medium green and cream, plain. Large
Lemon Whip (7964) 10/08/1993 (S. Sorano) Semidouble white frilled star/yellow mottling. Medium green, wavy, serrated. Standard

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 8:17PM
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If you really want your standard violet plants to grow large - remove all bloom stalks as soon as you see them appear on the plant - this way all the plants energy goes to making foliage. I know this is a hard thing to do because we grow violets for the blooms! But that is how people get the larger plants - and when you do let it bloom, you will see a huge quantity of blossoms. As an experiment, you might try dis-budding just one of your plants for a few bloom cycles to see what happens.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 8:30AM
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Good Afternoon..
Fred, there's info regarding Jeanette on Violet least I think there is..While talking to the owner, she recommeded a few AV's, Jeanette might have been one.
Okay, I just checked GV..Jeanette's is located under Standards, BUT, there's an (*) before the name. I don't know what the asterisk stands for..
Ironically, some AV books state it's best setting AV's in north windows during summer months. I always felt north low light even during summer (especially in IL) Anyway, I relocated the mini to a brighter window; we'll see how it does. Patience is the key to growing plants, so rushing isn't going to make it bloom any faster.
Ok Fred, I'm a Bozo..I dont know the difference between a crown and row..LOL..I'll have to look it up. The leaves I meant are those on the bottom, the oldest leaves..One or more (older) books said to remove them. I've been removing for years..No wonder none of my AV's grew sizes you and the others mentioned..(S)
Fred, I believe it was you who recommended Wrangler. Remember I was hunting for a Large AV??
How in the world do you copy and paste all that information? LOL. Thanks though..

Dragonfly, remove all the flowers?!?!? Really??? Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps..How long is this supposed to be done? Do I remove buds or flowers..and how long a period should they be removed? In other words, do I remove once after one blooming spurt or more often? Is this done with babies or any age AV's?
Also, what about fertilizer? Would a fert with more nitrogen (N) work better than one with higher P?
You've given me an idea. I received Lemon Whip as a free gift which means I have two. I can experiment with one Lemon..thanks so much for the concept.

I have one more question..LOL..I measured a few newer AV's. Some need repotting..My question is, though I know how to measure a pot, some pots are constructed odd. The upper parts of containers, (the lips/rims) are larger in diameter than the bottom, the bottom is what holds the plant. The lip/rim is about 1/4" deep, the remainder of the pot is almost 3" long. So, do I measure the lip/rim/diameter or the bottom?
Of course, after measuring leaf diameters, some equal odd numbers like 5 1/4" across..LOL. Unfortunately, I haven't any pots 1/3rd the size of 5 1/4". That's not the problem question is regarding size of the pots lip vs bottom..remember, bottom is where roots live, so wouldn't the bottom of pot be measured for size and not the lip/rim? Thanks again, Toni
I hope this makes sense..LOL

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 3:26PM
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AV's are really shallow rooted, so measure the pot across the top. And, if you can find 'squatty' pots, they seem to workd a little better because of this.

Cape Cod has a good pot selection.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 6:14PM
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Hi Toni,
If you look at the top of the page in the violet gallery catalogue it says that the varieties that are new to her catalogue have a * before the name.
During the summer months violets do well in north windows simply becuase there is more light. Right now we are receiving about 16 hours of daylight each day as opposed to 10 or 11 during the winter months.
The crown of the plant is the entire plant as opposed to a row of leaves. Leaves generally have a triangular pattern of growth meaning that each row has 3 leaves. If you look carefully at a plant from the top you can see the leaf pattern. I only remove lower leaves when they start to yellow and die on me. What dragonfly is talking about is the practice of disbudding. This allows all the strength of the plant to go into leaf production. It also allows an exhibitor to time the bloom for a show. I generally disbud all my show plants at least 12 weeks before show. By doing this I will get a burst of bloom hopefully at the time it is needed.
As Barbara said Cape Cod Violetry has a good variety of pots and at reasonable prices. You can call John Cook and order them and he will ship them out quickly. John also sells coarse vermiculite and coarse perlite to ammend your soil as well as fertilizers without UREA. I and members of my local club send for things frequently from him. I use primarily squat pots that I have purchased from him, however, for my minis and semis I use 3oz. plastic Solo cups. The top of the pot is the way we measure for size.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 9:30PM
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Hey Guys,
Happy Belated 4th of July. I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe day/wkend.

Barb, I found Cape Cod, but there's no way to order via their site. I guess you have to call? Or am I missing something?
In the meantime, while browsing for Cape Cod, I found a few other nurseries that sounds good.
I already have a question regarding pots, so Barb and Fred, do you have your thinking caps on? LOL
One African Violet site sold pots as large as 6". I understand we pot according to leaf diameter, divide into thirds, and whatever 1/3rd equals determines pot size. What size AV would do well in a 6" pot? In all the years growing plants, I've never once seen an AV growing in a container larger than 4". Nor have I heard anyone mention potting an AV in such a large size.

Fred, I figured out the * perhaps while you were writing this post. (S)
Some north windows are bright in summer, but the two in my kitchen are semi-obstructed by neighboring homes..there used to be 3 fir trees between, but they were old and diseased so our neighbor had them cut down. But even treeless, there's not much light to speak of. Then again, a Richardsiana Begonia lives in the kitchen window..(3 yrs now) It's blooming like crazy. Oh, there's also two Optunias (Prickly Pears) cuttings that took root, one has sprouted. So, you guys let me know what you think???

I'm going to disbud a Lemon Whip when and if it/they bloom. (Remember I have two) Do I disbud when they're buds or flowers?
I think Lemon Whip is Stadard, right? I really would like to disbud a large specimen to see how it works.
Since the newer AV's are babies, would I disbud now or wait until they're older? Most of my new AV's are in bud/flower..still in small pots.

Oops, Fred, guess I meant row, not crown. I don't understand what you mean when you say each row has three leaves??? When I count 'rows' there are more than 3 leaves.

Fred, what happens if you disbud AV 12 wks prior a show and they don't bloom? Do you enter them? Do they ever judge for foliage? Or are both leaves and flowers important?

Like I mentioned to Barb, there's nothing on CCV site that specifies what's available. Do you make up a list of, say pots, then work from there when ordering? Do they ship catalogs?
Also, what material are Solo cups? Another site sells them but didnt' explain their material. Are they paper, like those people buy as disposable drinking cups? Or plastic?

A few more questions, if you guys don't mind me asking..LOL. When an Av flower starts fading or fades, how far along should it be before deadheading? Also, how much of the stem should be removed? The tip, further down? Will a new bud form on an old stem?

I know I said no more new plants, but I broke down and purchased four AV's from Lyndon Lyons.
Berry Splash, Evening Splender, Simpler Times and Blue is Blue. They arrived in nice condition, but some leaves broke during shipping. Since they're young plants, 1-2 broken leaves per plant made a difference. But they had some varities nobody else had, like Blue is Blue.
One more question..LOL..Why do some AV's have long stems while others are shower? All my older AV's have short stems..could this be due to lack of sun? Natural for the species, or another reason,...
Thanks for your help again..

Sorry it took so long to reply to this thread, but problems at home. Toni

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 1:03AM
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What a wonderful thread this is, I've learned a lot and thank you to all who wrote info here. And I just ordered a copy of 'Growing to Show' because it was recommended here. It just makes sense to me that information is just as if not more valuable than my purchases of lights, pots, etc. for my AVs.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 6:51AM
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You can send an e-mail to Cape Cod Violetry and have John send you his catalog by return e-mail, etherwise it's 2 bucks. is the address.

Disbudding is the way to increase the number of blooms on a plant. You remove each stem of buds as they appear without letting them mature. I use a pair of dental 'tweezers' and break off the stem as close to the base as possible. The younger the buds, the better. Be sure to look down under the newer leaves near but not in the center, and remove them as soon as you find them. New leaves form in the center, buds form in the next several rows of leaves. What disbudding does is direct the plants energy to roots and foliage, and really seems to 'frustrate' the blooming cycle. It is as though the plant gets frustrated about not being able to bloom, and it decides to send up so many buds you could never get them all. Sort of a "take that" response! Once you have seen the amazing results you'll be tempted to always disbud your plants.

Lucille, great that you got the book Growing to Show. I think you'll agree that it isn't just about raising for show, but raising for the best plant it can be. Tell us what you think of the book after you have read it.

Make it a good week, everyone!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 11:16AM
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I forgot to tell you how long to continue the disbudding process. Well, it depends.....I usually do it for 4-5 weeks, and then it takes a couple of weeks for new buds to form, and then bloom.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 11:32AM
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Hi Toni,
Back again I see for more answers on the longest thread I have ever seen. A plant that is 18" across and above can use a 6" pot. As for your light situation, with all the plants you have been ordering and growing, you should think about setting up a stand with flourescent lights. When you disbud you can either snip off the bloomstalk close to the leaf axil where it starts or give it a little tug to see if it comes out. Personally I always try to pull it out so that there are no stubs left in the plant which would lose points when the plant is judged. But since you aren't at a stage where you are going to exhibit plants for judging, snip it off as close to the center stem as possible. I always remove the bloomstalk before the blossom opens. When I deadhead the plant I either cut off the wilted or dead bloom or pull off the entire stalk. If the plants that I have disbudded for show don't have sufficient bloom I don't enter it. All AV's for show must be in bloom. It's a judgement call on the part of the exhibitor as to whether the plant should be entered. It is also the job of the classification and entries chairman to let the person know that the plant has insufficient bloom and then let her make the decision. If you only need to remove one blossom, cut it off as close to the stem as possible. Once the blossom is gone, it's gone and will no longer produce blooms. It looks like you bought some nice plants from Lyons. I am growing Evening Splendor which has huge blossoms that are almost 3" across. The only problem with it is that the stem is weak and they flop down because of the weight. I think you will find eventually that every hybrid has it's own growing style. Some are more spacier than others. And finally, You asked in your last paragraph something to the effect that is it Natural for the species. Just so you don't confuse more people, species plants are the natural plants that came from Africa. They are still available from many sources and many of us still grow them. I think what you should have asked is " is it natural for the HYBRID. Finally, AV's natural growth pattern is one that grows rows for the most part in groups of three. They look like more becuase leaves overlap and grow slower or faster depending on the plant.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 4:07PM
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Hey Toni, check out this pic out if you wanna see how big a large African Violet can get:

That plant is 36" accross.

Amazing, pretty to look at... but no thanks, not for me--I'll stick to my minis & micros. :-D

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:48PM
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Lucille, like you, I have learned a lot from this thread. I'd like to hear your opinion on 'Growing to Show,' too. Are you new growing AV's?

Hey Barb..How are you? Have you gone on any trips recently? Shows?
Thanks for detailing how to disbud. Many AV's are blooming now. If my AV's were yours, and you wanted larger foliage and flowers, would you remove flowers now or wait until these flowers fade?
Also, does it matter if disbudding is done w/older AV's?
I hope all is well with you, Barb.

Hey Fred..Yes, this is one long thread, and I'm honestly happy I asked about suckers, becuase not only have I learned a lot, but others have too.
Maybe you missed the post, but I mentioned having a shelf w/lighting. But don't worry, I'll make room for every AV. If there's one thing this house has, it's windows..I also use artificial lighting from late autumn til mid-spring. There's enough light to keep AV's, Hibiscus and Citrus blooming/fruiting all winter long.
You said, "I always remove the bloomstalk before the blossom opens?" What is your reason for doing this? To grow larger flowers, leaves, both or something else altogether?
Do people disbud, (not deadhead) mini AV's? People unconcerned about size? In other words, if someone grows AV's strickly for flowrers, to they remove buds? Isn't the concept of disbudding mainly to grow larger specimens?
Oops, sorry about the species question. Surely don't want to confuse anyone. I assumed Saintpaulia was the genus and theri second name the species..It doesn't work that way with AV's? If not, why? I thought all plants used two names. Oh well, shows what I know.
Still sooo much to learn.
Fred, until I know exactly where plants, all plants, will reside once indoors, I'll have to hold back buying, even small plants like AV's. Of course it won't hurt to browse..LOL..While checking out Cape Cop, I ran across a site that contained links that sold AV's and supplies..gotta learn to say NO. LOL. Some nurseries had interesting plants and supplies.
Once again, thanks for the help. You guys have been incredibly patient.

We've got severe T-storms heading our way tonight..Hope it storms..(S)

I hope everyone had a great holiday. Take care, Toni

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 12:20AM
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Hope you survived the t-storms. It is hurricane season on the TexasGulf Coast and I do not look forward to them.

I am not new to AVs, I had some many years ago. But they were nothing like the ones whose pix I see today. I bought a bunch of AVs and leaves on Ebay, the leaves should get here in the next few days.

Will let you know about 'Growing to Show', it too should get here in a few days. I got the old edition on Ebay, not knowing there was a new one as of this year but I am sure it will still have lots of interesting info.

I am keeping all of my AVs either in the kitchen window or under some fixtures which will arrive soon, I look forward to having everything set up. I should have got everything set up first, but when I saw the leaf auction I decided I really wanted to have those particular AVs.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:01AM
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That enormous violet picture posted by m3rma1d must be "Tiger"

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:37AM
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"That enormous violet picture posted by m3rma1d must be "Tiger""

Yup, Tiger it is :-)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 2:13PM
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Hi Toni,
Way back in posting #3 I mentioned that Tiger was a large violet and m3rmald's photo shows how large they can grow. The reason for removing the bloomstalk is to give the plant the strength to grow larger and eventually when I stop disbudding it will give me a burst of bloom in time for the show.
As for minis and semis there are two trains of thought, one is to disbud and the other is to let it grow the way it wants. I subscribe for the most part to the latter group. A few years back I entered a mini called Planet Kid in a show and after the show when I removed all the bloom (I do this with all my plants to avoid bringing something home on them) and when I counted the blossoms I had 77 on a 5 inch mini which I had never disbudded. There were so many blossoms that it covered most of the foliage.
As for species, Saintpaulia is the genus, however, species refers to the original plants which were discovered in East Africa by Baron Walter von Saint Paul. Hence the name Saintpaulia. It is unclear whether he sent plants or seeds back to his father who was a keen horticulturist in Germany. The plants eventually made it to a German Botanical Society who named the plants Saintpaulia in honor of the family. The plant Saintpaulia ionantha (violet like bloom) is listed as a species in the Master Variety List (MVL) as S.ionantha along with a number of other species. Currently the species have undergone DNA testing and are being resorted into species and sub species. Eventually they will be reclassified as 5 species with numerous sub species. What you see in the MVL listings are Saintpaulia hybrids. The saintpaulia name is understood and not listed and the hybrid is limited to 3 word in the name.
As for saying NO, I am not the person to talk about that. I started with 2 noids and went up to 250 named plants and currently have cut down to 100 or so. Like many people here in this section on AV's I am a junkie. I think we should establish a group called AVA, African Violets Anonymous. From what I have read about your gardening and plants you should be a member or even an
But then again who am I to talk.
Lucille, Growing to Show is an excellent investment. I have the original and the second revamp and will buy the third from AVSA as soon as I can. That book along with Helen Van Pelt Wilson's "African Violet Book" should be in every serious violet growers library.
Happy growing to all.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:24PM
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Hey Everyone..
Hope all is well, having a great summer..especially now that it's mid-July soon Halloween decorations will be on display..sigh.
Today is my b-day..My dh works for the EPA, and had to go on an inspection for dust at a steel mill. The complaintant ownes an antique store.
He purchased two really nice 'ceramic' pots..for (his idea)AV's..LOL. I told him they're beautiful, BUT way too large for AV's, not to mention no drainage holes.
I'll pot up plants in both containers, just not AV's. Remember, it's the thought that counts, right?

Lucille, I pray you guys are safe now that it 'cane season..Are winds strong yet or is it too early? What time of year do cane's start? When do they end?
Our T-storms are nothing compared to canes. It gets windy, things go flying, but other than a few cities in IL that are known for tornado's, it's child's play.
Did you get your AV leaves yet? I know there are several AV sellers on Ebay, but does the seller's first screen name start with Ice----? If so, she's the one I got my AV's/leaves from last winter. I hope yours arrive safe.
Regarding, 'Growing to Show,' you say yours is an old edition. Are you talking about the copyright or is it the same book w/more information?
I can't find it. I checked the library and Brookfield not only doesn't have it, but there's no library in the system that does..Then I checked Ebay and Amazon without luck.
A seller on Ebay had a copy, but the book is from the 80's..Is the 80's book the same everyone is talking about?
Yep, it's best to prepare soils, pots, whatever you're going to use before getting a bunch of plants/leaves in.
Do you root leaves in water or soil? Good luck, hope they all root...and keep safe..

Hey Fred...I remember Tiger mentioned in a previous post, but had NO idea it'd grow THAT large..Nowhere near as huge as the picture M3 displayed..One large AV that size would do it for me..If/when I order again, Tiger will be on the list.
Although, I don't know if there's a trick growing an AV that size..You mention disbudding, which is a start. I'm going to choose one large AV, and do just that. Also, no more plucking bottom rows of leaves, unless by chance they yellow. Which I can honestly say, for the most part, doesn't happen, or not often anyway.
Oh Fred, I wish you had a picture of your mini AV w/77 flowers. Okay, did you count each flower? One, two, three, four,(wife calling Fred in the background) "okay dear,", One, two, three. (Fred's phone rings.) One, two,
I'm confused with minis and semis. Which is the smaller?
According to Wikipedia, Baron Saint Paul sent 'seeds' to his amateur botonist father who resided in Germany in 1892.
Oh Fred, I'm not sure I follow your explaination on species and sub species..I read, reread, and re-reread your explaination three times, and will again until it sinks in that little golf-ball size gray matter under my scalp..You are light years ahead of me..LOL
Toni, the General of plants..hey, I like the title. Maybe I'll have business cards printed up..(S)
Fred, wait, you have 2 copies of Growing To Show??? Is there a difference between part 1 and 2? What about 3? My question regarding this book is, is it the same book, just different copywrites? If that's the case, I'll buy from the seller on Ebay..his copy was published in the 80's. If they're three totally different books, that's different.
The other book I'm looking for is, You Can Grow African Violet's, which was recommended on this thread. I'm going to try the library for both, and if I like them end up purchasing. You'd think Amazon have it/them in stock. I'll have to go back and recheck. The night I looked, I had other things on my mind so it's possible I missed seeing it.
But Tiger is on my list. The only problem is ordering one plant...that's simply shipping at most nurseries have a flat rate, so it'd be silly buying one and paying 12.99, or whatever they charge.
Ironically, I saw Tiger several times but didn't think about adding. My son's g/f's name is Tiger so that's one name I can't forget..LOL..

Hope everyone has a great wkend..hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 5:29PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, dear Tony, Happy Birthday to you!

Tiger has a beautiful variegation, long petioles and not that special flowers. I had it for some time, didn't like it that much, gave it away.

You are right - doesn't make sense to pay for the leaves of Tiger only. Try, they carry Tiger, you can search their catalog for "large" and order several. Everybody I know who dealt with them - is very happy.

(Tell your hubby that it is your B-day present and give yourself a good selection of leaves or starters.)

Have lots of fun on your B-day!


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 6:40PM
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Toni--Semi is bigger than miniature. I think someone answered that already in this thread (gave the sizes of Large, Standard, Semi, & Mini...) But we go again:

Large: 16" and up
Standard: 8-16"
Semiminiature: 6-8"
Miniature: 3-6"
Microminiature: under 3" (NOTE: Microminiature is NOT a recognized size classification by the AVSA... So technically they are just "miniatures", but us fans of the itty-bitties just like to think otherwise--And we will, and we will be wrong--At least until/if the AVSA ever budges on that rule.)

The book Growing To Show has been revised a couple times, that's all.
The most current one released in May would be the most up-to date. Same book since the start, but "revised" means more/new info etc. I know it's been said before in this thread as well, but again-you can order the most current edition from AVSA.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 7:48PM
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Hi Toni,
Growing to show came out in the 85 and had an orange cover. It was revised in '87. '90 and 96 with a few changes including the cover which is lavender. The latest edition was from what I have heard was brought up to date with quite a few changes. This 2008 edition can be bought from AVSA and is on their site as well as the Stork book, You too can grow African Violets. At the same time I would suggest that you join AVSA. Not only will you get the Magazine 6 times a year but also discounts on publications.
And yes, I counted every blossom as I took them off at the end of the show. Don't worry about the species, I'm still a bit confused about the new species and sub species. If you are never planning to exhibit any of them you don't even have to know their namess although it would be good to keep a name on each plant so you can exchange leaves.
Check the link to the AVSA store for the books. Get the latest version of Growing to show.
Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: AVSA

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:58PM
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Irina.."Thank you, thank you, thank you," Toni blew out 'x' candles (hehe) and one for good luck..
Why do you not like Tiger?? Was it its looks or a problem?
I'll check for Tiger on V. Gal..if there's a flat rate, perhaps they'll have the AV's that were out of stock during the first order. Wonder how often they get new shipments..or maybe they grow their own plants?
Thanks, Irina, I did just what you said..told hubby it's my b-day present..LOL..he said, Oh go ahead.
Money is tight right now, but since I haven't bought anything since the AV's, it's time to splurge..with plants and books. LOL.
Actually, our son is in trouble so we need an attorney. Second in 5 months..sigh.

Thanks M3. Though all size AV's are gorgeous, my interest lies on the Tiger you posted. If only..(S)
Sizes were probably mentioned on this thread, but it's a longgg way up..LOL..thanks though. Now to remember.
I've never seen or heard of microminiature, but they sound lovely. An Av, even though it's not recognized by AVSA, under 3"..Ooh, do you realize how many would fit on a shelf or sill??? If anyone has one will you please post?

Ah Fred..Okay, you convinced me. I will join the AVSA, AND buy both books..Now, the question is, once I join, can I order both books using membership fees? LOL..That sounds so, Mr. Scrooge, but money IS an issue.
They have a phone number so I'll phone tomorrow..if no one is around, I'll call Monday during business hours.
Also, I imagine the fees are for a good cause.
No, I don't intend showing plants, but IMO, it's important ID'ing names of all plants. It may be generic or silly, but each AV has a label inside the pot. Those bought locally do not have tags, but who knows, one day while browsing pics one will pop up with a name. Not John or Mary Smith but an actual name.
Okay be honest Fred, how many tries before counting 77 flowers? LOL..Would you happen to have a picture? I don't intend on counting the flowers, but would love seeing an AV, packed with buds and blooms, where foliage is hidden.
Again I want to thank everyone. It's a pleasure talking to people who enjoy greens. Toni

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 12:20AM
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"An Av, even though it's not recognized by AVSA, under 3""

The plants themselves ARE recognised by AVSA, but they are lumped in with the just plain "miniatures" size--not "micro" as some of us would like them to be classified.

And since you want a pic of what we mini-freaks call a "micro", here is a pic of my Rob's Twinkle Blue that I picked up at the National Convention in Tulsa this May...

My friend Jana snapped this pic 'cos she couldn't believe how teeny it was. We also stuck a penny in there for "scale":

I potted it down to a teeny 1/2 oz. solo cup once I got it home... Is much more snug and happy in there now than it was in that huge 3oz solo cup it was sold "swimming" in. :-)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 12:35AM
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That is just adorable, it is so tiny.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 6:59AM
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It's an amazing little plant. So cute. How many, in all do you have? If you don't mind me asking...
Would a petitition, if 'x' amount of signitures were submitted to the ASVA, convince them renaming a 3" or smaller Av, a micro?
M3, your camera really picks up detail. It displays each 'hair' per leaf. I don't know if it's the camera or your computer. I like that.
What's the brown pieces/medium in your soil? Is it bark?
I'm baffled by the number of people who travel around the US hunting down AV's. Did you go to OK to AV shop or other reasons and happen to come upon a show? Toni

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 3:56PM
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Hi Toni,
Glad to hear that you are going to join AVSA. The cost of the membership is worth the money just for the magazine alone. I am sure if you join and order the books at the same time you will receive the members price.
The National Convention in Tulsa was a great success and people travel from all over the globe to attend. I have been to three so far which were held in the east. My first was in Boston during the 80's the second in Lancaster, Pa where I worked the show and did the staging and the third was in DC just a few years ago. Next year the convention and show is going to be in Reno. I would love to go but as they say in Italy, Besides the airfare will be extremely epxensive I fear.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 9:39PM
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Toni, could you please start a Questions II thread, this one is long and it is taking a long time to open on my computer.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 10:00PM
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"It's an amazing little plant. So cute. How many, in all do you have? If you don't mind me asking..."

About 100-150 or so I think... All minis & semis. Tho, the semis are kinda "too big" for my liking so I am trying to "phase them out" of my collection :-p

"Would a petitition, if 'x' amount of signitures were submitted to the ASVA, convince them renaming a 3" or smaller Av, a micro?"

I dunno... Maybe... Maybe not. I'm new (less than a year) to the AVSA so I don't wanna "cause waves" :-p

"M3, your camera really picks up detail. It displays each 'hair' per leaf. I don't know if it's the camera or your computer. I like that."

Thanks but as I said when I posted that pic, my friend Jana took that one, not me. Jana's good tho. And I sorta taught Jana a bit of what I know. Good cameras help. But still, thanks--I do think I am a good photographer... You can see my pics in the gallery area of this forum.

"What's the brown pieces/medium in your soil? Is it bark?"

It's just the potting medium that all of Rob's plants come in. I bought this from his table at Tulsa Convention... But it's the same if you mail order from him.
Kinda heavy stuff, I repot whatever I get from him immediately into a light mix (about 1/2 peat, 1/2 perlite) so I can get 'em on wick watering.

"I'm baffled by the number of people who travel around the US hunting down AV's. Did you go to OK to AV shop or other reasons and happen to come upon a show?"

I don't "travel around the US hunting down AV's" HAHAHAhahahahaha
I went to Tulsa, OK in May because that was where the 62nd annual AVSA National Convention was being held.
It's A BIG DEAL.... Not just the sales room with most of the biggest African Violet suppliers that are in biz, but meeting up with violet lovers from all over the world, with seminars & classes... Oh, and a BIG show.
2009's National Convention will be in Reno, NV... so I'll be going there for it :-p
Mostly I just liked it for the people. I only bought 2 plants (which was pathetic compared to most of the frenzied shoppers at Convention as you might imagine LOL)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 11:54PM
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This is number 100 on this thread. I agree with Lucille, lets begin a new page. Call it AV questions, part 2.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Mojave, hope you see this..The picture of the 36" AV is about halfway down the page..

Every since it was posted, the image of this beautiful AV has been stamped in my mind..Toni

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 2:35PM
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Mojave, hope you see this..The picture of the 36" AV is about halfway down the page..

Every since it was posted, the image of this beautiful AV has been stamped in my mind..Toni

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:37PM
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Signature Hardware
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