Best places to purchase leaves?

bigred(z8 Ark.)May 14, 2013

Haven't purchased leaves in quite some time since the last time I traded for leaves and plants,I got a disease or something in a batch of trades.....even thought I isolated them all. I've lost all my contacts for AV leaf sellers and I'm feeling the need to propagate.


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irina_co(z5 CO)

BigRed -

Make sure you get rid of all the diseased ones. If it is a virus - it is pretty much the end of the collection - and sterilization of the pots in Clorox.

I think sells leaves and they didn't have problems recently. Means everybody gets problems, but you just do not want to buy during the problem. Violet Barn runs an extra clean shop, bu do not they sell leaves, starters only.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 1:55PM
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I,ve received nice healthy leaves from In addition, offers a wide selection.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 2:13PM
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bigred(z8 Ark.)

That was several years ago w/ the virus.Only 3 varieties left and they're all healthy.My problem came in w/ a av trade from another garden website so I pretty much will only buy from av vendors now.

I remember Violet barn from the 80's.Purchased both leaves and plants from LL many years ago when I first started growing av.s

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 7:07AM
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bigred(z8 Ark.)

Wound up on the Violet Gallery as I bought from her many years ago. Some I had before the whole virus horror, marked w/ #.Here's the "short" list of possibilities:
Blueberries 'n Cream
Edee's Rosebud
Aca's Summer Parfait
Alamo's Sunshine
Aly's Key Lime Pie#
Apache Sunburst
Arctic Frost#
Blue Dragon
B-man's Irish Red#
Buckeye's Buttercream
Buckeye's Cherry Freckles
Buckeye Irish Lace#
Cinnamon Twist
Crimsom Ice#
Ethel's Wildside
Frozen in Time#
Golden Plume#
Grape Slush
Heartland's Lime Sherbert
Irish Laughter
Iris Mint#
Jeanette's Apple Blossom
Ma's Corsage
Mellow Yellow
Ness Fantasy Gold#
Pink Feathers
Pink Perfection#
Pow Wow#
Raspberry Rampage
Rebel's Two Cent
Sassy Sadie
Silverglades Gems
Silverglades Meadows
Summer Carnival
Susie Sunshine#
Warm Sunshine
Winter Warrior
Witch Doctor
Wrangler's Cowboy Blue
W.Gaudy Lady
W. Green Pastures
W. Pink Patches#
W. Spanish Cavalier
W. Swinging Blues
Senk's Fruit Fly
S. Vespa Verde
S. Yellow Starfish

I'll have to pare that down. My hub's would faint if I made that big of a purchase at one time.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 8:36AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Looks like an acre of AVs to me ;-)).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 12:38PM
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In my experience the Wrangler's have always done well. Pow Wow is a beauty and Witch Doctor not so much. It was not a strong grower, never bloomed and is now in Plant Heaven. Also, again in my experience, anything that is yellow or green does not do well; shy bloomers, off-colors. I think these plants have been manipulated so much through breeding to get these colors that they have lost a lot of their natural vigor.
I get many of my violets on E Bay. I have a few fantastic sellers from whom I buy and one or two I wouldn't buy from again. You just have to do with them as you would any other-isolate, isolate, isolate.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 3:30PM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

I had great success with leaves I got from Bluebird Greenhouses, you might try looking at their site.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 6:05PM
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bigred(z8 Ark.)

Yes,I use to grow LOTS of AV's back in the late 70 into the 80's........ by the thousands. I need to get back in the groove.

Marking Witch Doctor off. I've grown yellows and greens with no trouble.
Have grown Wrangler's before too.

I've visited Bluebird's website before.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:08AM
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I ordered once from Bluebird, large order with both leaves and plants. The leaves were fine and I'd order more leaves from them in the future, but the plants were another story...very ancient, I'm talking palm tree necks, sucker chaos, etc. All had to undergo major surgery, most had to be decapitated. Was disappointed that I'd spent so much for what I ended up with. However, I think my batch was an atypical incident, as others have had stellar experiences with the seller.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 10:23AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

BlueBirdGreenhouses normally run a tight ship. The only issue they had as I know - was when they used all their time to put together the AV Convention in Raleigh in 2010... and there is just so many hours in a day - and organizing a Convention is a time pit...So - their plants went to pot. I was there saw their plants - not their usual quality... I am sure since then they cleaned up. if your purchase was around that time - there is no surprise...

I presume that I am paying money for the variety - and they carry a lot of oldies and rarities - and if it comes with the suckers - I just make more good plants out of them.. So - despite the issues - I brought the big suitcase of their plants from Raleigh - and they all cleaned up real well eventually.

But I agree with UV - buy leaves - and taking care of the bugs becomes not a big deal. The issue with INS virus is still there - so dealing with plant material - dip the razor blade in alcohol between different leaves - and chuck the suspicious ones. If the babies come stunted - the new plantlets do have spots and stripes on the leaves - you need to chuck them.

And I side with Linda - Witch Doctor has a pretty foliage, miserable flowers and is not worth the space. Golden Plume - similar case - it is overly variegated - makes the plant grow super slow and takes the vigor down to nothing. It is 80-90% white - with green specks - looks very attractive - but at a cost. Blooms - what blooms - it barely holds itself alive.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 1:10PM
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I've been prepping for my first leaf purchase so I've made a list of potential places to purchase leaves online.

JoS Violets
Travis' Violets
The Franklinhouse
Fancy Bloomers
Violet Gallery
Lyndon Lyon
Violet Gallery
Bluebird Greenhouse

I'm thinking of starting off with one of those assorted leaf packages, and then work my way down the list above to get specific varieties, unless there are some vendors that should be avoided.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 10:31PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Leaf Buyers -

as all of us - you have limited growing space. Each standard violet will take 12" diameter space. Large - more - semi-mini less - etc. But - if you get a 48 inches light shelf - 16 plants per shelf - is about right. "Tiger" - takes twice the size of the standard. So - 8 large plants per shelf.

Each leaf will give you a bunch of babies - and even if you leave only one starter form each- year from now - they will take all the space and some.

Irina, preaching to the choir...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 12:58PM
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    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 12:13AM
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Three Oak Violets is another leaf vendor that I should have included in my above list.

Full grown plants sure due take up a lot of space compared to the original leaves that the babies come from, especially when growing plants for show. My plan is to buy an assortment of leaves, then weed out any varieties that don't perform well in my conditions as well as those that are too similar. I predict that the bulk of my future collection will be mostly semi-minis, but there are a lot of standard and large violets that are worth the space. Tiger is certainly one of the larger varieties that I'd like to grow once I get a real grow stand set up.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:04AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Seaj -

what will you do when they will all perform? Get another stand now,,,,



    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:25PM
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I already have plans for a dedicated stand with four 24" x 48" shelves. According to my calculations, each shelf can hold about 32 minis, 18 semiminis, 8 standards, or 2 larges. Of course those mini plants can also squeeze in between the larger plants to utilize all the space. The thing that concerns me the most is all the electricity it would take to run a plants stand. With eight 32 watt bulbs running for 12 hours a day it would cost me $145 a year. That doesn't sound too bad when you think about it in monthly payments, but I also have a passion for other gesneriads, tropical fish/invertebrate aquariums and orchids. I'm confident that I can limit all my hobbies to 3 grow stands. If anything, the challenge will be the monthly budget. These grow stands are all still in the planning stages for now so I won't be getting leaves anytime soon.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:36PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Seaj -

I would limit the shelving unit to 3 shelves instead of 4 - you do not see them well enough and do not enjoy. You need to enjoy them at their best - otherwise your AVs bloom hidden. You can compensate for farther distance by using T8s instead of T12s and lowering the fixture down. Plus then you can grow other taller gesneriads on the same shelves.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 6:53PM
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bigred(z8 Ark.)

Hey Gang! Sorry I've been MIA for so long. Computer issuses. Thanks for all the input.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:12AM
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