I just don't understand it!!! I have grown everything, from sensitive orchids and carnivores to citrus and ficus trees, yet I am killing violets by the half dozen!!!
I started with ebay purchases, most came looking a bit ''tired'', but nothing that implied they were one death's door. A couple came in in perfect shape as well.
If you have read my intro and shout out post, you will note that the frist time I repotted some violets, I used bone meal and gave the plants a soak in disinfectant that I used in the past for other plant to elminate pest.
I think I may have overwatered the mix initially and then we had several cloudy and rainy days that kept the growing environment overly cool.
Convinced it was either the bone meal or disinfectant soak, as well as the cool days not allowing for the mix to dry out, I repotted again in a mix that had almost no bone meal, but again it went sour quickly, even with minimal watering. They days continued to be cool and dreary and I was begging for some nice, window light to light my struggling plants and warm things up.
I finally moved back to my own place and had some more violets that were new and had not been repotted at all.
I did not soak them, did not use bone meal. I wicked them, and cut the soil mix with ample perlite and vermiculite. I forgot to mention the use of dolomite lime in the mix as well and this was checked pefore and after with a Ph soil test kit until the final mix was a Ph of 6.5-6.8. I set them up in the basement, where the temps stayed in the mid 60sF for a week or so, but now approaches the mid to high 70's during the day. Still they declined and the ones that were already struggling were repotted again and wicked and all the rotten roots and basal portions were removed, but they still were getting no better.
In desperation, I moved them upstairs, to a warmer room, nearly 80F during the day and never less then 70F at night, and still, I lost a few more and the hangers on looked no better and were slowly losing leaves. I should also mention they were being kept in a sterlite container at this point to keep up humidity and facilitate recovery and new root growth.This is a lot of repotting and rerepotting and moving around for the plants, I know, but they never seemed to be improving and after a couple weeks with continued decline, I felt compelled each time to try and improve/ modify some element of the growing environment.
Today I had enough. I removed them all from thier pots, examined the bases to find no root growth and I trimmed away all the leaves, but the center few and planted them in a plug tray for starting seeds. In the same tray, I have successfully rooted leaves from all of the failing plants and the leaves were subjected to the same soil mix (sans bone meal) cool days, and moving about, but they rooted and did not rot. Also, the mix stays fresh in the tray, but turns ''sour'' looking and looks aged within days in the pots. So now I wait and see if they root again under the conditions in the leaf rooting tray.
Now I have also got a few streps and petrocosmeas in the same time span and they are doing just great! Now I haven't repotted any of them, b/c I am terrified to do so without knowing why I am failing miserably with my violets.
I keep the pets and streps at around 60F-65F at night and about 68F-74F during the day. I use Optimara fertilizer, half and half of the violet feed and houseplant feed to equal one full dose, per the instruction on the container. They are on wicks and the wicks are removed from the water until the soil looks dry and the pots get light from lack of water, but are returned before the plants wilt or show any distress. In this way, they are fed each watering as well. I am using the same lights as for the violets. They are T8s, one 2 bulb fixture per shelf, on for 12 hrs daily, with one 32watt Sylvania 6500k and one Sylvania 3000k bulb, kept 10'' above the foliage for the pets, but closer to the strpes, b/c of thier height.
Anyone have any suggestions for what is going wrong with my violet plants, while I am rooting leaves just fine and my pets and streps are happy?