Is my African violet sick ?

momijiJune 27, 2013

Hi , can you please have a look for me . With my African violet only tiny leaves are growing and all bigger leaves seem to have rot and I can see white hairy stuff on the leaves . What should I do to revive my my plant ?
Thank you .

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It doesn't look good.

Your African Violet has a case of bad culture (i.e. growing conditions).

Your pot is too big (it overwhelms the plant's capacities) and your planting mix is a little dense, it seems.

It may be time to study up on proper AV care. It's not hard ... you just need to know what to do AND what NOT to do.

Then ... you can start over with another plant ... or plants.

ALL AV growers have had plants decline like this ... but, if we were really serious about growing AV's, we learned what we were doing wrong ... and started over.

And now we get BETTER results.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Hi , thanks for your feedback . To give a little background on this AV,
It was a previously full grown AV with beautiful blooms, until one day
My ceiling collapsed and it was covered with a thick layer of insulation.
I cut off the broken leaves , and brushed off the dust . It was then left with this small amount of leaves.
I had two other AV currently in the same growing condition and is doing well ,
I'm not sure what else I could do to revive this particular AV. Would you suggest I repot it to a smaller pot, despite of the fact that it was a full grown AV before ? And the white hairy stuff grown on the leave , would that be fungus ?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:00AM
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There is a possibility ... that if you remove all but the center green leaves (crown), and repot that crown to a smaller pot, maybe a small dixie cup ... and water the newly potted plant very carefully, it may revive.

If you are going to do this, I'd suggest also examining the roots of the crown, ... and cutting off any roots that don't seem to be white and healthy. That may leave you with no roots, ... but an AV can sprout new roots in the right conditions.

Pull off any leaves that have any brown/white on them. The white may be mildew. Examine the roots, and replant in a much smaller pot. Water carefully (just let the soil be damp to dry at all times) ... and wait to see what happens.

If it makes it ... congratulations. If it doesn't make it, ... buy a new plant.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:20AM
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One sentence caught my eye- "Would you suggest I repot it to a smaller pot, despite of the fact that it was a full grown AV before ?". It does not matter what a plant was before, only what it is now. Follow Aegis' instructions and use a light mix-usually 1/3 peat, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 perlite. When you remove leaves, you may be left with a "neck". Plant this and any remaining roots and then enclose in a baggie or a dome of any type. You are, in effect, making a tiny greenhouse. It works great and if your violet has any life left, it will root and grow under these conditions. It may sound daunting but we experienced growers do this ALL the time. It's really not a big deal.
Good luck!


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 3:05PM
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I disagree with the idea that all AVs need to go into teeny cups because they are small. AND the 1/1/1 recipe soilmix so often recommended seems to be intended for wicking /constant water methods.
How you plan to water them matters a lot! Teeny pots and light soilmix that dries out in a day and a half may not be a solution for everyone, despite how often it's suggested as a "golden rule".

(I would clean the dead debris; repotting often revitalizes a plant - if the center still looks healthy. Dome with venting might help as well)


Once this is answered (honestly!) individuals can begin to figure out the right plant potting method & care for themselves. What works for "everyone" might not be the answer for you!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 5:37AM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

The crown (center leaves) does look probably save-able, I hope it makes it. Definitely doming or covering is the way to go.

Believe it or not, I had a very old plant and cut the top out to re-root, and also had the old stump left. So I re-potted the stump with its roots in fresh mix and covered it in a plastic bag. It gave me three new plants that I carefully cut off of the stump, rooted them, and they are now very nice AV's. These are amazing plants. The top I cut off re-rooted too, this whole process of learning about this is very interesting, and you get kind of hooked on it!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 12:15PM
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