Starting minis from leaves

Vikki(7b / 8)June 9, 2014

Is there a trick to starting minis from leaves? Every time I've tried, they turn to mush almost immediately.

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patchyjack(10a)

Minis can be started just the same as standards, but I have found that since the leaves are small, they're more sensitive to both low humidity and over watering.
I've had the most success growing minis by letting the pot drain really well after planting (for half an hour) and then sealing the whole lot in a ziplock bag. After that, you can just leave it to do its own thing for a few months. If the bag is sealed, it shouldn't even need watering.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:55PM
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Vikki(7b / 8)

Thanx. One of hte problems I've had with them is that their stems are so short when I get them that once I give them a little trim they're only 1/4" or less, so there's not enough to really get that little stem into the soil so it can root. They also seem to like to be already turning to gel just in the couple of days it takes to get here.

I'll give it a try next time. I really haven't bagged my leaves before - they seem to do just fine on wicks because the water below keeps the air hydrated enough.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 8:36AM
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lauraeli_

This is how i like to do it :-) this one is in a little medicine cup, with a baby food jar over it. As long as the mix looks moist, and there is little to no condensation on the glass, Im happy. It has only been a week or so, but im not expecting any problems. This is how i rooted my first leaf (bigger cup, bigger jar) and it worked without any problems.

Dont mind the cobwebs. Since this is under a grow light, a little spider decided it is a nice place to catch gnats.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 1:59PM
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patchyjack(10a)

Lauraeli has a neat way to do it! That's really similar to what I do, but prettier! :D

I don't normally use wicks on leaves because I find it keeps them too wet, especially the little ones.

And hey, if they don't have long stems, that's okay. I remember accidentally breaking a semi-miniature leaf off its petiole altogether a few months ago. I planted it anyway, expecting it to rot, but it produced three healthy little babies instead!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:08AM
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Linda

I love your natural pest control! I have a snake who lives in my basement to catch the mice.

Linda

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:56PM
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patchyjack(10a)

Yeah, spiders are too useful. A bunch of them moved into my propagating cabinet - No complaints here! :)

I don't know if I'd want a snake in my house, but the ones we have around here are all huge and deadly. That's Australia for you.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 1:22AM
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lauraeli_

Wow, a snake in the basement? I can agree to that type of pest control :-) I think mice are cute and I could never harm one, but if a snake wants to hang around and eat them, that's a good thing. I like snakes too :-) I think it is important to be considerate of ALL living things. Yes, even the ones whose lives we choose to end.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:16AM
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patchyjack(10a)

We have rats in the compost bin and I think they're great - they chew everything up into little bits so it composts faster!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:00AM
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lauraeli_

Wow this may be the first time I have heard somebody appreciate wild rats! I am glad to hear they are helping you out XD I would assume they are grouped in with squirrels- intelligent rodents that get into trouble. I have a pet rat, but that is like comparing a dog to a wolf. Not really the same thing. She gets into about as much trouble as your average dog or cat.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:58PM
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patchyjack(10a)

Hahaha! I don't always appreciate rats! Like when they're in the roof :O

But I can't help feeling that people need rats more than we think we do.
I remember once somebody took the birdcage out and hosed it down on the paving by the back door. There were quite a few crumbs left behind afterwards, and in the evening, a little rat came out and cleaned them all up.
It made me conscious of just how much of our mess is cleaned up by animals like rats and pigeons.
When I think about how many scraps I see pigeons eat every time I go to the city - ! It'd pile up fast if they weren't there!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:07PM
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Linda

Jack,

My snake is a Black snake, definitely not deadly but he's about 5 foot long and not a skinny guy! When he sheds, he leaves his skin somewhere in the basement for me to find. I drape them over one of my growing shelves to freak out my friends!

It's interesting about the rats. A few years back I read that a city in Florida decided that the seagulls were a nuisance. They eliminated their nesting spots and effectively removed the gulls. They also noticed a sharp increase in the dead, stinky, rotten fish and such lying on the beaches because there were no more scavengers to keep the area clean.

Everything has a purpose. I think plant and nature lovers understand this better than most anyone.

Linda

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:30PM
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fortyseven_gw

I recall seeing an episode on the tv show Hoarders a few years back in which a man had two pet rats he got from a pet store. They multiplied until his house was seething with rats. An intervention had to be done. He explained how it was that he began to keep rats. He just needed something living and could not bear to part with any of them. He was allowed to keep one or two of the rats as pets, the rest were taken away with the promise they would not be destroyed.
Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 14:10

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:34PM
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patchyjack(10a)

LOL Linda, that is excellent.
A five foot snakeskin must have so many uses!
You know, it's funny, but even though we have tonnes of snakes around here, I've never found a skin.
Maybe there's an animal that cleans those up too?

Wow, really?
It surprises me that anybody would have that much against seagulls... and I would have thought it would be obvious that you'd end up with piles of stinky fish!
But you're right. Maybe you have to have more experience with nature before you start to really understand these things.
I think it's a real shame they don't spend more time talking about our relationship with nature (even the urban kind) in school when we're growing up. Instead nature is too often presented as a sort of "us" and "them" kind of thing. It's misleading.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:43PM
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lauraeli_

It is interesting to me that wild rats bite. Pepper would never bite. For instance, when you get her near water, she reacts exactly like a cat, clawing and squealing to escape. It is the only thing she is afraid of. But i have given her a bath a couple of times. Of course i had to physically restrain her the whole time. And though it literally (quite literally) scared the sh*t out of her, she didnt bite me. I wouldve understood if she had.

Quite unlike some hamsters I have known lol. Im scared of hamsters :-(

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:54PM
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patchyjack(10a)

I don't know why wild rats bite more than pet ones. Maybe they just don't care what you think of them? LOL
It does depend on the rat though. Some pet rats will bite. My friend had a really mean one when I was a kid. It was huge too. I was always pretty wary of it.

I have to admit that I've never actually seen a real live hamster. It's illegal to import them into Australia because we have so many problems with other introduced rodents, especially rabbits.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:06PM
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cmtigger(8)

In California it's illegal to import gerbils, so I never saw one until I was in college in Kansas. I had seen ferrets, which are also illegal here, but smuggled in often.

I have guinea pigs- as a friend with lots of violets and I were joking today, if we put down too many leaves, it's a whole lot easier than if we let too many cavies breed.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 3:12AM
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patchyjack(10a)

I've never had any guinea pigs, but again, I used to know people who did when I was a kid - they're so cute! I love the noise they make!

LOL I got overly enthusiastic last year and planted about fifty leaves all at once...!!
Needless to say, I am now swimming in small African Violets.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 4:24AM
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Vikki(7b / 8)

Minies to snakes, to rats, to hamsters, to gerbils, to guinea pigs. At least I got my mini leaf question answered :)

We've had snakes, gerbils, hamsters, mice and guinea pigs in our house at one time or an other. Never any rats though.

Hamsters aren't too bad because they only live a year or so - but gerbils multiply like mad and can live to be 6 years old. I didn't think we were ever going to get rid of the things. Even the local pet shops stopped taking them.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:26AM
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lauraeli_

I like gerbils :-) They only bite when you do something to deserve it. When I was a kid, a friend of mine put a gerbil in a sock, and then attempted to put the sock on. Lol!

I have had a lot of rats since i was a kid. Only one of them ever bit. She was mean because she lived her whole life in a high school biology room, for the purpose of having babies. The babies were then fed to snakes and even piranhas. I agreed to be her retirement home after she was too old to have babies, since they were just going to feed her to a very large snake. Needless to say, she had no reason to be fond of people. But at least she was polite- she gave warning bites that didnt break the skin, the old Grump. :-3 I was obliged to leave her alone.

Another thing I like, is minis XD This is my favorite.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:00AM
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patchyjack(10a)

Oh, that's lovely!
None of my minis have flowered yet - I hope they do it as well as yours!

I don't even know what a gerbil is. LOL They're probably illegal here too!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 8:58PM
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lauraeli_

Yes, it is very beautiful :-) all of my AVs are slowing down with flowering right now. I need to get to the store and pick up a liquid fertilizer for them, and start fertilizing regularly. Most of them were repotted about the same time, and I believe they have just about used up what was in the soil (6 months, pssh- more like 2, tops).

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:58PM
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Linda

Various and sundry thoughts:

I saw that episode of Hoarders. The man had 2750 rats living in his home. That program fascinates me but I can't watch the animal hoarding ones. Makes me depressed for days.

My brother-in-law had gerbils a a kid. He got bored with them, put them in the basement and pretty much forgot about them. They bred and bred and were only occasionally fed. One day, he went to the basement to check on them and there he discovered...dah, dah, dah...one very fat gerbil. True story.

The seagull episode was dreamed up, I am sure, by some bureaucrats dreaming up things to justify their jobs. Instead of tackling the tough issues, they focus on drivel like this. Grrr...don't get me started!!!

Laura,
What is the name of your AV? It is beautiful!

Jack,

Here is a gerbil. Now you can never again say that you don't know what a gerbil is. You can learn so much here... ;)

Linda

P.S.
I, for one, like when we go off on tangents like this. It feels like a group of friends sitting around shooting the breeze. :)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:33PM
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Vikki(7b / 8)

The gerbils we had were black. Some had a little white on their tummies.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:47PM
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lauraeli_

yes, they come in classic ^^^ and adorable. Quite a few colors. They come in various shades of brown, orange, black, gray, beige, and all of those shades combined with white. Nothing quite compares to the feel of a little gerbil paw on your fingertip

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:57PM
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lauraeli_

Linda, Ive no idea what type of violet it is...

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:59PM
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patchyjack(10a)

Oooh, cute! They're like miniature mouse-guineapig-chinchillas! Do they jump? They remind me of hopping mice.

Seems like most of the store bought violets we have around here are random No IDs. None of them have names, and the breeders' websites don't have any information.

Linda, I know it's not the same variety as Lauraeil's mini, but Ness' Angel Glitter looks quite similar, if you wanted to find something like it.
LOL I'd send you a baby, but for the quarantine :P

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:33AM
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lauraeli_

Rob's Sililoquy, and some Rob's Mister Sneezy remind me of it a little. Ness Sheer Peach does, kind of.

And Asa's Glamour Puss, though the blooms are more of a plum color.

Jolly Disco is more compact. And then there is Optimara Little Pearl, and Optimara Little Ottawa.

I cant find one VERY similar, to be honest. Nothing I could mistake it for. I wish I could ID it. At this point Im just glad I didnt pass it up :-)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:17AM
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patchyjack(10a)

Sometimes I start to wonder if it's worth identifying every violet possible. I mean, there are so many of them, and a single variety can sometimes vary from generation to generation anyway, so I've heard.
I'm still new-ish to AVs, so I don't have any personal experience of this.

Is there generally a great deal of difference between a named violet and a cute NoID from the hardware store?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:24AM
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lauraeli_

Ok here we go- Optimara Little Kunzite. I could only find a few pictures, but I think it is! :-) what do you guys think?

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/afrviolet/gal0802390922837.html

http://www.myviolet.com/varieties/135

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:28AM
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patchyjack(10a)

I think - OMG FLOWERS!
Sorry. Let me clear my head a bit.
OK, now I look again, I think you might be on to something.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:34AM
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debbya_gw(z4IL)

Mini's are easy to propagate, but do prefer to be bagged or domed. Even if the stem dies totally they can still be put down (wedge them down in the soil a little further.) Even if you cut them in half both sides will still propagate. Although wedges tend to sport more (top half). Try using blonde moss from any Home Depot/garden center. New Zealand spag moss. Wet and squeeze extra water out- put your mini's in a Baggie, seal it. Hang it from your plant stand with a clothespin, tape, clip- and within a few weeks you should have babies. The moss works really well! Make sure to get the blonde one, dollar store green mosses rot- and grow fuzz!

Linda,
A snake!!! I'm shaking all boxes that come from you! Lol! I would die if your little friend decided to go on a violet box journey! I'm petrified of snakes!
I have 2 dogs (Boston, French bulldog), 2 cats (Bengal, doll faced Persian) birds, leopard turtle. The turtle is the closest thing I'll ever touch that resembles a snake!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:01AM
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cdnanon

Had tons of pets growing up (not to be named here).
but as of now 2 cats (Cassie & Buster, both 6yrs), plus my Leopard Gecko (Buddy, I've had him for 16 yrs, but he's 18yrs)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 8:36AM
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fortyseven_gw

I have a new grandson, two days old! A little hairy on top!
Joanne

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 9:43AM
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lauraeli_

Jack...those arent flowers O_O they're denizens from the planet Floralia. Shhhhh....they have EARS. EVERYWHERE.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:50AM
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froeschli

Congrats Joanne!

I 'only' have a dog, a German Shepherd, but he thinks he is my child/buddy/boss (whichever angle will get him what he wants, really). As long as he leaves me either a pillow or blanket, we are good.
He gets jealous when i start fussing with the plants, to the point he fakes being sick so i'll take him out. He'd not stoop to destroying them though...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:58AM
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Linda

Jack,

As Shakespeare said 'What's in a name? A rose by any other name..." You know the rest. The only difference between a NOID and an ID'd violet is the name. Usually the ones that are bought unnamed are the mass-produced, easily grown and bloomed varieties.

Some growers will not grow anything that is not identified but personally, I grow for the beauty not the name.

Deb,

Do you use the moss on all of your leaves or just the minis? Does it work better than a soilless mix for you?

Now that I think of it, I haven't seen old Blackie since I sent you that box. Hmmm...could you check around your place for him??? ;)

Joanne,

Pictures!!!

Linda

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 3:28PM
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debbya_gw(z4IL)

The New Zealand blonde spag moss works probably better than my mix. I use it for any size leaf. Plus, you hardly water it, just check it occasionally. If you feel that it's too moist, leave the ziplock open a little. It's basically a plant and forget about it method. Some reuse the moss, because it never goes bad. Some will even add a little moss to freshly cut leaves to ship them. I love it for propagation! I've even read someone tapes the baggies to a window ( in a basement) and gets babies in a few weeks! Obviously she had a well shaded area, never place violets in full sun! ;)

I would literally die if a snake was in a violet box! We would move if it was 'lost' in the house! Lol!!!!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 3:46PM
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froeschli

Forgive me if I jump back to the original topic at hand...

I just spotted mouse ears on my last remaining leaf of definitely Darryl, how big would you let it grow before taking it out of the Baggie? (The original plant was sickly from the start, so I don't really know what size it ought to be when grown.)
I figured I'd wait until the plantlet is at least the same size as the original leaf...

ETA:I also spotted tiny sprouts on a leaf of my purple & white fantasy sport, and petrocosmea cryptica. So the Baggie method really seems to work out!!!!

This post was edited by froeschli on Sat, Jun 14, 14 at 16:07

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:04PM
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lauraeli_

Wow, thats so small! I just pulled mine out to check on it today and there was some powdery mildew, so i rubbed a garlic clove on it.

I think you have the right idea with the size. That's a cute leaf, too. I dont have any variegated ones. Do water spots count? :-D

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:47PM
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cdnanon

Aye, back to topic, so far my success with mini/semi leaves are with: 50% av potting mix / 25% perlite, no rotted leaves so far. Haven't had the gall to try a leaf from my smitten kitten it's tiny! (it was a small sucker, and am not sure how big it'll be..) all are sealed in a ziploc baggie
what I have rooting atm is: Winnergreen, Imp's Beta Blocker and (2x) semi-mini NOIDs

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 8:01PM
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lauraeli_

:-D OMG I LOVE Winnergreen! Whered you get it?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 8:16PM
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fortyseven_gw

Photos, I'll send some once I take some on my phone. I don't know how to get them from camera to Forum yet. However, I was at my club sale today. Have a few interesting photos from other vendors I 'll post on the Gallery later on.
It was a mixed show, with flowering succulents, orchids, enormous begonias and dahlias, and more. But quite exotic-looking. Only the names were familiar, the varieties shown were huge. There were some wild looking, huge flowering plants that seemed to be floating on air and on long, long streamers of some kind of moss. Epiphytes and epithiliums.
Nice gerbil pic, Linda!
Thanks! Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sat, Jun 14, 14 at 22:16

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 8:36PM
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cdnanon

@ Lauraeli

plucked an older leaf from a plant my Mother purchased at an AV show in Ottawa, Canada (Show was May 3rd-4th). picked up the leaf a week later when visiting for Mother's Day. I try to grow back ups for her and tend to keep any extras for myself ;)
She loves them, but they tend not to last long in her care.

I believe she said the seller was Bloomlovers

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:01PM
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patchyjack(10a)

Linda, if what you say about No IDs is true, then maybe I should be growing them instead of named ones!!!

Debbya, spag moss works for you? I tried that a while ago, and my leaves did grow, but it was so slow it was painful... maybe I planted them too deep?
Hearing that you've had success that way makes me want to give it another try. Spag is my favourite thing EVER! I'm disappointed if I plant something and can't find a use for moss in the setup somewhere.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:29PM
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fortyseven_gw

Hi
Seems that some people are insistent on having the names with the plants, and others don't care as much. Often, if the plant came named but you misplaced the label, once it blooms, you will be able to identify it. Seems to be a matter of personal preference. I tend more to know the name of the hybridizer or "brand" rather than the individual variety. I think puzzling over the oh-so-subtle differences between some varieties when I was giving them away, and finding non-collectors did not care, I stopped being so concerned. I got fascinated by the naming game for a while, as there is a logic behind it, but that was more for my personal learning experience of distinguishing the various growers and time frames. For me, there is the fascination of the "arm chair" gardening aspect of it all, but the better part is tending to the plants themselves.
Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sun, Jun 15, 14 at 2:11

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 2:03AM
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VWbrownthumb(10/Sunset 24)

Weighing in on the name issue - I'm totally new to AV but have some experience with roses. So far as I can figure, there's really only 3 reasons to bother with variety names unless one is in the business of showing, propogating or selling:

1. How can I tell my family or friends what to get me if there are so many choices? (my family's weird - we don't do "surprises", we do lists - you know "get me one of these things".)
2. It's easier for me to determine/judge the health and growth of a particular plant if I have a good idea what it looks like when healthy.
3. In purchasing, if I want a color or size for a particular room or location for whatever reason, how else am I gonna know what to ask them to send me?

I felt compelled to add my 2 cents.

Virginia

P.S. - to give a rat a bath - if your rat tries to bite you, try a wet wash cloth and just wrap it up and sort of massage a little ... just get it wet, no soap ... the rat should do the rest on its own. This can also work on cats.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 11:29PM
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froeschli

Huh, I only ever once tried to bathe a cat. He taught me different.

As for named varieties - unless you intend to show or hybridize (and register the plants), it doesn't really matter. I used to not care, now I am starting to follow the fashion. Mainly because the "varieties" have lots more neat attributes than the generic ones.
Try finding variegated or girl leaves at a grocery store - ok, 3 in a year. Minis? A few. Variegated or girl leaf minis? Nope, nada.
And no trailers either.
So if you want to have fun, you're going to start looking a bit further than the closest garden centre....
That's my 2cents :-)

Karin

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:00AM
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fortyseven_gw

I had a cat that liked to swim. He did this on his own.

So that this is AV related, I will post pix from the flower show I attended on the Gallery tomorrow.

This post was edited by fortyseven on Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 14:14

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:51AM
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lauraeli_

Thats a weird cat :-( I dont usually torture my pets. If it has been longer than usual since I cleaned Pepper's cage, I give her a bath too, to wash allergens off her fur.

That's a little more often than I 'bathe' my AVs. They don't pitch a fit like she does ;-)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:28AM
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patchyjack(10a)

Karin - you're right about the variegation and trailers!
I guess a mix of nice violets that are to grower's taste is always going to be best!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:47AM
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fortyseven_gw

Laura
I certainly was not torturing my pet. He jumped in and took a swim on his own.

This post was edited by fortyseven on Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 14:28

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:08PM
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fortyseven_gw

Patchy, I think NoIDs as we use it here tends to refer to plants bought in retail stores. Plants bought from the specialty growers usually have to be purchased directly from their greenhouses. They grow differently from what is available commercially. They come with ID. Joanne

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:42PM
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quimoi

Actually a noid is anything that you have no name for. My mom had all named plants but after her death, the names of the remaining ones were lost so they were noids and treated as such. I'm still hanging onto one and I only wish I could find something that would give me a clue as to the hybridizer because it's kind of different looking and has to be vintage.

When I restarted my plants, I think 4 lost their tags. I got one or two straightened out fairly easily but the other couple. Oh my! I still have two little pinks vying for "Snuggles" and finally bought a leaf to settle it. In the end, I'll still have a noid (unless I toss it).

I find names useful so I don't repeat the same dumb things I did before (although I still do it). A photo is so beautiful and sometimes the plant can be such a miserable thing for me.

Milkyway Trail is a good example. It's won prizes, has a beautiful photo, and I've bought it twice and I guess it never did well for me. I'm sure it's a great plant for someone, but I finally figured out it's not one for me. Wrangler's Green Pastures just sold for a good bit on eBay and that one bloomed but mine was unimpressive. Maybe theirs will work out better. (See, I might want it again if I didn't keep track of the name.)

Oh, I start minis just like I start the rest of them although I often use the small condiment cups. Since folks were saying sphagnum worked so well, I stuck a few in long staple blond moss but it's only been a couple of days. I had a few go to mush too but it was 1 of 2 and 2 of 3 from a shipment which seemed like maybe it wasn't me....?

Diana

This post was edited by quimoi on Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 16:02

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 3:58PM
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merkity

hmm rats and baths...i don't think i bathed mine that often, can't remember at this point. now cats - have given them lots of baths. I prefer the enclosed shower stall with hose handle attachment. - yes i end up being wet too, but it much easier than trying to hold a cat in a tub or sink....

and on a related note - moved little noid that wintered in a dark location to a brighter one and now i spot little flower buds popping up! once it blooms we can figure out what color it was that my daughter picked out....

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:06PM
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lauraeli_

LOL I most certainly was not implying you were torturing your cat. I meant that giving my rat a bath equates to torture. The first time was after she jumped in the toilet...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:33PM
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African Violets -New to this, need ideas on plants selections!
I recently placed a few orders with PJ's Violets. I...
Marigold33
wanted: i may be jumping the gun...spring rr
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AV cousins.... streps
so i was curious how many of you also grow streps?...
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Copied from the Seed Exchange, explains reason for new Houzz format
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