Leaves growing straight upward

nwgatreasures(7)June 20, 2008

I've read that when the stems and leaves point straight upward (and grow that way) that it is usually a light issue??

I've had my two standards (don't know what kind they are cause they haven't bloomed in past 4 months since I adopted them) and even though I place them under my lamp at least 10 hours each day as well as having them in the window - they continue to grow directly upward.

All I see is the purple veins on the underneath of the leaves. These stems are healthy and very crisp (as described in another post) but I think I am missing something. I find another new leaf set on them each week. There must be twenty five large leaves on one plant with about 15 babies and it's what I would consider a large plant. The largest leaves are about two and a half inches wide and two and a half to three inches long. I have them both in a 4" pot with light soil.

They are watered from the top about once a week with light fert water (same water I use on all the rest of my collection).

I think the width of the pot is good but it's hard to tell the width of the plant since they grow straight upward as opposed to gently sprawling outward.

What am I missing?

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I read your question but not sure I understand it. When you said there were about 15 babies did you mean suckers?
If there is new growth in the leaf axils (where the leaf stem meets the central stem) then they are suckers and should be removed. Other than that it sounds like the plant is reaching for light. The combination of the two problems may be what is forcing the leaves to grow upwards rather than laying flat. If you can tell me more about the little plants and where they are growing maybe that would help.
fred in nj

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 8:31PM
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Thanks, Fred.

My term of babies refers to tiny leaves but I don't think they are suckers. They are coming right out of the crown of the plant (each week) and not from where you describe them in your post.

The stems/leaves on the bottom (which, in this case is the outer) row are large and then as they get closer to the crown, they get smaller. The top of the leaf is a healthy, deep green and the underside is a deep purple with prominent veins.

Its gets flourescent light during the morning hours and I keep it in the window with what I would consider plenty of afternoon light and I'm wondering how to give it "more light" without it being put in the "direct light" where it will burn up. I hope that makes sense.

are there types of AVs whose growth pattern is straight up?

From the look of the plant, it appears that every single bit of its energy goes to producing leaves whose growth pattern is straight upward.

Looking forward to you knowledge.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 11:15AM
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Hi Tia,
I'm still not sure of what you call tiny leaves. If they are growing from the center of the crown in a symetrical pattern, that is the natural growth of an AV. If there are more than one sets of leaves growing out of the crown in separate symetrical patterns then I would suspect that the crown burned out and the plant is starting to send out suckers to reproduce itself.
There are violeets that do have a tendency to have an upright growth pattern, however this is not the norm. Most AV's when given enough light will tend to grow flat. It's impossible for me to tell you what the plant needs without knowing more about it. I grow all my plants on wicks and under flourescent lights. The lights are about 10-12 inches from the top of the plant and they receive a minimum of 10 hours of light from the fixtures. I also repot my AV's every 9 months to a year for standards and every 3 to 4 months for minis and semis. The purple or red backed leaf sounds like a healthy plant. Other than maybe a deep green leaf may need more light than a lighter leafed violet. Maybe some of what I have said will help. I still think the vertical leaf growth is a lack of good indirect light.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 3:54PM
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I'll try more light.
The crown is well defined and growing well.

TIA stands for thanks in advance

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 8:53AM
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Hi nwgatreasures,

I'm new to the forum but have AVs, Streptocarpus, and a Kohleria. My mother had a similar problem as you. I remember reading about the light AS WELL AS...an AV can only focus its energy to producing foliage OR blooms. IF your AV is producing leaves that quickly and vigorously, then I would recommend not letting any more leaves grow and maybe removing some. I do not want to ruin the symmetry, but the plant's energy needs to be redirected to blooming. I tried this, and my mom's plant now has over 30 blooms!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 9:22PM
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Hi nwgatreasures:

Is your plant blooming?


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 11:25PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

You know, it's funny... I have a bunch of babies all growing in the same medium in the same light, and just one of them (LLG Dazzling Fantasyland) has leaves that are growing straight up like that. I have no idea why this could be!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 2:53AM
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I too have experience this with two plants. Both were 'straight up' when perchased, and one of them, Gillian, never would go flat. It is now deceased, as I took off the leaves and pitched the stem. The second one is one I bought at Lyons in May. Spectacular Blue is the name. When I bought it it looked as though it was grown as a 'plug' and got fairly large before being potted. It now gets plenty of light, but continues to grow straight up.

My guess is that it was grown in the plug stage too long and isn't ever going to change. I may try to use mechanical means to bring the leaves down, or I may just put down all the leaves and pitch the plant.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 12:53PM
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The plant is strong and healthy, no blooms and still growing straight upward. The stems are a dark, dark purple and sturdy strong. The crown is very well defined and has great symmetry - except that it grows straight upward and all we see is the underneath sides of the leaves (which are the dark healthy purple of the stems).

I don't know what is up with this baby but it hasn't responded to bloom fertilizer in 2 months. Maybe she's just a good example of someone who wants to be unique?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 9:36PM
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I was thinking about your picture this morning, and went back and looked at it again. The Dazzling Fantasyland in the upper left corner is maybe potted a little too deep in the pot. It has a lot of leaves that appear to be 'sturdy', and there just isn't room for them to lay relatively flat. I would suggest taking it out of the pot and adding some potting mix to the bottom of the pot to raise it to the same level as the pot edge. It may help.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:17AM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Thanks Barbara, I'll do it tonight! I actually noticed that it has some buds forming. Yay! My first ever baby with buds!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 7:31PM
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Another update:
Last I posted on Sunday that it was growing straight upward still.

I went out of town for 2.5 days and when I returned,there were 4 huge sets of beautiful deep pink blooms. This plant is a standard optimara but with no name since I rescued it from someone a few years back.
It has never bloomed until now.

Anyhow - today I spent the morning with two AV friends and we pruned and doctored all of my AVs and repotted this one. Took off the bottom/outer 3 rows (there were 5 rows all together)and broght it closer to the top of the pot and downsized the pot.

Let's see what happens to it in a few days when it's had a chance to recover.

I'd love to share pictures of my violets but don't know where or how to do that. I have over 50 now.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 9:38PM
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judyj(Z5 CO)

hi there-I know the post is older, but I'm having the same problem. Did removing the leaves and potting it higher help? I've got one I got for half price at a garden center several months ago. I had to remove several rotting leaves so it doesn't have too many. It's now blooming, but the leaves are still up. I did pot it up higher. Maybe "weighting" down the outer leaves gently?


    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 6:20PM
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I wonder if you could let the plant wilt, then set something on top of it to weight the leaves down before watering it. A light blanket or something. Similar to training the branches on a bonzai. If you leave it that way for 4 or 5 days, maybe it will stay flat?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 6:55PM
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Some violets just naturally grow this way. It tends to be an individual thing rather than a varietal issue. Sometimes growers will try to gently weigh down the leaves with quarters but, in my experience, when the quarters are removed, the plant goes back to its upright ways. It's just in their nature to grow this way and it cannot be changed.

It's best to learn to love it as is, or give it to a friend who doesn't know anything about violets.

I have a 'Starry Night Blue' that I tried everything to get to lie flat. It doesn't want to and it won't. So I love it for its gorgeous flowers and not its wayward growth habit. It's all part of the fun of growing.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:54PM
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