Micro mini violets

ines_99June 15, 2009

I have some new minis - well, I think 2 of them qualify as micros, Baby Brian and Rob's Twinkle Pink. Each has the tiny teeny leaves. I have them in one ounce cups. I also have a few others that are bigger, I have also heard them referred to as micros, but I think they may just be small minis, like Optimaras Little Jade and Rose Quartz, Pixie Blue, and Woodland Sprite. These are in 2" pots. I would like them to stay small, so would it be better if I downsized them to the 1 oz cups?

I really don't know alot about mini's and micros, other than they need to be kept humid and repotted alot. There is not alot of info on the web. Does anyone here grow these little guys?

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plantman532000(z5 NcntrlPa.)

I grew a few micros several years back, till I lost them all due to health problems. I have just recently started to rebuild my mini and micro mini collection and would like to know where you got Rob's Twinkle Pink?

The smaller the pot the better as far as keeping them at a very small size. But, as you stated, that takes more frequent repottings and more humidity to keep them at their best.

Personaly I would keep some in the 2" pots AND put a few starts in the 1 oz. cups.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 11:36AM
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john, did you have the health problems, or was it the micros with the health problems?

Twinkle was a gift. It's so tiny, so cute. It was sent to me potted in a clear one oz cup, with another one oz cup upside down on top, taped to the bottom, like a little mini greenhouse. I don't know where she got it, but it came from someone with a very extensive collection. I could ask her if you want to know. One leaf was pressed against the side of the top cup, so I snipped it off and potted it up. If it takes, I'll let you know!

I definitely plan on keeping them in the small cups, but I think that they are trailers too, so what then? Won't they eventually need more space to spread? From what I have read, alot of ppl grow them in terrariums, or covered in some way. Years ago I had some very small mini's, though I don't believe they were micros. They came from an orchid shop, and the pots sat in a clear plastic reservoir and were wicked. I think I eventually repotted them, not knowing you are supposed to keep them in small pots. I forget what happened to them, probably died when I moved or something like that.

I wish someone who specializes in growing them would write a book or have a website donated exclusively to the micros and smaller minis.

Is this forum running really slow these days or is it me?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 12:45PM
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Hi ines.
Sorry to be the one to burst your bubble but Baby Brian is a semiminiature TRAILER.

fred in nj

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 2:58PM
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I have Teeny Bopper which is a micromini in a half ounce pot kept in a terrarium at high humidity. They are not easy to grow. The minis are much easier and I keep them in a one ounce cup as they loose their value if they get too big. I keep my semis in two or three ounce pots depending on leaf size. Some semi leaves are really a standard size. The exception are the trailers which I pot to plant size shallow but wide, like bonsi pots.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 4:18PM
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avfriend, someone else suggested using a fishbowl, I think that or a terrarium might be the way to go. I am going to pick one up at walmart this week. I have also heard how these are hard to grow, but hopefully I will be lucky. Have plenty of the minis and semiminis too, they seem to do ok. Your bonsai pot tip may work out, I have a few very small glazed bonsai pots that I bought just because I liked the way they looked. They are probably only 3oz. though, maybe too big now, but if these plants start to spread out like trailers, they would be perfect!

Fred, no bubbles here. My plant may be mislabeled unless a mature leaf on Baby Brian the semimin trailer is the size of baby's fingernail. I have mini's with bigger leaves than that! Will have to see if it gets bigger.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 5:42PM
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I might suggest caution if these are your only plants - if you don't have experience with terrariums, putting them all inside one is a risk.

Moisture control & amount of light are tricky things. If you are an over-water, terrariums will not forgive for long - esp if the cover is on tight. Mold happens fast in a too wet environment. Check often...lift the lid ASAP if sides suddenly look like you're growing in a rain forest!

Definitely experiment so long as you have more than one "copy"! Also, setting extra micro leaves in a terrarium to experiment with good way to practice - so they're in there from the start and are used to it.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:54AM
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plantman532000(z5 NcntrlPa.)

experimenting if part of the fun! but it is important to have extras of each plant. I want to try a few in a terrarium type setup...jars, fish bowl ect...but will make sure that some leaves are well on their way to being new plants before I test those setups.

Also, the bonsai pot idea is a good one. I have a few small ones and should try using them. I bet they would look great esp. in a terrarium


    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 1:59PM
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John, which micros are you growing? Where do you get yours, if you don't mind my asking...I see you are in PA, have you ever been to the Violet Gallery? I think it is down south west of Philadelphia, probably a 2 hr drive for me. Theres another grower in south Jersey, in Hammonton. I haven't been to either one yet, but may take a little trip this summer.

I pulled out my little bonsai pots last night, but I think they may be too big for my micros. Maybe if I had a few of each variety, I could plant them in there together. For now, I think that the pots would be better suited for a trailing mini.

Dognapper, after reading your post, I uncovered everything for a few hours, think I am going to do that once a day.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 3:06PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

I have Teeny Bopper, Chantaspring, and Little Lizzy in a terrarium setting. Teeny Bopper and Chantaspring are getting 70% humidity and are in a very light mix. They are planted in 2 in net pots, which were then buried into the substrate, with the idea that their roots would be bound (mainly) by the net pots and they would have their own mix, but still be able to benefit from the moisture of the substrate, which is a mix of coco fiber reptile bedding and tree fern fiber. Their mix is peat, vermiculite, and lots of perlite. They've been in this setting for about 2 months, maybe? They are both blooming now, and look happy.

Little Lizzy is in another terrarium, also in a light mix of peat, vermiculite, and lots of perlite, in a 2 in net pot set into a substrate of coco fiber and tree fern fiber. The difference here is that the humidity is higher, about 85-90%, and there is air circulation in this terrarium via a small computer fan. Little Lizzy has been in this setting since about November, and is blooming like crazy now. Little Lizzy is not a micro mini, but I struggled with it a lot before putting it in the terrarium. After my success with Little Lizzy in the terrarium, I decided that the only way I'd try to grow mini and semimini trailers was in a terrarium. I can't seem to grow them otherwise.

Incidentally, both of these terrariums were designed for orchids, and it's a nice side benefit to have the AVs in there too. Especially since orchids are usually not in bloom, whereas AVs, when happy, are almost constantly in bloom.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 7:20PM
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plantman532000(z5 NcntrlPa.)

It was my health that was bad...

I have teeny bopper, Robs Twinkle Blue and Robs Voodoo Blue, all of which are very small for me.

I've never been to the Violet Gallery, probibally a 6+hour drive for me, I'm near Mansfield, Pa.

I really enjoy the micro sinningias, and they have gotten me thinking about trying some micro mini African Violets in terrariums, like I grow the micro Sinns. very easy to care for and didn't lose any, so why not try violets this way???

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 2:29PM
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Fred, I am afraid you were right about Baby Brian. The reason mine is so tiny is because it is was an unrooted crown. It will probably get bigger once it roots and starts to grow...

John, if you can grow the sinningias, I am sure you can grow the micros. Maybe in the fall we can trade, I'd love to try the sinningias.

Quinn, do you mind sharing where you found orchid terrariums? I bought the goldfish bowl, but I don't think it is going to work.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:39AM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

I built my first one, using acrylic sheets and acrylic cement. It is 24x12x12, about the size of a smallish aquarium. The second one, where I am growing Teeny Bopper and Chantaspring (plus about four orchids, a fern, and some selaginella) is actually a reptile/amphibian terrarium, made by ExoTerra. This one is 12x18x12. The nice thing about the ExoTerra is the front opening doors, which means you can access the plants without having to move a light out of the way first. But I'm undecided about whether I prefer glass or acrylic. Acrylic is really light, very clear, and doesn't have that slight green tint that glass has. Acrylic does scratch easily though. Glass, however, is really heavy, but easier to clean without damaging it, and doesn't warp.

I ordered the ExoTerra online from a terrarium/reptile supply store, but I've been told you can get them at pet stores, which would definitely save you money on shipping. I don't have a car though, so ordering online was easier for me.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 4:30AM
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plantman532000(z5 NcntrlPa.)

I have two of the Exo Terra 12x12x18 sizes, both filled with mini orchids. I love the way the doors open to the front. Got my first one at a thrift store and the second at a pet shop. Never thought of using one for my A/V's. Now if only I can find a place for a third, it would be great for my micro mini african violets.

I'm making top cuttings and dividing some of my micro mini sinningias, we'll see what I have in a few weeks. Many of my plants have ben around for a long time and I will have some xtras, but not sure yet how long the new ones will take to establish and be big enough to get cuttings from.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 3:25PM
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thumperinflorida(9a Fl)

These are a few of the mini and micro minis that I grow. I have one entire 4 shelf light cart devoted to them.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 7:36AM
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Thumper, your plants look beautiful! I have way more mini's than I do standards, but may not be able to fill up a whole plant cart. I am planning on getting a shelf unit and adding lights to it, but for the time being I had all my plants and leaves crammed under a few cabinet lights....until yesterday, when I bought a 48" shop light fixture and a warm and cool bulb, I plan on turning my whole kitchen island into a baby AV nursery, at least until I can get the cart finished.

Quinn and John, looks like I am going to have to check out the local pet and aquarium supply stores with a new eye...I know they sell those Exo Terras, or at least something like them, because I have seen then there. Thanks for the tips and info.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 4:31PM
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barbara_in_la(So. Cal.)

Beautiful, Thumper! What's the distance of your lights from the tops of your plants? Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 11:32PM
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thumperinflorida(9a Fl)

ines...turning the kitchen island into AV island sounds wonderful! Take pictures when you get it done.
And before you go and by an ex terra, check Craig's List. I see them offered often and for CHEAP.

barbara...thanks:) and the lights are about 10 inches above the plants.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 9:32AM
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thumperinflorida(9a Fl)

After rereading the above posts -

I pot all my micos, minis and most semi-minis in small condiment solo cups. They seem to grow to the size of the pot. Keeping then contained helps retain their small size. I have had minis that grew pretty large and semis that looked like standards.
I wick all of mine. And for me, the watering is then a no-brainer. While I have more them a few glass tanks and terrariums I seldom keep AVs in them. Most are for all the other gesneriads that I grow.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 9:47AM
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Hi! I am new to this cite. I raise miniature african violets and some micros. I just read a posting from ines 99, stating there is an african violet grower in Hammonton, NJ. I sure would like to know the name and address of this grower. Can anyone help me? Thanks - Pat

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 9:47PM
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barbara_in_la(So. Cal.)

Could anyone share photos of their micro minis? I'd like to see photos of their plants in relation to the pots they're potted in... Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 1:35PM
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I have just started back into growing AVs after many years off. I have really enjoyed this thread. I have always been very fond of the micros and minis and I am on the hunt for collecting these little beauties. Twenty-five years ago I had Teeny Bopper and another one that had little pink double blooms I can't remember the name.

If you all might be interested I would talk to my son-in-law about helping to set up a website where we might all share info etc.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 1:21AM
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African Violet PLANT Bells A Ringing micro mini trailer double bell. I just purchased this plant and I am very concerned about the growth and it surviving. It does not look happy. I have read all of the post from 2009. I believe I need to put it in a smaller pot and give it some humidity with a terrarium, but I have already transplanted it upon receipt.( probably the wrong thing to do) Does anyone have any helpful suggestions before I start to experiment. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:46PM
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We need a few details or a picture. Why doesn't it look happy? Leaves? Flowers?


    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 1:20AM
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