A few questions about African Violets (potting and propagation)..

aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)July 8, 2012

Hi! Newbie AV lover here and I've been searching and reading this AV forum for days and days, learning different aspects of care for these happy plants.

I have a couple questions that I haven't been able to find the answer to with Google or forum searches (not hitting the perfect search terms, I guess). Questions at the end of post.

Background on Plants:

--The plants in the blue pots are all from HD, purchased 2-3 months ago. The one without flowers was repotted into a 50/50 mix of AV soil & perlite about 3 weeks ago or less. I'd cut the blooms of before repotting to let the plant concentrate on the move and you might be able to see that it has many buds. (it was my least favorite of the plants and so was my "test run" before I repotted the other plants)

--The plant in the butterfly bucket is new as of last week, from a local nursery and was set with these plants for the photo op. (and apparently not staged very well, as its pot isn't properly positioned in the bucket, sorry!)



Questions:

--These are all still in the pots they came in but after reading, I believe the pots are actually too large for them all? Should I get smaller pots and pot them down or don't fix what isn't broken?

--How long does leaf propagation take? Not to get the plantlets but until the plant is mature enough to bloom?

Being easily addicted and thinking that I may be able to use my babies as gifts for various plant loving acquaintances and relatives, I've already started several attempts at leaf propagation. The first leaf has been going for maybe 3 weeks and still looks healthy, so I guess it's going well.

Thank you so much!!!

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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

"cut the blooms off before repotting"

Sorry! Wish there was an edit button!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 8:34AM
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tommyr_gw

My leafs take anywhere from 7-9 months to bloom normally.

I think the pots they're in are o.k. (for now) but yes, they should be smaller diameter, 1/3 the leaf spread usually.

Nice collection!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:08AM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

All but the one need to be repotted soon anyway because they're still in the heavy potting medium they came in.

So I should downsize the pots. Ha, since I can't find small pots locally this gives me a valid reason to order from an online supply and MAYBE I'll have to order a plant, too. (though from what I've read it may be too hot for a plant to be shipped to me right now)

Thank you!

Another Question: I cut the blooms off the one, is that really necessary to do when repotting or could I repot and wait to see if they look like they're struggling? Though it's entirely probable that I'll do it anyway because I don't want them to be stressed. I love the silly little plants.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 12:59PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Because I can't find appropriate small pots around here (in my living room), I had to order some. Because I had to order some, I had to look at the flowers. Because I had to look at the flowers, I had to buy some flowers.

I got these two:
*Ness' Crinkle Blue, semi-mini
SEE LINK FOR A PICTURE

*Buffalo Hunt, standard

I found Buffalo Hunt during my search of the website, the other name was posted on this forum when I searched for blues (thanks, cajunkisses2007!).

MY FIRST OFFICIAL AFRICAN VIOLET ORDER!!! HURRAY!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Taxonomist3

aharriedmom,

you have nice collection there! I generally try to follow the 1/3rd rule when it comes to pots. The pot should be roughly 1/3rd the diameter of the plant. Most of yours appear to be alright size-wise to me.

Now, there are a few other things I'd like to hit upon. Be careful and always isolate new plants from your collection. If you do not have space, a gallon-size ziplock bag can be good. You really do not want an infestation of thrips, mealies, nematodes, or fungus gnat larvae! Also inspect the new plants away from the others, and make sure you have bleach nearby to disinfect anything. Places like HD and Lowes are breeding grounds for scale, thrips, mealies, and a host of other parasites. Disbudding new plants is always wise, as is repotting in your own soil mix (granted I when doing mail-order from violet barn or lydon lyon's I have been known to leave them in their arrival pots for a month or more).

I hope this helps some.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:37PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Thanks a lot! Yes, I've definitely learned on this forum that new plants need to be quarantined. I'm excited - I got the email that my order shipped today, so it ought to be here Wednesday. I'd been going slowly crazy(-ier) waiting for the two plants.

I thought I'd add another picture of the plant that isn't blooming in the above pics.

I need to pull off the other oldest leaves but I wanted to leave them on in for the photo so people can see how it looks in the pot. She's in a 4" pot right now, I have 3" pots coming with my order so could pot them all down.

**POTENTIALLY STUPID QUESTION ALERT**
Once I pull the old leaves off, she will be/look too small for her pot. At what point do you measure the leaves to get the plant vs. pot size?

[In my inexperienced opinion] She definitely seems to be okay with my first repotting attempt, here are today's blooms:

I have to say that I'm happy that once the old leaves are gone, all traces of her being from Home Depot will be gone - no more scarred leaves!

My Tomahawk had a sucker so I removed it several days ago, I'm about to post pictures of its progress in my "Is it wrong I'm excited to have a sucker" thread. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 7:36PM
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siedahh(7)

There is a lot of great advice here. I am also somewhat new to AVs, however, I have successfully propagated five plants from one leaf. I started the leaf in water and once I saw the first signs of a shoot I potted it in dirt. The journey began in mid October and I planted the babies at the end of April. I don't like following the norm and I made many "mistakes" so it probably would have went faster with better knowledge.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:56PM
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Dan796(6A)

Hi,
I'm new here but, definately not to AV growing!
Over the last 37 years I've grown litterally hundreds of varieties, and thousands of AV plants!
In fact, I used to supply a local Greenhouse with huge plants that I grew under lights in my parents basement as a teenager. AV's have always been my first love.
I had a plant room with a light setup with 250 varieties, and 1,000 plants growing when I lost everything in a flood 5 years ago. I haven't grown an AV since.
And I would be glad to offer to answer any questions you may have.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:56AM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

My first leaf has mouse ears showing! I first noticed them on the 21st. I took pictures then and again today:

7-21-12

Today, 7-26-12

I started this leaf before I knew much about AVs and I broke up a peat pot and used it as the medium. Not ideal, I now know, but it seems to have worked!

So excited!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:58PM
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tommyr_gw

YAY! Congrats!!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:05PM
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nyxx(z7 Virginia)

Nice!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:36PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Updated pictures of my babies! It's so exciting. :D All pictures taken today.

Momma leaf & babies:

Closer-ups:

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:01AM
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tommyr_gw

Good growing!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:06AM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

And in some of my "maternity wards" (I got a bit carried away with leaf starting) I have visible roots. No other leaves yet but they were mostly started 3-5 weeks after this first leaf.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:06AM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

*sigh* I wish there were an edit button.

^ no other babies yet...

I wish I'd remembered which plant the pictured leaf is from. I thought I'd remember so didn't label (I'm very bad about that, even though I know better), but of course, I don't remember.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:08AM
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tommyr_gw

We all get "sometimers" disease now and then!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:13AM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Update!

Four of the babies have been removed from the momma leaf*, who is back in her materinity ward to see if she wants to give up any more. (because I totally need more unidentified plant babies)

Three had good roots, one was like a little sucker on another. I don't hold out a whole lot of hope for it but it's in a wee cup, under a dome to see if it will grow roots. Sadly because it's soooooo tiny and rootless, I fully expect it to die.

Anyway, I'll try to get pictures later on.

~

I have to (shamefully) admit that two of the babies were removed about a week ago and were probably a little bit too small but I was so impatient with my first attempt! So far they don't appear to be doing much except not dying, and not dying is a good thing.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:27AM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Ah, after I posted this, I was looking for the thread where I had said that I bought some plants from Bluebird Greenhouse. Turns out it's in this thread.

My Buffalo Hunt has flower stalks coming up. Hurray! No sign of any yet on the other two but it's okay.

~

I also noticed that I'd said (up there somewhere), "I have to say that I'm happy that once the old leaves are gone, all traces of her being from Home Depot will be gone - no more scarred leaves!" I guess I jinxed myself with that statement because I promptly fell on the older plants. Just yesterday I was lamenting the scarred leaves that I created - but they're all blooming right now and are healthy, so one day I will not fall on them and all the scarred leaves will be gone.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:34AM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

I can feel your excitement. I am also experimenting with leaves, I have had a few plants for a long time, but am a total newbie at acquiring named variety's. I just received a leaf order from Bloom Lovers a couple of days ago, and am watching over them carefully. I love all your pictures.
Perle.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 11:40AM
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