Is it wrong that I'm excited to have a sucker?

aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)July 10, 2012

Ever since I read that suckers can be removed and potted up, I've been inspecting my AVs for them. Yesterday I noticed that my new (I've had it a week and two days) Tomahawk has a sucker.

Is it wrong that I'm excited that I'll get a 'fast' extra plant? Does it make it painfully obvious that I am a newbie to AVs?

I'm eating applesauce right now so that I can poke holes in the container and then remove the sucker. :)

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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

It's done! I think I did well for my first attempt.

Questions I haven't found answers to:
1) the original plant had plenty of root left. Does it need to be in a humidity dome or tent?
2) the sucker is in an applesauce cup with holes punched in, sitting on a plate with an upside down fish bowl over it. Will that work or do I need to do something different?


I didn't realize how sad it would make me to cut the blooms off the plant. Even though it was a bit of a scraggly plant, atm, I loved the flowers. Oh well, this ought to make it grow better and soon enough I'll have more flowers. (especially if the six leaves root, haha)

Help! I've become an addict!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 12:16PM
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nyxx(z7 Virginia)

Did you get much root on the sucker? I am far from an expert. In fact my motto is ignorance is bliss lol. If I don't know what I am doing won't work it does. Kind of like Dumbo, flying merrily along till the bird told him he couldn't fly and down he went. If I get enough root on the sucker I treat it the same as I would if I was just repotting.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 1:27PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

The sucker doesn't have much root at all, a little - but it was just close enough to the edge (or I cut too crooked, it's totally possible) that most roots were left on the mama plant. The sucker is under the dome, the mom plant isn't - and won't be unless someone tells me I should do it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 3:43PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

and, lol, I'm full of ignorance about these (and most) plants but then I go and read everything I can find and confuse myself because of all the conflicting information.

That video you posted yesterday about the greenhouse production did give me some confidence about it - I know I'm not that rough with my plants! :D

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Unless you're into do AV shows I say GO FOR IT! Experiment and have FUN!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 6:48PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I think there is a natural progression from learning a basic culture to propagation to growing well and showing and possibly to hybridizing. When you learn something you want to move on and try something else.

Suckers are much faster to produce a new blooming plant, and since you probably are not going to fill the house with multiple "Tomahauks"- you can keep eventually the best young plant and sell or use as presents the rest of them - and while you grow them - you master the skill. I am not sure I would be playing ball with this variety, it is not Optimara, it much more tender - but the flowers are large and very very attractive, good plant to have.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 8:07PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

I've definitely hit the first three. I think time and economics will work against showing.... but hybridizing? The idea of it appeals to me. A lot.

When you say "playing ball with" - what do you mean? Keeping? Or removing suckers and propagation? (I have 6 leaves started that didn't survive the sucker removal today)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 8:34PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

There was a thread today - workers at Holtkamp greenhouses treat the violets without utmost respect we seem to use. So I just thought that Optimaras are bred to take the abuse and long transportation, while a lot of more elaborate varieties we grow actually do not.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 12:55AM
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I remember when I was excited about suckers! I think you're off to a good start!

About your question on doing anything with the momma plant, I would adopt a wait and see approach. If you notice the leaves drooping any, I'd rush the plant to a nice gallon-sized ziplock bag. However, if the leaves remain firm, I'd leave it be.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:15PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

I thought I'd removed the sucker last Thursday but I guess it was nearly an entire week ago. They both seem to be doing well.

Momma plant - I never covered it.

Sucker baby - I changed the plate out for a shallow bowl, placed the applesauce cup on a small dish, put water in the bowl, and covered the lot with the upside down fish bowl. The water can't touch the plant or the soil. It seems to be doing fine:

I'm pleased with what I have so far. I can't wait for the momma plant to fill in a little bit.

And what is odd to me. I cut the blooms off for surgery. I was having moderately\-interested\-in\-flowers company and wanted to show them the flowers that were on the plant so I stuck them in a pill bottle (I'd just finished a prescription for bronchitis). 

They are only just now starting to droop. I had no idea that AVs could be used for \[tiny\] cut flower arrangements.   
Picture from about 20 minutes ago:   
<img data-gwi="368172" src="" class="img-external cursor-magnify js-enlarge" />
    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 7:46PM
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aharried mom,
Bravo! Job well done! I love Tomahawk, it's a lovely color.
Over the 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 have had an AV since.
But, you seem to be doing everything I'd suggest.
And I would be glad to offer to anser any questions you may have. And it's never wrong to be excited to have suckers, it's just wrong to removed it too soon, or too late.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:33AM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Thanks, Dan!


So..... how do I know when my sucker is mature enough to be removed from the humidity "dome"?

Also, the blooms that I had cut off... they got really pitiful looking over the last couple (very busy) days. I pulled them out to toss them and one has a very visible root, one has a smaller root, and the other stems seems fine. So I cut off the flowers, leaving the little leaves and maybe I'll get plants from them. Who knows? I had no expectations for the flower stalks except to show my expected company the color of the flowers. I never would have thought I'd get weeks of "use" out of them and possibly some plants.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:56PM
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nyxx(z7 Virginia)

I am amazed. I never even thought of sticking the flowers in water to display. I thought sure the would just drop over dead. And how lucky are you to learn out to root flower stalks accidentally. And how lucky am I that you did and shared. =o) Thanks

About the dome and the sucker. I usually have enough root in my butchering way of getting them. That I have never put a dome on them. But then again I wick them so I feel I have enough even moisture and so far it has worked for me. So with that said I would think it would be safe to undome it. But I could be wrong I have been before. (Don't tell my hubby I admitted that lol)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:18PM
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When you are able to tug on a leaf and the plant feels firmly anchored is when I start to harden-off the plant. If you remove it without hardening it off, you'll likely see your plant have drooping leaves in a day or less. Just crack the lid and prop it up just a little. Usually I have mine in ziplock bags and I just open the top of it with the plant sitting in the bottom. After a week or so at in this phase, they're usually safe to remove completely from the greenhouse environment.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:45PM
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