lucky123July 8, 2014

I have plants that were sent from forum members that are growing into healthy, single crown specimens. No blossoms yet but most are small but thriving. Very healthy little AV's.

I have a gift AV from a big box store that is huge and blooming. But there is an orange powder all over the plant. The plants has developed numerous suckers. I use plain water on the plant as I am thinking that orange crusty stuff is fertilizer and I don't want to add more.

Is there a heavy fertilizer that can be used to bring the AV's into bloom and heavy growth?

Do I need to fertilize my plants more? Not feed, feed, feed until they turn orange and sucker, mind you but I may be underfertilizing while the commercial growers are giving correct amount.

Anyone know what fertilizers, in what amounts, how often to get plants to super grow and bloom?

Is it wise to force growth, bloom and suckers or should I be content with healthy, single crown plants?

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Unm, the orange crust sounds like they've overdone it a bit. I have a store bought av that did this, though I am blaming my MG perlite for it.
Anyhow, if you dare to experiment, you can increase fertilizing a little, but why fix something that you aren't even decided is broken?


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 3:22PM
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Plants will grow at their own pace, you really can't get them to grow super-fast and super-big any more than you can get your teen-ager to grow super fast by stuffing him with food. It just doesn't work that way.

Your orange stuff is too much fertilizer. Fertilizer should be given at 1/4 strength of the package directions for three weeks with clear water the fourth.

Growing teaches patience. And, yes, you may have to be content with healthy, single-crown plants.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:14AM
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Glad to hear that the plants are growing well in your environment, that is an accomplishment. The plants need to lay down a foundation of leaves before they begin to flower. Blooms come from the top row of leaves. When the plant is blooming, it takes a lot of energy out of the leaves. Best to allow it to bloom in its own time rather than trying to force it before it is ready. It seems that commercial growers know a way to get plants to bloom before their time. But I don't know anything about that.

This post was edited by fortyseven on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 11:56

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:37AM
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I had to read Dr. Optimara to learn what that crusty orange stuff was. It confuses a person at first because there is sometimes so much orange, the plant looks red reverse.

Anyone know what fertilizer the commercial outfits use oozes out as orange crust?

I have been very light on the fertilizer because all of my plants are small and new to this environment. I will gradually increase the dosage until I get to recommended strength. My little plants have such a variety of leaves and shapes I am happy with healthy thriving green plants. I like AV's as foliage plants, Every One is Different!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 5:59PM
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If you are using the recommended strength as stated on the package, it is too much. Cut back to 1/4 strength. Weakly, weekly.

There are various methods to get plants to bloom on a schedule or before they are normally ready. It is called 'forcing' and I have used this method many times when I had displays in home and garden or flower shows. The problem is that in forcing a plant out of its natural growth pattern, it sometimes greatly weakens the plant, especially a young one which are usually the plants this is done on. I believe this is one reason so many people have trouble getting their store-bought violets to re-bloom and why they have success with ones they grow themselves.


This post was edited by whitelacey on Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 1:59

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 1:55AM
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Linda, This is so interesting! For years, I would buy Optimaras that had a pretty good head of bloom. Then, nothing, Months and months would go by, nothing. I would eventually get bored with pots of leaves hanging around, and have a "fire sale," for my neighbors to come and take their pick. But first, I would repot them in fresh potting mix. Then, six or nine months later, they would show me photos of the plants grown large and in full bloom. Much more bloom than before because the plants had gotten large. I never used to keep the Optimaras long enough to see them bloom like that a year later.

I think that is how I got out of the habit of keeping track of what varieties they were. If they were Optimaras, they were no longer labelled, anyway. And if they were hanging around for 6 or 9 months with no blooms, I thought, what difference did it make what color the blooms were if there weren't any?

Today, I met a woman who used to work in a nursery. She explained how, in the florist shop connected with the nursery, they would force plants into bloom. Then when they no longer bloomed, people would discard them and bring the fancy pots back to have them refilled. Built in repeat sales. Joanne

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 2:56AM
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