Pale center

lauraeli_July 8, 2014

What causes the new growth to be pale green? I fertilize every time I water with 7-7-7. This one was directly on the north windowsill and was doing great but it kept getting rained on so i had to move it.

When I moved it initially, it was just farther from the window. A couple weeks later, I put it under a fluorescent light. It has only been a couple weeks under the light, at most.

Flowers were profuse while on the windowsill. The new flower stalks eventually grew in very short, and not particularly attractive. I initially assumed it was because it was the second flush.

But more and more of the plant is turning this pale yellow-green, starting from the center outward. So new growth is that color, and has not darkened as I had expected.

The only thing I can figure, is that ALL of the growth from the time I brought it home from the greenhouse is a lighter color. The center is also tighter.

I liked the way it looked before- darker leaves, loose center, tall flower stalks.

Anything I can do to encourage that?

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I am not an expert but I had that problem on a plant. First check for mites but it is not severe enough for that so that is "just in case."

Next, my plant was diagnosed as too much light but I suspected the beginnings of crown rot/root problems.

I put down a leaf for backup. I took all the blossoms off and repotted the plant in fresh, light (much perlite) soil in a much smaller pot after trimming the roots and dusting with cinammon

I moved the plant to a low light area to encourage the crown/leaves/stems to "reach" for the sun.

When the plant started recovering with a better color and a looser crown, I gradually gave it more light. It was very tight and light in the center with all the new leaves being a much lighter color but now it is looking almost normal.

I have moved the plant to a brighter location as it is growing a normal crown and color.

I don't know if this will help your plant but it has saved mine.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:57PM
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Ok, crown rot/root rot is not a concern. I dont think it has been getting a lot of light, but the symptoms do say otherwise. I will probably disbud it and put it in a low-light area and see what it does.

I have quite a few of its leaves put down, but they never seem to take. Not sure what it is, since my other AVs are easy to propagate via leaves. This one does not sucker at all either.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:56PM
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Have you had it long enough to see if the lighter leaves eventually darken? Some varieties leaves grow in lighter and then gradually darken with age.

You need to remove your outer row of leaves. Most of them are damaged.

You do not need to dis-bud. Dis-budding will not affect the color of your crown.



    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:38AM
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I actually did remove the outer row after I took the picture. I disbudded too, but mostly because of thrips. I have had this one for a couple of months.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:11AM
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I had several big box plants, some after months of seemingly normal growth, start growing lighter leaves from the crown. The crown was smaller. In every case, it was root/crown rot.
For me, root rot always yellows from the center and on the newest leaves, at least on plants left in the soil in which I purchased them.
Now I change the soil as soon as possible but yellowing of new leaves without significant size difference spells rot.
Just my two cents

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 5:53PM
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I grow in terracotta. The soil dries between waterings more than is typical for growing african violets. The stems and leaves of all my african violets are as stiff as succulents and never wilt.

I fuss over my plants every day, but Im more likely to under-water than over-water.

I'm quite familiar with the symptoms and causes of root rot however...the big box stores like to rot them before i get them, and then I have to clean up their mess.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:25AM
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What I suspected when the new leaves on my plants turned pale was chlorosis or ph problems or lack of calcium

Then I realized that what all of those "nutrient problems: reflect is Root Problems.

Either the nutrients are not available to the plant (roots can't uptake) Or the roots are not capable of uptaking the nutrients.

That could be a PH problem, Fertilizer or Root Rot. On closer examination, I discovered it was usually root or crown rot

Yellowing and stunting of new growth is Usually nutritional problems = Roots either rotting, not having nutrients available or a ph imbalance.

It can also be too much sun but that is paling of leaves and the leaves get very brittle, burned feel with browning edges

You did say the plants were getting rained on. It takes a while for damage to roots and crowns to show up sometimes. In some instances, plants would languish for a long time before finally giving up the ghost

I know this because I am a serial AV killer. If there is any way to kill an AV, I have done it sometimes more than once!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 2:51PM
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The plant was inside on the windowsill. When I said it got rained on, i meant whatever came in through the screen when it rained. It only happened a few times, not enough to rot it. I moved it because it was spotting the leaves.

The leaves arent yellowing, they are just a lighter green. This is little kunzite, the leaves are supposed to be light green. I have no reason to suspect it is unhealthy. I just want to know how to encourage the color it was previously, as well as determine what causes shorter vs longer flower stalks.

The plant's growth is certainly not 'stunted'. Just more compact.

A plant's appearance is determined by a lot of things, it is not as cut-and-dry as whether or not the plant is healthy. Having a preference for a specific growth pattern does not in any way imply that a plant is unhealthy. If I gave the impression that the plant was sick, I didn't mean to.

This is what it looked like at its peak. This was during the first flush of flowers. The growth pattern was relaxed. The leaf petioles and flower stems were longer. that I am looking at the leaves, the darker leaf color corresponds exactly to a reddish blush on the underside, which seems to have almost disappeared in these last couple months...

So the question becomes, what causes a reddish blush, or lack thereof, to manifest itself on the underside of an individual leaf?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 4:44PM
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A reddish blush is called "red reverse." It is natural and helps distinguish plants with similar leaf/bloom shapes and color, especially Optimara AV's that are often very similar in most respects..

A reddish blush on my most recent purchase is too much fertilizer applied by the commercial grower, again a "root problem."

I am not certain what the implications of too much fertilizer are or how the plant I have that was "red/orange blush) will do in the long term. I know that overfertilized plant with the "red/orange blush" was a beautiful specimen with many blossoms when I first got it but it is starting to look a bit sad after a few weeks. So who knows?

That is all I know so maybe someone who knows more will answer.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 7:35PM
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Here it is shortly after purchase. You can see three types of leaves. Some lack the red reverse entirely, some have red veining, and in the back there you can see a bit of a leaf with the red reverse.

There are, now, no leaves left that are entirely green. And none with red reverse. They are all consistently green with light pink/red veins.

Maybe it decided to stick with a happy medium? I dont know, some violets are weird. I saw one the other day with both pink and dark purple flowers...yes, just one plant. Looked like the dark purple was winning that battle.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:13PM
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Red Reverse is a genetic trait.

Plants tend to express it more when nitrogen is high

That still indicates a fertilizer/root/ph problem

Little Kunzite is light green leaves, doesn't say anything about red reverse. Could be over fertilized at the factory, so to speak.

This post was edited by lucky123 on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 0:06

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:52PM
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Oh, I see. So does that mean it looks more like it is supposed to now?

...or should I step up the fertilizer lol

Nah, joking. I couldnt do that. I already fertilize every time I water.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:54AM
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