Am I supposed to disbud this little guy?

violetta1976(8 Portland OR)August 20, 2008

I don't know what the rule of thumb is for first blooms on babies, since before I started getting advice from you fine folks all my babies used to die on me!

So I'm a proud momma for the first time here. Tell me, am I always supposed to disbud the first few buds I see? Or does one only disbud if the baby is still a tiny little plug? Is the idea that a baby needs to put its energy into forming strong foliage and roots, so shouldn't be allowed to bloom?

Here is the baby in question. Is it big and strong enough to let bloom? (It's LLG Dazzling Fantasyland in a 2" pot, in case anyone is curious.)

I also have a bud forming on one of the little plugs that's still in a tiny plastic solo cup. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to disbud that one (but please correct me if I'm wrong), it's just the bigger guy in the picture that I'm not sure about.

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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi violetta,

That's a good question. I'm going to bet that some of the purests are going to say yes to disbudding. I'm not a purest though. I always want to see the first flower of my new baby as quickly as possible. So you need to make the decision on whether you can wait or want to see the fruits of your efforts. It's not going to hurt the violet either way.

Larry

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:25PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi violetta,

Also, losing a plant has to do with environment, soil and/or watering habits. Leaving a bud ton on a small violet is not going to kill a plant. The reason for disbudding is to have the violet put more energy into leaf production and thereby when the plant starts putting on buds later on it will be more robust and have many more flowers.

Larry

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:31PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hello again,

I have been growing African violets for almost 30 years and I've never lost a young violet because of not disbudding. In fact I've never disbudding of a young violet. I can't stand the thought of not seeing a flower as soon as possible. lol if

Larry

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:34PM
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m3rma1d(inside)

If the plant in the picture is budding, just let 'er rip & then post some pics here when it's all flowery. :-)

The tiny plug, I think most people will suggest to disbud. I'm not most people, though--I can't disbud anything.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:34PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Larry, you are too funny!

No, I'm definitely not worried about the disbudding decision killing the plant - I should have been more clear on that.

If choosing not to disbud won't effect future blooms much, then I think I'll follow your lead and enjoy the flowers - both on the big boy and on the little plug. Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:42PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Thanks m3rma1d! I will definitely be posting pictures. I'm so excited!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:44PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Violetta,

Lol, Sorry I misunderstood the question. As m3 said, let'er rip!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 3:29PM
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fred_hill(6)

Hi Violetta,
It all depends on what you want the plant to do. I would let it bloom to check to see that it is blooming properly.
Secondly, I would repot the plant into a 3 inch pot and if you intend to grow it to show, I would keep disbudding it until about 8 weeks before show time. If you don't intend to show it, let it bloom away but repot it.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 7:19PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Thanks Fred! Nope, no plans to show it, but I'm shocked that it needs to be repotted! It needs a 3" pot already? How does one know when a baby is ready for a 3" pot? I have 4 other babies that are around the same size.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:10PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi Fred,

I don't understand either. That plant couldn't be 9 inches across.

Larry

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:41PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I am with Fred - I would let it open at least 1 bud to see what it is. Then disbud it and put it in a next size pot. May be not 3", but smaller - either large solo cup or 2,5" pot without disturbing a rootball too much. Babies like to be repotted. The clue for me would be if you see the roots sticking out from the holes in the bottom.

It seems to me you have a well grown starter that will give you a full head of bloom on the next flash.

I.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 4:33PM
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