AV problem...can you help me?

scurbanfarmer(7b-8a)August 24, 2010

I'm not sure what's happening to my babies.

I'm still kind of new to AV's....so I don't know what i'm doing wrong.

Can you tell me from the picture if my plant is going to die? What happened?

Can I take leaf cuttings to atleast propagate from? Or should I dicard the plant as a whole?

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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

Looks like a classic case of cyclamen mite. This means the plant should be put into the garbage, not recycling. The plant will never get better without using two expensive chemicals. It would be much cheaper to buy another plant.

You probably bought this plant with mite already in residence. Very sorry to say, but the best advice I can give is to throw away the plant and buy a new one--maybe not at the same store.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 10:48AM
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Oh, that totally stinks!!
Is there any tell tale signs I can look for to ensure I don't buy anymore plants like this?
None of them looked like this when I bought them.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:00AM
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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

Just check the center. If it is slightly off color, if leaves seem very hairy, if stems or flowers are twisted, they may be symptoms of mite.

Another thing you might look for is soil mealy bug. Take the pot from the plant and look for white power residue in the pot or on the soil. If you see that, don't buy any plants of any kind from that store.

Most stores are fairly good about offering healthy plants. You might have better luck buying from an African violet club where they know more about the bugs and how to spot them.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:23AM
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If you bought it at a chain store, I'd avoid that one. Some folks will say avoid them all, but you can't be sure about almost any place (it's just much less likely from a reputable grower).

You probably can't spot it ahead of time, unless you see other plants with damage (I did at a Wal-Mart one time); however, you can guard against infecting other plants by isolating any new plants or plant material (leaves) for a certain time period. Some people advise quite a long time.

It may be safer (although not foolproof) to take leaves from such plants rather than keep the original soil, etc. It makes isolation easier too.

I'm sorry about that. You know though, the only place I ever saw cyclamen mite like that was at the one Wal-Mart. This was a few years back, but I bought at other ones and they were fine (they've changed but each had its own plant buyer). That said, even I would say it's safest to avoid such stores.

Do as I say, not as I've done :) I live in such a rural area that it was tough to say no if I see an interesting plant in winter.

Diana in PA

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:34AM
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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

If you take a leaf cutting of this plant that is infected, the babies will likely be infected as well. That's why I say it is better to just trash it and buy another.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 6:26PM
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I had to throw out half of my collection after inspecting the plants.
I bought from Lowe's. The lady who works there calls me when they mark plants down, and there were about 10 plants she had marked down...so I bought all of them.

I guess I will try and find an online source now.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 8:55PM
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Just in case my advice needed clarification, I was referring to "how can I ensure I don't buy any more plants like this?"

When I suggested taking a leaf for easier isoation, I meant from a plant that appeared healthy at the time, not one like that! You get those out of there, in the trash and out of the house ASAP.

I've been lucky with the local Lowe's but, considering how many kinds of plants they have, it's not surprising. I recently picked up two sale Optimaras and they have been repotted (now 3) and are in isolation in the bathroom. So far, so good.

Diana in PA

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 10:38AM
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I'm so sad now....I guess I have no options but to try and find some online.

I haven't had the best luck trying to get the leaves to root....so maybe I should just find another plant to like or something.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 11:20AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Nancy - you are an expert - what do you think - if we can take a healthy looking leaf, submerge into a strong rubbing alcohol solution, keep it there for couple minutes - and the put it for babies - would you think the mites or their eggs survive?

Scu -

do not be sad, treat it as a valuable lesson. Only bring healthy strong great blooming plants to your house. Clearance - is not something to jump on if we are talking about living things.
The fact that you ordering something from Internet - doesn't protect you from all kind of "passengers". It is a constant battle.
If you start with Lowes plants - but the ones that got delivered yesterday - you probably would be happy. The longer they stay in the nursery department of the store - the more chances they accumulate the bugs.

In your case - very possibly the plants were healthy - but they were sitting for a month near cyclamens, went from getting very dry to waterlogged many times, their resistance is down to nothing, the cyclamen mites moved in and took over. Next logical step would be Dumpster - but the store put the Clearance sign on it - and you got suckered.

been there done that too.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 2:34PM
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Irinia is right. It may not seem lucky but this happened at a much better time than if you had a lot of plants and had to worry about them being infected by the mites.

I forget that some people have problems propagating from leaves. It is more expensive, but your mind will rest easier if you order a few plants from a very reliable source - some are inspected. Lyndon Lyon comes to mind and I think Cape Cod Violetry should be all right (I just haven't gotten plants there). They only sell on eBay though but have been in business for many years.

I'm sure others can recommend some particularly reliable sources.

Diana in PA

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 7:39PM
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