Stem rotting?

SaffireYinAugust 26, 2012

Hi, I am new to gardening and have decided to start out with an african violet to learn. About 2 days after I bought one from the store, I attempted to repot and do "surgery" on it to separate suckers and extra crowns. After only one day after the repotting, one of the leaves' stem on the mother plant looks like it's rotting, but it doesn't look like it's connected to the crown so I don't think it's crown rot? While taking pictures, I also found a little flea-like black bug crawling on one of the baby leaves, so I'm not sure if this is a pest problem? While taking out the old soil as much as I could off the plant before repotting, I also found a tiny black centipede-like bug too. I'm not sure if I caught it before it hid in the soil though.

I have replaced the plants in half Miracle-gro AV mix and half perlite when I repotted. I have left the plants in the Florida sunroom which gets a lot of west sun, but we have thick and sheer curtains. The rest of the plant looks healthy, although the leaves are raised upwards a bit.

What do you think is wrong, and what should I do? What is the cause? A lot of my questions were answered by this forum, but I couldn't find an answer to a rotting stem/petiole. Also, what should I do with plants that has bugs in them?

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Here is another picture for reference.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 6:16PM
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The pot is too big it needs to be repotted in something about a quarter that size. Remove the plant and scrape the neck all round with a sharp knife as that is where the new roots will start from.
When that is done repot much lower so the scraped neck is covered by the mix. If you use your new mix dont be frightened to with-hold the water for a while. A ziplock bag will help when all that is done.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 6:49PM
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I know this is late, but thank you for replying! I've been busy, but did manage to repot with your instructions by Sept 1. This time, I'm using half perlite and half AV mix from Bluebird Greenhouse. I returned my old potting soil and perlite because they both had fertilizer in them, and I heard a lot of shifty things about Miracle-Gro.

Anyway, regarding the original plant in question, after almost 3 weeks, it didn't look so good (the rotting stopped though). I left one baby leaf (the bigger one of the two in the picture) and it started looking like it was cracking, and getting more hairy. All of the stems started looking extra gray too. There was also a bad smell coming from it. My other propagated leaves smelled fine though. I'm not sure if it was because I started using condensate water from my AC/dehumidifier, or something else. I've kept them in a dome since Sept 1. It seems to be less humid than putting them in ziploc bags though.

I have another issue now, but will post a new thread about it, since it's something different.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 7:16PM
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