Midnight Sun

fortyseven_gwAugust 2, 2014

Small standard, symmetrical, with shiny, wavy leaves. Grown from a leaf. First blooming. Hybridizer is Lyndon Lyon company.

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Here is another photo. The flower is sparkly. It was raised under a ventilated dome, which protected it and kept it dust free and shiny. Very compact standard.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 8:39PM
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Well, we will just have to wait for my furry, ruffled, dark red reverse space hog to bloom, if not in this lifetime, then in the next :)

This post was edited by lucky123 on Sat, Aug 2, 14 at 20:53

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 8:47PM
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i don't know if that is the case with your plant, but i have noticed that when i grow plants under domes (many dif plants, not just violets), they grow consistently slower and smaller. and when they are finally released from enclosure, they resume normal rate of growth.
i am very curious if yours will in fact start growing faster and become normal standard in time?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:30PM
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Interesting observation. Actually, no, when I use domes, the plants seem to do much better and grow faster.

The plant will get a little bigger, and probably develop a second row of leaves, but it won't get much bigger.
I have had this plant for many years, these are babies from it. I like compact standards, I feel I get more bloom effect and less foliage, since most of the time, not everything is in bloom, so I am looking at a sea of green leaves.

I think the light on the north side of the house is better than I realized because constant indirect. Also, the dome, is like a mini greenhouse. It allowed the plant to develop quite well before blooming. The first blooms were larger than I expected. With time, they will get more double with future bloom cycles.

I removed one of these babies from the dome
that grew really fast several months ago. I put it near a window on the south east side of the house where there is very bright morning light,
I usually have a curtain pulled for the hot afternoon light. That plant got very sad looking. The leaves lost their shine and the new growth in the center is teeny tiny. So I moved it in isolation back to the first side of the house but a different room. Until I have time to read on the Forum the cause of teeny centers. That was a topic a few months ago.

I would post a photo, but it is so sad looking, I will just hope for the best.

I am thinking of getting shovels with lights. I looked at a second hand large Flora Cart, but
I don't know where I would put it. Or if I want to expand that much. Joanne

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:08AM
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what dome does is provide higher humidity and more consistent moisture levels in the soil. that is very important for young plants.
once i take mine out of the dome and put them on wicks they really take off. but i have 65-75% humidity year round, so that prolly is a factor too.
i grow mine on western window with high light and they grow very fast - but i wick with constant liquid feed. i think with high natural light with some sun the plants dry out faster and manual watering becomes much more tricky. when the plant is drying up too much repeatedly it slows down growth.
i suggest putting some in part sun on wicks to see if it'll change anything for you.
i have some in NE window and they have better form, evenly round on all sides, but they bloom less profusely and grow less, although still dense and well.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:46AM
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You can tell when plants are grown in places with higher humidity. The foliage looks better. Aside from moving, there's not much we can do about that. I don't think all our bags, pebble trays, mistings, are ever going to replicate the climate in Florida or Louisiana (just a couple of examples).

petrushka is right about the domes. They create a mini greenhouse but generally we don't want to grow things domed forever. I remember on one of the All About AV podcasts, she got an episcia (she lives in Chicago). I have a tiny bit of experience with episcias.) She got one of the fancy pink-leaved ones and it looked like the devil. I knew they were more difficult. She'd already mentioned that she kept it cool in her house house. They like heat. It kept looking awful. Finally she domed it (it needed that right away). It didn't help. It disappeared :). Now in Florida I don't think there'd be a problem with that episcia. I could possibly grow the fancier ones domed but don't care that much. I've grown the ones with darker leaves.

Wicks are certainly worth a try.


It's not your fault with the Midnight Sun. I found it listed on a vendor site that way and I've seen Lyon's list varieties twice. Once as Lyon's XXXX and once as XXXX. I know because I ended up ordering it twice and paying double. They seem to have corrected those now. I caught the one but not the other. Still the correct name seems to be Lyon's Midnight Sun.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:46AM
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may be i am chewing too much ;), but here's another thought.
with sun exposure so/west the humidity level drops somewhat on sunny days, compared with N/NE.
so your domed young plants would be best transitioned thru NE, and then may be to so/W behind sheers + wicks.
keeping plants on wicks will raise the general humidity level, especially if you have a lot of plants.
however, with wicks you'll need to watch low-temps. IF your air temp drops lower then 62-65F at any time the soil might remain too wet too long. the answer to that is underpotting: do not pot up in the fall, allow larger plants to grow in smaller pots and keep small plants domed and no wicks: doming raises temp and humidity inside allowing you to water less and protecting plants from sudden temp drops.

about general humidity.
actually i am in NJ across from NYC, in an apt - so central heat in winter with supplemental electric (very dry air) near 'glass walls': i have whole walls in rooms as glass, but run electric sparingly only to maintain 60s by the windows. i maintain 65% min humidity even then due to the fact that i grow a lot of my plants on wicks and evaporation from soil/leaves contributes to humidity.
yah, i know...not many people want to grow 50-70 plants indoors just to maintain humidity :)...very large plants too, not just violets. i have about 20-25 violets going at a time with minimal care and i consider myself a rather casual grower.
i have 0 pebble trays and no humidifiers where plants are.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:09AM
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When I lived in NJ (northern), it seemed more humid than western PA. The azaleas would bloom there and not be hardy here. It had a little better climate.

No, not Louisiana or Florida :)

There are different types of wicking and you can let the reservoirs go dry occasionally if you fear the soil is going to stay too wet in a cold period.

You are right about the exposures making quite a difference.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:52AM
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Hi Petrushka
I got my start with violets in an apt much like yours. It was perfect. But then I moved into a house in a more humid suburb in NJ and a very dark house.
It rained nearly daily . I wicked everything and used double self watering pots. There was not enough light and everything died . In those days, I did not know about flora carts. You are near Lyndon Lyon and a lot of great NJ clubs. Hope you get to go to some of the shows and greenhouses.
I live in Calif now , very dry and sunny . J

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:13PM
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oh, that's too funny...er-r not so funny about wicks ...
guess, you'll be not that interested in them now, with bad experience?
but in cali i think they'll be quite useful, since it's so dry.
i have to note that past summer and this too (for now at least) there's often lower humidity outside (40-50%) then i have inside due to my 'indoor jungle'.
i am waiting to put my ming aralias out and just can't, they go crisp in 50% RH.
m-m... clubs and drives...i am actually still a no-drive new-yorker, even though i am nominally in jc/nj now.
DH drives, but to ask him to drive me to an AV club meet would be a stretch ;).
apopka, fl would be a more reachable AV destination, however. but no-buying, obviously (i did manage to fly 4 h-m-m ..'exotic' plants from fl last year in suit-cases ;).

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:43PM
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I used to grow Ming Aralia (I think they may actually be false aralia). The place that it was actually the happiest was when we lived in a trailer. I don't know what it liked about it but it loved it. Maybe it liked being cold and drafty. I haven't seen one in a long time.

We've had the heat on a couple of times this summer after sweltering for quite awhile. Great place to ...move away from.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:39PM
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i am also thinking along the lines ... of where to move to. even though it's not so bad here, all things considered.
aralias like to be very warm and very humid. fl will do and i like fl, but hot and humid will be quite bad for AVs! i have some conflicts to resolve, obviously.
i think cali would be quite bad for aralias, but very good for begonias and broms and orchids....
but what about ME? LOL!
here are my 3' ming, 4' fern-leaf and 2' parsley to remind you.
with obligatory av's ... they seem to crawl into frame somehow or the other...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:56PM
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AV's do well in California, not far but not near the foggy coast.. I bought AVs, beautiful specimens from nurseries, put them in a bright spot back a bit from a window, water/fertilize. The AV's would grow and bloom like native plants.
I thought AV's were easy to grow or I was a super good houseplant grower or both.
I moved to AZ and found out both of the previously mentioned assumptions were wrong. AV's are not easy to grow and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. The California climate was all to blame :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 6:26PM
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That is a beautiful Ming Aralia. However it doesn't explain why mine was so happy in that tin can of a trailer :). I don't remember what happened to it after we moved to the house. My husband did have a habit of dragging my plants outdoors because his mother had done it.

I had a ficus that was big enough to put mini lights on and the sheep ate it.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:07PM
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I've cautiously started putting some plants on wicks, after losing a bunch of domed (and not) plants to stem rot this spring.
It would appear I cannot dome my plants, because I water too often. I lightened up the mix, did away with domes and baggies, and everyone is happier now.
Only one plant insists on remaining under a dome (upturned wine goblet) - Von's small gift. Whenever I try and acclimate her to room conditions, she goes floppy. Put the dome back on, and she's back to happy.
I am hazarding a guess that little lizzy and frosted fantasy might enjoy being domed too - they don't exactly sulk, but they aren't thriving either. (Too big for the wine glasses though) So I am currently looking for a fish tank / terrarium to house my minis...


Ps, never heard of aralias before. They are pretty, but I. Am. Not. Getting. One. (If I repeat it often enough, I might believe it)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:07PM
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Hi Petrushka,
I lived in North Bergen then montclair and commuted to. NYc
I M wicking now . If you can live anywhere, I recommend Northern California Bay Area . Joanne

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:18PM
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