REACHING violets...

rubyfruit(7 - New York)October 23, 2007

All of my African Violets starting reaching (the leaves standing up a little). I really only noticed this in the past day or two. I had half in a west facing window (not ideal, I know) and half in a south facing window.

I have windows facing all directions available... which direction should my plants face? And... should I put them in east windows in the morning, south in the afternoon, and west in the evening? At least until they flatten?



RubyFruit in NY

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irina_co(z5 CO)

Ruby - do not overdo it - they are quite flexible.

It is fall, the days are getting shorter, may be a west window would be better for this part of the year. If they are reaching to the window, turn them a quarter of the circle every so often - may be every day or every several days.

We grow our violets so we can enjoy the nice grown plant - but mainly we want them to bloom more. If it is not enough light - they just do not bloom. May be you will consider buying a shoplight annd hanging it above your windowsill and turning it on for several hours to supplement light - at least for the winter months. It is really inexpensive - and you will get much more bloom.

Good luck


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 11:36AM
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Agreed!! When they start reaching like that it only means they need more light, but as Irina says dont overdo it. Winter months can be a pain for there will be days when there just isnt enough light. I have a separate room that I use a shop light and the violets do well in there. I have two 40watt floresent bulbs in the shop light. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 12:08PM
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rubyfruit(7 - New York)

Irina & Steve - thanks for your advice!

I won't stress the reaching too much! I put them back in the south window. I'm new to this so I'm a little bit stressing about not killing them... AND having them look perfect! Ack!
But, yes, I do want lots of blooms, all the time!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 1:46PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Ruby -

just by keeping them in too low light or too high light you won't kill them. You can observe what is happening and adjust.
There is no way to have them look perfect without try-n-error-n-correct thing.

You can look at the literature - and it will say - you need 600-800 foot candles light intensity above your plants - means shoplight for 12 hours, you need 50% humidity, you need 70F temperature, you should have a fertilizer 20:20:20 with no urea and apply it with every watering, better on the wick to have a constant supply, you need to leach every pot once a month and repot once every 6 months - and so on and so forth.

There is more than one thing you need to have to grow excellent ones, just soil alone is not going to fix it. That's what - and a lot more - our best growers and prize winners do - Fred and Nancy have more top ribbons than they have walls to hang them I bet.

You can grow good ones and enjoy their flowers with somewhat less dedication. But - if you want to go for perfect ones - more power. Then you sure need to find a club in your area and join it. You will have lots of fun and good advice and you will be participating in Shows and getting your own ribbons.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 7:13PM
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rubyfruit(7 - New York)

Well, I'm still new and trying to figure out a good regime for my plants!
Light - I"m doing the best I can with what I have. I don't overwater.
I just need to figure out if I need to change my soil or my pots!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 9:05PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

If you are careful with not overwatering them - in 6 months to a year you will need to repot in any case - because the soil gets tired and the plant develops "neck" - so you can do it then.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 10:00PM
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