HELP my african violet is slowly fading away

rainbowfishOctober 30, 2012

I've had my AV for around 2 years now and I find these plants to be extremely temperamental despite what people say. I'm a pretty avid gardener and so far have been able to handle any issues I've come across. But around a month ago I re-potted my plant in AV soil and added some AV fertilizer to the water. I believe I added the proper amount but my plant really hasn't bounced back and since has become droopy.

I let the soil dry out a bit to no avail.

I dampened the soil recently using filtered water and this hasn't helped. I'm also careful not to over-water. Right now the soil is damp.

I brought it into a warmer room and increased the light. So far (2 days in) this hasn't helped.

It hasn't been outside or around any other plants (other than my other AV's). So I don't suspect mites could be the issue.

I tried pruning away some of the droopy stems and the leaves continue to curl under. The stems are also continuing to worsen (become more saggy).

Can someone please tell me what might be going on? I'm at a complete loss and have had this plant for 2 + years. It has sentimental value and I want to help it in any way that I can. Your suggestions are much appreciated!

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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

The experts on this list will know better info than I do, but the pot looks too big to me. If it were my plant, I would try taking a leaf and put it in water to see what happens, it might perk up. And if it does I would try it in some soil in a solo cup and at least try to save the plant that way. Leaves curling under can sometimes mean too much light. I have had that happen and then moved them and they recovered from that.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 11:05AM
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What kind of AV soil did you put it in? Was it from a big box store and had plant food in it? If it was, it could be suffering from plant food overload. What kind of plant food did you use and what amount? I agree that it looks over potted. If it were me, I'd take it out of that pot, take off many of the outer droopy leaves, and re-start it in a very small cup, like a solo cup.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 11:31AM
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Thank you for your help!

Here is the soil I used:

Is it ok if I end up taking off some of the root? I'm afraid it wont fit into a solo cup because the root-ball is too big. The soil I've added hasn't hardly touched the root because the original ball is still in tact and the two haven't really conjoined.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 11:47AM
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1) Yes I agree with Perle_de_Or, that pot looks a little large. Did you re-pot into a larger pot.
2)The soil mix looks a little dense, I would add perlite to the soil mix (one half perlite and one half of your current soil mix). Dont add water if the soil your using is still damp, only add more water if the soil is really dry. Keep the soil mix Iyour soil + perlite) moist but not wet.
3)As suggested by maguiretrots, I would remove the outer set of droopy leaves and repot in a smaller pot with the new perlite added soil mix and then place the plant in a ziploc bag and see whether it perks up in the next 2-3 weeks.
4) If it looks good, then I would open up the ziploc bag and let it get used to the outside temp/atmosphere for another week and then remove the plant from the ziploc.

Hope this helps,

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 11:51AM
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This is a larger pot than the original it came in. I will down size today and see if that helps.

Can anyone tell me if it's necessary to mess with the root-ball as it is right now? I wonder if taking off some of the outer layer will help it expand. I dont think it's waterlogged at all but I'm wondering if this might promote root growth?

Once again, thank you all for your prompt assistance!! I appreciate it so much.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 11:56AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

R. -

as the previous advice stated - you used the waterlogged soil and too big of a pot. Your roots did catch rot - that's why your 2 plants in one pot are droopy.

If the roots are rotting - you need to get rod of the infection - and reroot the plants. I would just cut your 2 plantlets off the main stem at your current soil level, make sure that there is no black rot left on the stem - cut more if necessary - remove a row of lower leaves, stick plants in your new lighter soil and cover them with a baggie. They root in 2 weeks.
Look at the - long neck treatment - and there pics on how to proceed. You can put the removed leaves in a water and try to root them too.

Good Luck and do not get stressed - violets are tough - unless waterlogged.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Yup ... it's classically waterlogged droopy, though not the worst I've seen (or dealt with).

The pot is way too big ... and you need to make sure that whatever pot you pot a violet into ... has drainage holes.

If there is too much moisture in the soil, your violet cannot get much-needed air to the roots, ... and rot will start.

I agree that the plant(s) look salvageable. You've got to get them out of that pot, remove any damaged roots, and repot them into much smaller pots with drainage holes.

Keep the soil barely moist and wait for your rescued plants to root.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 1:35PM
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I've cut off part of the root "tree" to re-root in a smaller pot with no problem. I would also suggest adding extra perlite to your mix to keep it light.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 6:52PM
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gardencraze(9b Groveland FL.)

Wooo hooo!!! learning so much.
I have already killed 3 of what I bought so I'm realy paying attention.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:32PM
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