Optimara Everfloris

Begonia2005(7)October 7, 2012

I saw one of the optimara space violets at pikes. The promise of constant, heavy bloom and easy to grow was so tempting ...but I ended up not getting one because I did not like the bloom color. A pale, dusty purple surrounded by ruffled white edges...I don't know...they looked like they were past their time even when they weren't. I remember the plant did not cost more than 10 dollars.

Well...then I saw other space AVs online, including Ever Glory. This one looks so much nicer and brighter, but then again - this is on the computer. I am so tempted to order one, but the ones optimara sells online through Selective Gardener are so pricey! 24 $ for a plant!. Besides, I don't even know whether the bright pink I see on the computer wold not be a pale, washed out color In reality, just like the one I saw in person at pikes.

Also, I don't understand why pikes could sell them for so much less than what you have to pay online for them.

Does anyone have extra info about the Everfloris line ?

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Lots of people like the Everfloris Line.

I've never grown them.

Sometimes you find them on e-bay.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 8:40PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

They are not worth $24. They are good violets, but they do bloom about the same as the rest of them. Means- in perfect conditions - 10 months out of the year, poor conditions - once in 2 years. They are large, curly leaved and grow symmetrically if given space.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 12:58PM
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I have grown a number of the space violets; I like them because of the ruffled foliage & mostly handsome blooms. I agree with Irina they are not worth more money than any other violet. As mentioned, they sometimes appear on Ebay. Around my area of central Indiana, Lowes (big box hardware/home center) carries Optimara violets often including the everfloris for reasonable prices. There are no name tags but you can usually pick out a space violet by its leaves alone. Watch out for thrips. . . they seem to accompany any violet found in these big box stores.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 2:11PM
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They are definitely large and very frilly violets. I have 2 and both bloom for about 10 months per year as mentioned above. They are very easy growing violets with little propensity to develop suckers in my experience. As far as aesthetics, that's 100% up to you, but I don't find any of the EverFloris line to be extremely vibrantly colored. They seem to all be somewhat dusty looking. I have found them at Lowe's from time to time for no more than any of their other large violets. They were in 6" pots so were more expensive than the usual 4" ones, but were the same price as all of the other non-EverFloris 6" violets.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 7:25PM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

My EverPraise is quite brilliant. My photo of it on the gallery does not do it justice. And it also doesn't show the pale green crinkled edging that is particularly prominent on the top two smaller petals.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:00PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

They are definitely not worth $24. Do not be in a hurry - sooner or later you will get hold of one and grow it to try. Lowes gets them every so often. They are a bit different - but not to throw away the rest. I grew several, even got the best AV on our local show with the pink one - EverYoung I think. Evergrace - the one with pale bleachy colored bloom - is actually incredibly floriferous - and holds the flowers forever because it has a green edge. Was not my preferred color.
Selective Gardener actually sells "plugs" for $8, so if you just dying to have one - indulge - and get it out of your system. Just do not buy them all. They are pretty similar in appearance.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 1:17PM
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I was just looking at these as well, and was about to ask about them. On selectivegardener.com they sell leaves you can root yourself. You get two leaves for $8, which is of course about double the price of regular AV leaves, but not a terrible investment if you just want to try them out, I think.

So I want to try one at some point. But I have a question, which may seem really stupid, but I have to ask:

Are the space violets just as non-toxic as regular AVs? I know they probably are, and like I said, the question is probably stupid, but I have three elderly cats who occasionally like to nibble houseplants, and I am very obsessive about making sure I have nothing remotely poisonous around.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:54PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Brighid -

do not call your questions stupid. EVER.
Some guys never read manuals while trying to operate expensive equipment - and this is stupid.

The only way to make your AV or any other plant from the gesneriad family poisonous - is to apply pesticide to it.
So as long as your collection is not sprayed - you annd your cats can eat them all.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:01PM
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Thanks Irina, for your advice. I think I will eat them all! Just kidding! I heard they taste terrible.

I was about to order a couple of the space violets from selectivegardner because they have plugs on sale, but then decided to just wait until spring since the summer shipping rate will make my order much cheaper, even without the plug sale.

Anyway, Begonia, good luck to you with the space violets. Let us know what you think of them if you get one. I think they look beautiful in pictures that I've seen. Plus it would be kind of fun to say you have a mutant space violet, even if it isn't actually all that different.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:01AM
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I think you who want them should just ask other members to send you leaves for postage. That's your cheapest route. I had one once, an $8 plug. It turned pale from too much light and never recovered. If you get some go easy on the lighting until you see how much they can handle. Some varieties can take more light than others. Mine was not one of those.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:55PM
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I just picked up three 6-inch Optimara AVs at Lowes at $2 each...plants were tired and need TLC but were full leafed and not bad looking. Probably sold at this price because they were out of bloom and a new shipment came in to take their place...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:13AM
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I to have invested in the space violets and to be honest with the cost and shipping it's no different from a regular violet I could not tell the difference in them. Other than the cost. I truly think there over rated and over priced.
Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 4:56AM
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I browsed the Optimara space violets, but for that price, you would think they would be prize-winning show plants with extravagant vibrant blooms. They really didn't look all that spectacular to me, which begs the question: What exactly are they charging for? Hardiness? But if they are light-sensitive, as aviolet6 warns, then there's a good possibility that an amateur would not be able to grow them successfully.

Why would Optimara charge so much for such an ordinary little violet?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 8:09AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I think because they spent a lot of money sending seeds to be on a space satellite for 5 years.

And they are not little - they grow BIG, they bloom well. I am sure you can get a leaf from ebay or from the seller for $2.

SelectiveGardener sells finished plants for the collectors - but since Space Violets were around for some time - a lot of people grow them so you do not need to get the BIG plant. You can start your own.

Here is a link that might be useful: aha!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 1:14PM
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They send their seeds to space? Seriously? Just for the sake of selling over-priced plants? Forgive me, but that is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Unless it helps the plant in some remarkable way, I see no point.

As for the size, that sounds incredible, but I want the teeny tiny AV's more, since my "space" is limited (pun intended). The smaller the plant, the more I seem to want it!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Optimara did not send their seeds to space so they could sell over-priced plants. This was part of a NASA project to see if and how weightlessness affected seeds-germination, mutation and such. As it turned out, it did affect the seeds and the "Space" violets are the result. So, that was the point.

If I remember correctly, the seeds were in the space station for about two years.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 10:40PM
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But how did it affect the seeds? How would you know the difference if you got a plant that was sent off to space versus one that wasn't? I still don't think they are worth the money, but I suppose I get it now. It still sounds like a marketing ploy.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 7:14AM
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bragu_DSM 5

How would lack of gravity affect you? The plants stayed up there far longer than a human could have. Not only is there a lack of gravity, there is not atmosphere to protect you from the powerful rays of the sun, hence mutation opportunities. They tested a bunch of stuff up there. The violets tend to bloom longer. I think it's pretty cool. Think of them as bionic violets. Bigger, stronger, faster .... the million dollar man. Oh, that was Television.

ÃÂ .ÃÂ --~


    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:14AM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

As Linda said, they did it to see what mutations they would get, and if I am not mistaken they wound up staying in space for 6 years. I have three of them, I have had EverPraise for years. I really like it, its a strong plant and the ruffled foliage is beautiful. It has bloomed differently from time to time. In cooler weather the color is brilliant and the green crinkled edge is really pretty. They propagate very easily, and the blooms stay a long time. I also have EverGlory and EverGrace, both still babies though. I agree about the overpricing and would never have ordered one at those prices. I was given my original plant by a friend.
Here is a picture of a small EverPraise that recently bloomed with a stripe. I am waiting to see if it will go back to solid after it blooms again. the green edge doesn't show well in this photo.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:35AM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

Weren't only the seeds sent up? Who would have cared for plants? Mine can go about 10 days without me. And they don't like cold temps.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Yes, just the seeds along with many other seeds for experiments. And, I think it was six years as Perle says. I read an article about it but it was a long time ago.


Optimara may be using this as a marketing ploy to raise the prices for their "Space" violets, but the experiment was a NASA based one, not an Optimara idea.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:09PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

They are different - and worth growing for some time to get a feel of it. But not to the extent to pay that price. Get the leaves, try a couple you like - and pass them on to another grower. That was my experience.

Somebody likes the miniatures, some - wagon wheel size violets - but the more different varieties you grow - the better you become. You do not need to keep everything - otherwise very soon they will eat you out of house and home - but it is always fun to try something new.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Hi Begonia
Thank you for posting the question.
I have found the space violets to be satisfactory in every way--the bloom count is amazing. Along with the Everfloris, seeds from other Optimara varieties were also sent into space, such as the Rhapsodies and some of the States series. I have a few that are in constant bloom, with a full bouquet of blooms that is much larger than any other AVs. Several of my AV friends, who are not collectors, they just enjoy having a few AVS, raise these for the heavy blooming. They are very easy to grow. They rest just a short time in between bloom cycles. I have also had success in raising Optimaras from leaves that I got from Selective Gardener. They are very sturdy, with thick petioles and they grow rapidly from leaves. Having a few of these in full bloom to brighten up the collection is a joy.
Joanne 47

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sat, Jan 4, 14 at 1:57

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 5:16PM
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