Reviving my violet...

MegD13October 27, 2013

I have an african violet that was given to me as a gift about a year and a half ago. It did really well in the apartment I lived in at the time - it had a great source of indirect light. Then I moved. In the last year, it has slowly but steadily declined. It is now less than half its original size, and the remaining leaves are badly curled. I've tried moving it to different locations in the house, to no avail. I've tried watering it with filtered water instead of tap water (always from the bottom), and I've tried occasionally using plant food (haven't been able to find any that is specifically for african violets, so have been using the all purpose kind). Searching this forum, I've found a couple of ideas for how to help revive it, including putting it in a plastic bag and repotting it in a smaller pot. However, I'm wondering why it has done so poorly, and what I can do to keep it healthy in the future. I love this plant, as it was a gift from my coworkers when my mom died. It was one of three plants they gave me; the other two also thrived in my old apartment, but both of them have died since moving to this place. Thanks so much for any advice!!

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bragu_DSM 5

Welcome to the forum!

You will find more information here than you know what to do with.

18 months, it should have been repotted with new soil at least twice. A smaller pot and a week or two in an ICU bag may perk it up.

Look for healthy roots when you repot. And be sure you add some perlite to your soil, it gives the roots room to breathe.

Others can post as to the whys and wherefores.

Make sure your plant food does not have urea.

Sometimes plants just need to be moved around the house, or given to a friend and get another. (yes I realize it has special meaning) Have you put any leaves down?

Has it bloomed since you moved?

What kind of light is it getting.

Remember we are heading into winter and growth will be slow tip spring unless you have a plant stand.

Are you able to post a pix?

and again... welcome to the forum!

Don't feel overwhelmed, we have people here who can assuage your trepidations!



    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Welcome, welcome, welcome!!!

When I was in Hort. school, I had a teacher who used analogies to get ideas across. Here is one that I have used often since then as it readily illustrates a point. When people are older, they do not adapt to change as readily as younger people do. The same is true for plants. You have a violet that got very comfy and cozy in your former home. It got used to the conditions in which it was growing and happily settled in. Then you pulled the rug out from under it by moving. It, and the other two, are older and cannot adapt readily to the new place. In addition, as Dave says, it needs a little looking after. Fresh, proper soil will do wonders as will bagging. Your best bet, however, is to take a few leaves and root them. You will get a young plant that will grow under your new conditions and be much happier. I understand your plant has sentimental value, but the new plant will really just be an extension of your old one. Plus, if the old one dies, you will still have the new one.

Good luck and let us know if you need anything else.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 2:39AM
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Thanks for the advice! It's in a new pot with new soil, and in a plastic bag. Will soon try propagating from a leaf... :)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Make sure your pot is not too big. It should be 1/3 the size of your violet.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 3:44AM
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Well, after about a week in the bag, it now has big, fluffy mold. All the leaves are turning brown - it didn't have many to begin with (it was down to about 3" diameter), and now I'm afraid it's gone. Is there anything that can be done at this point?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 9:58PM
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It sounds as though it is too wet. Can you post a picture?


    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 11:29PM
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I can't post a pic as my camera is broken... I'm sure it was originally a dampness issue. I pulled off the consumed leaves, and some fuzz in the soil. Should I replace the soil entirely (to get rid of residual mold spores), or would that just be more of a shock to the plant? Should I let it dry a bit, then put it in a new bag? :(

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 11:47PM
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