It's still growing

wesley_butterflies(5b/6)October 7, 2009

An update from the one who thinks AV growing is a cross between rocket science and rose growing comes an update and odd little request.

My now one month old +/- 3.99 first time AV growing seems to be doing Hmmmmmmmm it has lost all it's flowering ( I guess they needed a break ) new leaves are seen growing in the middle, the month or so older leaves are bigger round and it kind of looks happy in it's pot.To date I remain clueless to the following ideas

Suckers : Can someone post a pick prior to removing suckers and again after so I can get an idea of what they may look like ? Top and side view preference plz.

Re-potting??? Comes down to a when to do more than how I kind of got the how down now from soil mix to pot size. When to re-pot is my question I guess a before and after pic would do best for this too. The repotting seems to be a preference idea from one person to the next kind of confusing to follow up on many different opinions on when to repot. I don't want to do it to soon. I don't want to wait to long ect ect ect a happy medium will be fine for me I do not intend to be a pro AV grower.

Watering: I will one day re-pot and preset a wicking technic all taught by postings here lots of cool ideas I have certainly found one I can handle ( old cotton socks geesh who would of thought huh lol) When to water no problem a handy dandy moisture meter has always been here I am happy to of found another use or it

Ferts: ekkk what the heck so many choices makes me think it's such delicate a plant but can grow freely in the wild I guess I will have to experiment I was aiming and hoping for organics and am trying to keep it local over Internet so a question on NPK numbers including ideal range numbers for Ammoniacal Nitrogen, Nitrate Nitrogen, Urea Nitrogen would be helpful to me in selecting an organic fert

Lighting: I got that down as new growth of new leaves indicate I am doing something right maybe not 100%, in good spirits I say something growing is better than nothing.

Leaf/pest problems: easy one My roses get K neem and the leaf / pest problem(s) happen to go by the same name(s) for AV I am always K-Neem ready here and know the starting signs for roses. AV fungus probs do differ but I got a very good read on AV leaf problems and it's kind of the same but different I am very attentive to early warning signs for roses but have not experienced any as of yet for the AV

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I don't like the idea of you using cotton socks for wicking because Cotton is a natural fiber and will rot in the pot...(good rhyme eh!). Use any acryllic or nylon for wicking such as Worstered weight acryllic yarn or nylon cord. You should repot every 9 moonths to 1 year for a stnadard and it should go into a pot whose diameter is 1/3 the size of the crown. For fertilizer I would use an AV special mix with a higher middle number which has no urea. The AV Special mix I use is 12-36-14. I use it at half the recommended rate and keep my plants wicked. You will eventually start to wick all your plants when you have over 75-100 hybrids. As for suckers.....I don't have a picture of a sucker but you can recognize them easily because they have 4 leaves that appear in the leaf axils.
Bloomstalks appear with two little leaves. If you email me I can send you three pages that I used to hand out to people when I went out to speak on AVS.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 7:50PM
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I found this blog on suckers - looks like lots of pictures to give an idea. 1st one I came to in a search and didn't read it all the way through yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sucker info

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 4:24AM
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HI again,
This is bit extreme but thought you might like to see what happens to a plant when it is neglected and then restored.
Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Operation Ness' Orange Pekoe

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 7:23PM
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You're right that there are many different opinions and ways of successfully growing beautiful African Violets. What works well for one grower may not work as well for another because of genetic differences in the plants (some hybrids like lower light levels for example) and different local growing conditions (water pH, humidity, available light, etc.). Plus I think violets are hardier than a lot of people give them credit for being and adapt well to different situations.

Optimally you should repot about every six months or so. Your plant won't suddenly up and die if you go a bit longer: I was given one that hadn't been repotted in the 4+ years since the man's wife died and the plant was still growing strong (but it had a longgggg neck). Don't go THAT long, LOL. People who are growing for a show often pot more often. Also repot on an as-needed basis, for example, if you've removed a lot of bottom leaves at one time that created the palm tree like neck that I mentioned earlier.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 1:47PM
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