Wilting Violets

bebe138(7)November 11, 2006

I recently noticed that several of my Violets seem to have been stricken down by some mysterious ailment. They seem to be wilting regardless of having water. I think it is related to having the windows in my house opened. I noticed the change in an otherwise healthy plant that sits next to a window by my treadmill. Within hours of my opening the window, it became wilted to the point of near death looking. Has anyone else noticed this behaviour? P.S. I live in Memphis and only open the windows when it is particularly pleasant outside, which isn't often.

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adgjoan(z6 ky)


Do the violets revive when you close the windows? Have they dried out completely then been given a big drink of water?

Joan inn KY

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 5:03AM
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minibot(z9bNorCA Sz16)

It could be too much water causing them root rot which will cause wilting. As we get into cooler months plants don't use as much water because there's less photosynthesis going on and less evaporation.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 3:15PM
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The only treatment seems to be to close the windows, and move them to an east or north facing window. I have only lost 1 to this ailment, but I was able to use a few leaves to propagate a new plant. I didn't think about root rot since violets like wet feet, but they don't get over watered. I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed this phenomenon.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 11:35PM
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First, African violets do not like wet feet. If your violets look better after moving them to another window then obviously you have corrected the problem. If your violets do not respond and are still limp even though they have moist soil I would still suspect root rot.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 12:04AM
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Give us an update, have your violets recovered?

Pleasant for you might not be for a violet, they don't like cool and a cool breeze even less. Also an outdoor breeze can dry the leaves quickly.

Too much water is worse than too little especially if they are growing in the peat that store violets have. It holds too much moisture and the roots drownd.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 11:53AM
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My healthy beautiful African Violet was due for its recommended repotting, so I carefully repotted it back into its bottom watering pot in a mixture of Miracle Grow African Violet soil and Perlite in a 50/50 mixture. For more than a month now, the leaves are severely wilted, and I've lost most of the leaves. Yet.. it keeps flowering! It even started a new shaft of flowers! I took your advice and took the plant out of the pot to inspect the roots in case it had root rot. The soil was nice and evenly moist without being soaked. The roots looked white and healthy to my untrained eyes. I repotted it again in a fresh mixture as described above, but it's still wilting badly. Any ideas you have will be much appreciated. Thanks

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 4:06PM
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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

Possibly you have Soil Mealy Bug. Take the pot off again and look at the pot. Do you see a white powdery substance?

Look at the rootball carefully. Do you see perlite. Now look again and see if you see anything else that is white, as in a small collection of powder.

Look directly at the roots and see if there is anything white on them, making sure it is not perlite.

If you see this, let us know.

Do a search on the computer of Soil Mealy bug. See if you have anything like this.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 12:24AM
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No... nothing that looks like that. In fact, I find the rootball to look healthy. Don't see any signs of rot, disease or insects. Just badly wilting leaves while the plant keeps on flowering. Very strange. Makes me fear doing a repotting in the future.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 10:11PM
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There are better potting mixes than Miracle Gro. I've been struggling for several years trying to find something consistent to keep mine in but I'm sure someone can give you a recommendation.

Still, unless it's been contaminated (possible the way they store things), it shouldn't kill plants. Something is wrong and I would try setting a couple of the healthiest leaves I could find. Aside from diseases, plants can wilt from waterlogged soil or soil that is not retaining enough water.

I hope you can save your plant. (There is something wrong when a plant keeps losing its leaves or they wilt.)

Diana in PA

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:12PM
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Below is a link to Doctor Optimara's website with possible causes of wilting. While over and underwatering are common causes, there are lots of others. You can look at the list of other symptoms, if any, that your plant is experiencing to try and narrow down the cause(s). ~ Donna

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Optimara: Leaves Wilt Symptoms

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 7:38PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

The leaves wilt from one and the same reason - absense of water. If the plant is not watered for long time - it is evident - the second reason - the roots do not absorbing the water - so the top is thirsty again. Most probably it is a root rot from waterlogging and cool temperatures - the lady I know switches to bottom watering every winter because her growing room is getting cold.

If the leaves are still wilted - I would put it under the plastic bag to increase humidity - and if it is variety I do not want to lose - I will put leaves down anyway.

The roots seem to be the most vulnerable part of the plant - you cool them - they rot, you have root mealies - they rot,you overwater them - they rot, you dried the plant - the root hair die - and then the plant can rot if you water it too much after the drought.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 3:44PM
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