Limp violet leaves

xiachNovember 30, 2012

I've had my violet for about 1.5, 2 years. Recently I started noticing the outer leaves have gone limp/rotten (and I took them off). I haven't done much different...haven't repotted or anything...the soil is moist when I stick my finger in it...any advice would be great! Thanks!

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nyxx(z7 Virginia)

As the violets age they do lose leaves in this way. When you say you haven't repotted do you mean never or just recently? You do have to repot your plants at bare minimum, I would say, once a year. The soil gets used up, the pH level changes and the fertilizer salts build up. Generally you can repot into the same container. Just clean out all the old soil and wash and rinse the container thoroughly. If you plant has gained some neck you can plant it lower. If necessary trim the roots a bit.

Others here will think of some things I haven't and fill in the blanks.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 2:16PM
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When you took the leaves off were they or the stems a translucent brownish color and mushy? If they were, this can be a sign of over-watering. It's easy to do this time of year as the cooler temps mean less evaporation, and the plant isn't using as much water.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Yes I think they were translucent brownish and mushy...I have a self watering planter similar to so I thought it wouldn't be an overwatering issue...

What should I do? water less?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 4:26PM
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I have some of those and I've never been able to get them to work with my violets. They're always too deep and too big. The "self watering" mechanism might be a little over-zealous as well, so the plants that were in them went between being way too wet and way too dry. You might want to try a different kind of pot in the future. It just has to be shorter than it is tall and about 1/3 the diameter of the violet with a decent amount of perlite in your mix whether the pot is self watering or not. That will help with over-watering too if you're prone to it or if you use another self watering pot.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 5:45PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I use these pots at work - the secret is - load a bunch of coarse perlite in the bottom - use light soil with bunch of perlite - and do not add water until the soil feels dry.

The only problem - they are too big for violets - didn't see them of 4" in diameter - I think they start at 6".

You need to make good soil for your plant- you can use African Violet soil they sell in the store and add 1/3 of perlite to it. You need to use a pot 1/3 of the leaf size- and when you will be repotting yours - make sure that the roots are not rotten. If they are rotten - the root ball ready to fall off and roots are black. In this case - you need to cut the crown off and reroot. It is not hard. The main thing - cut the rotten part off, remove part of the leaves on the bottom, stick the plant into the humid soil - and cover it with a baggie. It will root in 2 weeks.

If there is no root rot - remove loose soil, if the root ball is too long, trim it from the bottom to fit in a new pot - and add fresh soil so the bare stem is covered.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:06PM
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So i bought some soil to repot the plant. when I took it out of the pot I noticed that the roots have fallen it still save-able? There're just some leaves and the stem where the roots are supposed to start

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:54PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Trim the part of the stem that is rotten - until you get to the healthy tissue - no black. Take some leaves off to leave only the smallest and the half size leaves. Wet your soil - so it will be just humid, not soggy. Stick your plant into this soil, cover the pot with a plastic baggie - and hopefully it will reroot.

Your soil should be light - add perlite to the store bought soil - and your pot - small - you can use solo cup or yogurt size container - just make a hole in the bottom.

You can stick the trimmed crown of the plant - stump part - in a water bottle - it will also develop roots. As soon as you see half inch roots - you can pot it up - look above - and cover with the baggie.

If the rot killed all stem - you can probably find a healthy enough leaf - again - trim the stem to 1 inch - and - put it for rooting - look above.

If everything is gone - sign it off as a learning experience - and get another one.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Thanks. I put some in soil in a homemade self watering container ( and put a ziplock over it...

I also cut off some leaves and put them in water ( I did jus trim the stems to get rid of the black part you see in the picture.

Hopefully it works

Here is a link that might be useful: violet

This post was edited by xiach on Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 0:56

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:53AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Everything is OK but - take a razor blade or sharp knife and trim a half inch off your leaf stalks. You have rot on them plus torn edges. Splash the water out, wash the jar before filling it with a fresh water.

Good Luck

Should Work


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:31AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Regarding crown rerooting. Take the pot off the reservoir and put it all in a plastic baggie or cover with a plastic dome - like an angel cake container top. You need to give it a greenhouse environment. Otherwise - your wick is too thick - and your soil is too peaty - it will become overly wet - I would love to see perlite in it. But at that point it is not that important - you did enough to save the plant - just keep it covered and do not water it - under the dome or in the baggie - it won't dry.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:39AM
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Thanks. I did trim off the stems of the leaves.

I'll do what you suggested for the crown. I've already put a ziplock bag over it

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 2:46PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Hope the ziplock is big enough. I was thinking the produce baggies you put your veggies in the supermarket. So you can put the whole pot in, probably 3 skewers in a soil to keep the baggie from sitting on the top of the plant - and just tie it on the top. Works magic. Just do not put it at the direct sunlight - it will get too hot inside.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 3:10PM
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