Those irresistable grocery store NOIDs

AnneCecilia z5 MINovember 14, 2010

I find it so very hard to resist them. There they are in the front of the store, so bright, so cheerfully blooming. I always have to look and see if there is one that is unlike anything else I have. At this rate, I'll never have a collection of named varieties; I have too many NOIDS and no more room! Still, how could I refuse this pretty face with a $2 price tag? Guess since I don't ever intend to show it doesn't matter. I just like the *knowing* (of the name) but this one I'll never have a clue because it had no tag, no marking, not even the nursery name.

I need to take it downstairs and re-pot it, then move it upstairs into quarantine. Sweet, isn't it?

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Very pretty..... can't believe it was only $2


    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 9:07PM
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It is pretty! I have been growing African Violets for several years and I am finally realizing the violets I get from local stores grow much better for me. Sometimes it does seem to be a little harder to convince them to bloom, but the plants just grow better. I don't know why that is. Anymore, if I like them, I buy them, and like you, I often end up with two or three new plants after repotting :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 9:47PM
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It is pretty. I got some a couple of nice ones at the grocery store in the period where I wasn't really growing them.

Although I suppose there's already one called that, you could just call them Irrestible (Irrestible1, Irrestible2, etc.). If you keep records, you really can't call them all NOID. I have mini b/w dbl and that is a danged awkward plant name, lol. Maybe it's a semi but Lowes had 3 at one time and, as far as I know, no one found a name or hybridizer.

I don't know if Harster (Canada) is still supplying to the US but they sometimes had a nice one and aren't in FC2. Some of our Lowes plants would have Canadian origins but that was before the money situation changed.

At first, I found a lot of plants at Lowes (there is a reason for this). Someone in the Pittsburgh area had said all Lowes violets were Harster and I almost went craz(ier) trying to match Harster descriptions to what turned out to be Holtkamp varieties.

We are in an odd location and one place seems to get stock from a different place than another. This is within about 100 mi. area.

I haven't seen anything from Canada but haven't been out much and the last time the violet selection was awful. One place had some and the woman was watering them in the chilly sunshine with the sprayer. I bought two and have one blooming. I should have asked her how to take care of them ;). These were Optimara but they had some in pink slip-on pots. I don't know what those were but it appeared they were competing with the Optimara. They were from a southern state but forget exactly where.

I try not to do this but the other plant is the bell-shaped kind and I don't have it. I finally set leaves of that one.

Anyway, if all you do is look at it, what does it matter if it's a NOID? A non-blooming fussy registered named hybrid isn't much fun and that one's nice.

Diana in PA

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 12:22PM
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Very pretty blooms - what a deal! Once you repot it and give it some TLC, I bet it'll be an awesome plant (or plants depending on how many suckers it has that you pot up too). Store NOIDs are hard to resist - I try not to even peek at them to avoid temptation.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 4:43PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Yes, it had two good sized suckers and another tiny one I didn't bother keeping.
You're right, Diana. I'm not exhibiting so what's the difference? A good plant is a good plant. Still, being a rabid rose collector with a detailed spread sheet on my garden it kills me to not know something's *name* - I love the idea of Irresistible I, II, and so on - LOL!!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 5:02PM
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I am a NOID-aholic!!! I think I love Noids more than my named varieties! They're tough and they bloom their heads off and they make babies twice as fast as named varieties!

That's an Anthoflores Horacio!!! Yes they're still in business and yes they still sell to the US. Usually if you see a sticker that says grown in Canada, it's an Anthoflores. I miss those days when their site had picture IDs.
I used to be obsessed with Anthoflores varieties!

Violet :)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 9:08PM
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Yesterday my brain wasn't coming up with "Anthoflores," which do come from Harster.

I eventually found several and like Rose, which was a small standard, quite a bit. I'm sorry I stopped growing it and haven't seen anywhere to replace it.

I missed the days totally when they had picture ids. Maybe O. Texas's tag wouldn't have had about 3 other names crossed out before I got an id. It's a fairly distinctive Optimara, but hard to pigeonhole with a list of Anthoflores descriptions :D.

Perhaps someone did find a hybridizer for those small ones. There were 3 and seemed to be sold together: a white dbl, a dbl dark blue, and a matching blue and white. I have kept the blue/white one, discarded the white and retrieved it numerous times and didn't keep the blue.

Hooray for Violet!

Diana in bitterly cold PA

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 10:53AM
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Diana, Antho. Rose is one that I keep looking for. There once was a ebay seller - Drew's Violets - that sold a lot of Anthoflores varieties with names, but no longer.. Alas he closed his store a few years back...

I still have an Anthoflores variety that came with a label that was crossed out a few times and hand written "Apollo 12" that I never found any information on. Remember when the Anthoflores came with tags with names on them?

Are you talking about those Optimara minis that comes in 3 matching pots? I think they're either the Little Jewel's series or the Little Indian/Indian Summer series.

Violet :D

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 2:00PM
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I don't think these were Optimaras. They were mentioned once somewhere and someone said an eBay seller was selling the three together also.

Looking at the one again, I guess it is a semidbl, but they are fairly close to dbl. They may be semiminis too.

I never did find many Anthoflores. After I got things sorted out a bit more, I found Anthony, an odd little striped one that Harster wasn't sure about, and another one with Rose in it (I could check but I doubt anyone's that interested). None had any identification though and most didn't come from Lowe's.

My 3 small plants did come from Lowe's in Indiana, PA, but I think I may have seen them in the DuBois, PA, Lowe's also. Those stores didn't always carry the same things. The last time I was in the Indiana one, the plants were terrible but then they had it full of Christmas crap.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 10:50AM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

She is darling, Annececelia! Great that you are quarantining her, too.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 4:32PM
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If the plants don't come with a label from the grower, you can try calling the store you purchased them from to find out who their suppliers are. At a big chain like Lowes, it may take a small run around to talk to the right person, but I know when I worked years ago at a chain garden store, I had to check in my shipments, and knew exactly what came from where, and if a customer asked what grower supplied their plant, I would have been able to tell them.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 7:02PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

If it says Product of Canada on a label - it is Harsters.
And Sonority is right- if you find the person who is in charge of the garden center - they will tell you the box had this label.
But this is about it - there is no names anywhere...



    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 6:36PM
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Hi all,
I'm a grower who collects only named varieties mainly because I exhibit my plants in shows. I agree that there are many nice noids however, without the proper name they are useless to me. I also feel that buying named plants helps keep our hybridizers in business. Without them we would never have anything new and exciting.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:41AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I think I know the secret how and why NOT to buy grocery store violets.

Besides the evident reasons - full of thrips and will stay nameless forever.

You need to grow violets the way how Fred in NJ grows them - so good - that they are Show stoppers and Show winners. In comparison with Show Stoppers - these grocery plants look like weeds, there is no WOW factor.... You can probaly buy one - and grow it to be a Show Stopper too - but it involves a good half year of fussing, and debugging, and removing crappy soil... and you still get a noname No-Show.

I do not want to say that I am not prone to Dumpster diving. My friend said her Baby Brian trailer died - I got to the trash, fished the remnants out, found a stem with some life left n it ... barely - and now I have this wonderful everblooming little treasure back - and I think I even persuaded Larry that he needs to squeeze it in his collection.

Named violets - they have a history, they have hybridizer who has his or her own life with violet story - and people from AV world cherish and pass these stories. You remember where you get it - and you compare the one you have with the same variety your friends grow and bring to the Shows. With time you learn what this plant likes and dislikes - you eventually decide - if it is one of the chosen plants you cannot live without - or may be it is time to pass it to somebody else...

I think it is way more interesting story than a way from a vat with million meristem cells to potato field size growing benches to boxes and to all Lowes stores in a country...


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:50PM
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It was very kind of you to say that my AV's are show stoppers, however, that is no longer true. My plants have really gone down hill in the last two or three years. It is getting harder for me to care for them the way I used to. I hopefully will have a few entries in the Convention show this year. Are you coming to NJ? I will be there doing entries.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:38PM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

I will have to find you Fred and introduce myself. I will be going, and this is my first one. Irina said that she is not going to AVSA this year, but is going to the Gessie convention in Philly in July.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 9:51PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

It seems to me that after more and more municipal water is treated with Chloramine instead of Chlorine - more and more people are having trouble growing Show-Stoppers. It is a very hard to remove additive - and beer makers now running high level reverse osmosis for their beer production needs. It is probably not that poisonous in minuscule amounts it is added - but just enough to make it hard to grow wow plants.

I hope to see at least Fred's entries photographs.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 2:20PM
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