URGENT!! Is my violet dying?!

AthkoreDecember 19, 2011

I've had it for a little over two years now, and its been perfectly healthy. The leaves grew in a bit messily and it always looked a tad cramped in the pot, but it always bloomed beautifully.

However, when I first moved into my new apartment about 5 months ago, I left it too close to the window on a rainy day and the leaves on the side closest to the window browned and shriveled. Since then, the violet hasn't been doing so great.

It still bloomed twice, but the leaves now curl around the sides of the pot. The violet also started having two spots where the leaves were growing out. I didn't realize at the time that they could split like that, so I left the two centers in the pot. The leaves were soft and droopy, and a strange greyish-green color. Not bright green like the babies I grew from the plant's leaves. The violet also wiggled around quite a bit at the base, something that concerned me quite a bit. Otherwise, the plant has not gotten better, nor worse. Until last night.

When I was coming home for christmas break, the violet fell off the car seat. one core of the plant fell out, the other stayed lodged in the dirt. I figured when it split, the one side was weaker than the other, and that was why it was wiggling. But when I went to plant them in new pots, I realized that both plants looked like this:


(sorry for the bad quality..)

The stems of the plant as a whole had become a long string of short stems, about... oh, I'd say four feet long with tiny stems about 2-3in long? This long strong of small stems was curled in a spiral at the bottom of the pot. When I took both halves of the violet out, this string had become completely detached and both halves had this short, funnel shaped root.

I've had these thick roots in a cup of water for about 10 minutes now, just so they wouldn't dry out, but I don't want to drown the plants. So if anyone could tell me what's wrong with them and how to fix it, please let me know as soon as possible!! I don't want my plant to die :(

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What it looks like to me, and someone else will probably jump in to help as well, is that your plants were too wet, and you lost most of the roots.

The "funnel shaped root" is actually what we call a long neck, effectively, where older leaves fall off, eventually you get this long bare "neck" that eventually needs to be repotted further down the pot.

The picture is hard to see, but it looks like leaves and a long neck, with no roots. My suggestion is to cut the neck to about an inch from the leaves, repot it with the neck down in the soil up to the bottom of the leaves. Don't soak it, but water it enough that it is just a little damp, and place a plastic bag over the top of it.

Take the bag off in a couple months, and that neck should have rooted.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 1:07AM
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It looks like the diagnosis that Sonority provided is correct - root rot.

When you cut back the neck, check for and completely remove any signs of rot (discolored, squishy, etc) in the neck. Any rot that is present will hamper your efforts to reroot the crown.

Also, what kind of soil are you using? Commercially available potting mixes will be much too heavy - you need to add perlite so that your mix is 1/3 - 1/2 perlite.

Check out the 2 links below - you'll find tons of information on caring for your violets.

- click "Lessons" then "Restoring your Violet" for a writeup with pictures that will help you reroot your plant.

- There are 2 links for "Long Neck Problems" that should help you also.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 11:50AM
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