Old African Violet plant

babywatson(7)December 6, 2007

I have pretty old (7-8 years) African Violet plant that is looking pretty dull lately. It gets no water on its leaves and I have it in an African violet pot. I've never had to do much more than that to keep it alive and blooming. Lately, it just looks dull. I've put a little food in but it still looks peaky.

Any help appreciated.

Mary

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irina_co(z5 CO)

Mary

- look at the previous post - may be your plant has a root rot too?

How long ago did you repot it? Does it have a long neck?

I amazed - you are actually a very good grower - I think the majority of the people kill their plants in the violet pots in a month. (is it double ceramic?).

Good luck

Irina

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 7:25PM
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fred_hill(6)

Hi Mary,
I was wondering when was the last time you repotted your violet. Standard AV's need to be repotted ever 9 -12 months. Most of us here use a mix that is 1 part peat, 1 part coarse vermiculite and 1 part coarse perlite. As for feeding you should feed it every time you water, preferably at half strength.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 9:53PM
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lilypad22(7)

Does it have a really long neck? I had some old violets have those sympthoms, the neck was just so long and the plant was giving up. I learned to cut and scrape the neck and re-root them and the plants became vigorous again. tish

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 5:56PM
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fred_hill(6)

Just to give you some hope, I had a friend who had and AV in the same situation. The plant was in a large terra cotta pot and the neck wound around the inside of the pot two times. If it were straightened out it would have been over 2 feet long. The plant had not bloomed for quite some time and was in terrible shape. The woman brought it to me to see if I could help her with the violet. She gasped loudly when I cut the crown off the plant and stripped off all the yellowed leaves as well as some good green ones to make the crown symmetrical. I potted it up for her in a small 3" tub in my light soil mix after scraping the calouses off the stem and then bagged it. Needless to say the plant survived and the good leaves that were removed were put down for more plantlets. She was able eventually to supply enough plantlets for her class to grow. It was a great lesson for her class while studing a section on Botany.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 11:10AM
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babywatson(7)

Hmmmm. I don't think the neck is very long. I've never heard it referred to that way before! As for the last time I repotted it....years. I really can't remember. It was around the time I bought a real violet pot. It was in just a regular one before that. I was wondering if maybe it needs new soil.

Mary

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 12:06AM
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fred_hill(6)

Mary,
Just wondering what type of pot u are looking at. I never use a ceramic or terra cotta pot for my AV's. The pots that I use are small tubs with rolled rims and are made of plastic.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 6:48PM
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lilypad22(7)

Yes, violets need repotted more often than "years". And if it is that old, it should have some length of "stem" between the soil level and the last row of leaves...thats what we call the neck area. If it has been doing well until now, you should repot it back into that pot. If it has a neck, remove the older leaves that don't look so good and scrape off the outer layer of the stem (it will have scale like places where old leaves have died and been removed & scraping this off gives a fresh place for new roots to grow out) Now you need to cut off some of the bottom roots and you need to take enough off so that the scraped neck area (if you have that) can be covered in soil. Add some new soil to the bottom of the pot, put the plant back into the pot, and add more new soil to the top of the pot to cover that neck (if you have one). It should be fine, if it's a little wilted afterward, place it in some humidity, plastic bag tent for a few days.

If your plant is indeed rotting, you can cut off the good crown like Fred did and follow those directions. Scraping the neck is important. Before I joined a violet club my old violets were dying, I cut off the crown and tried to root them with no luck...well I didn't scrape, so new roots couldn't grow out to support the plant.

Good luck with your plant. tish

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 8:01AM
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babywatson(7)

I don't think its root rot. I just repotted it. Same pot, just different soil. The "neck" didn't seem that big. I just tore out any dead leaves I saw, and put the neck with its roots back in the pot with new soil. Hope it works.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 12:14AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Mary -

you are lucky not to have the rot. It just wipes the plant in days.

About the old pot - I usually soak mine in Clorax solution for a day or 2 - to get rid of the dirt and salts that accumulate on the sides. I prefer plastic pots for this reason - less salt accumulation.

Hopefully your plant will perk up now and pay you back in bloom.

Irina

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 2:42PM
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