Probably very basic....but I'm clueless

lathyrus_odoratus(5A-IL)August 19, 2010

Bear with me through a bit of a story until I can ask my question...

I grow many Gesneriads and have quite a few Saintpaulia. But, I grow mostly in isolation from other growers. A few months ago, a fellow AV grower sent me two or three plants. When I received them, I was amazed at the huge leaves and thick petioles. They had very few leaves, really, only 10-12, but they were very large.

After a few months on my rack, the new growth is coming in smaller and I'm going to guess much more rapidly based on how many leaves they are adding a month vs what the grower told me regarding how fast her plants are growing. I've almost doubled them in terms of leaves, yet they are only a fraction larger as I've removed the older very large leaves and the newer smaller ones are taking their place.

So, my question is this....what causes a plant put its energy into producing many small leaves vs adding fewer leaves and putting more energy into making them large leaves?

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lathyrus_odoratus(5A-IL)

Oh, this is where I put this. I thought I posted it somewhere else and it didn't show up. Now I know why. If someone answers here, cool. If not, I'll post it where I thought I had posted it.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 4:03AM
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pineresin

Maybe something to do with light intensity - low light levels generally give fewer, larger leaves, higher light levels result in more numerous, smaller leaves.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 6:46AM
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lathyrus_odoratus(5A-IL)

Thank you pineresin. I did a bit more research and posed this on another forum. I found that low light is indeed one factor to larger leaves, slower growth. Having more red light would also contribute to larger leaves and longer internods, as would higher levels of fertilizer and urea ferts. If you had primarily blue light, you'd have smaller leaves, shorter internodes, as you would with higher light, lower fertility, and with nitrate based ferts.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 6:59AM
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