help with achimenes in southern hem.

alisonoz_gwJanuary 24, 2005

Hi all and forgive my boldness, wandering out of the Aussie forums and across the Big Pond to the big forums.

I've been sharing Achimenes rhizomes with a friend who now is a little hooked but also thinking of trialling them for basket sale at his nursery (whenever it may open).

He has probs growing and some questions with watering and productions generally on commercial scale - can anyone help?

I chose the varieties to introduce him to these lovely plants maybe they were jut the "wrong" ones for commercial use.

think reversed seasons please and warm temperate to sub/tropical climate as we are upside down you know and a bit closer to the equator :-)

His message is-

"My production ...Achimenes ...The red color is the favorite followed by the pink. Purple comes in third place and lilac is the last on the list. have a problem with the lilac Achimenes that repeats in a lesser scale in the purple ones. After the first flowers bloom, the basket looks like going dormant. In short, it looks ugly . This does not appear to happen in the pink and red colors but only to those that are blueish. The plant has still a lot of flowers to open - too early to look like that. I am wondering if I can improve the performance of these two colors. I know that the best watering for Achimenes and other gesneriads are by capilliary . Although presently I have to water them overhead which is not the best way. My shower handling bar provides a good and soft flow of water. Right after the watering the leaves and stems bend and the basket looks less attractive. After some time the plants react and return a little bit to normal position but never return completely to that perfect look. It does not happen with the redish colors which have more thick leaves and firm stems. I am asking what should I do on the watering and nutrition to correct this small problem. I also found that the blueish colors seem to need more shade then the others. Please forward my situation to your friends and see if any good ideas comes from them.



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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

Well, I can't say I have ever heard of cultural differences based on floral color. But, I think it may have to do with the limited number of varieties your friend is growing, in each color range. The reds may be achimenantha cvs, which are hybrids between achimenes and smithianthas, which might account for the sturdier stems. Or, they may just be superior hybrids. Some of Patrick Worley's hybrids, like 'Inferno' are that way. It has a very large red-orange flower with dark sturdy dark foliage.

I know what he means when he says that the plants colapse from the weight of the watering. I have had that too, here in dry summertime California. One thing that is recommended is to pinch the young plants several times, after they grow about 2-3 nodes. That will make a bushy plant that is fuller and more resistant to colapse. But, some varieties, especially older ones, tend to be long stemmed, that will grow upright and then fall over making a cascading plant. I would suggest he try pinching, and then watering with a very soft flow from a rose type nozzle, or growing under a misting system. Achinemes seem to do really well in warm humid summers with warm nights. One way to mass produce achimenes is to break up the rhizomes into scales and then sow them like seeds, to get many small plants, each one capable of blooming the first season. Plant up many plants or rhizomes in each basket.

Charles Lawn, in Australia, has made some beautiful achimenes hybrids.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 3:53PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

Several years ago someone writing in either the African Violet journal or the AGGS one said never to try to grow achimenes without the water-holding crystals. I'm not sure 'never' is the right word, but they sure make it a lot easier. I, too, have not noticed a difference related to color, except that one old purple one I got without a name is sure one tough hombre!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 2:40AM
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I grow Achimenes in the tropics, and have no problems about watering. They tend to die back naturally as our rainy season (May-November) comes to an end, and restart into growth as I begin watering in Jan/Feb. Now (May 6) they are just coming into flower.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 1:32AM
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They are different varieties, as in all plants, some are stronger and more productive than others. I guess part of the reason there are so many varieties is that people that hybridized each of them found somthing special about them to want to name. Some need more water, less water, more sun, less sun, more shade, less shade. I have noticed some of my varieties multiply faster and grow better in baskets than do others. Some trail more and others grow more upright. Sometimes its finding what works best for them. I do know if they are allowed to dry out too often, some will go into dormancy quickler than others will. That has been my experience with them, anyway. Possibly you could contact a gesneriad society in your country and they can let you know how to contact someone that would know answers to your questions. You need growing information for your area. Kartuz Greenhouse in California sells a lot of Achimenes varieties...I don't know if Michael Kartuz could help you or not. Hope your find your answers.

tish - near Atlanta, Ga.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 7:38PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Tish - hi - miss ya -

looks like the question was posted 5 and some years ago. I am sure that Allison from Australia already found all the answers and since then grows the best Achimenes baskets down under.

Irina, the spoilsport

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 2:06PM
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Heh heh, kind of wish I could bump this posting but
thanks indeed for all those who came in with helpful suggestions
Correct, my question was 5 years ago. I was asking for a friend in Brazil, he eventually DID sort out the ones that made a spectacular basket for sale, from those that were pretty but only of interest to collectors. IN fact he became such an expert he started propagating from rhizome scales to increase stock.
Once again though, many thanks to those who offered assistance.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 2:16AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Alison - sorry for misspelling your name -

a lady from Australia recently posted on gesneriphiles forum the pic of the most magnificent white Achimenes basket I ever saw. So - Achimenes grows well in Australia ;-)).


    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 1:17PM
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Hi alisonOZ,
This is not about Achimenes, I'm actually in search of finger limes seeds, and I'm contacting you for a reply you sent to another member looking for the same.
I would purchase seeds of various colors if you have any
Thank you for your help!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 4:23PM
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