Episcia leaves folding down

mwedzi(chicago)October 19, 2004

What could this be a sign of? The leaves are on short stems and fold down instead of sticking up or laying flat and relaxed-looking. I have a feeling it's too much light. Could it be lack of humidity? Dear goddess, could it be bugs? I doubt the last, I just got it from Rob's. But several of my african violets are showing similar signs, short petioles and a little tightness in the center. I'm inclined to think my lights are too close. Is that what an episcia would do if it got too much light?


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I don't have a clue but would sure like to know the answer. I have one that does the same thing.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 10:44AM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

If you just got it, perhaps it is going through a period of adjustment. Try putting it in a ziplock bag for a few weeks to see if it/they perk up. Episcias are the warmth lovers of the gesneriad family. So, if your apartment is cooling down they could be objecting. They like to be at human temps. like 68-72 degrees F., but will tolerate down to low 60's or even short periods at night a bit cooler. They could also have lost roots during the shipping, so enclosing in a bag will help them with humidity while they come back. Then, when they look all perky again you can open the bag and after a week of that bring them out and see if they like it. AV's are also tender to cold. In the mountains of Tanganyika their nights are as warm or warmer than their days, and they come from near the equator. But, we all know how easy they are to grow.

Both do well with less light than the light loving gesneriads. People grow them under two tubes per shelf, with about 8-12 inches of space between the plants and the lights.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 3:59PM
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Thanks Jon. I have put it in a glass jar with a squirt of water and domed it. The glass jar should also help diffuse the light a big. My lights are 8-9 inchese above the plants. Do you think that might be too strong? My av petioles look way too short to be normal.

It's quite amazing that you still call it "Tanganyika"! Those words mean the same in Shona as they do in whatever language of Tanzania "Tanganyika" was taken from, Swahili? Tanga=start, nyika=land, "start of the land".

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 4:38PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

Nikki, well, ya, I decided to do that since there aren't any saintpaulias native to Zanzibar ;). Back in my distant youth I collected stamps and remember the name Tanganyika from those days. Tanzania sounds more like something an advertising executive would have thought up. Its interesting to learn what the name means.

Imagine if Canada and the US were merged. What would they call it: The Common States of Amerada? The United Wealth of Canmerica?

Meanwhile, always keep an eye out for sales on ziplock bags. I really scored one year at a CVS drug store on their generic bags. I brought about six boxes home from New Jersey. Hey, you have to act when the opportunity arrises. BTW. when I say "ziplock" I really mean generic.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 9:51PM
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I am glad to report that the episcia seems to be doing better since I domed it. The leaves have become softer and have come back up. While the dome diffused the light a bit, I think what it did most was increase humidity, so I guess this was the problem. Maybe this particular type of episcia is less tolerant of lower humidity, though the humidity in my house right now is always between 40 and 60%. It is lilacina, "Panama White".

    Bookmark   October 24, 2004 at 8:33AM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

I have never actually grown 'Panama White'. Yes, it being a lilacina would like more light. Lilacina cvs in general like more humidity and more warth than cupreata type episcias. I have only flowered them in enclosed containers like large terrariums or under domes. I have never seen this one in flower either. Some aren't even sure if it is a lilacina or something else entirely. Humidity also seems to be a partial cure for cool indoor conditions. I have heard instances of growers who maintain their episcias in winter by enclosing them and growing under lights, though my house is cool in winter and they do OK then.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2004 at 4:00PM
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