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Newbie questions

Posted by e36yellowm3 7 Raleigh NC (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 13:45

Hi all, I received a few AVs from some friends and have been lurking on this forum a bit, reading the FAQs and posts. I have two questions that I haven't found an answer for, so I'm hoping someone can help...

My first and largest AV seems to have started curling under its leaves in the last 5 weeks, and they're a bit soft. Here's a picture of it:

From Spring 2011

It normally has nice round leaves like this baby that grew from a leaf I broke during repotting:

From Spring 2011

Any idea what the issue is?

The other question I have is about another AV I received that the person sending it labeled "Sweet Amy Sue" (though it doesn't look much like the picture I saw on line) which is a trailing violet. I assume I shouldn't try to separate the crowns, so it there any maintenance needed? What's the best shaped pots to use to pot it up? It's getting a little too big for the pot I have it in now as it seems to dry out too quickly.

From Spring 2011

Thanks for the help! Alana


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Newbie questions

Hi, Alana, and welcome to the forum. I agree, the plants leaves don't look happy.

It's sitting right next to the window, and the leaves may be responding to cold. Try moving it to a warmer place for a couple of days.

If that changes nothing, I would want to take a look at the root ball. But let's be conservative first and move it.

Let us know if that helps.

Barbara


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RE: Newbie questions

Wow ... your violets don't look like they belong to a newbie.

They're quite beautiful.

The plant in question looks like it's root system is compromised. This is not always fatal ... sometimes the root system can recover, ... sometimes not.

It comes with the territory. I've grown violets for years ... and I just lost a three year plant to root rot a few months ago. It happens because violets are hypersensitive to over-watering. Too much water at any time can, quite literally, kill them.

What I've thought about is doing my watering on a schedule, rather than when I think they need watering. I don't lose many, ... but every now and then, I do.

I wish you the best of luck with your ailing violet. It might recover. I've had plants recover too.

Your consolation is that your baby plant will be a nice replacement if mama plant doesn't make it.


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RE: Newbie questions

Thanks for the welcome and the ideas! I've moved it away from the window, but I agree it is looking a little sad and feeling like maybe it's been overwatered. I was out of town for over a week, then over a week again, so my regular schedule had been compromised. (I hate it when work gets in the way of my plants.) I didn't expect this one to be so sensitive though. Think I should unpot it and freshen it up a bit? I hesitated to do it while in bloom, but I'd hate to lose it even more.

Any thoughts on the other question I had... what's a good size/shape pot for a trailing violet? It seems to get parched every couple of days so I think it really needs to go up in size.

Thanks again! Alana


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RE: Newbie questions

Oh, yeah, I forgot part two. Trailers do well in what is called a pan pot. They are shallow, about 2 inches deep, and come in 5-6 inch diameters. You can purchase them from Cape Cod Violetry. I would go the 5 inch to start. Ask John to e-mail you a catalog, then you can order any other supplies all at the same time and save some shipping.

Barbara

Here is a link that might be useful: Cape Cod Violetry


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RE: Newbie questions

Alana,

Your plants look very good! One thing I can't tell is whether your pots have drainage holes. If they don't, they really should. It's too easy to let the soil get too wet in one without drainage.

I was interested in the responses because I once lost 3 in my window. Only one died, I rescued the other 2 but one never seemed quite the same again. I'm still a bit puzzled since one was in the middle of the shelf, although the other two were near the glass. My window seems to get colder than in earlier years.

I had some slight defense since I am short and these are elevated above my line of sight since the dog found the cat :). That is a pretty plant and you are lucky to have the backup.

Diana


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RE: Newbie questions

Thanks Diana! Yes it is a pretty plant and was sent to me by a very dear gardening friend. Not only would I hate to lose it but I wouldn't want to admit to him that I did ;-)

There is a drainage hole in that pot, and it's also unglazed on the inside. (It's one of those nice pots I got on sale at Smith & Hawkins when they were going out of business in the mall.)

The window does get a bit cold next to it which is good for the phals to spike, but it's not all that cold. Though I'm not sure how temperamental AVs are.

Sorry to hear about your plant you lost. I know I really do take it hard when I lose one too.

Alana


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RE: Newbie questions

Alana -

you do not need to lose this one. Even if the root system is rotting - you have plenty of leaves to put down for babies. More of it - you probably can reroot the plant - you will lose the flowers - they should be removed - and you need to cut the crown off, leave just several leaves and trim the stem to the green healthy tissue. Stic it in the soil, cover with a baggie- and you will haev arooted plant in 3 weeks, and blooming in several more. Regardsing your soil - the stuff I can see - is in dire need of perlite. At least 1/3 of the volume.

I saw such gorgeous plants in Raleigh on the last year AVSA National - there should be clubs in Raleigh you probably need to check. Usually the local growers have the best recommendations for your area.

Good Luck - and Keep'em Blooming

Irina


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RE: Newbie questions

Have you considered using a wicking system for the trailing violet? That would help with some of your dryness issues.

Irina is certainly right about removing the flowers and repoting. But, I wouldn't want to lose all those flowers. Could she TRY to just repot the plant in a 1/3 perlite, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 spanghum moss mix...and see what happens?

Keep us posted.


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RE: Newbie questions

Thanks for the encouragement! I received this plant (my first AV in ages) over a year ago and at the time I honestly just potted it up in regular potting soil. I've recently been reading the FAQs, and realized potting soil probably isn't the best choice for these beauties. I'll have to look into getting a better mix.

The idea of a local club is a great one. I read about Bluebird Greenhouses in an old forum post - I'll have to go over there one morning while they're open when I can disappear from work for a bit. I'm sure they'll have info there on local contacts. I'll probably bring some things home with me too ;-) I know how this goes.

The idea of wicking the trailing AV is a good one. I especially like it as it'll give me flexibility for travel. I'll have to read up on that more.

Thanks again for the help and support.

Alana


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RE: Newbie questions

Alana -

the Bluebird guys are the best. Love them, love them, love them. Really nice people. I ordered from them before and get to know them personally last year.

Soil - depends on the condition - whateve they use in Bluebird - is not for wicking, But it is a good one for bottom watering.

Regarding the sick plant - if it is rot - nothing helps - only surgery. If the fungus is already in the tissue - you can change soil...but the plant will be dead in a matter of a week or 2.

Right now - the soil Almax recommended - is the best. But you can get a jiffy pellet, wet it up and fluff it - an people do good starting leaves in it. I would recommend to get several leaves from the ailing violet - the medium row ones, trim them to 1 inch stem with a razor blade - and stick in for propagation. Than you would know that no matter what your beloved plant is not going to disappear.

I looked at NC clubs - and looks like the one in Raleigh meets on working days. There are a couple more - in Greensboro and Goldsboro - but it is too far.

Irina

Here is a link that might be useful: clubs in NC


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RE: Newbie questions

Irina, thanks so much for the links to clubs in my area. I will have to go to Bluebird one morning and talk to them. I'm glad you like them - I've read good things. (I'm not sure I'll be able to manage the club that meets in the afternoons while working but perhaps once in awhile.)

On my poor sick AV... I did unpot it. The pot was filled with roots and at one time it was a nice rootball. I'm not sure the health of them now. The general consensus is that I need to trim it and root the top. The good news is that the little leaves at the top are in good shape. I know it's going to hurt to cut it (and I'm honestly a little scared) but I agree it won't survive like it is, and it's only a matter of time before it's back to it's normal self after the top roots. I'll be a little wiser about potting mix and about regular watering for the future too. I'll just not have to travel for so long anymore ;-)

I'll post pictures along the way.

Alana


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RE: Newbie questions

Alana -

be bold! You will renew and revigorate your blue beauty. You are not hurting it - you are sprucing it up - they actually get tired of old stubby stalk and are much happier with fresh new roots and grow and bloom better after this surgery.

What happens when the roots rot - the plant doesn't get water. It feels its coming demise - and tries its best to bloom and leave seeds before the end. That's why sometimes the plants give us the best bloom just before collapsing. Old leaves sacrifice themselves and give their juice to the young center - it stays viable until the very end. It gives us time to save it.

I.

PS That's my pet peeve with AV clubs. How they expect to get young ands energetic new members if they meet at the time when everybody is working? The time when men were working and their wives were homemakers so they would have their meetings before husbands come home .. these times passed.


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RE: Newbie questions

Thanks for the pep-talk Irina! That's a great way to look at it, and I feel much better. I'll take some pictures for future reference and update you all to let you know how it goes. I had to laugh at your comment about the daytime AV clubs. I guess it's something to look forward to in retirement!

Alana


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RE: Newbie questions

HI Alana,
I checked you albums and saw your beautiful Amaryllis plants. Do you save the bulbs every year and if so how do you do it?
I have one amaryllis plant that has finished blooming and don't know what to do with it. Any help would be appreciated.
Fred in NJ


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RE: Newbie questions

Hi Fred, yes Amaryllis (Hippeastrums or Hippis if you look for it on the forum) are my thing. That's how I got these AVs - for hippi trades. I find them really easy to maintain and rebloom, though I have to admit my technique is a bit non-traditional.

I plant the bulb outside for the summer in large communal planters with a few annuals for color. They grow really big leaves and regain their strength - and they look pretty nice too:

From garden web 2

I lift them in early Nov (when it starts to get cold here) clean off the leaves, and put them in the garage closet for the winter. It gets cold there (below 55 degrees) but doesn't freeze. Then I take them out around mid-Feb though this year was later due to some work/travel issues. I pot them up and they pretty much bloom reliably except for one stubborn one I haven't figured out how to please.

I do this mainly because I don't have room to keep them in pots all year round. Most folks on the Amaryllis/Hippeastrum forum do keep them potted even during their cool rest. I highly recommend that forum. There's an FAQ that some of the folks put together which is quite well done.

Main thing though is lots of sun and fertilizer in the summer.

Let me know if you want to trade for some more bulbs ;-) Ya can't really just have one!

Alana


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RE: Newbie questions

Thanks Alana for the offer but one is all I can handle now. I have to learn how to care for this one first. Here is a shot of the plant in bloom, can you identify it for me?
Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Photobucket


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RE: Newbie questions

Fred, is the color true in the picture - sort of orange like that - or is it more red?


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