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Am I on the right track?

Posted by catseye_1978 none (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 14:30

After some kind replies, I'm thinking that I have a combination of:

Overfertilizing with Miracle Gro - I plan to use Optimara in a lower dose, and flush every month or so.

Chloramine is the water. Yes, I check with the water supply company.

Ph level - I plan on testing today, and starting to use bottled water or treated water from now on.

I'm posting several pictures. These are the worst ones. A couple other plants have similar symptoms, but not nearly as evident.

Thanks for your help!!!

Jessica


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Am I on the right track?

Pretty Miss Kelly


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RE: Am I on the right track?

Frosty Spring


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RE: Am I on the right track?

Frosty Spring


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RE: Am I on the right track?

Kitten Caboodle


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RE: Am I on the right track?

I'm still thinking pH. As I said in another post, I had pH problems last summer and this is what my leaves looked like. I corrected pH and now they're fine.

I have had no experience with Chloramine but maybe someone else will chime in with theirs.

Linda


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RE: Am I on the right track?

It's almost impossible to say. How long have you had these?

There are a few things I'm noticing.

1 - animal damage (perhaps a cat?)
2 - plants need repotted into your own soil and domed for a couple weeks to encourage new growth. These are in the same pots and soil they came in.
3 - cold damage, either from cold water on the roots, leaves or sitting next to a cold window.

I'm assuming these are fairly new additions, so I'm reluctant to blame pH for their lack of thriving. I'd hold off from doing anything other than repotting (do not pot up - you should remain in the same sized pot for now) until the weather has warmed up a good bit.


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RE: Am I on the right track?

Thanks for the advice!

I have had these plants for a few months. There is definitely some physical damage, probably little teeth marks from my monster kitty. But, there is something else going on that I can't put my finger on.

I repotted, like was suggested. Into the same pots, but with fresh soil. I started using Brita water, though I'll pick up some bottled water at the store. I think I just have dirty city water, and letting it sit isn't enough.

I definitely think it could be cold damage. I've been watering with warmish water, but the plants got cold this winter, even with my best efforts. I have to do better next winter, though I seem to have figured it out lately.

I also think I might be underwatering. Not in terms of how much water, but how often. I should wick water, but I'm scared to since I screwed it up the first time I tried. In any case, I've let my plants get too dry, and I think that does some damage to the leaves when they get a chance to wilt. I've never let it go too long that the plant dies or wilts terribly, but perhaps it's a contributing factor. What do you (in the plural) think?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Jessica


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RE: Am I on the right track?

Hi Jessica,
I would hold off on wick watering until you feel really comfortable with the hand watering routine. I also mentioned a product you can get at a pet store to neutralize the chloramine. I don't think a Brita filter gets rid of chloramine. Winter is hard on AVs, and so are monster kitties. I think once they are tampered with, it just affects them. That was my experience when my look-alike kitty monster did the same thing.
Actually, I think your photos of all your starters look pretty good, I think you are on the right track. Mine used to collect kitty hair, so brushing the plants with a soft child's paint brush or even a dry tooth brush helps aerate the leaves. You are doing better than you realize, they will look better in the spring. everyone is your area is still in hibernation mode.
joanne


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RE: Am I on the right track?

Jessica,

Where are you located? Joanne is right; this winter has been brutal on our plants.

What did you do wrong on wick watering?

Linda


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RE: Am I on the right track?

Thanks, guys! So supportive.... :)

Joanne - from what I can tell, the Brita (or Pur) won't neutralize chloramine. For now (until I can get to the store), it'll have to do. A trip to Market Basket is planned for this weekend. But I work all the time. Seriously, all the time. And I'm a mom. ;) My thought is that the Brita is better than crappy city water. I think I'll use bottled water. I don't have a big enough collection for that to be a huge deal, at least for a while. :)

I do think that once a plant's been traumatized, it sort of depends on how established it is as to whether it will survive. Doubly so for AV's. I have Irish Flirt that took a fall (perhaps the bad kitty?), and has been slowly declining since. I have it in a dome. :(

About wicking and my naivite - when I wick watered, I used one of those paper wicks that Optimara sells. That was probably my first mistake. The plant got totally soaked. I payed attention to it until I went to bed, but the next morning.... The plant was fine, but I knew it was too much. It seemed way too much trouble, like I'd be constantly worried about what was happening when I wasn't home. The other plant I tried stayed totally dry. Same paper strips though. I obviously couldn't get the feel for that.

I watched a video and looked at the photos of using yarn (which I have plenty of, being a knitter and crocheter). I saw a video of someone using baby food jars for the smaller containers, and heard of people using jelly jars for the 3-4in. I'm almost brave enough to try it again. I thought I had figured out the watering thing until I read that when the leaf has a mark or split, it could be because of being underwatered if you are letting the plant go limp. Like I said earlier, sometimes my plants would feel limp before I would water. I make sure I don't overwater, but overcorrecting is then the problem, right?

I am in Manchester (Manchestah or Manchvegas to us cool New Hampshirites), NH. I'm not from here, but I've been in NH for almost 10 years. The winters can definitely be brutal, and this year has been one of them. It was a learning experience with the plants. It's been a long time since I've lost one, but now I want them looking better, and not dying a slow death. lol

I'm excited for spring! I got "into" AV's back in August, but I killed them for a while. I didn't get the hang of it until October-ish, and since then it's been winter. It will be so nice to see them thrive from spring!

All the best, ladies!

Jessica


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RE: Am I on the right track?

Optimara now has a new type of wick pot that work well. I read on this forum that with wicking, it is ok to take them off the wicks now and then.
However, i don't wick, so this is just "hearsay."
Joanne


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RE: Am I on the right track?

Jessica,

I have no clue what paper wicks are; I've never heard of them. Most of us use yarn or twine. The yarn must be man-made so it doesn't rot. (No cotton or wool).

Wicking is not really that tricky but you must follow a few guidelines.

Do not over-pot. Use light soil. And then experiment a bit.

Fill your reservoir with water and make sure your wick is in the water. The one thing that you must watch is that the water is being taken up by the plant. If the soil is not moist after about an hour or so, water from the top until the water comes out of the bottom of the pot. This gets the capillary action 'going'.

Once you make sure the water is being taken up just check your water supply so you get a general idea of how long your water lasts. Some people keep their violets moist at all times, some let theirs dry a bit. If you let yours dry check the capillary action as sometimes the drying out will affect this.

You don't have to be 'brave' to try wicking. Just learn the basics and experiment. Experimenting is at the heart of all gardening. I have been wicking for over forty years and I wouldn't grow any other way!

Be careful of bottled water. Some water is filtered to the point that it has very little mineral content in it.

Linda


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