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Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Posted by lucky123 AZ (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 23, 14 at 18:50

I am going to buy two new violets: a grandifolia species and a variegated Buckeye series. Are these more difficult than the regular unvariegated AV? Two questions: Can I put these plants (variegated/species) together in the same light? I have read in the forums that both require less light than hybrid unvariegated. I also read about fish oil and Epsom salts in water. I use commercial fertilizer but is this mix as good? What proportions of each? Is it alternated with other fertilizers? BTW: Thank you Diane for telling me about "drop" on species AV's. I looked it up on a forum thread. The flowers drop quickly. I can live with it as I really like the simplicity of species violets. Any advice about Grandifolia and variegated appreciated!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

When I looked for some direction on this, I found this thread right here:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/afrviolet/msg1012433828545.html

Sadly, Fred Hill has passed away but at least he left us some wonderful posts.

I was doing a bit of shopping myself and trying to decide between Woodland sprite and Neptune. (Sensible answer is neither....)

Diana


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Neptune! The one I saw had the most beautiful silver flowers. Thanks I might be getting one more species. So what about fertilizer? My mother always used fish emulsion but Epsom salts? I have violets always because I have two matching cache pots and a spot for two on a window sill.(4) I buy whatever the local Walmart is selling when I need a new one. I find those easy to grow. I have never seen such variety as online so I need some more, Yes!


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Lucky,

You will have to experiment with your lights but generally your variegated will need less light. They have less chlorophyll in their leaves, (which is why they have white markings,) and so they are not capable of photosynthesizing as efficiently as totally green leaves.

I grow my S. ionantha under the same lights as the rest of my violets, S.grandifolia is a sub-species of S. ionantha, (S. ionantha ssp. grandifolia) so it should generally have the same light requirements.

Fish emulsion (not fish oil, two VERY different things) is used to green up variegated foliage that has very little green. Such plants do not have enough chlorophyll and, as a result, cannot survive.

It is usually used on a rotation basis with a commercial fertilizer. I am not a measurer. I use the dump method for plants, cooking, cleaning, etc. Irina may be able to give you the measurements. Or you can do a search. I know she has talked about the proportions on here before.

I hope this helps.

Linda

This post was edited by whitelacey on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 15:39


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Linda: Thanks
I would like to have more of AV's so I am pleased with the lower light for variegated. Thanks a Bunch. I will experiment with lower light levels for the variegated and see if I can expand my collection Artificial lights are not an option. I have limited space.
Fish emulsion, Yes, I will use according to bottle instructions as a "tonic" in rotation. I found some information about Epsom salts with a formula. I will look for Irina's post. This is FUN!
And it appears the broad mites are gone or hiding but I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. Dipping the entire plant, pot and all in 110 degree water for 15 minutes worked on the geraniums. The violets? Well I tossed the obviously buggy AV's of course, but the two that didn't show bugs or bug damage are still looking very clean, getting ready to flower. I am watching, ready to toss at the first sign of broad mite damage. Isolated and quarantined all potentially buggy material, which means any house plant I didn't toss which isn't much.


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Lucky,

Your variegates also like cooler conditions, again, just a generality. It brings out their color more. My variegates are very white now because of the cold winter so hopefully they will green up a bit.

Didn't you mention in another post that your schefflera mite damage was very obvious? You may want to keep a schefflera as your 'canary in a coal mine'. Some people do this to catch a bug before it gets a hold on your collection. Some think that these plants serve as a lure for insects so it's something you may or may not want to try.

I have read about the heat treatment for violets. I have also read in numerous places that it kills the plant. I haven't tried it so I don't know first-hand.

When you get a new violet, take a leaf and start it in case something happens to the first. Then you'll have a back-up. If one of your plants looks suspicious, take a leaf and soak it in a 10% clorox/water solution. This should kill the mites but I would isolate it while growing. (This is another Irina suggestion. Irina knows her bugs!)

You may have to resort to spraying. Most of us are reluctant to do this but there are now some very low toxicity miticides plus we are tired of having our collections decimated by 'nasties'!

And, yes, it is fun! Plus it keeps us sane through long winters like the one now that just won't give up! (more snow tomorrow :( )

Linda


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Linda.
I am sold on heat treatments. I treated geraniums and AV's in 110 degrees H2O for 15 minutes. That was easy in the sink I added a drop of mild dish soap. I treated the huge schefflera in the bathtub, 115 degrees for 15 minutes because water from tap is 117, I added water after I had 110 and it was very hard to control turn the knobs, hold the plant down and read the thermometer at the same time.
The geraniums is getting clean new foliage. No sign of pest.
The African Violets..4 inch pot, 2 yr old plants. The main concern is wet, drenched afterwards. The plants survived but "root rot" is my main concern. It is dry here, Arizona and getting warm so I think they will survive.
The Schefflera is sulking. It wilted a bit but is starting to perk up. The damage on it was very ugly, although only on a small part. I think it will make it but I am going to prune and repot as soon as I am certain it doesn't have broad mites.
Linda, I think you are right about schefflera being the canary in the coal mine as geraniums have a very different culture. Usually too far away from AV's but I have this big, fluffy bushy tailed cat, the plant inspector, who I think spread the broad mites on her daily rounds. The one thing is that I don't think schefflera's get cyclamen mites whereas geraniums and AV's do. So geraniums would monitot both cyclamen and broad mites but so would a pot of, begonias


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Lucky,

Many people use a certain variety of petunia as a canary. I can't remember the specifics but maybe someone else here will.

Linda


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

In my experience the species plants are somewhat weaker than the hybrid varieties in general. This isn't surprising as hybridizers tend to favor the strongest plants in their operations, essentially making violets that are better adapted to growing in the home environment when compared to the unaltered species. The species are still easy to grow, but if something in your culture starts to go off course (too much water for instance) they will be the first to tell you about it. I see that you're in Arizona. I also live in a climate that is hot and dry and my variegated plants will go nearly completely green during our long summers, but regain the variegation on new growth during the cooler season. My house is kept no warmer than the mid-70's even in summer, but some loss of variegation can be expected. Should you ever find your plants with pests again, a good general purpose spray is "Natria Insect, Disease & Mite Control" from Bayer. It contains sulphur and pyrethrins. Pyrethrin is an insecticide derived from a species of Chrysanthemum, and is about as safe as possible for use in the home. People with sensitivities and some pets, especially cats, can be bothered by it. They biodegrade quickly. Spraying in a well-ventilated area and keeping pets and children away from the plants (no violet-eating kitties) until well after the spray has dried is best.

Mark


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Linda I have been thinking about getting some petunias for indoors. I grow pansies and lobelia indoors all winter. I start seeds in Aug/Sept for bloom between Thanksgiving and Christmas; continuous bloom after that till it gets hot or I get busy outside.
I am abashed to admit that I have never been able to grow an AV from a leaf. It always rots. I know, I know many will give me good advice but I can grow seed flats but not enclosed in plastic.
Some Caveats for Hot Water:
It is labor intensive and messy. I only did 4 geraniums, 2 AV's and 1 very large schefflera.I suspect that the "root rot" is not classic root rot but damage to the roots. It might take a while for the plants to recover if they survive.
If the bug is still around, in cracks or crevices or if I had it outside, It might come back.
If I had a large collection of plants or if the mites were ubiquitous I would invest in some serious chemical control.
As it is , it is a fun thing to try and worked well for my situation.


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

I had read of petunias as indicators for INSV. Here is an article on that.

http://extension.umass.edu/floriculture/fact-sheets/virus-indicator-plants

I never read of them being an indicator for anything else or heard of anyone keeping them for it. either. (Doesn't mean much.) I don't recall seeing "Calypso" among the petunias either so I don't know how easy that one is to obtain. I wonder if that's just what they used. That's the one I always read to use though although 2 others are mentioned in this article.

I expect you are correct about the roots being damaged by the hot water. I was reading old literature and wondering if anything made it through alive :).

Diana

This post was edited by quimoi on Tue, Mar 25, 14 at 15:39


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Mark
Arizona! Huge windows, direct sun all winter. Close the blinds in summer, dim light. Water PH 8.4. Mineral content is white crust that builds up in pipes. Thanks for the Bayer information. We do have spider mites/fungus gnats outside so we get infested inside also.
Diane
The plants I dipped are alive. Geraniums are thriving. Violets look a bit off, some black spots on foliage. It looks a bit limp which usually means "roots" to me. It is putting up new flower buds. The Schefflera? I don't know. It wilts. No leaf drop or discoloring. I am not looking at it for a while. Let it live or die, nothing more I can do.


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

PLEASE!!! Be careful with Bayer products outside. Many contain imidacloprid which is thought to be the major cause of bee-hive collapse. (Many of you know that I keep bees. Hive collapse is a major problem).

Lucky,

I had read that keeping the water at a constant temperature was the biggest problem in the heat treatment. Did yours seem to vary much?

Linda


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RE: Species, Water, Fertilizer ETC

Linda I helped a bee keeper. I never use outside sprays except for a hand held spray bottle on a very targeted area. Tip moths on afghan pine, for instance. Early early morning or late in evening.
Water Temp: I have a handle on the kitchen sink that rotates I think it is a standard kitchen faucet. You know, a spike on a ball rather than two knobs. So I ran the water and moved the spike until water collected in a cup registered 111 degrees. Then I kept a standard digital cooking thermometer in the water. When the temp dropped to 109, I pushed the spike up and since the spike was set to 111, that turned the 111 water on and I ran it until the water in the sink was 110. It was easy except I had to bail some water as I added water so the sink wouldn't run over. The water in the sink stayed fairly uniform wherever I measured.. I could use my elbow to nudge the spike on and off without changing the temperature setting of the water coming out of the faucet. Simple. I added mild dish soap, just a drop.
Knobs (cold and hot) in the bathtub had to be turned off on and/ adjusted while holding a thermometer and keeping a huge schefflera under water The schefflera was a bit cooked. Temp was uneven, 109 to 115 when I measured in different places. Knobs are difficult but the kitchen spike on a ball was easy.


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