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Help with my violet please

Posted by Shondartb none (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 9, 14 at 20:11

Here is my violet. I'm not sure what kind it is but I've had it for about five years. Not knowing much about them at the time I thought it needed a bigger pot and repotted it into a bigger container. I have always water it from the bottom. Well it hasn't bloomed since I repotted it over two years ago. After reading through the forum I learned a few thing lol. I repotted it about two weeks ago with African violet potting soil in a much smaller container. It is now in a 3 in pot. I also read about flushing? I'm not sure I understand what that means. Also I have never "groomed" the plant. Today I picked some limp leaves from the bottom but I'm not sure if I should pull more off. The root and stem are healthy. I really like this plant and want it to bloom any advise?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help with my violet please

Here is a close up of the top


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RE: Help with my violet please

That's not a happy plant, it looks very limp. Has it always been like that?


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RE: Help with my violet please

For a while yes:( sorry to say that I have just kept it watered and placed in the window. The stems are firm not limp. I was hoping that repotting it in a smaller container with fresh soil would help it. Would removing some of the outer leaves help?


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RE: Help with my violet please

Lauraeli, any advice to help it be happy? Even though I bought this 5 years ago it was my first house plant in our new house. I am taking a bigger interest in my plants latey. So any advice is welcome.


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RE: Help with my violet please

The last thing you want to do to a weakened plant is remove foliage. The foliage it has is struggling to supply the roots so removing them would stress the roots even more. There is a root to leaf balance that must be maintained.

'Grooming' just means taking off the dead stuff. You have done that.

'Flushing' means running water through the root ball so old fertilizer salts are removed. Most people try to do it about once a month. (or when they think about it).

Your pot is still too big. It should be 1/3 the diameter of your leaves especially if you are interested in blooms rather than vegetative growth. Make sure your soil is light. Bagged AV soil is often very heavy and must be cut with perlite and/or vermiculite. Most prefer perlite.

After re-potting, water well, let drain and then put your violet in a baggie, closed tightly. This provides humidity which your plant would benefit from and which it looks as though it has been lacking. Also, when you re-pot, inspect the roots. I suspect your root system is a bit under optimum. Bagging will also help this.

Keep in a baggie until your violet perks up and begins to grow more foliage. Then gradually open the bag to acclimate it to its growing conditions. After about a week, remove from the bag and set it in a bright area.

It doesn't matter if you top water or bottom water. That plant has no idea where its water is coming from. Do whatever is easiest.

Good luck!

Linda

This post was edited by whitelacey on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 2:18


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RE: Help with my violet please

Linda thank you so much for your info!! I will do this today. How long do you think it will take to be healthy again?


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RE: Help with my violet please

If all goes well, you should see happy, new growth from the crown in about two weeks. It's a rough estimate depending on growing conditions. I don't think your old leaves will perk up much; I think you have a root issue problem and the older growth just may not respond.

If you follow the instructions, you should get new root growth. When it comes time to remove the violet from the baggie, make sure you do not over-water. Water well and then let the soil get just damp. Then repeat.

A plant will always put its energy into new growth often at the expense of the older. As long as you see new growth coming in well, your plant should survive.

Let us know how it goes!

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

This is helpful.. I have a couple of plants that are struggling.They look like the one shown above.
Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 2:04


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RE: Help with my violet please

I have a plant that looks similar. has looked similar for years now. it is supposedly a standard, but struggling to keep a 2" diameter. i finally decided it just doesn't like me.
and when it finally developed root rot, did i let it go - nope. i think it has two leaves now, but is growing new roots. ah well.

it appears i still have to learn how to get rid of plants that don't perform well. i just hate to do so before i find out what they would bloom like and whether i have a backup.

karin


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RE: Help with my violet please

I must say I rotted one off. It had been in quarantine and I moved it into a hot room. The heat, dampness, and humdity rotted it. It was a good thing I caught it. The outer leaves just pulled off (they started looking limp and wilty), I pulled off the crown, scraped off the brown goo (rot), used the rooting hormone for the fungicidal properties and have the middle here on the table in vermiculite/perlite. I'd pulled a leaf to set earlier and got 2 more when I did this.

Diana

The center looks good. I've had a couple of heat casualties. I discovered I lost a bagged leaf and its baby that had been fine since April - total mush.


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RE: Help with my violet please

It looks like a rot situation but the description is not one of rot. 'The leaves are firm not limp' is a big clue.

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

Well I having a hard time trying to find a pot smaller than 4 inches. I am going to Home Depot today. Hopefully I can find one. When I go to repot I will take a pic of the root. The top of the leave are starting to perk up. I noticed today. Hope that's a good sign.


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RE: Help with my violet please

You can improvise with a styrofoam coffee cup, or a plastic drinking cup. These can be trimmed a little with scissors. If you use a very small styrofoam coffee cup, poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage. You can use an Xacto knife or the tip of the scissors blade Joanne


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RE: Help with my violet please

duplicate

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 2:02


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RE: Help with my violet please

Well I don't think this is root rot but i don't know nothing is soft or mushy. Also how long can it stay in a styrofoam cup? Also the outer leave are really limp. The middle seem to have perked up.


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RE: Help with my violet please

Your plant has what is called a long neck from not having been repotted in several years. As the plant ages, the older leaves drop off, the plant develops a neck. This needs to be gently scraped down with your fingernail, dusted with cinnamon and sunk in fresh potting mix to the depth of where the leaves start. Roots might grow from the neck that will be submerged in soil. The lower roots can be trimmed a bit. The roots look dried out, but I can't really tell from the photo. You can find advice on this forum if you do a search with the words "potting down" demonstrating this procedure. It is not difficult,just needs a little gentle, firm touch and patience. Do remove a fresh, firm leaf from the middle row and root that separately to restart this plant. sorry that I cannot be of more help, however,there are answers elsewhere on this forum to help you. G into a proper size pot, whether you use a clay pot (they come in small sizes) or a plastic pot or a styrofoam cup, it needs drainage. Stiff plastic pots are best, but sometimes hard to find. Presumably, you have already temporarily repotted this. Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 20:51


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RE: Help with my violet please

Joanne, thanks for the info. I have it in a styrofoam cup right now. It's in a bag. I checked it this morning and the bottom leaves are even more droopy and limp but the center is ok. Hope this works.


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RE: Help with my violet please

You can make a pot out of a plastic drinking cup. The plastic 3-oz. bathroom size is what many of us use to start leaves, the 5-oz. is just a little bigger, and they go up from there. Just use something to make drainage holes in the bottom and you have a pot. The ones called "souffle cups" are useful too.

What I would probably do with it, is cut off that "trunk, " leaving enough to support the plant (probably a little less than an inch). If it seems hard or calloused, gently scrape it a little with your fingernail. Then I'd remove most of those droopy leaves until it looked like a plant, maybe with around the center 6 or so left. Put it in a small cup/pot with either perlite/vermiculite or a light potting mix and put a bag over it and keep it moist but not overly wet. It should root and you'll have a new plant. That's just one way of handling it.

Violet Barn has instructions for rerooting a crown which is pretty much what you're doing except it's had a rough time already.

Diana


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RE: Help with my violet please

Hi that is what I meant to say, a plastic three ounce drinking cup. If it is too tall, cut it down. Diana's suggestions are great. Suggest you remove all limp leaves, they are not going to revive, they are dying and draining energy.
Hopefully, there is one firm leaf to remove to restart this.
Don't worry too much, a lot of people restart their plants and
are very happy with results.
For myself, I have better success in not cutting off the top
but instead, repotting it with the neck and roots. However, Diana
and Karin have good success with cutting of the top.
There is also a video on this by Paul Sorano. It might
be on the Lyon's website or on You Tube.

My club president uses styrofoam cups a lot, they are cheap and come in all sizes. She cuts holes on the SIDES. Perfect, round holes.
For myself, I just slash holes on the bottom with an Xacto knife blade.

Following the rule of thumb, when the plant foliage grows to 3X the D of the top of the pot, time to move it to a 4" pot.

To encourage you, this is growing season, so it is a good time of year to repot and see results.

Again, don't feel badly for letting your plant grow a neck,
we have all done that.
Joanne


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RE: Help with my violet please

Aww thanks for the support everyone. I wanted to remove the leaves but wasn't sure I think someone said it would weaken the plant. But I think I am going to remove them. I just did what was suggested "potting down a neck". But I did not cut it. I hope I'm not handeling it to much :/ I also took a leave to restart. I never tryed that before so hoping for success


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RE: Help with my violet please

Like I said in another thread, there are times when we can do something or sit and watch it die :). It's not looking good at the moment. This heat and humidity have been hard on some things here.

I had the one rot off at the top and the middle is looking okay. I think it's rooting (it's only been a few days). I set a few leaves too. You do what you can when you get into that kind of fix.

I guess you can use styrofoam, but the plastic are cheap enough too. I forgot to say you can cut little notches in the side with a utility knife or something; also holes in the bottom. I happen to have a gas stove so I heat up a nail and poke holes in them. Drainage is important no matter how you get it. Joanne covered it too.

I've left the long neck but it is probably better to cut it off; however I understand wanting to hang onto those roots. When it recovers though, you may discover that the whole neck did not grow roots. That's why I found out when I restarted my plants after neglect. Not only did they have trunks, they were all snaky and crooked. I'm not sure they've totally recovered from that although they are blooming. The stupidest thing I did was not turning them - even worse than not watering them.

Diana


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RE: Help with my violet please

Limp leaves on a stressed plant won't recover so they can be removed to preserve vital energy.
You are handling it a lot , but it is necessary . That is why we recommend starting a leaf , in case this does not recover. Hope you put this in a Baggie or under a plastic dome . It will look even more wilty for a few days because some roots are lost in the transplant . However, new roots will grow in several days. Then it will revive.
Diana love the idea of heating a nail over a gas stove
Plants with older necks don't bother me if they are healthy, I keep them as starters for new plants . Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 16:28


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RE: Help with my violet please

Limp leaves on a struggling plant are a source of energy to roots. To a struggling plant, damaged leaves are better than no leaves. Damaged leaves on a healthy plant should be removed as they are not carrying their load. As long as your crown is okay, you're good. But, I suspect, you've already removed them.

Fussing over plants is detrimental. Provide what they need and let them grow. More plants are killed from love than anything else!

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

Linda I left the leaves. I just don't have the heart to pull them off at the moment. I have done all that was suggested above. Now I'm leaving it to hopefully heal


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RE: Help with my violet please

Wow I am glad I read this forum. I seem to have the same issues that shondartb has. I definitely have a "long neck" problem. I have some roots above the soil. I have three AF down from the six I once had. I spilt some years ago and then had 8. I have been losing them one by one. I don't want to loose the rest. I will follow the instructions above.. What should I try with the one with the roots above the soil ?plant the neck or cut the crown and restart? I have never had luck starting leaves. I know I need to dead head those flowers. .


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RE: Help with my violet please

duplicate

This post was edited by quimoi on Wed, Jul 16, 14 at 8:53


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RE: Help with my violet please

Mary Ann,

Remove all the dead stuff that is on the neck of your violets.

Remove the plants from the pot and tease off the old soil. Gently scrape the neck to expose the green tissue underneath. New roots will grow from this area.

You may have to slice off a section of the roots at the bottom of the plant that is equal to the length of the neck. If there are still roots at the bottom, sink the roots into the new pot so that when filled the neck will be covered and fill in with new soil. Remove a row of leaves to compensate for the root loss. Maintaining a balanced root to leaf ratio is vital.

If the neck is so long you cannot fit the plant into a new pot, cut off the entire root-ball to the desired length. (the length that will allow you to cover the neck when planted.) Scrape the neck and re-pot. Water and put the entire plant into a baggie tightly closed. Do not open unless it gets very drippy and then just until the extra water evaporates. You are creating a tiny greenhouse with lots of humidity. New roots will grow in about two-four weeks. A gentle tug on the plant will tell you if it has re-rooted. When you see new growth, gradually open the baggie to acclimate it to life on the outside. You can remove the baggie in a week or two.

It sounds scary cutting off the root-ball but it's really easy and quite effective.

Your violets will have a new lease on life and should grow and bloom beautifully!

Good luck!

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

Shondarb,

I re-read some of your posts and thought I would add a thought or two.

I somehow missed your photo of the root system. Your lower leaves are limp because your root system is almost non-existent. It is not root-rot. The reason for this is that your plant has not been re-potted enough and has been allowed to grow a long neck which has no roots. Now your plant does not have enough roots to support itself.

A plant in stress will always favor new growth to the detriment of the old. That is why your older leaves are suffering.

Follow the instructions I wrote to Mary Ann above. They will work for your violet as well.

Sorry if I have repeated anything. I didn't read through all of the posts.

Good luck!

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

thanks, My job for tomorrow!


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RE: Help with my violet please

My pots are 6 in in diameter. At their widest point my violets are from 8 -10 in in diameter. Are my pots too large?


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RE: Help with my violet please

I did get a smaller pot however the diameter of the violet is too large for a gallon baggie. can I use just a plastic grocery bag?


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RE: Help with my violet please

Mary Ann,

You don't have to use a baggie. (Most people just find these most convenient.) You can use anything that seals tightly and is see-through to allow light in. Clam shells from the salad bar is something that a lot of growers use.

From your pictures, you are going to need a small pot. Your pot should be 1/3 the diameter of your violet. A 3" pot sounds about right. That should fit in a gallon baggie I would think.

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

this is the size of my violet. I don't think it will fit even a gallon baggie unless I remove some of the leaves.


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RE: Help with my violet please

I just emptied a TP package and it IS large enough for the violet. It does have some blue advertising on it but mostly clear. I have had mine in my bath room where the humidity is very high in a north window. Where should I put it now?


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RE: Help with my violet please

All my leaves seem to be firm on this plant. The neck is so long that it has bent over . It looks to be about 3 " long. I know that I need to put this in a smaller pot but should I cut the neck on this one or try planting it . I have a 3" violet pot to put it in. The diameter of this plant is 9 " . What about the outside leaves ? Leave them or try to root? Is it better to root in water or soil?
thanks so much


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RE: Help with my violet please

Mary Ann,

I would give your TP bag a try. Slip it on over the top and try to move the printing to the side. Gather it around the bottom. If it is in the bathroom the humidity is high so I wouldn't worry about sealing it tightly. I would put it back in the window where you have it and then watch to see how it does.

If it does not seem to be thriving you may have to adjust this or that but I think it will be fine. Do not overwater!

On the second plant, I would cut the neck to a length that will fit in a pot. Remove the outer row of leaves so you will be left with just the smaller leaves in the middle. If the neck is crooked, place it in the pot so that the violet is sitting upright. Do not plant the neck straight with the violet at an angle. They do not usually straighten out but continue to grow at an odd angle.

Your crown looks a bit bunchy. You might want to put it in an area that gets less light and see if it grows out a bit. Some varieties just grow like this, though.

You can try to root the outer leaves. Most growers use the middle row of leaves to root but some swear by the older row. Give it a try; you have nothing to lose! Most growers do not use water any more (as I write this I have two rooting in water!). Most use their regular potting mix of equal parts of peat, vermiculite and perlite or a combination of perlite and vermiculite. Some just use perlite or vermiculite. It's really just a matter of seeing what works best for you. Why not experiment a bit with a leaf in each method?

Good luck!

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

thanks Linda !. I am heading out to visit my mom and I will do that when I get back. God Bless


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RE: Help with my violet please

I have tiny new leave! I checked it today and I could see an new leaf starting to come out! Do you think it's ok to remove the older leaves now?


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RE: Help with my violet please

Also when should I see growth on the leaf I pulled to try and start a new plant? It's still in the baggie ( my son calls it the plant hospital ) but I don't see it doing really anything.


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RE: Help with my violet please

Shon,

Growing teaches patience. So. I will respond in three words: patience, patience, patience.

Do not be in a hurry to remove the older leaves. They are providing more nourishment to your plant than that tiny new leaf.

Leaves that are put down can take any amount of time to produce. I had one make babies in two weeks. I have also waited 12 months for babies. Average is about 2 months.

Don't hover.

Patience. Patience. Patience.

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

Lol, thanks Linda. I am anxious to see progress. I'm know your right. I will leave them both be. I'm just happy to see that it may survive!


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RE: Help with my violet please

I could show you photos in which a plant looked similar to yours, with spindly looking older leaves that were healthy.
I did not remove any older leaves that were healthy. The younger leaves in time grew to the same size as the older leaves. They filled in nicely.

The solution to hovering is to go out and get another few AV plants to distract you!

I will start a leaf in water only for the purpose of seeing how
quickly it will root. The water roots will not last in soil, the plant will make new soil roots. The danger of water rooting
is forgetting to put the leaf in soil in a timely way.

I use older leaves all the time because I am reluctant to remove center leaves in the height of their growth and ruin
the symmetry.

They work fine, they just take a little longer.

If I am sending a leaf to someone, then I will take
a younger leaf that will produce a clone faster than
an older leaf.

Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 21:24


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RE: Help with my violet please

If I use perlite and vermiculite to root a leaf do I add water? silly I know !


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RE: Help with my violet please

I did. But this want first try at starting a new leaf. I just mixed soil then added water to the mixture spooned it in to small cup. Added the leaf then put it in a Baggie. Oh I made drainage holes in the cup. But the soil wet not drippy.


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RE: Help with my violet please

Mary Ann,

I think you know the answer to that! Of course you add water! Actually, just water the same as if they were planted in soil. You may have to water more than soil leaves because the p/v mixture dries out quickly. Putting in a baggie helps with this and you may not have to water at all. Just check it occasionally.

Shon,

It sounds as though you are on the right path.

Don't hover, either of you :)

I agree with Joanne. I am convinced growers who have more plants grow better because they cannot pick at all of their plants all of the time.
You've provided the proper growing conditions, now get out of the way and let your plants grow!

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

thank you Linda, all my plants and leaves are all bagged up ! and I won't hover.
Shon, good luck with your plants too !


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RE: Help with my violet please

Let us know how it goes!

Linda


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RE: Help with my violet please

I just checked my bagged plants . they seem to have some mildew or something growing on the stems. They don't seem to be too wet. Can't tell if they have rooted yet. It has only been I week.


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RE: Help with my violet please

My plant is looking sad:0( it only had the one new leaf and I have not noticed anymore. I removed some old leaves yesterday. They were getting very soft. The plant itself is really loose and wobbly in the soil. Like it is not taking root. I'm thinking as a last attempt to save it is to cut down some of the neck. I did not cut it last time. Wondering if I should cut it in half or remove the whole neck and try starting from the crown.

Mary Anne, how is your plant coming along?

Thanks for any advice
Shonda


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RE: Help with my violet please

I've never tried rooting one with a stem. Usually by the time I notice something is wrong, I need to cut it down to a 1" diameter crown. (Until there is absolutely no brown (rot) left in the stem.
Usually, they root ok after that.

Karin


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RE: Help with my violet please

I managed to save the crown of my O. Rita(?) that had rotted. I had to redo it once but it's rooting fine now.

Diana


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