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Been having trouble growing a violet for a while now, help?

Posted by Fearfire California (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 16:32

First of all, here is an album of pictures so you can see what is going on:

Alright, so I bought this particular plant from selective gardener about 2 weeks ago. It was in good shape, sprouting new leaves and flowering. I placed it in an East/South-East facing window, drawing a sheer curtain down during the few hours it was getting direct sunlight (probably 4 hours a day).

Now, here's where I probably messed up: I bought a self-watering dish and left the plant in there with water just below the bottom of the pot, using wicks to bring the water into the soil. However, I left it in there for about a week, because I though it would only give the plant a little amount of water. However, I read recently that you should keep the plant in a dry pot and only place it in the self-watering device for 30 minutes once a week. Which is true?

Anyway, the plant stopped flowering and now looks like this. Is it getting enough light? Is it getting enough water? I use a 14-12-14 mixture of plant food, in case you're wondering. I rotate it 90 degrees each day.

Thank you very much if you can help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Been having trouble growing a violet for a while now, help?

Am I understanding this right:
You got it two weeks ago
It doesn't have any brown or pale spots on the leaves
Nothing has turned mushy or floppy
It's just quit blooming?

Sounds like there is no cause for alarm just yet. Your violet is simply expressing some displeasure at being yanked from the comfy warm, humid greenhouse it spent it's adolescence in.

As for automatic/wick watering. That's a trickier question. The idea is to leave the plant on the wick all the time. However, you have to pay close attention to how moist the solid is getting. If it feels soaking wet all the time, chances are you need to change to a lighter medium with more perlite (just mentioning that because optimara plants often come potted in rather dense peat mix).
You also want to cut your fertilizer to about half the recommended dosage, and use plain water about 1/4 of the time, to account for evaporation). And in top of it all, every so often, you let the reservoir go dry for a day or two, to give the roots some extra air (I think that was the reason anyways). If you do that though, be sure to water from the top afterwards to make sure the wicks get wet again.

What you found referred to at 30 minutes a week, was bottom watering, one type of it anyways. You'd put the pot into a bigger dish full of water up to the soil line, let it soak up for a while (15 minutes are recommended I think), then you let it drain completely, and the plant is well watered for a good while.

Whichever way you choose to water (and there are plenty to pick from), figure out what works for you. No two environments or plants are exactly alike.

Good luck :-)


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