Return to the African Violets Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Posted by bragu 4a (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 25, 13 at 21:10

First of all, welcome to this forum.

It is indeed a wonderful place.

Very soon, if you have not experienced it already, you will share our pain of too many violets, and too little space.

This wisdom shared on these pages is novel (non fiction) worthy.

This forum has some great info, and the experiences related herein are wide and varied. I would strongly recommend going to the LAST page in this forum, and read the threads there, and then work your way forward. It is interesting how much information you can learn by reading, as the topics roll by. Pretty soon, you will actually learn the answers to some of the questions as they appeared years ago ... like soil mix ... choosing a pot size ... how often to repot. It's really cool when you read a question, and say to yourself 'hey I think I know the answer' and then there it is. There is also a tool on each post that will allow you to clip an article (Don't forget to hit save at the bottom of the clip), allowing you to build your own reference library. You can save it as a reference for others to refer to when they read your bio in your public clipping library, or save it in your very own private reference library. I just love this feature.

This is why I suggest starting at the end and working your way forward. As more stuff is posted on page 1, stuff gets pushed off the end (the last page). Clip something, and its saved for posterity ... or whatever.

Again, welcome and enjoy.

Don't forget to post pix, we love to see yet another plant we want to add to our personal collections. Also join the violet society, save 5 bucks if you join before Nov 1 rolls around, as the annual dues will inch up to $35 yearly. And you get a magazine (i.e., drool cloth) every couple months ... and more.

But I digress ...

˘.˘ --~

dave


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

I actually did what you are suggesting when I first started collecting and getting active on this forum, I went back to the last page and read all the postings forward. I highly recommend it as well.
Thanks to everyone who posts all their great info on this forum.


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Hello, I am another new member, name is Joanne.

I will take the advice and backwards read forum Q&A.

I could use advice for the heavily variegated
mosaic varieties to get them to bloom and thrive.
Do they need extra light or more food than the green
varieties to nudge them into blooming? Are the leaves
supposed to grow in what looks like a tangled pattern?

When I took one out of the pot, I found a very tiny
root system. Way too small to attempt
surgery, so I put it back in the pot with a little
fresh soil mix. This bit of handling, plus a tad of overwatering, caused the plant to wilt. I removed limp
outer leaves to salvage the central crown. It took 3 weeks to come back. It is now very small.

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sun, Jan 5, 14 at 0:21


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Joanne,

Welcome to the fold!

The first thing that I would advise is to try to include a picture. It helps immensely when trying to figure out what is happening with a plant.

Many variegates are shy bloomers. The plant does not contain as many chlorophyll making factories as all green leaved varieties. (This absence is what causes the variegation.)

What is the name of your plant? I have never known a violet to not be able to be propagated from a leaf. That doesn't mean there aren't any, I just have never heard of any in my 40-plus years of growing!

Many variegates like to be grown cooler than green-leaved varieties. Also, if there is too much variegation, the plant does not have enough energy to promote blooming. Can you include a picture? We can take it from there then.

Linda


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

I too am new here and have been reading through the old threads . There is some great advice and knowledge to be gained here . At one time I was just the "casual" AV grower in that I just had "no-name" violets purchased locally . Heck , I didn't even know they had names , I just said "This is my purple AV , and this one is maroon" LOL . I could barely get them to flower , or flower at all period , along with all the other problems AV newbies have .

I am up to 20 plants now , all healthy and constantly flowering due to my diligent studies . I always thought "It's a house plant , how hard can it be !?" Well , these little plants can be tricky and without the proper....well..... everything one will have a plant that never flowers , long necked , twisted , over watered . etc; etc; (guilty right here over a couple of these mistakes) . And this forum has been a huge help in correcting some of the bad habits I still had .

Phillip


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Hi Linda, Forty+ of growing, impressive!
You gave me some great tips. It had bloomed well
for quite a while in my old house.
I gave away my light shelves when I
moved.

The other AV's adjusted.

Hello to Philip! What colors do you prefer? Have you branched out from
purple, or are those still your
favorites?
see which did best. I found the color range is not as wide
as with the purples.

My "biggest" blooper is not knowing
not to repot into pots bigger than 4." Consequently, I
have a few "monster" foliage plants with few, but huge
blooms.

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sun, Jan 5, 14 at 0:30


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Phillip,

One of the first lessons we learned in Hort class--"There is no such thing as a house plant, only plants we have chosen to try and grow inside." And that's why it's tricky. Emulating the outdoors indoors.

Linda


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Joanne,

IMHO, there is no need for fertilizer in your rooting water until roots begin to appear. Also, most growers do not use rootone or any rooting hormone when starting leaves. When these products are used , the leaf will make lots of roots at the expense of making lots of little baby leaves. It seems to be the majority of opinion when I talk to growers or read about propagating. Rooting hormones can be beneficial when trying to generate roots on a neck, but not so much in starting leaves.

I would try to start your variegated leaves in soil and see what happens. As I said, variegates are a little touchier than green-leaved violets and, again, IMHO, rooting in soil produces a better plant more quickly than does water. For some reason, people are afraid of trying their hand at soil propagation. It's really quite easy.

Linda


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Joanne,

Also, you can use a pot that is bigger than 4'' if your violet is large enough. (Your pot should be 1/3 the size of your plant.) It's just that most violets do not grow that large so a larger pot is rarely needed.

And, again, very generally speaking, the larger the blooms, the fewer there will be.

Linda


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

@Fortyseven

I have branched out . I am up to 20 AVs' of varying types . My wife thinks my prettiest are my Blue Dragon and Blue Eyed Russian as the blooms look similar but thinks my Green Dragons are odd and "Kinda of cool and different than the usual same old same old " (her words) .

@ Linda

More than two decades have passed since my horticulture classes and since my life took me in a different direction all that knowledge gained has been forgotten . I guess I can only retain so much for so long or I have to get rid of it to make room for something else . I have retained snippets but I guess the old saying is true , either use it or lose it .


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Linda
Wow, great advice!
Thanks for all the great sharing and tips! I will try
thinning out the AV soil with vermiculite and root
some suckers that have to come off soon. Leaves,
too. Good to know that a leaf can go into an oversize
pot ... I did that with one, only because the sides of the
2 1/2 pot were causing the mama leaf to curl. I did not
know that the mama leaf was supposed to be cut
to stop it from growing. From watching videos,
I saw people repotting and separating when the
plant is blooming. I always thought it was best to
wait until the blooming had stopped.
I see a lot of people use soilless mix (peat) but
elsewhere I read not to use peat. I usually use
AV soil thinned a bit with vermiculite or pearlite.
Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sun, Jan 5, 14 at 0:32


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Joanne,

You do not have to cut the top off of a leaf when rooting it. I have rooted both ways, (leaves cut and whole) and, to be honest, I don't see much difference. The only time I think it is necessary is when the leaf roots and begins to grow rather than sending out babies. In my experience, it is very easy to tell when the leaf is growing.(it gets big, quickly). Cutting off the top stops this growth and directs the plant's energy elsewhere. (Hopefully into making babies).
I just put down 19 leaves tonight and did not top any of them nor do I intend to. Experiment and see what works best for you.

You don't need a sucker plucker but I think it makes things easier. I have been growing many years and I just got one last year. You can use anything sharp or even snap the suckers off if they are big enough. A sucker from a plant that is well-watered will snap easier than a drier one.

You can re-pot and separate any time, The only reason to wait until blooming is over is that any root disturbance could have a detrimental effect on blooming but it doesn't hurt the plant.

Peat is perfectly acceptable and you will find most who mix their own soil use peat in a ratio of 1:1:1 with perlite and vermiculite. Be sure and get Canadian Peat and not Michigan. Michigan is cheaper so it's tempting but it has degraded to the point that it is not satisfactory for violets. Or much of anything else. Bagged potting soil is usually peat based so you are essentially getting the same thing. These also need to be cut with equal parts perlite and vermiculite.

Larger pots are for plants not leaves although I am intrigued how your pot was making your mama leaf curl. Got any pictures?

Linda


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Hi Linda,
I do have pictures, I just have to figure out how
to transfer them to the site. I will do that soon-ish ...
I always get such good tips from you! I thought it was
the sides of the pot that was making the edges of
the leaf curl ... but maybe not.
I usually just pluck off the suckers, however, there are some large ones
growing on some of my larger plants, so I would
like to salvage them. One is on a Russian plant,
so it is worth saving. I might try using the side
of a plastic plant label or an exacto knife.
I went to the local garden shop today, I have given
a guy who works there some of my surplus babies.
He suggested 1:1:1 also. I have both perlite and vermiculite, not sure what the difference is between
them.

I just noticed that one of the new plants
from Fancy-Bloomers is a trailer! Any
suggestions for containing it as it grows?
It has really pretty
leaves and lots of them, so I will keep it and not
give it away. (In the past, I gave away trailers.
To control them, I cut off each trailing crown and
repotted like single crowns.)
I saw on the web from an AVSA convention
a couple of years ago a trailer contained in a larger
pot. That would be my goal. I don't like indoor
plants to trail.

Thanks, Joanne 47


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Joanne,

An exacto knife would work great, just be careful!

Perlite is of volcanic origin and provides aeration to the soil and aids in drainage. Vermiculite is a mineral, (I believe mica) that has been expanded through heating. It also provides aeration and has moisture retention properties. Both of these serve to make the soil light, aerated and easily drained.

You don't really 'control' trailers. Usually trailers are kept to three main crowns and left to grow. If you don't like indoor plants to trail, I suggest you give it away. Trying to make a plant grow contrary to its genetic make up is an exercise in futility. It will only make the plant unhappy and you frustrated.

Linda


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

Hi Linda
Thanks for the advice on the trailer! That was what
I "instinctively" did to one trailer I had that was quite
prolific. Once there were more than three crowns,
the main
plant was stressed, so I cut off the "spiders" and
they rooted well. I am one of those "mahatma ghandi
types" who likes nature to unfold naturally. So I
will find a spot for this trailer on a book shelf and
let it grow out a little.
Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sun, Jan 5, 14 at 0:35


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

bumpity bump


 o
RE: Note to newbies, lurkers ...

And more bumpity bump


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the African Violets Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here