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

 o
My first show

Posted by erlyberd Z5 CT (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 17, 07 at 21:40

I'll be the first to tell you I'm worried over this whole process. The show is exactly 12 weeks away so I started repotting since the first of the month. I still have quite a few more to repot this weekend. Is this going to be too late? I'm growing all mini and semi mini's and striping at least the bottom row of leaves off. How fast do they normally replace a set of leaves? I never paid any attention to it before.

Does a mini have to be any size up to six inches? What if mine measure three inches and the competion has the same plant at five inches? There are alot of unknowns here.
I have growing to show but it does'nt answer all my questions.

Is there a difference in bloom time between varigated and plain green foliage?

If you have any tips please pass them along. I'll keep in touch. Rick


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: My first show

I have no words of wisdom but Good Luck!

Cynthia


 o
RE: My first show

This question is right down my alley. I love the minis and semis and take them to show every year.

First of all, don't worry!! This is fun!!

It is preferable to repot the plants very early in case you break off a leaf in the process. But this is fine, what you are doing now.

The leaves you strip off now will not have time to be replaced before your show. If none of the leaves are round on top showing them to be secondary or baby leaves, leave them.

Your mini plants can be any size up to 6 inches across. Each plant is judged on its own merit and it is possible for a three inch mini to win Best in Class (if it has won a blue ribbon) over a six inch mini. There are many things involved including the number of flowers each plant has.

There are a lot of factors involved and the judges know this. Make sure there are no suckers. Those things can start up almost overnight. So check each plant carefully and be sure to rub out anything that might be a sucker.

If your are able to, manipulate the flowers so they are above the foliage.

Remove any damaged leaves unless it makes a big gap between leaves. Fewer points are taken off for small damages on leaves than one huge gap.

If you have confidence, after brushing each leaf with an artist's brush or soft paint brush, you can spray WARM water on the whole plant from the sink to get the leaves sparkling clean. Water may damage flowers so maybe you should do this about three months before show.

Don't spray the plant with anything like insecticide or Neem oil since these may spot flowers and points would be deducted.

Be sure to blow in the center to get any excess water out so as not to cause rot. Or you can blot with kitchen towel.

Yes, it often takes a longer time for variegated plants to flower than for green plants to flower. It also takes a longer time for white plants to flower.

Any other questions?

Nancy


 o
RE: My first show

Thanks! Now I'm not so nervous! That answered alot of questions. I've been repotting, getting rid of lower leaves to set plants lower in the pot. I put a dab of roottone on any bare neck, most are only 1/4" anyway, then I pop it in the pot water til its runs strongly out the bottom to get rid of salt build up and wash the foliage, then dry it up with a sponge.

Now I'm ready to kick bck a bit. I've repotted 83 plants this way in two weeks. If I get a dozen to look great I'll be happy.

I hear mixed reviews on when to disbud mini and semi minis before the show. What are your timetables for this?

Thanks so much, Rick.


 o
RE: My first show

Did you mention that you had Pauline Bartholomew's Growing To Show? This book is highly recommended although I believe AVSA has run out and has not reprinted yet.

Personally I start disbudding all plants including minis and semis in January for a late May show.

Disbudding causes tight centers and many suckers on some hybrids so watch for that.

I'm not sure when other growers start to disbud. If you are presently disbudding, Stop disbudding at 8 weeks or six weeks before show depending if flowers are double or single. Also white flowers tend to take longer to come in so stop disbudding at 8 weeks even if these are doubles.

One very good grower in my club starts to disbud in September for our May show. She brings only about 5 plants but manages to win either best semi or best mini and I have often won the other prize.

Other growers disbud at 12 weeks before show but allow doubles to bloom at 8 weeks before show and singles to bloom at 6 weeks before show.

Temperatures are a high factor when plants are blooming. Too warm and flowers will come in too fast; too cool and flowers won't bloom fast enough. This is why it is a good idea to have many plants preparing for show so at least some of the plants will be in top shape on the day.

Watch for necks that need soil placed around them. Suckers, baby leaves, dust on the plant, perfect symmetry and flower count.

Once you have perfected all the above you should return home with a few blue ribbons if not a higher prize like Best of Class or Best Mini, Semi mini or even Best of Show.

Nancy


 o
RE: My first show

Yes Nancy, I have Growing to Show. I ordered from AVSA last year. What temp are you calling warm? I'm going to note everything I do for future use. Is it best to divide your plants up into groups, single, double, variegated etc.


 o
RE: My first show

It might help if you divide your plants into doubles and singles. Variegated plants come in flower slowly and whites come in slowly so put them with the doubles group and stop disbudding at 8 weeks before show.

Stop disbudding Singles at 6 weeks before show.
When I spoke about temperature, that included outdoor temps and that inside.

Normal temperature in the home would be about 72 degrees F. If the room gets warmer and flowers are coming in too fast, you can slow them down but cooling the room and turning the lights off an hour less per day.

If plants are not flowering quickly enough, your can raise the temperature of the room (add fan so mildew won't begin) and adjust lights up to 16 hours per day on the last week before show.

Usually lights are on 10-12 hours per day. They should be put up gradually one hour per week until they get to 14-16 hours per day.

I always change one of the two set of lights on each fixture in January. Minis and semis should be placed 6-8 inches below lights.

Check each plant daily as show time nears.

You should be on a fertilizer program as well. I'll tell you mine.

I use 20-20-20 on off-months. In January I start with 15-30-15 for one month. Back to 20-20-20 for February. March, I give Epsom salts or fish fertilizer sometimes mixed with 20-20-20. April goes with 15-30-15 or higher middle number. May for two weeks only I give variegated Peters formula 5-52-10. Don't give this more than two or three weeks because there is insufficient nitrogen (first number).

A day before show I water with Bounty/Sturdy. These products are supposed to aid in the stress plants go though being taken to show and sometimes being in a strange environment for up to 4 days.

Bringing plants home after show. I prefer to sell ALL my plants if possible at show. This is for two reasons. A show plant will PROBABLY never be as nice next year as it was this year so I usually begin with fresh starter plants.

There could be many unseen insects or other problems at show and you don't want to bring that home.

If you do have to bring plants home, disbud all and isolate for at least 2 months.

Good Luck!

Nancy


 o
RE: My first show

Hi Rick,
What club do u belong to? I have been to Silvermine and have judged Nutmeg state a couple times.
Good luck with ur entries.
Fred in NJ


 o
RE: My first show

Nancy, thanks for all the great tips. It sure is becoming a lot of work. Thankfully I have the time! Got laid off early in the month.

Fred, I joined Naugatonic AVS in the spring but never went to a meeting yet. I hope to go when they start back up in September. This club has hardly any members but its a striaght shot down route 8 south.

Fred, I've been to the Silvermine show/sale at the nature center in Westport the past two years. Seems like a great club but its a haul for me. I would join but I hate the drive. Did you go this year? I wonder who won the raffle? Sure was a beauty of a plant. I've been to Nutmeg too. You must know Edna? I thought that was called a States show because any club in the state can show there. Is that true? Thats where I'll be showing Nov 10-11th! It sure will be a learning experience to say the least. I see your at the Violet Voice too. Gotta run, Rick.


 o
RE: My first show

HI Rick,
Good luck at the show. Enjoy every minute of your first one cause u will never have the same experience again. If you can sign up for any job, volunteer for clerking, you can learn a lot about how the judges think and score plants. I haven't been to Silvermine in years and also have not judged Nutmeg for years also. Getting a bit long in the tooth to travel that far for me now since I moved south of Trenton. I do know Edna and her sidekick Roger. If you see them say hello for me.
As I said before, enjoy your first show, it's a wonderful experience.
Fred in NJ


 o
RE: My first show

Good Luck at your show!! I have never been fortunate enough to go to one, there is only one a year here, so maybe next year....can't wait though, and to actually have AV's that you can have judged, that is reason enough to be proud, I am still working on trying to get mine "show quality". to no avail, I am a klutz....lol

Good Luck, have fun, and take pics, then post them....lol.

Tracy


 o
RE: My first show

Thanks, I'll say hello. Perhaps you should gnaw on more wood for that tooth! Fred, what do you think of the club? You can email if you prefer.

Thanks for the encouragement and for the head swelling! My plants have been improving for the last year so its time to see how they rank. Now if they will cooperate I'll be fine. Luckly I have multiples of many plants so I can still enjoy some blossoms. I'll keep you all informed. Rick


 o
RE: My first show

One more question. I know how when you get to a certain week you need to increase light by one hour a week but Pauline never mentions how many hours of light the plants normally get.

I have my lights on for 10 hours right now. Should they be on for 12 hours a day and then increase by one hour a week at week nine?

Also it appears my temp is running higher than it should.
My average day time temp is around 80f and night time averages around 75f. I have a feeling my plants are goinr to flower early. Rick.


 o
RE: My first show

Rick,

When is the show? I can't wait to hear about the experience. I hope you plan on writing a nice, long post about it when you get back. And take plenty of pictures please. I'm excited for you! :0)

Violetta


 o
RE: My first show

Violetta, The show is 11 weeks from this Saturday. I wish I could take pic's but I have no dig camera. I should get one. Rick.


 o
RE: My first show

Rick,

Usual time for lights to be on is 10-12 hours.

I don't recall what Bartholomew says about when to start increasing light hours.

I start early about the second week in February, leaving them on for about 13 hours. Next week, 14 hours and so on until 15 or 16 hours. BUT I also look at the plants very carefully mostly at the color of the foliage. If it begins to bleach out, cut back the lights. If centers begin to tighten, cut back the hours.

Lights give heat so I have some lights on in daytime and some all night. If your temps remain over 72 don't put the lights on too for too long too quickly. Follow Bartholomew's schedule.

Nancy


 o
RE: My first show

Nick, you can always use a regular camera and get the photos developed onto a CD. (*hint hint*)


 o
RE: My first show

So my ten hours are good for now. This is an experiment. Sadly, some of my best plants are getting too much water on the wick from all this nasty humidity. I know this because some plants have brown spots on the leaves. Lesson learned, always have an AC unit for late summer growing. I never had this problem but it may be due to ripping down the plants to just two sets of leaves? Today I'm going to 11 hours on the lights to help dry up the extra water in the pots. Also I my new light schedule will be from 9am to 8pm. I normally run them from 6am to 4pm. Heres a photo, not sure if it will load. Rick.


 o
RE: My first show

Oops, it didn't load.

I too have a shelf of prospects, but I think I started too late.... maybe they should go in the 'what not to show' category.

Barbara


 o
RE: My first show

test


 o
RE: My first show

The plants that I thought got too much water and spotted were actually sprayed (with water) with a contaiminated spray bottle! It smelled like lysol when I went to refill it with water!


http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc188/erlyberd/Picture240.jpg

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc188/erlyberd/Picture237.jpg


 o
Messege not rejected

Lets try again. This board needs aa edit area so I can delete my previous post.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc188/erlyberd/Picture240.jpg


 o
Is the same freaking thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barbara, when is the show and when did you repot them?

The only way I can get anywhere is to paste a direct link in both boxes below. Also I have to change the darn subject of posting on top.

Its only with this board it seems. Its time for a facelift perhaps.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc188/erlyberd/Picture237.jpg


 o
RE: My first show

Rick,

I repotted most about 3 months ago. Our club show was supposed to be this Saturday, but apparently an impromptu meeting was held and it was cancelled. Seems as though the summer heat, bugs, diseases, etc. took its' toll on some members plants and now they don't want to play. One member said she was bummed because this was the first year she had nice plants to enter. I told her she and I should go ahead and have the show and we could trade off first and second ribbons, and flip for 'best in..' Oh well, I guess my Friday won't be nearly as hectic.

Rick, in the photo I see the white rings. I assume you wick water and these elevate the plants, is that correct? Again, they look really nice, very symmetrical.

Good luck at the show, and we will hound you to death the next day to hear all about it. And take pictures, now that you have that skill set!

Barbara


 o
RE: My first show

Rick, the pictures look great! I'm so glad you found a way to post some pics. Now I'm even more excited for you - your plants look fantastic!


 o
RE: My first show

Rick,
Your plants look great. Clean, nice, well grown and symmetrical. Now all they need is some bloom which hopefully will come in time.
The one mistake new showers make is to leave secondary leaves on a plant. Secondary leaves are the smaller leaves that are below the normal sized leaves above them. Judges do not always look for large plants. I know I would rather see a small well grown plant which has great symmetry than a huge plant that has yellowed and secondary leaves on the outer row. So far yours look great. Keep up the good work.
Fred in NJ


 o
RE: My first show

Hey Barb, Thats bull! Sorry to hear that. When did they let you know? Is'nt a show all about growing plants to the best of your ability no matter what the conditions? So are you going to enjoy the show at home or dis bud them all? If you let them bloom full out will you repot after the blooms fade?

I'm battling ninety degree plus temps and you don't hear me calling it off. I have 79.4 degrees right now. At least the nights are getting cooler. I wick everything and use the pvc rings to keep the bottoms from touching. One ten foot length dalmost does two full shelfs. Not sure on having the skill set for posting pics but I'll try my best.

Thanks Violetta, I finally broke down and went digital.

Fred, Your comments are wonderfully encourging and lets hope they hold up for the remaining nine weeks! My plants would have been a bit larger but I let them go to far. Another lesson for next time. From now on I'll keep up on them and repot more often. At least the plants with some potential.

I also hope this thread will help or at least encourage other growers to get that first show under their belt.


 o
RE: My first show

Your plants look great Rick! Will be waiting for more pics when you bring home the ribbons. :)


 o
RE: My first show

I have had a wonderfully relaxing day, potted a few leaves I got from the meeting last night, watched the Red Sox win, made a nice dinner, totally different from what I would have experienced if the show were still on for tomorrow. I was dutifully restrained at the meeting, kept my opinions to myself, and just let it roll.

I will enjoy the nice blooms until they fade away, then repot and disbud for the winter. That is a great winter project here in Maine. In the meantime, I may get to either the NY show in October, or maybe even your show!

I am going to teach a 3 hour class on violets through our local Adult Education program at the end of September, so at least I will have some really nice plants for the class to see. That will be fun.

Barbara


 o
RE: My first show

Hi Barbara,
I speak at garden clubs and violet clubs all the time. I have written three sheets on AV's which I hand out to all. If you are interested, email me and I will send them to you. I just can't attach them here.
Fred in NJ


 o
RE: My first show

Thanks, Fred, I sent you an e-mail.

Barbara


 o
RE: My first show

Sounds like fun Barb. Are you going to give instruction on leave starting and send them all off with a few leaves? Perhaps you can sell the leaves for a buck each? Good luck with your class.

Yes, all the ribbons and pics! Right!

Fred, I went to my first meeting the other day and Edna and company said hi. The first few meetings are going to be a bit boring but I'll try to stick with it. I joined so I could show my plants mainly. Its not really worth driving two hours to learn how to pot up a plant, propagation etc. I'm not saying I know everything, thats for sure. If it were'nt for the internet I'd be all excited about potted etc. Thanks to all of you! I'm interested in getting ready for show.


 o
RE: My first show

Erlybird,

When is your show? Do you prefer to disbud for an extended time or will you disbud only a few weeks before show?

Do you have the Pauline Bartholomew Book, Growing to Show?

Nancy


 o
RE: My first show

Show is Nov 10th. I've never brought my plants to a show yet. Yes I have the book. I need to find out all the hidden stuff. I think I'll be ok with the growing part now with everyones help its the rest of the stuff I need to know. Say I have 6 plants all grow and ready to bring to the show what comes next. What do I need to enter them?


 o
RE: My first show

For transporting your plants....the ladies in my club use pizza boxes. Cut a large x, bend down the 'flaps' some, and stick the pot in until it is snug. It travels quite safely that way. I just use a box, tape it shut, cut the x, and depending on the size of the plant and box, you can carry more than one. They can nestle a little deeper that way.

Barbara


 o
RE: My first show

Good tip. I'll be ordering a few pizzas


 o
RE: My first show

Rick,
Pizza boxes may be fine for spring shows but fall shows tend to be a little chillier. My show is the week before yours and I always transport my plants in covered boxes. It would be good if you could find some boxes with lids. I picked up a few from a market which were styrofoam and were used to transport grapes. many maaaaarkets are happy to get rid of them because they don't have to recycle them. I fill them with styro peanuts and put the plants in carefully making sure they are deep enough so the cover does not squish the bloom.
If however you are lucky enough to catch a nice warm November day start eating ur pizza.
Fred in NJ


 o
RE: My first show

If you have a lot of plants to take to show (I took 90 minis and semis) you can get long floral boxes from the florists. These may not fit in your car but fit well in a van.

In the floral boxes you can tape down quite a few small plants. Many of our growers use these boxes because they have huge 22 inch plants to bring in. They put three or four huge plants to a long florist box.

Nancy


 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