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Hobby or Obssession?

Posted by nwgatreasures (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 27, 08 at 23:50

I'm serious....

How does one go about limiting the number of violets they have?

What guidelines do you have in place to help you decide which to say yes to and which to graciously decline?

In the past 6 weeks, my collection has gone from about 30 to over 90. I am purchasing my first plant stand with lighting and I'm ok with that choice. I know I have the bug and I am thoroughly enjoying this hobby. I am also enjoying the interest that my 4 year old daughter takes in the plants. It's a wonderful time for us to spend together and she is an amazing sponge for the information that I've shared so far with her.

So far, all of my plants have been in a western window with light coming through a big tree (diffused) and the plants have loved it. Now, with the # growing so rapidly, I don't have the room and many are not receiving the light that they desire and deserve. This has facilitated the plant stand.

I went to someone's house today who has over 300 violets on 6 different shelving units with 3 shelves each. To me, that is an obssession (no judgement here, just observed that they have taken over her house and her husband is horribly angry and resentful about it and she is so overwhelmed that not only can she not care for all of them but she isn't enjoying any part of it because she feels so overwhelmed).

My visit was to help her "downsize" and make a donation of over 100 of her plants (mostly duplicates and non-show plants) to our annual plant sale in 2 weeks. She downsized, and I came home with another 11 plants that I fell in love with and didn't want to pass up adding to my family.

It was a reminder that if I keep collecting and adopting every single plant that I meet, this could be me before Christmas.

How does one go about limiting and choosing which they will add to their collection and which to pass?

Is it a matter of "Just Say NO" or is there some criteria that you go by.....what do you do?

Dora


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

I decided to limit myself by refusing to invest in a light stand! I live in a fairly small condo and it would overwhelm any space it was in. So I'm automatically limited in that I'm only allowed to own what will fit on the one set of shelves I've designated as my AV space.

Unfortunately, I have an extremely supportive and understanding boyfriend who is just as into gardening and plants as I am, and I think he's buying me a light stand for my birthday next month. I'd rather have an external hard drive, but he's more comfortable buying something non-computer related. Folks, it's all over for me now - soon I'll be sleeping underneath my coffee table so that I can use the bedroom for more AVs.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Good question. What I usually do: I almost never get a plant on a whim. I do a search to see if I like it in all the pictures I see of it... the AVSA website helps me out a lot here. If there is doubt, I don't get it. If I think I like it, I still wait a day or two (or more), because sometimes the mood passes, and I decide I don't really want it enough. I like to see what the whole plant looks like, not just the flower. I try not to get too many varieties that look similar. I have an unofficial rule that I don't get more than I can easily see, which limits my numbers also, because if I can't see it, I tend to neglect it, and anyway, they're happier with some breathing space. If I'm having a bad stretch of being too busy for my plants, I don't let myself get any new ones until the ones I have are happy again. I make myself spend time grooming them instead of looking for more.

These are some of my strategies. It's kept me at a pretty steady number. I'm also resistant to getting new furniture or equipment for AVs. I grow almost all of mine in window light, and that limits my numbers too.

It's not a totally conscious strategy, and I'm not perfect at it. But somehow, I know what I can handle and if I bite off more than I can chew, I end up not having enough time, and the weakest ones die off, and I'm back to a manageable number again.

Then again, maybe it helps that I have far more plants than anyone I personally know, so I look like the crazy plant lady by comparison as it is : )


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Using restraint when it comes to violets is so difficult. It seems there is always another must have on the horizon. I limit my collection by carefully considering whether I really need that new plant. If I do, another one may have to go. I try not to grow too many look alikes. Really how many pink variegated varieties do I need? I also try to stay away from purchasing large leaf collections because they are too tempting. That small space the leaf took to root and grow plantlets suddenly takes a whole lot more. And of course, I can't keep just one baby!
I also have to purge my stands at times. I have two light stands devoted to plants; not all the space is reserved for violets so that also keeps me in check. Of course, the spillover sometimes find a spot in the kitchen, bathroom, etc., well you get the picture!


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi,

Good thread! Isn't there a law of nature that a population will grow until it has used up its available space. If there isn't there should be and that law applies to my African violet and gesneriad collection. I have three small plant stands with three shelves each. I can get between three and five plants per shelf depending on the size of the plant. I just counted 40 African violets and gesneriads on their shelves. My collection is pretty small compared to this group, but it is actually about as much as I can handle. I have a disability and problems with my shoulders and hands. 40 plants is about as much as I can handle.

The available space is also somewhat governed by my wife's unwillingness to let me have any more space. lol I guess if I were living alone I may try to get another plant stand, but actually it's a blessing that I don't live alone, because again 40 plants is about all I can physically handle. And another reason it's a blessing that I don't live alone is because my wife is such a wonderful woman that the thought of being without her is unthinkable.

I did have a few more plants a few years ago. Then there was an illness in the family and I started to lose interest in those plants. I was the primary caregiver and I guess I didn't have any more caregiving to give to my plants after giving it to the family member. I lost several plants because of this. But again it was probably a blessing in disguise. It just showed that I had overextended myself and I was finding that the hobby was not giving me the enjoyment that I wanted it to. Now the population is at the point where it's enjoyable to work with them, but not so much work as to not be fun. Oh sure, I look on eBay occasionally and find something that I would love to have, but I think about the look that I would get from my wife when the box would arrive and wonder how I'm going to fit it on the plant stand when it grows up.

I have bought a few plants in the last couple of months, but they replaced large standard violets that I no longer cared about. I'm now concentrating on small standards and miniature and semi miniature trailing violets. That way I can have more plants in the same amount of space. The space is used up though and I don't plan on buying any more. There's another thing that goes into the equation too. Having to quarantine new plants. I don't have a good place to quarantine them and I also quarantine them for soil mealy bugs. Since soil mealy bugs can show up for months or even a year later I always start a new plant by either crown cuttings or leaf cuttings and when that plant is viable I throw the mother plant with it's soil away. I now have five new plants that I will need to do that to and I'm looking forward to the day were I have plants that are no longer under quarantine.

Larry


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

I was so there. I went from a few plants to quite a few plants to way too many plants. I have a friend that had way way way more than I did and she kept giving me plants and leaves and I kept bringing them home. I think when you reach the point that you have too many, you will definitely know it. Not only did I run out of space, I was spending all my time with the plants. I was giving them away by the box fulls to church yard sales and friends, my husbands work aquaintences, etc. It was taking ages to water, vacations were scary, and they were not getting the care they needed, the pruning, the repotting, the leaching and I started having problems with them. I finally tossed a lot of them. A lot!...some are still trying to grow out in the compost pile, ha. What I have left look better, and I enjoy more. I was able to increase my strep and gessie collections. I'm not saying I will not get more plants, but I am more selective now. I do still have two trays of little ones I'll need to find homes for this year...I just couldn't quite toss them all.

I'll just say, the blooms don't always look like the pictures, they can be very different colors. Also a lot of plants although pretty are not different, the color range is close and the blooms almost look the same, so it's not only about duplicates, it's about plants that "look like duplicates". Don't need a lot of plants that look the same with different names. Also performers, one might be nice but not bloom very often, where another which looks almost the same will bloom often. And like everyone else probably, I got a lot of little ones to fill in the spaces between the bigger ones. Which meant more plants to care for.

I also ran out of space to quaranteen plants. The place I had to keep them didn't get enough light, I already had too many lights, I just couldn't justify another one when the plants I already had under lights were not looking the best they should have. Just had to downsize. There was not other way to see it. And I'm so glad I did. The plants should make you feel good and enjoy them when you walk into their room, not, oh no...I'm in here all the time!

Keep in mind someone that has too many plants and it will be easier for you to keep your collection smaller. And...good luck with that.

tish


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Forget it, there's just no way. The only way I can limit my collection is by my death. Until then resistance is useless. Once you're hooked that's it, till death us do part.
Fred in NJ


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

I feel my reply is best expressed with song lyrics:

"They tried to make me go to rehab, I said 'No, no, no'...."--Amy Winehouse


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

You guys/gals are killing me! LOL

Currently, I have my 80 something spread on my sofa table (two shelves which offers about 10 square feet of space), a round endtable (two layers with each shelf having a diameter of 24 inches) and a small shelf in my office (perhaps 18 inches by 18 inches)

They are not getting the light they need and with the fall coming, it will only continue to worsen. Only one window can give them what they do best with.

I'm picking up my plant stand with lights tomorrow morning and it has 3 shelves with 3 lights and each shelf is 18X60. That's like 8 times more shelf space than I have now so I have some room for growth (Lord, help me)

When I witnessed what I did at the friend's house, and I could feel that negative energy from her hubby and her (cause she isn't enjoying it anymore) I was taken back by the realization that I am near the edge of the slippery slope of that happening to me if I don't PRE-PLAN and prevent something like that from happening.

I'm saving money for an addition to my house - and so I do not need to be spending hundreds on a hobby right now. When I build the addition (within 24 months) I will have an entire room that can hold 2 or 3 plant stands filled with plants. Right now - I don't want that for myself or my family.

I was prompted to ask the question so that as I develop my "boundaries" to be proactive against the slippery slope - I can learn from people who have already been near the slope. I see that Fred (according to his post) is already hanging from the slope so it's pointless for him to tell me how to keep away from it :)

I can keep the image of my friend in my mind, I can be limited by the space that I have, I can keep an inventory of what I have, what I like, weed out (either by trash or gifting) what I do not like best and then keep a wish list based on education/investigation/experimentation of what I want to own.

This is a great thread and I hope it will have much more participation. And I hope I don't get swallowed alive by the AV Monster ;)

Dora


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

After thought:
To what degree do any of you place emphasis on the "Best Varieties" list each year?
How does this list influence what you look for to add to your collection?

Dora


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi Dora,

Not one bit. lol I just buy plants that I would like to have and will grow well in the environment I can supply.

Larry


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi Dora,
The cost can be minimal. Since I retired 11 years ago I have managed to keep the cost of my hobby down quite a bit. I have two plant stands with 6 flourescent fixtures that have 2 bulbs each. I used to use Vari-lux bulbs which were 13 dollars each. I have since switched to cool white which are about the same price on sale for a box of 12. They do work and the cost in a big difference. I don't send to growers for plants. Instead I rely on buying leaves at local shows in my area. If i were unable to do this I suppose I would buy leaves from violet growers at a reasonable price. I never go to Ebay to look because the temptation is too great. I have also found that poeple in my local club are incrediably generous. We all swap leaves and plantlets. So you see there are ways around the cost of adding to yuur collection withoult taking out a home equity loan. As for the problem of a spouse not caring for your hobby, let me say that my wife has a black thumb and can't stand having plants around so I confine my plants to my loft and only bring them down when I take them to a show. Before retirement i grew in a basement and never to the main part of the house. I have been doing this now for over 25 years and our marriage is still together, so you see there is hope even though you may become addicted.
Fred in NJ


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Fred,
My hubby is totally ok with what I am doing (so far).
I'm a business owner and up until this past year, I've been "all business" and nothing outside of that except parenting and wifing and church.

I am so much more delightful and loving (his words) since I picked up this hobby. I respect and love him more than adoring words can relay and I would "never" put our relationship at risk with letting violets take over our home. I just won't do that.

He loves the violets because I'm happier and that in turn makes him happier. My oldest is 21. I have a 17 year old, a 6 year old and a 4 year old.....my life is spread but he sees the joy that I and our 4 year old take in these precious children and that makes him full of joy too.

I guess just being "aware" of what could happen if I'm not careful is prudent. Thanks for sharing.

Dora


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Just this week a friend decided she was 'overrun and overwhelmed' by her plant collection, and wanted out. It was either go get it or it was getting thrown out.

I now have a kitchen table stacked high with seed trays full of plants, leaves and starts of AVs and other gessies, peat, vermiculite, perlite, tools, pots, and domes. Thankfully our AV club meeting is this week, so I should be able to find homes for everything.

So, what happened? To go from a fledgling grower in October to extreme burnout in August? She said it was like an addiction to acquire more and more varieties, and to put down more leaves than she could ever hope to separate and grow. I relate to that, as I would buy plants or leaves of everything I saw that I liked. I also have a hard time throwing away a perfectly good leaf, which is really my downfall. For pete's sake, how many plants of one variety can one use/trade/sell/give away? By recognizing that I have no desire to turn this into a business/job, it's easier for me to be more selective in what I acquire. And it doesn't hurt as much to look at a plant doing poorly in spite of all my efforts, and toss it. It makes room for something that gets along with me better.

He/She who dies with the most plants is still....dead.

Barbara


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi Barbara,

Lol. Been there, done that. I'm fortunate that I've been growing African violets for almost 30 years now. I've gone way past the stage where every broken leaf (or extra crown for that matter) had to be put into potting medium to propagate new babies. I've gone through the stage of getting so many violets that things aren't fun any more. And I've probably gone through that stage several times in the last 30 years.

As I said earlier, my love of plants is starting to grow again after about three years of absence. Basically the rule is if I get something new something else has to get tossed. And I don't have the need to get the latest and greatest. I bought a little white bell shaped African violet the other day and the grower was nice enough to put in an extra two sets of leaves. In earlier times I would have taken those two sets of leaves and propagated them. This time I tossed them without hardly thinking about it. Yes I did feel a little guilty as it was a very nice gesture on the sellers part, but I just didn't want to add two more violets to my collection.

Larry - looking forward to having fun with his violets again.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

thread worthy of pensive thought ... and a cup o joe ...

˘_˘ ahooommmmm

dave


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Collecting plants is a hobby that can become an obsession.

For years I had approximately 25 plants. Different varieties.
Prior the net, my 'hobby' reached 75 or so.

Since the internet, plants increased 14 times higher.

So, my hobby is now an obsession.

GW doesn't help matters. Viewing others' photos, 'which I enjoy,' leads to seeking more plants.

Most of us need help. lol. But at least our obsession doesn't harm ourselves or others. Toni


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

I am so there,I couldent keep a violet alive bt I had orchids which did wonderfl so I tried and tried and finally getting the hang of it I have figured out the watering, I have even saved a few that has root root and I am now on the light, I had them in a west window but they burnt so I remove them to a north window which them seem to prefer, I am now up to over 90 plants and I keep setting leaves, I am so obsesse with them. Bt who isn't I look on them amd I get so excited. I live in jamaica which has a tropical climate year round and violets are not really easy to obtain so I treat mine especially carefl so as not to loose any. I am very open to any information that any one of the professionals here cold give me in terms of the best window exposre for them and any tips or tricks used to get them to bloom. Thanks in advance to anyone willing to shere their information.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Phil,
Check out this web-site. It contains pretty much all you need to know about growing violets.

Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: Rachel's Reflections


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Thanks linda, its really good to know I have friends I can count on to guide me on my journey to beautiful violets. :)


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Thanks linda, its really good to know I have friends I can count on to guide me on my journey to beautiful violets. :)


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Phil,
No worries! I have found plant people to be extremely generous in sharing their knowledge. After all, at one point we had to learn from someone, as well. If you have any more questions, just ask. We all have different areas of expertise.
Happy growing!

Linda


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

plant people ... hmmm

they have green thumbs ...

reminds me of one of my fave Sci-Fi flicks ...

soylent green

"Soylent Green, It's people!"

No, it's plant people.

˘.˘ --~

dave (still insane after 5 decades)


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi Linda, one more question I live in jamaica we have a tropical climate all year round. I had my violets in a west exposure window and even though I use double shade mesh around it they burnt and developed sun burned mark on the leaves so I had to move them. Where they are is like a big room with grills that let in the sun so I moved them in the same room to the north side they seem much more happier they get a little sun in the evening from about 4:00pm to about 6:00 they are also getting light frm the north side right throgh the day is this enough light to get them to bloom. Most of them are small because I just started growing them a few months now and when I got them they were over crowded with suckers which I removed and potted individually so I had to pot down the parents to smaller pots too. I am trying really hard to keep them alive learning from all the wonderful people on this site I have figured out the soil and working on the water but my main concern is the light. I took pictures of their location and stored it on photobucket bt I don't know how to put it here. Any information concerning the light issues would be greately appreciated. Thanks much.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Phil,

African violets in their natural environment are understory plants. They grow under the trees in the shade and rarely get any sun. Your job is to try to emulate that. Think about the brightest place in your home that doesn't get any sun. That is what you should start with. If the leaves burn or go pale, then back off a bit. It is all a matter of trial and error and each plant will probably like a different amount of light. The rule of thumb is an Eastern exposure window but... I have several in a due South window with the sun on them most of the day. They are perfectly happy there and that exposure goes against all the 'rules'.
Pale, yellow-toned leaves is a sign of too much light; very dark leaves are not getting enough. Watch your plants, they will tell you what they need. If a plant is reaching or turning toward the light, it is not getting enough. ( This leaning towards the light is called heliotropism. Tropisms are one of my favorite phenomena about plants. I know; such a nerd am I.) If the leaves curl around the pot and look as though they are trying to escape, they may be getting too much light.
You'll have to experiment a bit. I would say In Jamaica, your northern exposure may be all your violets need. Until your violet sets bloom, you will have to read the foliage for clues as to its lights needs. It sounds tricky but it's really not. Just be observant. (I set a "Fisherman's Paradise" violet on my breakfast table a few evenings ago; the next afternoon it was practically sideways in its pot reaching for the light!)
You can save your photos to your pictures on your computer and then up-load them to here from there. Easy-peasy.
Any more questions, just shout them out.
Hope this helps!

Linda

P.S. Dave, you worry me.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Thanks so much Linda,to be honest they look so much more happier since I put them in their new location your a well of information. Now I can just watch them and adjust as time goes by to be totally honest their is not a plant I love as much as my violets except for my orchids. Again thanks so very much and I will try to post a pic so you can see what I mean. :).


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Phil,

It sounds as though you're doing great. Just observe and react to what you see.
I, too, grow orchids. Mostly phrags and paphs. I'd like to grow Miltoniopsis and Draculas but it is just too hot here in the summer.
Post your pictures when you can. I'd love to see them!

Linda


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Hi linda, I am trying to post a pic of where my violets are so you can see them hope it works.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Linda this is the other end they are all next to the northside with a little west to the frount I only figure out how to load one pic at a time. :) but I am getting there. Thanks again.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Phil,

It's a little difficult to tell about the lighting situation but, what I did notice is that many of your pots are too large for your plants. A violet should be in a pot that is 1/3 the size of the plant. Ex: a 6-inch plant will go into a 2-inch pot. It seems small until you get used to planting in smaller pots but it is what is needed. There are a couple of reasons: first, a violet will busy itself with filling all available soil with roots before it even thinks about blooming, Second: the danger of rot from over-watering is high if a large pot is used. The soil will remain too wet as the plant cannot take up all the available water. Third: blooming is a desperation act. Flowers bloom so they can reproduce themselves. If all conditions are perfect, they may not feel the need to bloom because there is the feeling that their lives are not in danger. A small pot may signal to a plant that it has all the space it is ever going to get and the plant will then go into bloom mode.
There are many tricks growers use to get their plants to bloom. One that comes to mind is withholding water from petunias so that they set bud. (I do this on a regular basis. My petunias are AMAZING!!!) Some growers will drop their violets from a short distance to a table to 'jar' their violets and put the fear of 'imminent danger' into them. Many plants will put on an amazing display of blooms right before they die. It is one last desperate act of reproduction.
So...your job is a juggling act of making your plant happy with the correct growing conditions so it will grow and bloom but not so happy it sits back and does nothing. The pot is where you have the control to add a bit of desperation to their lives.
Your plants look good over-all. How about a picture taken looking down? That way, I can get a better look at the individuals.
Hang in there. It's definitely not as tricky as it sounds.

Linda


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Linda hi, yes some of them are actually overpotted, when I seperated them I could not get any small cups so the small pots were my only choice. I got some small cups from a friend bt because they were growing I was afraid to desturbe them( afraid of killing) them. Do you think I should get some backbone and pot them down to the solo cups. That's a lot of repotting. Lol. Anyways I will post a pic when I get home from overhead so you can see better and then we move from there. Again thanks so much for taking the time to help me better take care of my babies. :)


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Phil,
You will not kill them by re-potting!!! And... I know this sounds scary...ruffle up the roots a bit when you do. Don't terrorize them just loosen them a bit. And, if when you re-pot, the roots won't fit in the new pot, slice off the bottom section of the roots.
Horticulture lesson: whenever a plant is cut, it awakens meristimatic tissue. Meristimatic tissue is tissue that is capable of growth. It is located at the ends of roots, branches and usually under the outer layer, (ex. bark) of plants. When you prune a plant, the plant responds by growing to replace what was cut off, usually by replacing the lost part with lots more of the same. Have you ever seen a live tree that was cut down and then sends out lots of branches at the stump? Meristimatic tissue at work. Your cut roots will be replaced by many, new fresh roots. (Just don't cut off a lot. One-third at the most is my rule-of-thumb. There is a balance between top growth and root growth so you may want to remove some bottom leaves as well.)
In short, don't be afraid of your violets!!!

Linda


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi again linda took these at night I hope yo can see these are some of the bigger ones. Please bear with me but I will have to post four times so you can see them.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Linda, these also some of the parents the two other post will be of the suckers.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Linda, these are some of the suckers I removed from parent plant didn't have small pots so put them in what I had.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Linda last one these are also suckers.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Phil,

Over-all, I think you are heading in the right direction with your light. There are a couple that look as though they could handle more light; those in the top picture bottom-right side. You will have to juggle around a bit to get maximum results, but I think you're doing well.
I do, however, keep coming back to this: these violets need re-potted! Now!!!
Have you ever considered growing under lights? It's nice to have total control of the light situation.
Get back to me if you need more help but I think you're on your way. It's a holiday week-end here in the States so I may not be back until Tuesday. My boat is calling me...

Linda


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Thanks so much Linda, you have been a big help. I will repot them as soon as possible. Enjoy your holidays.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Thanks so much Linda, you have been a big help. I will repot them as soon as possible. Enjoy your holidays.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

whitelacey...what kind of boat do you have? I/we have a 30 foot Searay weekender....days are getting short now as we live in Michigan.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Leaving your AVs to enjoy your other AV (Aquatic Vessel)?

How odd.

Tell your hubby, Arthur Victor ... 'hi' for us.

How's that for an 'alternate vector?'

˘.˘ --~

dAVe


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi Linda, first of all I am a girl my name is velleta. (I saw your post about editing a picture) :). Second I repotted them to smaller solo cups and pots. I even repotted two very large ones I got into very big pots with this heavy type of soil. I will send the pics in two other posts also. About using lights I wold love to but my hubby don't like plants and thinks I have too much, he also refere to them as ( I am even offended by the word "BUSH" oh the horror. So my only choice is this window they are in. Does this mean I won't get them to bloom. I hope I will. Anyways to show what they look like now. Velleta.


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Linda, this is the one with the one in the middle that has been like that from I got it.sticking out and up. . These are also repotted. Velleta.


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Linda, these are the two very big one I also repotted, they are in maybe 5-6inch plastic pots bt I place those pots in large clay pots with foil around the rims to help and spport the leaves. I didn't seperate them becase I love them being like this. Velleta


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Linda last one these are the suckers I placed them in solo cups. Theirs a big cup to the side with only one small leaf. I did not trouble it becase the mother leaf died and left only the one very small leaf so I am praying it gets bigger to transplant. It was too small to handle so I opted to wait a bit with that one. I think their also another in a brown pot with two leaves. Still small so I am waiting. So please tell me what you think, and anyone else who is willing to shear some information abot taking care of them I would be VERY greatful. Again thanks a milion for your time and patients also your encoragement. Its really not as difficult as I wold have though and I actally enjoy repotting them. Let's just pray I can get them to bloom. Maybe then my hubby will not call them bush. :). Velleta


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

dAVe,

Too much Absolut Vodka this holiday week-end??? ;)

Linda,
back from my Abbreviated Vacation on my Awesome Vehicle. Looking forward to another Adventurous Voyage this coming week-end.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Velleta,

Your violets look much better! As for getting them to bloom at the window-most growers start out at the window and there are many who prefer growing this way. So, yes, you can get them to bloom at a window. They bloom in their natural habitat with just natural light!
Start by putting your dark-leaved varieties closest to the window and the lighter ones back farther from the light. You will have to watch and see how they respond and juggle accordingly.
I think you did the right thing in not disturbing your tiniest plants. You can put the babies in a plastic baggie which will help with humidity. Just moisten the soil, seal in a bag and set in a light place. Also, putting the foil around the top of your pots is a good practice. It helps prevent petiole rot.
Remember, clay pots dry out quicker than do plastic ones so watch your water needs. They also keep the roots cooler so that may be an advantage in your climate.
As for not dividing your violets when re-potting: violets are usually grown as a single crown. This, however, is a standard for the show table, not a necessary element of good growing. If you like the way doubles look, then don't feel the need to divide them.
What kind of soil are you using? You mentioned heavy soil...
I think that's it. Let me know if you have any more questions.

Blondie,
I have a Rinker Captiva 26 foot with a big block engine. It's a beast: fast and loud!!!

Linda
silently cursing plant haters everywhere...


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Velleta,

One more thing: the plant with the up-right leaves-some violets naturally grow in an up-right manner. Give it as much light as you can without the leaves bleaching or burning. If it is an up-right grower it will probably stay that way. Since you say it has always been this way, I think this is the case because the rest of your violets don't seem to be reaching.

Linda


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi Linda, I am all smiles. Thank you so very much to be honest when I started I was a little nervious but I am very happy with myself and I am sure my violets are happier too. About the soil we don't get vermiculite here in jamaica so I used perlite, coir dust (very light also helps with moisture, but dries quickly) and miracle grow potting mix. I use like one cup miracle grow mix,two cups perlite and one cup coir dust. This mix works for me because when I water the pot gets heavy and within a few days when I pick up the pot it is light this is how I know when I should water almost fool proof, even for a newby. Is this ok or should I mix it differently. Again thanks very much for your help and I am gonna name my favourite yellow one( only plant) linda if you don't mind because your a very nice person, beautiful on the inside( this is because I don't know what the outside is like ) but I am sure even more BEAUTIFUL. Velleta


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Linda, one more thing I curse hubby openly lol, how can a person not like plants :( anyway we will both curse all of them together. As we say here in jamaica HALF OF THEIR LIVES ARE GONE. Meaning ( they are only half living). Thanks again. Velleta. .


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Velleta.

I like your Jamaican saying and I agree: if we can't appreciate the beauty around us, we are missing so much!

Your soil sounds good and it is great that you are able to tell whether a plant needs water by the lift of the pot. That skill is very useful. It sounds like you are doing great!

I am honored that you are going to name your favorite plant after me! I have found that most plant people are very generous with their knowledge. We remember what is was like when we first started struggling to grow and how much we appreciated everyone's help. It is also an opportunity to talk about our favorite subject with someone who is actually interested in what we have to say. This is a rare opportunity for me personally and I enjoy chatting with others about plants.

Let me know if you need any more help! :)

Linda (Who is still quite a looker ;) At least in my mirror. )


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

What a wonderful thread!!!


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Okay, I didn't read every post, but I scanned over and realize that this could easily be me soon. I started with two violets, and now I have ten or more in just a few short months. I think I bought my first in the late fall last year. I keep them at work as my office has great light with morning and afternoon sun. My boss is also an AV enthusiast with too many (her words) at home. Between propogating and my boss gifting neglected plants, my collection has definitely grown. My boss' husband has facilitated this hobby by building a shelf to accomodate the growing number of plants.

Thankfully, I am still very limited by space and I already have co-workers asking for babies. I will be able to unload some of my duplicates allowing me room to acquire new varieties. I have a couple that I have suceeded in cross-pollonating. I'm excited to see if I can grow from seed and what the progeny will look like if I am successful. I have only just begun my journey, but I have definitely been bitten by the AV bug.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

In reading this thread, I got some great ideas to donate
baby plants. (From reading others' stories, I realize
I am at the stage of wanting to root broken off leaves
of treasured varieties.) Friends, co-workers, neighbors,
doctor's offices and employees in plant stores have been
only too happy for these babies. I'm with the person who
wrote that for every one that comes in, one must go out.
I just placed orders with various growers, which means
I have to soon find homes for close to 30 thriving babies.
I contacted a local club who is having their annual
show soon and will gladly accept donations. It wouldn't
have thought to contact them if I had not been browsing
these topics. I have learned a lot, especially from Linda
about growing tips.


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Fortyseven,

Thanks for the kind words!

Irina had a wonderful thought on donating violets. She gives her excesses to local nursing homes. Such a great idea!

Linda


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi Linda
That is a great idea, AVs are such good
companions! The last time I had a batch to
donate, a neighbor took them to a Senior Center
where she volunteers.

Today I read in a garden book that today's AVs are
hybrids originating from nine species from Africa.

I also want to post a note to the writer who was looking
for illustrations of leaf types. That information is
shown in the book Growing to Show, can be
purchased from The Violet Barn or the AVSA Society.
Joanne47


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

47,

I've read recently that genetic research done into the origins of today's hybrids has found that most of our cultivars have originated from one species, S. ionantha. When violets were first classified, they were divided into about 20 or so poorly defined different species. From this came the idea that several of them were responsible for today's hybrids.

Now, with genetic testing, (plants have DNA too), this number has been reduced to about nine resulting in the theory that S. ionantha is the fore-runner of our violets today.

Several species of Saintpaulia proved to be unsatisfactory for growing in homes with several never have been recorded as blooming indoors. S. ionantha proved highly adaptable and was hybridized extensively.

There are several sub-species of S. ionantha which probably led to them being classified differently as classification was based on morphology. These differing sub-species probably all helped with the wide variety of colors and leaf types that we have today.

Fascinating stuff.

Linda


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RE: Hobby or Obssession?

Hi Linda,
Thanks for that information about the species.
Fascinating ... a species just waiting to be
discovered ... what hidden potential ...
wish I had taken stock in Holtkamp.

This has been a great thread, very informative.
I am very interested in the genetic science of violets.
(Just got a new violet called "Genetic Gem. But
i did not get it for the name.)

Joanne 47


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