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Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Posted by Begonia2005 none (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 29, 12 at 13:35

Pests was one subject I had not read much about so far because my plants looked clean, with nothing on them. I read more about AV pests and I think I finally know what was with two of them, which I have had since March.
When I bought them in Spring they were perfect and blooming. Like this:

http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll21/syracusa/010.jpg

When I came back from summer vacation, after my husband was left with them...they were stunted, had small distorted/bubbly leaves curling inwards, on the hairy side. One had a leaf that had actually cracked in the middle. I thought it was over-potting, over-watering, lack of light...all the jaz I asked about here.
I fixed everything, they continued to look the same.

So now I read about pests...and OMG!!!
These plants had exactly the symptoms of cyclamen or broad mites. So out they went.

The third plant...the one I have mentioned in a recent thread and which I have had for a month - started to lose leaves from where the petiole meets the potting mixture, one day after anoter. One by one. Yesterday, one small leaf growing right in the middle was dark grey instead of the healty green...with only one tiny spot of healthy green left at the edge.
Now, if I am not wrong, I do remember seeing a dark little bug in the soil of this plant at the time I took it out of the Pike pot to repot...but I ignored it as it was the only one and I just thought it might have been normal to see a little creature in the soil here and there. (Yes, hard slap over the forehead...)

What an idiot I was - as I never took pests seriously since I started this.

So I threw this one away too. I did take a couple of leaves to put down...but who knows whether these might be infested too.

Now the question is...what kind of danger are my three remaining plants in? They all look fine for now and have some very tiny blooms emerging...but so did these three unfortunate plants at one time.

Should I spray them with some preventive pesticide? ...

Oh, Lord.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

This is one of my remaining plants, which I bought in March, together with the tossed ones. The spots on that leaf are water spots from improper watering done by my husband. This is the only plant left from that March batch and whose leaves stayed apparently normal, except one.
Now it has some buds coming out.
My concern with this survivor is that this one leaf is a bit distorted too (the discolored one). Leaf is strongly curled inwards, with the middle raised ...

Could it be that this plant could be in an early stage of mites?

I guess I will just have to isolate it and see how it does.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

One of the remaining 3 plants. This is as old as the ones I tossed away - I bought them together. It was March then.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Pictures of one of the ones I discarded. In fact, I didn't actually place them in the trash bin yet, because I want to find out whether these are really mites or not. I took them in a bathroom on a different floor. The visible symptoms say mites 100% (purple under the leaves too). It is not as clear from this picture because I have already taken off the leaves that were most distorted, bubbly.
Then I plucked a few leaves from both plants and placed them under my son's 40X microscope. Nothing is moving there.
This is a microscope, not a magnifying glass.
I can't see a thing moving.

I have no idea what they have...but these ugly, distorted things need to go before my Lyndon Lyon order arrives anyway.

I am holding my breath for my other three, with buds.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Hi Begonia - Youve done the right thing in isolating anything that looks not right. The plant in the bottom picture looks like it could have suffered from a watering problem.
It seems to be in a very large pot too which can lead to overwatering issues.
You could put it in a bag or under a dome after you have treated it with whatever pesticide you use.
I threw out 3 plants only yesterday - they just didnt look right.
I will pass on one piece of advice which was the best ever given to me: Dont be tempted to go too big, too soon.Get on top of what you've got before lashing out on multiple plant stands and filling them up.
Once the watering and the light is under control its relatively easy. Sure youll get problems - we all do - but I admire your capacity for learning. You will get on top of it soon enough.

Andrew


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Thank you, Andrew.

No...I am far from having multiple plant stands. I can't even fill the one I have. I am left with 3 plants now, all of whom are suspect if the 3 I threw away did indeed have mites. Granted I do have 4 more coming from Lyndon Lyon, and 4 beautiful ones for that matter, not basic grocery store type...and if something happens to them...I will really pitch a fit. :-((

I suppose I should put them all very far away from my current 3 remaining plants, right? What should I disinfect the surrounding environment with when I bring them in?

As for the tossed plants, I could not detect anything under the microscope...at 4X and 10x magnification. The 40x function didn't seem to work that well...but I could see the leaf well magnified and nothing was moving there. I saw some spots etc, but they were all still. So I still don't know whether my plants were exposed to mites or not.

As for the plant in the picture...I know it looks like it is wilted but it is not. The leaves and stems are hard but they curl downwards and as you can see, they have some distortion. Now, after reading about mite symptoms, it is not clear to me whether such appearance could also come from other problems, such as too much light, or is it that stunted growth, curling under, purple on the undersides, and bubbled up leaf surface is uniquely a mite symptom.

I really can't see how these plants could have gotten too much light...unless the short daily period when the plant would have been exposed to direct sun in the Eastern window..can count as "too much light"!! (???)

Our house is not so tall and bright so I never really have "bright yet indirect light". When these plants got light in the window, they were in DIRECT morning/east sun. In our windows, it's kind of an "all or nothing" deal. It's either direct sunlight, or the room gets pretty dark.
Then, when the sun moves on, they hardly get any light at the window.
But maybe the periods of direct sun light, be they short throughout the day, did this? This is the south, after all.

Also, I looked through a 10X magnification microscope. Could I have missed the mites nevertheless? Again, nothing was moving on the leaves - and I tested several, mostly younger, from the center.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

One more thing: the "pot" you see is a small plastic cup where I recently re-potted the plant after taking a sucker off of it. It is actually smaller than it looks and has pebbles at the bottom. The re-potting was done recently so this cup did not have the time to "have an impact" on the evolution of the plant. Either way, it doesn't matter because the plant is history.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Begonia the pesticide of the moment appears to be Imidacloprid. It has a variety of trade names and I believe the American A/V collectors use it under the name of Marathon.
Here in Oz it is branded as Confidor. It is very effective and so far our local club members have not reported any harm to plants. It is fantastic with foliage mealy bug and I have also drenched the soil on some plants with this and the plants in question have always recovered.
With regard to new incoming plants the generally recommended good practise is to isolate them for at least 2 months before putting them with the existing stock, although I doubt that too many people do that! I always spray the incoming plants with Confidor (Foliage and soil) and even though most of my stock comes from fellow club members I try not to be over confident regarding their past treatment.
Good luck
Andrew


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Eastern window..can count as "too much light"!! (???)

Maybe with the direct sun heat passing in as well it could be to much but the plant would show good recovery in 2-3 days after adjusting the distance from window,blinds,lighting or something like the 3 mentioned.

Seems to me you use a lot of effort to get your AV's to flower and grow There seems to be one problem after another for you and your quick to attempt a solution.

Don't take this the wrong way but I think after reading some of your problems there is one small problem that may have been overlooked by some of us and you. It's great that you ask questions and good to see you follow though to get to a solution.

Fact is by now someone else would of just added AV's to there nemesis plant list tossed them out and given up, but you keep hanging in there to fore fill an idea that no plant will be on your nemesis list.

Let me ask you regarding any plant of any type how much care is to much care ? Are you loving your plant(s) to death ?

A final ingredient to a well grown good looking plant of any type is not food nor soil or light but there is often overlooked a thing called time


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Mrlike2u,

You got that right, I didn't put the AV-s on the nemesis list, though I must admit they do live up to their name of being fussy :-). However, I am determined to figure them out. I heard other blooming indoor plants can be even harder to grow, plus they don't have the pontential to bloom all year. With the way things are going, my AV-s don't either, but at least I hear there is potential for them to do that.

I am sorry for having made everyone's head big, but I am desperately grasping at straws here. :-(
Here are some reasons I keep pushing for this whole AV thing:

1. I am a decorator, not a "grower" - and I want some plants in the house, a few of which MUST have blooms - lots of them, if at all possible.
Houses with no live plants in them depress me. It would make me feel like I have become such a modern slave, with such an abrupt pace of life... that I cannot be one of those who can afford a little free time so they can take care of a plant. In today's day and age, houses with plants are a luxury - and I want this luxury. :-))).

Mind you, I am not a person with time on hands. I work a full-time, professional job and have two small children, one of them with ADHD. Go figure. But I cannot stand the idea that I could become THAT busy to not be able to smell a rose. So I make TIME for it. My house MUST have plants, so I push them further up on the priority list and that's the end of the debate. :-)))
I should probably exercise in the little free time I have...but for now, the plants make me happy.

2. I love blooms with strong colors. Green is not enough for me. I am yet to see another indoor plant, other than perhaps Gloxinia and Reiger Begonias (which I invariably kill) that makes the kind of blooms I love to see in the house. I am not crazy about plants like Orchids (too modern and cold for me).

3. I am in my 30's but I love old-fashioned elegance. I have heard so many people are put off by AV-s because theu supposedly remind them of "little old ladies" - but this is exactly what attracts me to them!
I was an "old-soul" even at 17...so much more now. A few years ago I noticed an AV in my mother-in-law's house and it kind of drew my attention. She is an 85 yo wonderful lady, one of my most favorite people on Earth (they don't make them like that anymore :-)) and her house always exudes an amazing air of serenity, slow pace of life, dignity and warmth. So I decided I wanted AV-s too. :-)

I bought two in March and it's been a learning curve since then...with a 2 months break over the summer which I spent overseas. At that time, my AV-s were left with a neighbor for 3 weeks, then with my husband for the remainder of the time. When I got back they no longer looked so hot.

I went through learning about soil, watering, more recently light...and now that I just discovered the topic of pests...these bloomy things do sound quite fussy.

But any help I can get, I am truly thankful for.

Finally...have I given them enough TIME? Hmmm...let's just say that I need to make sure I won't give them any more than what I've already been giving them...or else, I might run into that scnenario where work, kids and life just...well, get in the way of this little hobby.
Yes, I am giving them tons of time. Perhaps I should just give them a tad of neglect and see how they shape up.
I check them and stare at them every day, looking for the tiniest bloom that might just be piercing the surface of the soil, I check the light levels, I check the moisture wth a meter because I still don't trust my own finger for fear of overwatering, etc.

I also have a Peace Lily that does't get 10% of the attention these little drama queens seem to require, and "she" just does her thing in a corner without much fuss. This plant is like those kids who receive little and give much back...yet the parents still end up loving the spoilt problem-child more. Never mind my geraniums on the deck who have been blooming their heads off the entire summer with almost complete neglect.

But hey, I am determined to tame these little AV-s and make at least one bloom her head off.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

  • Posted by nyxx z7 Virginia (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 30, 12 at 23:25

Begonia forgive me but I have to laugh. Mike didn't mean give time as in more of it. He meant give them time as in leave them alone for a bit other then making sure they are watered to see how your tender loving care has done them. When we repot for example it is not unusual at all to lose a few leaves or any number of other things just from the stress of being repotted. The more we fuss with them the more stress and on and on in a vicious circle. Even bringing a new plant home can cause the plant to stress a bit. New humidity, lighting all that good stuff. But given the chance to adjust they will, and you will have beautiful plants. All living things need time to adjust to new environments, people, animals, and yes plants including our african violets.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

They do seem a bit fussy, don't they ... ???

But it's all about setting up the right environment ... and then, you just feed and water them as they need it.

For a more disciplined approach to growing violets, I recommend that you take a look at "All About African Violets" at the link.

Annie grows for show (i.e. she takes her plants to competition), so she is much more on top of how to tame these little beasties.

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's All About African Violets Podcast


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

nyxx,

I clearly got that wrong. :-)

Now when I re-read the post, I got the sarcasm (which often hides in tone, darn it :-))... and as you could see, I did have the feeling that I just need to back off when it comes to watching for bloom production.

Granted... all this STILL doesn't explain what happened to those two plants who exhibited symptoms of broad mites to a T.
Those symptoms showed up over the long term, they didn't get fixed with light adjustment...so I really don't know.
I checked them for mites with a microscope and I also used Melvin Robey's method...which was to shake some leaves on top of a white sheet under very good light...and watch if I see something moving. Nothing was moving under the microscope or one the white sheet.

This also doesn't explain the quick demise of that newer AV that started to lose lower leaves out of the blue, one by one. I'd had that one for a month - and then it started to lose leaves.

Well...I will choose to believe those two plants didn't have mites but somehow ended up looking like they had them.
Maybe there are other reasons that can make AV-s exhibit mite-like symptoms.

Now I am waiting for the four Lyndon Lyon primadonas to arrive...and I keep thinking what exactly will it mean for me to ISOLATE them?
Do they need to be isolated from my current 3 remaining AV-s or also from EACH OTHER? I certainly would HOPE LL doesn't send in AV-s with mites but then again, they say even the most high-end grower cannot 100% guarantee to you that they will send pest-free plants.

Truth is I don't have a separate spot with good light for each one of them, separately. I just wish I could use the light stand I have at the window...which is almost empty...but will that mean isolation?



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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Aegis,

Yes - I have been watching Annie's podcasts. It was nice to see her plants a week before the show. They looked really nice but seemed to have a little less bloom than I thought show plants would be expected to have. But maybe they will add some more this week.
Her set up is impressive, especially the lights.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Beginia ...

I don't believe that you had mites. Mites have some fairly distinct markers and I don't think that you had them in your plants.

Mites will destroy the crown (center growth) of your plants, and in fairly short order. There is no lingering malaise once you get them.

I think that your plants have had a rough summer ... and are/were showing that. AV's are forgiving, once you get them back on the right track, ... but it takes time.

I would advise you to isolate your "new arrivals" from your "older plants" for awhile. (The Lyndon Lyon plants have already been growing together.) That means that you will need (2) spots to setup for plant space. I've never gotten a diseased or pest-ridden plant from Lyndon Lyon, but it's always better to be safe, rather than sorry.

I still think that you can use the lighting setup you had originally for one set of plants, ... and the new lighting setup you have for the others.

Re: Annie's podcast, ... her plants are all new (she chucked her prior collection earlier this year) ... and she's starting all over again. That's one reason why her plants don't display a super-abundance of bloom right now.

Plus, right now, she's concentrating more on foliage than on blooms.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Begonia -

1. I agree with Aegis - doesn't look like mites, looks like you have them stunted for whatever reason - non-optimal conditions in summer is a good guess. I would give them a spa treatment - put them on a tray with a dome and let them relax in high humidity.

2. Imidacloprid doesn't work against mites. It works the best against mealy bugs - both foliar and root. Which are much harder to get rid of.

3. The good miticide is Forbid. You can get 1/2 oz of it on ebay for $22 and it will last for several years.

4. The distorted leaf is the one that has the yellow spot on a central vein - so the vein is damaged - that's why it is curling. You remove the leaf - and the plant will cover the gap quite soon - and you do not need to look at it ever and guess - if your hubby dropped a watering can on it or what.

Good Luck

irina


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Thank you again, irina and aegis - you guys have been so kind to put up with an agitated newbie like I am.

I wonder why Annie lost all of her plants earlier in the year. Does anyone know?

Regarding the distorted, water-spotted leaf - yes, I removed it. I had no idea that the leaf could start curling just because it has a water spot on it. This is the plant that has survived whatever non-optimal summer conditions made the other two decline. Right now, it looks fine without that leaf, except the gap of course - but the plant will fix that. And it also has at least three buds coming out (yey!) - so she's my favorite right now because she proved to be such a trooper. I have had it for 7 months and now it is blooming again. :-) She's a little victory of mine. What makes me hope the other two really didn't have mites is that they were brought in together with this one - and I think this one would have had enough time to pick the mites from the other two, if those were indeed mites.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Podcast Annie grows her violets for show (i.e. to take and compete in violet shows).

Earlier this year, she began to notice distorted growth in her plant's crowns ... (she believes that she may have overfed them).

Being as she needs fairly perfectly grown plants to enter into shows, she opted to start all over with new plants, as it would have been difficult for her to erase the damage (from overfeeding) that had been inflicted on her plants.

She explains this in her first podcast or two.

I've overfed plants before also, but since I don't take my plants to show, I was able to nurse most of them back to good health, though I also lost 3-4 plants in the process. Overfeeding will also sometimes burn out the crowns of your plants, which means that they will no longer grow or bloom normally.

P.S. Your plant looks quite healthy. It should give you some nice blooms.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Yes, it is fine - I don't even know what its name is. I got it at Kroger back in March. All I know is that it has dark purple/burgundy blooms.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

As long as it makes you happy... of 20000 registered violets it is either came from Harster's Greenhouses in Canada or from Holtkamp Greenhouses in US (Optimaras)- or it can be not registered at all... but you need to succeed with tough commercial plants first before moving to the fancier ones.
I also went through the phase - oh-my-God - I have all kind of bugs - 10 years ago. Now - I think majority of the damage comes usually from culture issues. The yellow spot that made your leaf curl is probably some kind of an old mechanical damage, not a water spot.

If you turn the gap towards a window, it probably will close faster.

Good Luck

irina


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Irina,

What would be examples of "tough commercial plants" and "fancier" ones? How are they different, more exactly?


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

In my view to my understanding tough commercial plants: Are plants that dont perform as well under the same growing conditions as the same family type fancier plants:

Photobucket

Some tougher commercial plants with a couple fancier plants.

I dont think of plant growing as a thing we do to get better at and then earn privileges to grow the so called fancier plants next to the not so fancy plants.

Maybe I should say welcome to AV 101 in this class we learn to toss away all forms of MG potting soil. However as you said to me you had solved problem one already. Allow me to ask ... Are you sure ?


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Different AV's have different growth characteristics.

Some, particularly, are more vigorous and impervious to cultural variations than others.

Some AV growers have bred for the characteristics in their AV's which will allow them to be quickly produced, shipped, and displayed for weeks in retail settings where conditions are not as particularly suited to the success of AV's.

The Optimara's are the most likely examples of this set of plants, probably what you first picked up at a grocery or hardware store.

Other growers have bred for other characteristics, ... color, flower & leaf form, variegation, symmetry, etc.

Some of these plants will be a little more difficult to grow.

So, if you want sure-fire blooming success, Optimara (for one), is a way to go.

I've got an Optimara New Mexico which is , pretty much, a sure thing and a big bloomer for most of the year.

On the other hand, you can also find plants with exceptional vigor and resistance to mis-treatment from other vendors, as well.

I've noted before that I've found Lyndon Lyon AV's Private Dancer, Perfect Harmony, Pink Summit, July Renegade, Sunkissed Rose, Enchanted Pink, and Sunday Best are very vigorous, robust plants that grow well and bloom big and often.

OTOH, I've tried growing Buckeye Butterflies for years with little to no success.

At some point, you begin to get a sense of what is easier ... or harder ... to grow.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Aegis,

Do you know anything about the vigor/likelihood of success of any of the 5 following varieties from LLG?

Red Summit (I heard it can never get enough light; ugh!).
Live Wire
Decelles' Flamingo
Timeless Memory
Witch Doctor (ordered just a leaf)

These were the ones that caught my attetion when I decided to replace a few of those I threw away; but I had no idea some can be seen as "tough, commercial" and others are "fancy/hard to grow".

I would have inquired about vigorosity before placing my order - had I known. I just went by "prettiness"...and probably managed to pick the fussiest ones. As with everything else in life, the prettier, the fussier.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Sorry Begonia,

I don't know about any of the particular varieties you've oredered, but Lyndon Lyon starter plants is a great start, in any case.

I do have Pink Summit, which is robust and blooms a lot.

Perhaps Red Summit is related.

And be sure to see Annie's podcast on starting from a leaf. It should be in one of the September episodes.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

mrlike2you,

Your plants are gorgeous - what amazing foliage!

OK...about the soil.
I have done my very best so far but it looks like I still have things to learn and amend; or hopefully just amend.
Right now I am not going to change it again because I will not put these plants through yet another repotting and they seem to be OK. All three have blooms coming...one not not as many as I wish it did...but, oh well.

Right now...here is what my soil is made of: it's about 1/3 AV potting soil from Pikes, 1/3 perlite MG (right...I know, bad, but this was all that was available for a novice like myself at the time I bought what I needed) and 1/3 Hoffman vermiculite, very fine - I know it's not ideal. (If it's not good for plants, I wonder why in the world are they shamless enough to sell it as "horticultural/for soil aeration".)

Anyway:

After all the studying I have been doing, I decided next time I re-pot I will buy some organic peat moss + horticultural vermiculite + plain perlite (no fertilizer) from Out-Grow on Amazon...and be done with it.

After I realized that the MG Perlite has fertilizer in it...and that even the potting mix might have some...guess who might have over-fertilized over the past few months?

Next time, I will give all plants a good flush without fertilizer, just in case. These don't show any fertilizer burn...but then again, maybe this is what the ones I suspected of mites and threw away had???

When the LLG ones come, I will try not to make any mistake on them anymore ...hopefully I have learned most of what needs learning to not kill a "fancy" one.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Aegis,

Yes, I saw the podcast, I am wathing it religiously now...I even got the darn X-acto knife :-)) ...did everything the way she did it!
One thing I omitted when I put some leaves down, I forgot to leave the soil very loose arounf the leaf. I patted it in a bit...which apparently is not the way it should be done; but then recently, I fluffed up a bit the soil around the leaf so more air can get in.

I also don't have the dome that Annie does, but I made little green houses around the leaves, out of sandwhich bags. I have had the leaves down for over a week now. It will be a while until I get to see some plantlets...if at all.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

I only grew Witch Doctor out of this batch. Wonderful mosaic foliage, small and not that special blossoms. But just for foliage it is an interesting plant to have in your collection.

I grew some violets that is not easy - and they are not that common. But I think whatever is not Optimara or Anthoflores - the commercial ones - requires better conditions. The commercial ones are specifically hybridized and selected to be tough. They have strong leaves, 99% have simple single blossoms on thick bloomstalk, barely any variegated ones - so they can be tossed in the boxes and carted for 1000 miles - and no breakage, no spots on the petals. And I think the can take lower humidity and still grow well enough.

The fancier hybrids - have bigger tender blossoms, some have leaves that break easily - Blue Dragon, Cherries-n-Cream for example, some have thin leaves - my beloved trailer Milky Way Trail has them - so when I take it to the Show - it cannot take low humidity and flowers just droop - while the other ones with more substance - stay proud.

Most of the plants won't die in non-perfect conditions, it is just harder to make them happy enough to perform great. And who need an AV that doesn't bloom...

Good Luck

Irina


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

After all the studying I have been doing, I decided next time I re-pot I will buy some organic peat moss + horticultural vermiculite + plain perlite (no fertilizer) from Out-Grow on Amazon...and be done with it.

For AV's I remain peat moss free and for every any plant I grow I am also vermiculite free
Reason: Peat moss the nail compacting when wet it's finer sands to mud peat moss prohibits healthy root growth by suffocating them in wet mud.
Vermiculite the hammer holds to much moisture to long for any inside plant I know of Besides that I can water on my schedule well enough with out V-mite.

What holds the soil and plants is easy to see they're unfinished fired clay at the inner and base and surfaced with higher fired finished ceramic glaze self watering pots Not the Coffin


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

MrLike -

growers experiment all the time with their mixes and sometimes they improve their results and sometimes it doesn't work. The proof of the idea is an experiment - but you need to try growing side by side some plants with your new soil and some with traditional so you can compare the results and decide if it works for you before moving all of them to a new mix.

If you do not like peat in your mix - you can try small cube rock wool with perlite and vermiculite. This mix doesn't get compacted and doesn't deteriorate with time like peat. But it probably works better if the pots are wicked.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

OK...the question remains...for a novice like myself, what kind of potting mix should I put my new plants in?

The 4 LLG plants just arrived...and they will need re-potting soon. They all seem under-potted, the plants are still very young and some of them look long, spindely and relatively frail. I will post picttures in a new thread.

Now I understand what aegis said about the "tough commercial" ones vs. the "fancy" ones.
Granted these LLG plants seem very young, the ones I bought from Pikes in full, crazy bloom looked very mature, established and sturdy by comparison.

I hope I won't make a mess of these fancy ones. So what kind of soil should I put them in for now?

50% AV mix (non-MG) and 50% pure perlite (no fertilizer in it)? Would that work?
I will not include Vermiculite anymore. I don't have the right kind anyway and I just don't like the idea of having that sand in there. mrlike2you is right: it seems to keep the moisture in there for too long.

Now...question is, where we could I get some pure perlite from? ...

But


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Leave your plants in Lyndon Lyon's mix until they grow too large for the pots (months from now). LL's mix is good enough, for right now. Also, hold off on the fertilizer for about a month.
The key now is to let them adjust to your growing conditions for awhile. As I mentioned before, if they get adequate light, they should bloom within the month. After they bloom and grow a bit (they can probably double in size) ... at that point they'll be ready to repot.

For right now, less handling ... will lead to a quicker adjustment and blooming for you.

Just put the plants in their pots in saucers ... and water when needed.

These are Lyndon Lyon plants in their own starter pots and soil.

Perfect Harmony
Perfect Harmony

Pink Summit
Pink Summit

Moonlit Waters
Moonlit Waters


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Aegis,

Your LLG plants look great - but I have to say I was a little underwhelmed with mine. First of all, some have these very long, sparse and spindly leaves that are about to break off because they seem so long. Should I gt rid of those? They feel so out of place. I am not sure how these plants were grown but they look like they were desperately reaching for the light wherever they were kept. I might be wrong. The containers also look very small for how long the leaves are.
Let me know what you think - and thank you again!


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

The two long spindly leaves can safely be removed, and you will have a tough little plant left to grow out some more. You can trim the stems of those two leaves and try to start some new plants from them.

Don't be afraid to remove outer leaves that don't add to the symmetry of the plant. And give this plant some time to fill up that pot with roots.

Barbara


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Begonia/Barbara ...

I guess the way I look at it is this ...

Any healthy leaves on your starter plants are part of the plant's mechanism to feed and support the plant. (Leaves convert light into sustenance for your plants).

So the more leaves (to a point) a plant has, the larger the plant's support system ... AND ... the sooner your plants will grow and bloom.

I'd wait until my plant was more robust ... before I'd begin removing leaves.

P.S. Most mail-order plants are 'starter plants'. They are easier to ship and arrive with much less plant damage, in my experience.

Just for informations sake, you can get somewhat larger plants from, say, Bluebird Greenhouse (at the link) ... or even almost mature plants from sources on ebay.

But ... the only plants I have lost to shipping damage ... were larger plants. Smaller plants ship much easier.

Like I said originally, I'd give your new plants at least a month or so to get adjusted to your conditions. The plants that I showed were in my growing conditions for, maybe, a couple months.

You take good care of your plants, ... and they'll get nice and big for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluebird Greenhouse Link


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

Aegis,

Unfortunately, I have already removced those two leaves. They were SO long and spindly compared to the rest of the plant that they threateaned to break off the plant hanging over the pot rim. It might take longer for this plant to become well established and bloom now...but I guess, if it is meant to "make it" under my inexperienced hand ...it will eventually anyway. If not, it will probably quit with or without those leaves on.


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

With or without the leaves, your plant should be fine.

Enjoy


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RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

has any one tried using praetor nematodes and praetor mites to control spider mite, broad mites and thrips. They are like little lions feeding on the pests, praetor nematodes live in the ground killing any thing they find and most of the pest live part of their live there. Thrips spend the first part of there live under ground. The praetor nematodes come in a little sponge that you cut 1/3 of put in a spray bottle of water and let it sit for a 1/2 hour, shake it up and spray the surface potting mixe and then water them in good. It cost $18.00and the 2/3 that you have not used put in the cooler and treat you plants ever 2 weeks till it is gone. They will live on the sponge in the cooler for 6 weeks.

I also treat my plants with praetor mites at the same time , they like to find the bad mites and lay their egg among the spider mites and broad mites eggs . When the praetor mites they are hunger an the love to eat mite eggs. they come in several different ways praetor mites"NEOSEIULUS CUCUMERIS" come in quick release packets $1.99 and it is enough to treat 1-2 plant racks 4 shelves 48 in. long. You springily the product which looks (it is ) wood saw dust over the plants
It is import to do these after dark. sun light kills praetor mites nematodes & praetor mites mites!!!!

Praetor mites"NEOSEIULUS CUCUMERIS"also come in slow release pack $1.99, you but pack on each shelve and as they hatch they leave the pack ove 6 week periodAs a Added protection !!!

They best thing is they very best Insecticides /Miticides likeForbid 4F Miticide, Avid EC Miticide and Marathon a systemic insecticides do not kill the praetor nematodes and praetor mites so you can still use them!!!!
YOU CAN NOT USE NEEM OIL Why because it kills every thing even the good praetor bugs then you have nothing to keep spider mite, broad mites and thrips under control!!!
The day beforetaking your plants to a show put NEOSEIULUS CUCUMERIS mites "in the slow release pack in your box with your warping- material and leave it there for the whole trip with your plants


 o
RE: Just tossed 3 AV-s faster than you can say MITES!

has any one tried using praetor nematodes and praetor mites to control spider mite, broad mites and thrips. They are like little lions feeding on the pests, praetor nematodes live in the ground killing any thing they find and most of the pest live part of their live there. Thrips spend the first part of there live under ground. The praetor nematodes come in a little sponge that you cut 1/3 of put in a spray bottle of water and let it sit for a 1/2 hour, shake it up and spray the surface potting mixe and then water them in good. It cost $18.00and the 2/3 that you have not used put in the cooler and treat you plants ever 2 weeks till it is gone. They will live on the sponge in the cooler for 6 weeks.

I also treat my plants with praetor mites at the same time , they like to find the bad mites and lay their egg among the spider mites and broad mites eggs . When the praetor mites they are hunger an the love to eat mite eggs. they come in several different ways praetor mites"NEOSEIULUS CUCUMERIS" come in quick release packets $1.99 and it is enough to treat 1-2 plant racks 4 shelves 48 in. long. You springily the product which looks (it is ) wood saw dust over the plants
It is import to do these after dark. sun light kills praetor mites nematodes & praetor mites mites!!!!

Praetor mites"NEOSEIULUS CUCUMERIS"also come in slow release pack $1.99, you but pack on each shelve and as they hatch they leave the pack ove 6 week periodAs a Added protection !!!

They best thing is they very best Insecticides /Miticides likeForbid 4F Miticide, Avid EC Miticide and Marathon a systemic insecticides do not kill the praetor nematodes and praetor mites so you can still use them!!!!
YOU CAN NOT USE NEEM OIL Why because it kills every thing even the good praetor bugs then you have nothing to keep spider mite, broad mites and thrips under control!!!
The day beforetaking your plants to a show put NEOSEIULUS CUCUMERIS mites "in the slow release pack in your box with your warping- material and leave it there for the whole trip with your plants


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