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Did they ever find out what caused 'california crud' on violets?

Posted by seattlemarigene pacific northwest (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 26, 07 at 20:53

Years ago I belonged to the Seattle african violet collection was distroyed by what the club called "california crud"...I and other members threw away hundreds of plants.I only have a 3 now..mostly from grocery stores..I miss the minis I used to have..Did anyone ever figure out what caused "california crud"?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Did they ever find out what caused 'california crud' on viole

Hi, Marigene,

I am from Seattle also, but only attended one meeting of the AV club before we moved. As I remember, everyone in Seattle blames everything on California. Ha, we moved to guess where.....nine years in Sacramento, but 10 years here in Maine now. Maine is better, and the only crud here is winter itch.


RE: Did they ever find out what caused 'california crud' on viole

Never heard the term "California crud". I wonder if it could have been a build-up of fertilizer making a bright orange crud on the soil and the plant?

If so, that was just fertilizer that could be washed away with several leechings.


RE: Did they ever find out what caused 'california crud' on viole

no the plants just got shrivled in the orange on them.A member took a plant to the U of washington.they couldnt find any bugs or sign of virus.I tried not fertilizeing and it still spread..One member threw away over 2000 plants he was raising for our annual show.:0(

RE: Did they ever find out what caused 'california crud' on viole

  • Posted by korina 9b, Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 28, 07 at 15:17

Hmm, sounds like what I and several others went through last year and this. After much investigating, it turned out to be micronutrient toxicity as described in African Violet Magazine's March & May issues. I only tossed 70+, my entire collection. Evidently it's caused by too much acid; I just couldn't figure out where it was coming from. So now I'm experimenting with hydroculture (see the 'semi hydroponics' thread); so far so good.

Korina, cautiously optimistic

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Newt

RE: Did they ever find out what caused 'california crud' on viole

wow aweful.Im so sorry...It was like a plague in our club back then..I had so many beautiful trailers and minis from Lyndon Lyon back then.I need to replace some of them.I still have all the ribbons I won back then...sigh....

RE: Did they ever find out what caused 'california crud' on viole

Can you explain this phenomenon in greater detail? What are the symptoms? It sounds like something that happened to one of mine... It started growing a really tight crown with yellowing, misshapen leaves, and then the crown dried up. I separated it, set it far from the windows (maybe 6-8ft back?), gave it no supplemental light, and ignored it. Didn't water it, or anything. Removed the crown at some point. None of this was intentional, it was basically on its way to the trash but I didn't get around to it. Felt bad one day months later, started giving it a little water. It's back now. It's growing from the crown, normal looking growth, and it doesn't even look like suckers... it looks like a regular crown. We'll see what it does.

Just out of curiosity, where can I read up more on micronutrient toxicity? Can I still get back issues of the African Violet Magazine?


RE: Did they ever find out what caused 'california crud' on viole

  • Posted by korina 9b, Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 4, 07 at 18:09

Quinn, check the link below and save it; Doctor Optimara is a wonderful diagnostic tool. They have a good explanation of m.t., as well as various mites, which is what yours sounds like; I'm glad it survived.

As for back issues of AVM, check eBay and

Good luck.


Here is a link that might be useful: Doctor Optimara

RE: Did they ever find out what caused 'california crud' on viole

Thanks for the response. Don't know if it was mites. The damage was limited solely to the crown. It wasn't my favorite anyway... it never bloomed the same way twice. First it was a single lavender pansy. Then, and this was the nicest bloom, it was a pale pale lilac with a deep purple "thumbprint" on each petal. The third time, it was waspier, and a brownish purple. Then the whole crown meltdown happened.

If it blooms again, and it's the second type, I'll be happy with it. But I'm not holding my breath. However, if it's putting up a good fight, who am I to stand in its way?

Anyway, again, thanks for the info!

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