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Thread: African Violets

  1. #1
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    African Violets

    Dave -you must really really be looking for spring---is it 2 weeks or 2 months :-) What's on your planting/seed starting list for 2010 ?

    Abby/Rebecca/Dawm: I looove those photos. About all I've got is a new African Violet--nothing too exciting there. I'll try to get a photo.
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    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    Cathy,

    Interesting idea about dunking the cacti, unfortunately I believe they would just come back. This outbreak is really bad! I'll have to mix up some Murphy's on a pump sprayer and really soak everyone down. And as if aphids weren't enough its also time for the White Flies to attack the Lantana AND I found Mealy Bugs on the Phalaenopsis Orchids - I hate that.

    Your African Violet is sweet! Can't say as I have seen that color break combination in them before, but then I don't get out much either! I have a grand total of 4 of them and two are "twins" ( same variety) and are miniatures. All have variegated foliage and all of the live in the 55 gallon fish tank/terrarium with a spotted philodendron and an "Earth Star" Bromeliad.


    Thought I had a recent shot of the terrarium but all I found was a shot of the #2 variegated standard AV; it's foliage is a lot prettier than the blooms!



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    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
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    I don't get out much either!--That's the first of variegated foliage on an AV that I've seen. Mine is supposed to be an Optimara which is just a marketing name for a series of 'artist's pallete(eek spell check please) flowers. I looked at photos of all of them and couldn't identify this guy. It came from Aldi's so I'll call it an 'Aldi'. Interesting to read along the way about 'chimeras'---blooms that have pinwheel aspects to them. Thanks for the nice photo of a lovely colored and variegated AV !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  4. #4
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    Cathy, yes I am so looking forward to spring. Haven't decided what to plant. I have seeds that I have bought for over 2 years. I don't really have that much space unless I open up more lawn area but that is a lot of work. And I did some seed exchange over GardenWeb now I got even more seeds. This thing can be addictive.

    But I need to start sorting them out and make decision soon.

    Your AV looks good. I got two of them from two friends, and I just didn't pay much attention to them, but after they bloomed a couple of times and after I propagated them a couple of times, I suddenly become interested in AVs.

    I have looked around and am planning to buy a few leaves, a packet of seeds, and probably a couple of chimeras. I am interested in propagating chimeras too. It doesn't sound too difficult. If I am successful, I will let you know. You can have some of my chimeras and other AVs too (but this is just a plan at this point).

    One that I have is a very standard purple one. I don't think I have any picture of it. The other one is this (I think they call this pattern thumb print).



    If you like this, I can send you a couple of leaves. Same offer to any regular member of this forum.
    Dave

  5. #5
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    Wow ! I think we are going to have to start an African Violet thread going over on subtropicals because I am interested in AV's(Since they seem to grow for me) AND because you have knowledge that I'd like to hear more of !
    Ann- Can we move these AV threads ?
    I'm going to re-read your post b/c there is alot in it and I want to give it the attention it deserves.........
    I did mange to ID my new AV. I'm pretty sure it's 'Anika':
    http://www.optimara.info/bi-color%20red.htm
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  6. #6
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    Bi-Colored African Violets

    Wow! Those are pretty!

    I've always favored the bi-colored and and the variegated. I don't grow them anymore, but when I did, I used Optimara fertilzer.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
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    Thank you Ann ! I'll be back to post Friday or Saturday.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  8. #8
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    Cathy,

    Every now and then you can spot one in a new shipment of Optimara AVs at WM, but best bet is at Lowe's. Get in good with the Dept head and they let you know what a shipment is due to arrive, you have to act fast! I can probably send a few leaf cuttings come spring.
    You can also Google AV sellers and find a few mail order houses. Lyon's, Tinari's (maybe, old firm, may not be anymore) are two that pop into my head.


    "R"
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  9. #9
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    Cathy
    Your pink african Violet is gorgeous - never seen such an intense pink before they usually seem very pastel colour.

    Dave
    The thumb print variety looks really pretty
    Abby

  10. #10
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    How do you propagate African Violets ?
    How would we mail/prepare-pack 'leaves' when it gets warmer out ?
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  11. #11
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    Some people propagate the leaves in water by putting aluminum foil over a water filled, narrow topped jar or bottle. They poke a hole in the aluminum foil, then slip the leaf's stem into the hole making sure that the leaf's stem is in the water. I have not had much luck with this method.

    I have had more luck with using rooting hormone, dipping the leaf stem in the hormone, then pressing it into a moistened soiless mixture such as vermiculite and covering to retain humidity. It is so much fun to see the tiny plants start to form.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed_Lily View Post
    How do you propagate African Violets ?
    How would we mail/prepare-pack 'leaves' when it gets warmer out ?

    Leaf cutting, my dear! For immediate use carefully remove a leaf from the 3rd row of leaves, re-cut the stem approximately 2-3 " long at a 45 angle and insert in moist vermiculite or you can root them in water (preferred). Set the leaf in the medium at a 45 angle, keep evenly moist and with gentle bottom heat in bright light. Additional humidity helps. A cluster of new plants will develop around the base of the stem and push they way to the surface. When they are big enough to handle they can be divided from the mother leaf and potted on their own in 2.5 inch pots.

    To mail leaf cuttings, cut the stem as long as possible, wrap in moist paper towel and then in plastic wrap or foil. wrap in bubble pack or newspaper and then slip into a bubble pack mailer for just a couple of leaves or small box with loosely filled "peanuts". Ship First Class as Fragile AND Perishable.

    Easy!

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  13. #13
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    Cathy, I just cut the petiole of the leaves about 45 degrees and then push it into a cup of moist vermiculite. Some of them I cover with transparent plastic covers, but later I found that even if I didn't cover them, they would do well too even in the dry Michigan winter. And I water the cup from the bottom as needed.

    Then after a month or so you start to see baby plants. It is really that easy and fun.

    Here is one that I did in 2008. I put 4 leaves in one tofu container:



    The big leaves are the mama plants. The little leaves are the baby plants.
    Dave

  14. #14
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    I found another picture which shows the original leave cuttings better. Here you see only the mama plants:

    Dave

  15. #15
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    Now that is neat! Those photos are great. I've got to try this !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




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