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African Violets and Gesneriads: What Am I Doing Wrong?

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Forum: African Violets and GesneriadsReplies: 14, Views: 259
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gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 8, 2010
7:02 AM

Post #8200746

When I stopped growing AV about 5 years ago I had absolutely no problems with them. Leaves put out babies, I separated, and grew them into beautiful blooming plants.

Restarted hobby April of this year, joined club, and am having dismal failure as grower.

My wife, who has never grown violets before, is having phenomenal success. I grow under lights, she sticks hers in any available window and Whammo!! pretty soon they are gorgeous!

This photo is an example of my failure. These babies are 2 to 3 months old. Why am I getting such tight, brittle, sucker filled growth? The leaves on the plantlets are all so tiny.

Thumbnail by gessieviolet
Click the image for an enlarged view.

helenethequeen

helenethequeen
Longboat Key, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 8, 2010
7:13 AM

Post #8200781

too close to the lights

over fertilizing

too much chlorine in your tap water

any of those can be the cause
carpathiangirl
Akron, OH
(Zone 5a)

November 8, 2010
7:43 AM

Post #8200831

I had the same problem in Aug./Sept. and lost 2 plants, one young and one mature. I suspect it could be some kind of infection/mites? I kept them next to some dozen other AVs with no fertilizer or artificial lights, watered with the same tap water and all of them kept doing great but those two... I did separate them though so would definitely recommend to carantine the plants in question for the sake of others. I wish I knew what was the problem... It might help to have them checked at the extention office. Good luck!
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

November 8, 2010
8:37 AM

Post #8200915

My best quess is too much light or heat.The one on the top left looks a little different from the others.I would isolate it and examine it with a magnifying glass or jewelers loupe if possible.You might also try a gentle bath in mild dish soap.Just make sure the plants,especially the crowns,are completely dry before putting back under lights.
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 23, 2010
5:37 PM

Post #8274371

I gott'a share the news.

After all the problems I have had since re-starting my AV hobby I have finally admitted maybe this was a mite problem, followed the suggestion that Forbid 4F was a product I might want to try and quess what?! In a couple of weeks I have centers that are regenerating beautifully; I now have 4 plants either in bloom, or about to bloom!

Have picked 11 varieties from the batch I was going to discard 3 weeks ago to treat as I would stored crowns. What have I got to loose, I am ahead of the game in that I don't have to wait for a regeneration to start. They are already a glowing green set of little buggers!

The result from a simply misting is amazing!! I wish I had not resisted so long.

BTW, streps are also beautiful. Alissa opened a blossom today!

I am growing violets again!! Life is good today!!
tommyr2006
Poughkeepsie, NY

December 23, 2010
6:34 PM

Post #8274436

CONGRATS! Happy holidays and new year too to all!
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

December 24, 2010
8:58 AM

Post #8275129

That's wonderful Lane!! Happy Holidays to you and yours :-) !!

Lynn
mrsbonnie
Ottawa, IL
(Zone 9a)

December 24, 2010
4:06 PM

Post #8275672

didi you just mist the plants? i read the precautions on the label & was a little leary.
bonnie
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 25, 2010
6:23 AM

Post #8276157

Bonnie, I put ONE DROP in 12 oz water and misted. According to directions as little as 1.4 oz of this stuff is sufficient for 100 gallons of mix (max recommendation is 4 oz--1/2cup/100 gallons). It has powerful effect!! I think that means 1 drop in 1 1/2 cup water is plenty strong.

Remember reading somewhere it is not necessary to spray to runoff, or to hit all leaves. I misted til I could see very small droplets on leaves.

Will keep posted on progress; I am using previously infected plants as an experiment.

I made this photo just a few minutes ago. These are 4 of the batch pictured in first entry. Treatment was done after 11-20 ( I don't have exact date in notes)

Thumbnail by gessieviolet
Click the image for an enlarged view.

mrsbonnie
Ottawa, IL
(Zone 9a)

December 25, 2010
4:27 PM

Post #8276725

I was just concerened about inhaling it. But it sounds like such a minute amount.It did not bother you when you misted them?
Bonnie
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

December 25, 2010
7:15 PM

Post #8276873

It never occurred to to me that I might inhale it. I used a clothes misting bottle and my face got no where near any vapors.
Hillbilly_Gran
Jasper, AR
(Zone 7a)

December 30, 2010
8:28 AM

Post #8283416

I have bought this product and have been considering spraying the entire gh. I think that inhaling it is more likely an issue when you do a large scale operation like I have been contemplating. I have talked myself into just spot spraying plants that need it, and don't think that should be too much of an issue. Now--just need to do it.
Sue6060
Holland, NY

January 12, 2011
10:59 AM

Post #8306756

I'm a new member and I was happy to see the post from gessieviolet about the real tight centers in AV's. I had beautiful violets till last year when I began to see this wierd problem on some plants. I took leaf cuttings and started new plants and I can see the same thing happening to them. I segregated the "sick" plants and will now try treating with the Forbid 4F you mentioned and see if I can see a difference. I did notice that a couple regenerated on their own next to the tight, browned-out center, but it's unnattractive, distorted growth. I did read somewhere that this could be the result of some bug or other, but I looked with a magnifier and couldn't really see anything. Thanks for the tip and I'll write again to let everyone know what happened.
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

January 12, 2011
8:13 PM

Post #8307742

Sue, I am so glad you are planning to take action. Please don't do what I did and spend a long time trying to rejuvenate ailing plants.

I, like you, never actually saw any kind of "insect" and refused to believe that was the problem. I was wrong and wasted 6 months. I, now, am giving my plants one chance and it is into the trash if response is slow.

Looking forward to hear your problem is solved.

I want healthy plants.
Sue6060
Holland, NY

January 13, 2011
10:06 AM

Post #8308572

I agree. I already tossed some into the compost - maybe not such a good idea now that I know it's a bug. But we're in zone 5 and the compost is working under a foot of snow preceded by hard freezes. I have a couple of favorites that look they could come back so I'll try it and see what happens. I'll let you know how it goes.

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