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African Violets and Gesneriads: Episcia problem

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Forum: African Violets and GesneriadsReplies: 9, Views: 88
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Seaecho
Phelan, CA
(Zone 8b)

November 28, 2011
6:46 PM

Post #8909591

My country kitten has something going on near the tips of the leaves. Hope you can see it well enough in the pic. Leaf on right is worse, but its also starting on the leaf on the left, and the area it covers is larger. What could this be? Thank you in advance.

Thumbnail by Seaecho
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jamiew
Montgomery, AL

November 29, 2011
6:06 PM

Post #8910765

They look dry to me. Episcias need humidity which can be provided by enclosing them, placing small containers of open water nearby, or setting the pots atop a water tray with pebbles (be sure the pots sit high enough so that the water is not wicked from the drainage holes).
jamiew
Montgomery, AL

November 29, 2011
6:14 PM

Post #8910775

I was thinking that it could also be the opposite- too wet. Maybe the ends are mushy?
Seaecho
Phelan, CA
(Zone 8b)

November 29, 2011
8:56 PM

Post #8910994

Its already on a pebble tray with high sides to help hold the humidity in a bit, although its still probably not as high as it would like. The ends are semi-dry. One leaf is almost crumbly, is so dry. I bet its the amount of pink in this plant making it more susceptible to aridity. My other episcias don't have pink in them. I've heard the pink varieties need more humidity. I guess its dome time! Thanks jamiew!
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

November 29, 2011
10:09 PM

Post #8911073

However, the leaf on the right side looks like it's a bit mildewy.

That's a sign that the plant simply doesn't like the conditions it's in. To wet, too dry, too hot, too cold... - whatever can cause stress. In Kohlerias, for example, whenever you have a plant go limp due to high temperatures, lack of water or both, you pretty much wind up with instant mildew on a lot of the cultivars. In a large Kohleria plant, that's usually not a problem but in a small plant like this Episcia, this can be bad news. It's much easier for a plant this size to replace a leaf than dealing with a damaged or diseased one!

Some Episcias that are growing happily in the open for others only want to grow enclosed for me ('Faded Jade' would be an example and 'Silver Skies' would be another) while Sinningia pusilla and muscicola are growing in the same room unenclosed and they have the reputation to not grow well unenclosed for a lot of people - go figure... LOL

Raising the humidity around an Episcia is usually a good idea. Whenever I had an Episcia that didn't want to cooperate, I just stuck it in a prop box with good warmth and humidity and ideally some bottom heat and watched it take off.

I'm writing this in past tense because I pretty much gave up on Episcias. For some reason, they don't want to grow well for me and they also failed to excite me in the long run...

Seaecho
Phelan, CA
(Zone 8b)

December 2, 2011
9:21 PM

Post #8914457

I'm with you, Olaf. I've about had it with episcias, and I haven't even had them for that long. I removed that funky leaf and domed Country Kitten, but if this kind of stuff keeps up, I think I'm going to stick with just violets. If the episcias make it, they do. If they don't, they don't. The violets are much less temperamental for me.
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

December 3, 2011
11:24 AM

Post #8914923

Seaecho,
There are really only a few that need to be domed...mostly just those with light pink leaves.They should thrive in your warm climate.Most of the time they just take about the same care as violets,but in dry areas they need a little humidity boost.Give them a chance :-)

Lynn
seaechoorchids
Phelan, CA
(Zone 8b)

December 4, 2011
12:11 PM

Post #8916072

Irabec, I'll see how my others do over the winter. I'm hoping they'll really perk up and start filling out next spring. Its just that it gets down to nearly 55 in the house at night (too expensive to keep it warmer--we have propane). I think that must be the main problem, because they did fine over the summer.
lbrabec
(Lynn) Omaha, NE
(Zone 5a)

December 4, 2011
12:40 PM

Post #8916097

Randi,
That's probably it.If they are on a stand you can wrap plastic around it.If not,just keep them a little on the dry side.Many will do fine at 55 degrees,but not the fussy ones.

Lynn
bsimpson1972
Chicago, IL
(Zone 6a)

December 4, 2011
2:24 PM

Post #8916204

Well, 55 is the rather infamous cutoff for Episcias. Some will do, some won't. It can get down into the 40s at night in my growing area in February when it dips into the negative 20s around here. What I do is simply leave the lights on for this little bit of extra warmth.

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