Sick African Violet :(

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

Here is what my love's pride and joy looked like in early June...

Thumbnail by TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

And another shot...

Thumbnail by TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

And sadly, here's what we found today...

Thumbnail by TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

And affecting some upper leaves as well...

Thumbnail by TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

Does anyone know what is going on here? My love has nurtured this plant since his father's death a few years ago (it was one of those sent for the funeral), and it has been flourishing until just about two weeks ago... but we've been so busy outside tending the veggie gardens. *sigh*

The blooms on the later pics are new from the previous pic (it loves to bloom constantly here in the east-facing window of the kitchen); and in fact, those blooms also hold a couple of seed pods for the first time ever. :)



Culpeper, VA(Zone 7b)

It still doesn't look that bad to me. I would just trim off the affected leaves.

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

My concern is more about the upper leaves that are getting those spots, as we trim the lower ones from time to time when they turn brown and (I'm guessing) we've overwatered. :(

Culpeper, VA(Zone 7b)

Looks like you've found your problem. Even if you have to trim off the worse of the leaves, I'm guessing it will fill back out. I'm no expert but I don't use those expensive AV pots or plastic. Instead I use clay azalea pots for mine and they've been doing well. Good Luck with yours.

Lenexa, KS(Zone 5b)

Here is a good source of info for AVs.

And there is a link there on the left side that shows 'Photographs of Growing Problems', when you click on that, then look for the link in the top of the popup window to look at pictures of leaves with different problems. Hope this helps!


edited to add the direct link to the "problem leaves" page, but the first link posted above is still very useful to check out for anyone who hasn't been there.

This message was edited Aug 2, 2004 5:59 PM

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

Thank you for those links, Heather! :)

Culpeper, VA(Zone 7b)

I second the thanks Heather!!! Looks like it is full of useful information.

Lenexa, KS(Zone 5b)

Glad to be of help! :)

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

g'day folks... i've been asked to post the results of our little investigation of my african violet plant. (ps, i guess you can call me Tutti's SO, or significantly other, LOL)

i may post here , from time to time, and it should become apparent to those of you that follow her posts that i tend to get sloppy in my use of words to say things... mainly, if'n i don wanna do sumpin, i don do it. :D sooooo... no caps, unless i'm shouting or emphisizing, lack of any sort of grammatical skill in format n structure, n a .... (umm, better not post that last comment here, as its my first... lol)

oh yeh, why i'm doin this...

i took the damaged leaves over to a local company here, Northwest Seed n Pet. walked in n talked to the guy there, n his first response was 'cold water damage'. i said ok, not fungal? he says nope... then he tosses it under a microscope hooked up to the puter. :D i want one of them really really baaaaad. he said the company found it on the internet, on e-bay, and picked it up for 50 bucks, with software... the sucker was called 'Intel-Play"... anyway, he was looking for a specific mite that he said liked violets n could cause the damage. (i could see the hairs of the leaf, bein that they covered about 3 inches of screen.) he says 'no mites, i'm gonna stick with my first guess'... anyways, i'm not quite sure where or when we got it wet, but after listening to the guy talk about his hobbies (this guy studies insects) i'm of the mind that his guess is probably preeeeeety good. sooo, i'm gonna go trim my plant n get outa here.

oh, i been watchin you folks... ya'll bes be on yer best behavior or i'll come back.... :P

Culpeper, VA(Zone 7b)

I'll say Tutti has got herself a keeper! Awwww, What a sweet thing to do for your best girl!

The Heart of Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

I agree Tutti got herself a keeper!
Yep, it looks exactly like what my Violets do when I forget and use cold water to water those babies with...
Wow do they hate it!
You know AV lovers the information we get always says "room temp water" but,
I realized that whoever said that was NOT a "hormonally challenged woman"...
Whose room temp? , that can vary a lot at my house? :) hahaha
Now I use slightly warm water and use a shop towel to dry any misplaced water on the leaves...

Enjoyed the pic & info…

Brookeville, MD(Zone 7a)

The african violet I keep in an AV pot is doing the best out of all of my other ones. The point of the pot is to keep the soil moist but not soaking, to keep it at room temp and to make sure the leaves don't get wet since you lift the pot out of the water reservoir to fill it w/ water. I wish I potted all of mine in these since all my other ones have leaf damage from watering.

Basically, the general rule of thumb is to water every plant with room temp water.

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

hi Susan , msCritter n Capt...

i've seen n been told about the bottom waterin thing... (oh, its me, SO1, lol...)

prob is that the AV is in a special basket. an there ain't no way no how its comin out of the sucker. :)

so... i need to make sure, as msCritter does, to keep water off of the leaves n dry em if i don't. also, i keep it in a east facing window, that has seen 90 degree weather these last few weeks... so teh temp issue plays a role. room temp can be 75 , n i'm wonderin if thats enough of a differance to make the 'cold water' scale. i'm thinkin it might be. there also may have been a day when it got rained on... we've had a bit of that,too, this year. hmm... dunno, but i'll follow the advice i was given n do what i can to nurse the ol boy back to health.

oh, msCritter n Susan..... Tutti seems to think i'm a keeper too... lol... :D

Cheers!!! SO1 (read as 'significantly other one' )

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

aaaah, I get it (light bulb goes off) Tutti frutti. I had to read a couple times to figure it out are regular tf's sig. other. When I first read that phrase on the brug forum, i thought you were saying, "i'm the signigicantly other side of the problem' and then I thought you were talking about youreslf in third person.... i had a loong blond moment maybe?? I was confused. anyhow, hope no one else is confused about it-- wouldnt want yout to get in the middle of a fight you're not involved in. lol!

The Heart of Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

You know now that you mention the temps and the window, my original thought was that it LOOKED sunburned or heat could be a combo of both ?? Maybe you can back it up from the heat in the window a bit???
I know it's been record hot here but aren't you are a little cooler?
I know when mine get cold water on the leaves they always turn black or grey and wilt.. your pic looked scorched but with SO1's info I figured it was the water... I guess it could be both???

You might try adding a wick to the pot to water by...
take a piece of string and gentle poke it down in the soil around the inside of the pot, go all the way around the inside of the pot and let the string hang down the outside enough to stick in to a dish filled with water... that would wick water it without taking out of your basket and you wouldn't have to top water except maybe once a week or so???
You can just set the water bowl next to the basket or put a lid on the water bowl and set the basket down on top of it...
Just out of curiosity ..are you ever going to repot it?


Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

*winks at art_n_garden*

Thanks for figuring that out, as we suspect most others will as quickly! My love and I have different styles in posting, and we share both this computer and this account... though I am the one most active. I stand by "SO1" (giggling at his moniker for himself) and his comments, as he does mine. :)


Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)


ok, SO1 here again, or... my turn at the keys... lol

firstly, art n garden... nuthin rong with bein blonde... (yer blonde, right?) (dang , but i hope i ain't steppin in somethin now, lol )

secondly, msCritter... i'll answer yer last q first... there a'int (lol) no way that sucker is gettin repotted. :) reason is that the basket it is in, and it, itself is from my Dads funeral from a few years back. kinda nice having it in the kitchen as i get lots of cool memories from it. my dad was my first teacher of gardening, and he learned from his dad. i'm nowhere as proficient as he was, but hey, i try. ;)

as for the wicking idea. THANKYOU. that sounds like an excellent one. i'll see if i can get Tutti to give up a bowl tomorrow. lol... :D and, tho i forgot to ask the guy at the nursery if it could have been sunburn, i'm sorta with you on it. in august, temps can and usually do hit in the low 100's here. i've seen highs of 105-106. just yesterday it was 98. i've moved it back to the center of the kitchen table for now.

thanks to you all for not telling Tutti to keep me away from the keys... i so love to ramble on... just wish i could launch a few good blonde comments here n there... but then this site is a bit tamer than others... ;)


Mirpur (A.K), Pakistan(Zone 9b)

Oh my goodness , what a beautiful plant , First time I saw such kind of plant. Very attractive uuummmmmm. Its my first visit in African Violet forum.

This message was edited Aug 4, 2004 2:18 AM

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

Thank you, Kaleem! My love is very very proud of this plant, and it is quite beautiful. :) This is why we were so concerned when we thought it was getting sick. Happily, many folks here have been very generous in their help and advice!


Spokane, WA

eh hem... ok, now ya done it....

ya'll convinced TuttiFrutti that i should get my own acct.

heh... now the fun REALLY starts... :D

The Heart of Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Oh turned him loose with his on DG account???
The AV forum will never be the

SO1, Welcome to DG's in your own glory...
I understand about the AV being from your memories of Dad...that's kinda how I got started, too...inherited all the plants from the folks plus had my own. Now, I have a nice jungle.:)

Ok well repotting is out... how bout growing a few babies from a leaf just incase ? You can use a cheap o plastic tub with a lid be sure you water the plant after you set the wick to start the capillary action then you should be good for a few days or so before you have to check can add a small amount of fertilizer to the water or you can just add it to a spray bottle of WARM water and mist the sure to keep it out of the sun while it's

Is it the only Av you guys grow?

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)


Hey, I had to agree to something that didn't involve my nick! LOL

Spokane, WA

hiya msCritter!!!! remember meeeeeeeeeeeeeee?????

lol... i'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.....

as usual, i'll answer yer last q first... HAVE YOU SEEN MY HOUSE?... there isn't any room for new starts. Tutti has just claimed part of the kitchen counter for her nifty coleous cuttings. bunch of little jars , each sprouting a new plant. window has a shelf half-way up, its full too. ( we live in a trailer, albeit a large one, that has very poor window alotment) just WHERE would i put a bunch of AV's????

as for the idea on the watering... i have a q... i've heard of that 'av food' that they sell in the stores... got anything better?

and... from what i see, this place could use a little change. heck, you guys hardly ever toss a good comment about... ain't seen one blonde joke in here yet. ;)

:D Arod

Mirpur (A.K), Pakistan(Zone 9b)

Please tell me about this plant , I am completely new with this plant, and also tell me about what are African voilets, As these are very beautiful, you are right if you worry when this plant is getting sick.

The Heart of Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

My best answer for your fertlizer Q is to use a weak 1/4 strength fertilizer
I have my personal prefs but MG or Peters 20/20 will get you a nice plant...whatever you been feedin must like it so don't fix what ain't broke...:)

As far as the "Blond Jokes" ,I'd be careful, most of the forums are for a little more serious gardening... I might suggest you try the Jokes & Chat will like it there :)

Go Here:


Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

Lol, nope....all brunette here! And now I will be able to tell yall apart without busting a gasket..just kidding about that. lol

Welcome to the new forum gumlla!!

Spokane, WA

msCritter... my jokes are world-classless, so they know no bondaries such as some 'this n that' forum... all of yas are fair game , in my book. :D

as an aside, i tend not to poke fun, but to mildly comment on slips of the keys. ok, maybe sometimes i'll be in-yer-face bout it... lol... i NEVER attack, but intend to bring laughter and grins to those i might target.

and say, art? i checked yer prof, cause i, too, wondered if'n ya was a guy or gal... lol... funny bout the nick eh? oh well, just means that i can dig into my files for some really good ?? brunette jokes n lie in wait for that choice moment.... :D

The Heart of Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

SO1, you're a hoot!
I guess I'd better get some MsClariol and keep you a guessin'
MsC:) I'm going to Wally World...

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

lol!! I answer to most digs....blonde jokes brunette jokes texan I'm an easy target and I dont mind. :) I'll sleep with one eye open though....

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

Kaleem (gummla), I don't have the expertise to tell you much about this plant except for how much I enjoy its beauty. Between the Plants Database part of this website and the experts here in Forums, like MsCritterKeeper and susancva, I'm sure you will get a lot of really good information! :)

MsCritter, I am SOOO wanting to start a leaf or two from SO1's AV for another plant! Thank you for the support (that you didn't realize) in your suggestion. ;) I'd love to have more than one of those delightful plants around here, have the necessary materials, and can always find the space. *BIG GRIN*

Art, I lived in Texas prior to moving to Washington, and I *STILL* fell in love with that goofy SO1 guy despite all the jokes! He's basically harmless. (Shhhhhh... it's a secret... LOL)


The Heart of Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Donna , Glad to know you want more Av's, they are so easy to grow! I am in full addiction mode and by no way an expert on these . I just know how to spend the $$ for '
They do grow VERY easily from a leaf...takes about 2 months in warm moist conditions...((depending on how old SO1 favorite plant is I highly recommend you sneak a leaf to grow to surprise him with.:) Shhhh it's a secret SO1 can't read this cause it's in woman code...haha.))

If your addy falls into my mail box I could be overly generous with a few will be a while before the heat lets up so it can be a surprise for him:) Give him something constructive to do besides the :blonde jokes...oh yeah, SO1 you can't read that either cause it's in woman code too.:)

Spokane, WA



whats this here 'womens code'... hmmm..

ya'll conspirin agin me, right?

as for them there av's... does yers understand that i have basic orders of survive or be mulch? they'll need that. :P

hehe... ok, so i like this place...


ps... what the heck does the age play in my plant? guess i'm askin... whats the 'life expectancy' of an AV? (not that i care mind ya... the ol 'survive' issue n all) just kiddin... i'd be sad if the ol boy died. thin i'll take you up on the idea of kids... Donna n i kinda conspired on how we could make another window or two usable by plants... lol... gonna take some 're-arrangement' of the furniture about this place, but i thin we can do it... should provide space for at least a dozen more pots... (prayer... may my buds NEVER EVER find this forum)

lol... Arod

This message was edited Aug 4, 2004 11:45 PM

The Heart of Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

SO1 ...So there you are...LOL !
I knew a conspiracy would bring you out of the wood
Ok now you be nice... forget the blonde jokes or we will send these links to all your "Good ole boys"..:)
Try this :Since furniture is heavy and you're lazy
- Get a cheap 4 ft shop light/ or 2 ft plant light
- Hang a shelf or 2 on the wall and wal-lah... instant indoor can even get to use your power tools...:)

Ya gotta be creative if n you are gonna play the AV game.:)

How old is your plant, now?

Spokane, WA

as usual, msC, last q furst... (ps, not a typo)

my AV is now a robust 3.5 years old... if'n i member correctly. soooo... answer my q... what constitutes old in an AV? also, what all this about repotting every 3 or 4 months? mine has been in the same one for well over two years. it has had its' best ever this spring, and ... if i keep it from gettin burned by the sun, might just recover. tho i've heard of the practice, i have no reality of the need. maybe you could essplain it to me?

and Tutti.. why you be conspirin with deees folk? here i thunk ya liked me more dan dat... :(

ps... i'm assuming that it dont' take much time to nurse an
AV up to say... 2 in in diameter, which is what it was when i got it.

pss.... got yer idea on puttin up shelves... but i have to ask... ON WHAT WALL? again ... you ain't seen our house... the walls have bookshelves. or ... bookshelves... or above the window display shelves... (i collect interesting shinny objects) so the age-old q comes in... just where do i put them? :D

have a great day!!! Arod

Fort Pierce, FL(Zone 10a)

I have been staggering through this thread with great interest (and many giggles) and have finally sorted out what I think is wrong with my poor mini babies! Of my original, expensive, catalog AV's in the pretty little pots made for the wicks, only two are surviving. One has new leaves that are growing every which way and all curly and weird, the other is a tall round ball, just getting some buds, but now the bottom leaves are getting all soft and mushy. I water them every time with Optimara Violet Food, 1 envelope to a gallon of distilled water. The sit in a west window and sometimes I forget to move them before the sun reaches them. They also sit in a draft from the AC. Poor things, I guess I'm lucky I have two left! The no-name cheapies sit in the east facing bathroom window, out of the draft, and are blooming beautiful. My standard are HUGE with masses of blooms, but of course they are in the greenhouse window over the kitchen sink in my son's house.

Thanks for all the input. I keep gleaning bits of information and maybe some day I'll put it all together! The only thing I have to contribute is:
I water from the top every third time (for the standards) and use a turkey basting thingy. Never get water on the leaves. If I water the mini's from the top, I use a large syringe (?) that you give babies medicine in.

Brookeville, MD(Zone 7a)

You know, you can keep them in pots with holes in the bottom and soak them from the bottom. You don't need a fancy AV pot. Being myself, I would forget to water or get lazy and end up watering from the top anyway.

Does the wick thing really work? And how do the results compare with bottom watering?

P.S. I started my buckeye violet from a single leaf and it's blooming already a few months later. I added some regular plant food, no fancy AV food and that seemed to encourage it to send out buds. But this guy is in the AV pot. This is him when he started flowering, there's alot more now.

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