Monday, June 24, 2024

Saucer watering

Question:  I saw another grower soak his violet in a saucer full of water.  The violets seem to grow well.  I do the same, but rot my violets.  Why? Answer:  What works for one won’t necessarily work well for another.  Unless every aspect of each grower’s environment is identical, the results may not be.  In this case, […]

Chlorine in water

Question:  I am concerned about Cloramines in water.  I’ve heard that these cannot be boiled away and, over time, will cause toxicity in the plant and damage the leaves.  I use tap water that I boil and let sit at room temperature.  The other alternative I could personally use is collecting rain water and straining that […]

Top versus bottom watering

Question:  Does it matter how I water my violet?  Is it better to water from the top or bottom? Answer:  It doesn’t really matter.  The roots of your violet don’t know where the moisture came from, only that it’s there to be used.  It’s not true that violets need to be watered from the bottom, though this […]

Watering species African violets

Question:  I recently purchased a species violet (S. velutina) at a local show, and discovered that it had been wicked.  Can I repot it into my usual soilless mix (and top water) without danger of losing it? Answer:  Certainly.  If anything, we find that most of the species violets do a bit better if not kept […]

Charcoal in soil

Question:  I’m wondering how I can water some violets I got from you.  The soil comes all the way up to the pot rim and the potting material tends to make the water bead up rather than sink in right away.  At the same time, I am trying like heck not to get any water on […]

Soil won’t absorb water

Question:  I’m wondering how I can water some violets I got from you.  The soil comes all the way up to the pot rim and the potting material tends to make the water bead up rather than sink in right away.  At the same time, I am trying like heck not to get any water on […]

Getting most plantlets from leaf cuttings

Question:  How can I maximize the number of babies that I get from a single leaf?  Sometimes I have only one to spare. Answer:  This is a problem most of us in this hobby don’t have.  It was years before we realized that we didn’t need to root every leaf ever removed from our violets.  Not to […]

Rooting leaves in water

Question:  I root my leaf cuttings in water.  The leaf will produce a plantlet, but when I pot it into soil, it dies.  Should I remove the mother leaf when I do this? Answer:  Though leaves may be rooted in water, there are disadvantages to this method.  The root system that develops is one that is best […]

How long for leaves to sprout?

Question:  I am new to propagating African violets.  My question is: how long does it take for them to sprout?  The leaves aren’t dying or anything, just sitting there. Answer:  How many plantlets a leaf produces, and how quickly it does so, depends upon a number of things.  First, the age of the leaf.  It’s best to […]

Propagating variegated leaves

Question:  I’ve heard that it’s difficult to propagate a variegated leaf if it is mostly white.  Is there anything that can be done to help or encourage the leaf to propagate more easily? Answer:  Heavily variegated leaves can often be more difficult to successfully propagate, though some varieties are prolific propagators.  The best advice is to first […]