Saturday, June 3, 2023

What makes a show plant?

Question:  In your catalog, you describe some varieties as good “show plants” and others as good “houseplants”.  Could you elaborate? Answer:  It’s not a matter of better or worse, just different.  Much like the difference between the family pet and the winner at Westminster.  By “houseplant” we mean a variety that one grows purely for decorating the […]


Question:  I’m growing for show for the first time.  If I keep my standard-size violet disbudded, but don’t pot it into a larger container, will it produce the bigger leaves that I see on some large showplants? Answer:  When a standard-size violet is continuously disbudded, it will produce larger leaves (mini and semiminiature varieties will stay small […]

Symmetry: remove a damaged leaf

Question:  Is it better to remove a damaged leaf, spoiling symmetry, or to keep it? Answer:  If the plant is being exhibited, this is a judgment call.  points can be lost for both gaps in symmetry, and for damaged leaves.  If it is not a showplant, it becomes a trade-off between the appearance of the plant […]

Maximum number of leaves on African violet

Question:  What is the maximum number of rows of leaves a violet should have? Answer:  This is really a matter of personal preference.  When exhibited, good symmetry (or form) is rewarded, not quantity of foliage.  The number of rows necessary to achieve good symmetry usually depends upon the size of the leave blade relative to the length […]

Growing large plants

Question:  I recently visited an African violet show.  Many of the violets displayed there were very large, perhaps 18″ or more across.  Mine have never gotten that large.  Can you explain why? Answer:  First, keep in mind that these are showplants.  A prize-winning plant is the result of good culture and plenty of TLC.  Serious exhibitors also usually […]