Thursday, July 18, 2024

Can species be grown multicrowned?

Question:  My species plant of S. orbicularis purperea is growing well, but has begun to sucker heavily.  Is it best to grow single-crowned, or am I better off letting is sucker naturally? Answer:  Unlike our modern hybrids, which are developed to grow best in a specific form, the Saintpauliaspecies plants can be successfully grown either single nor multi-crowned.  The AVSA Master […]

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 […]

Trailing African violets

Question:  I’ve seen trailers described as pendulous, spreading, naturally trailing, and semitrailing.  Could you tell me the difference?  How should they be grown? Answer:  These are terms adopted by some hybridizers and growers to describe the growth habits of trailing varieties.  Unfortunately, these will differ somewhat amongst growers and catalog listings.  This is partly because hybridizers don’t […]

Leaves smaller after repotting

Question:  After repotting, some of my miniature violets will begin to grow smaller than normal leaves in the plant’s center.  Any explanation? Answer:  We find that this is sometimes the case with some of the heavier blooming varieties.  To start with, prolonged, heavy, blooming seems to divert the plant’s energies away from foliage growth.  This is […]

Leaf chimeras

Question:  In the last couple of months, on e-Bay, I saw a chimera (‘Rob’s Lucky Penny’) that had normal (not striped) flowers, but a stread of white on the sides of all of its leaves.  But, the auctioner of this plant made the point that the variegation was from chimeralism, and that the leaves wouldn’t lose […]

Suckers in center of plants

Question:  The crown of my plant stops growing and divides into 3-4 little sucker-crowns.  The plant seems to be dividing at the crown and I can’t seem to distinguish which one is the true crown.  I had a plant do this previously, and when the two crowns were large enough, I split them and got two […]

Violets spreading, growing like trees

Question:  I’d like to know why some of my violets grow by spreading out and others are growing upright like trees.  These drop their bottom leaves and grow taller.  Is there anything that I need to do to look after them? Answer:  There are a few possibilities.  If “spreading out” means that the plant is becoming wider […]

Girl foliage

Question:  I have a variety with “girl” foliage and would like to enter it in our local show.  I’ve been told that this foliage can be difficult to grow.  Can you explain? Answer:  “Girl” foliage is described as “deeply scalloped, with white to yellow markings at the base of each leaf”.  It has nothing to do with […]

Fertilizer and variegation

Question:  I purchased ‘Rob’s Whippoorwill’, which originally had variegation on the outermost ring of leaves, but it has now started to turn all green.  I feed all of my violets with ‘Miracle-Gro African Violet Food’ (7-7-7 formula), every time I water, 10 drops per quart.  Am I feeding too heavily for a variegate?  Do they require […]

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 […]