Saturday, June 3, 2023

What to look for in my first African violet?

Question:  I’d like to give growing African violets a go, but I’m very cautious about purchasing plants that aren’t mature.  Would you recommend these as “starter plants” for the newbie?  Are African violets good for people with little or no experience, like me, and which varieties are easier to care for? Answer:  Our observations are that African […]

Green leaf producing white plants

Question:  I know very little about African violets, so this question might seem silly.  Recently, I started a plant from a normal-looking, green, leaf.  When the plantlet appeared, all of its leaves were white in color.  How common is an African violet with white leaves? Answer:  This isn’t a silly question at all, especially from someone still […]

Chimera African violets

Question:  What is a “chimera”, and why are they so much more expensive?  Are they more difficult to grow? Answer:  A chimera is a plant, due to its genetic make-up, which can be propagated only by suckers to produce an identical (in foliage and blossom) plant.  In the violet hobby, the term usually refers to varieties […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Feeding of variegated plants

Question:  I am new to the African violet world and would like to know more about variegation.  What is ‘Tommi-Lou’ and ‘Champion’ variegation?  Do I care for and feed variegates the same as nonvariegates? Answer:  Variegation is simply white, beige, or pink coloring in the foliage.  ‘Tommi-Lou’ variegation will normally appear on the edges of the […]

Variegated leaves turning green

Question:  I have a violet that, about a year ago, developed a variegated leaf, then another, until all were variegated.  I started new plants from those leaves, but they all grew green leaves.  The variegated suckers also didn’t seem to produce much variegation when rooted.  Do you have any ideas? Answer:  Our guess is that this is […]

Staining or mottling on leaves

Question:  Our club is growing ‘Rob’s Sunspot’ as our project plant.  Many members are experiencing “red staining” on the plant leaves, though the variety description doesn’t mention this.  Is this a genetic condition? Answer:  Yes, this is a genetic condition.  This registered variety is described as a “double white star with bright red mottling”.  Multicolored varieties, such […]