Thursday, November 30, 2023

Violets in strawberry pots

Question:  Can you plant African violets in a strawberry pot and have them grow well? Answer:  Yes.  For the fun of it, we’ve done this before, with some success.  Because of their naturally spreading nature, the trailing varieties are the best choice for this use.  For smaller containers, use the miniature or semiminiature varieties.  Be sure that […]

Wicking material

Question:  I would appreciate your answering a question about the use of mason’s twine in wicking.  Should the twine be unwound so that only one thread is used for wicking, or should the twin be used whole, as manufactured, for miniature violets? Answer:  Since miniature violets are grown in smaller pots, and have smaller root systems, than […]

Capillary matting

Question:  I notice that you water by placing your plants on an acrylic material.  What is this and how can I get this? Answer:  Most of our mature plants are watered by “capillary mats”.  Plants sit atop acrylic matting (or blankets).  When plants are dry enough to require watering, we wet these mats (our shelves are waterproof) […]

Self-watering pots not working

Question:  I purchased some self-watering pots (elsewhere) and have found that with a couple of these, the water never would weep into the pot with the soil and the plant.  I’ve lost two violets due to the lack of water not seeping through the inside liner pot.  Any suggestions? Answer:  If working properly, a self-watering ‘violet pot’ […]

Disinfecting pots and trays

Question:  I recently bought bleach to use to disinfect pots and trays.  I brought Ultra Clorox bleach and used it at a one to nine ration as I had done with another bleach.  When I called the Clorox service number, I was told not to use the Ultra product for this purpose.  I wonder what is […]

Self-watering pots

Question:  We received our order of 8 various African violets.  Most of them we potted into self-watering planters.  They are not progressing.  I would appreciate any help you can give. Answer:  This is likely the single most-asked question we receive.  There is nothing inherently wrong about growing in self-watering, Oyama, or “violet” pots, but when using them […]

Neem oil for powdery mildew

Question:  My sister sent me some “Neem oil” to use for powdery mildew, but I haven’t a clue how to use it.  Could you tell me? Answer:  “Neem oil” is processed from seeds of the neem tree, native to eastern India and Burma, and is a wonderful product that can be effective as an insecticide, miticide, and […]

Washing and reusing pots

Question:  How is the best way to clean my pots to reuse them? Answer:  We reuse or recycle almost everything here, including all of our pots.  We wash all of our pots in a dilute bleach and detergent solution, using very hot water.  Place your pots loosely (don’t stack them together) in your wash tub, so that […]