Monday, May 20, 2024

Algae in water

Question:  Is there any way that I can keep the water in my wicking reservoir from turning green with algae? Answer:  Since the algae won’t grow in the dark, one solution is to use a dark, light-blocking, reservoir.  Another is to add about 1/4 teaspoon of Physan 20 for every gallon of water.  Physan 20 is a popular, easy, and relatively […]

Easiest grow varieties

Question:  Which varieties are easiest to grow? Answer:  This is a very commonly asked question, and one that’s almost impossible to answer, except to say, “it depends”.  It depends upon what you like, what suits your growing environment, and your space.  All else equal, plants that do best are those that get cared for the best.  “Favorites” […]

How long do African violets live?

Question:  How long will my violet live? Answer:  Indefinitely, if properly cared for.  Just keep providing your violet with good care and regularly repot it.  Violets have incredible survival instincts, if given half a chance.  Ethel Champion, a nearby grower and longtime AVSA member, has the old violet that we know of.  Her plant of ‘Superman’ […]

Decorating as party favors

Question:  I am going to use violets you are sending as table favors at a party.  They come in plastic posts, but I like the appearance of terra cotta, so am thinking of repotting them.  If this isn’t possible, I’d like to wrap the pots in decorative foil or paper.  Any advice? Answer:  The last thing you […]

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 […]

How to mail a plant?

Question:  How do you ship an African violet? Answer:  This is something we get asked a lot at the shop. Though we do this as part of our business, it’s something anyone can do.  After all, many of our customers ask us to ship plants as gifts to relatives or friends, when they grow violets themselves, […]

Rerooting (bareroot) crowns

Question:  You’ve told me that you can ship plant crowns into my country with no roots or soil.  How can I successfully rot these? Answer:  For many countries, such as Russia, most in Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean, it is not possible to send potted plants.  Only cuttings, or the plant crowns (the top of the violet […]

Vacation care

Question:  I plan on going on a two-month vacation this summer, and would like some ideas on what would keep my violets alive for this long.  They won’t be cared for while I’m away. Answer:  Though there may be a better idea, here’s what we would do.  Out of necessity, it’s something we’ve done in the past […]

Washing African violets

Question:  I have some very dirty violets.  Can I wash them? Answer:  Sure, just be gentle.  First, find a working area and sink that is large enough for you to handle your plants without damaging them or making a huge mess.  A sink with a sprayer attachment, and easily controlled water flow and water temperature, is best.  […]

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 […]