Care and exhibiting
“Episcias: Lovely Plants with Lovely Leaves” From VioletsFun issue #8
“Discovering Streptocarpus” A lecture originally presented at the 1998 African Violet Society of America Convention Show in Sacramento, California. Appears in VioletsFun issue #7.
“Fine Tuning Your Showplants” An article that originally appeared in the Empire Violet Magazine, in September, 1990. It has been rewritten, appearing in VioletsFun #6, and reflects our growing environment in 1990.
“Provide ‘Living Shade’ For Your Plants” First appeared as an original article in VioletsFun issue #7. Reprinted in numerous other publications.
“Some Suggestions for Keeping Miniature Violets Miniature” Originally appeared in the Empire Violet Magazine, in March, 1987. Since repeated in numerous other publications, including VioletsFun #4. The subject might be a bit dated, given the quality of today’s hybrids, but the cultural advice contained in the article is timeless.
“Some Notes on Trailing African Violets” Notes from a lecture originally presented at the Mid-Atlantic AVS Convention Show, November 1996. Reprinted in numerous other publications. Appears inVioletsFun issue #12.
“Knowing Your Violets: Basic Flower Types” Knowing the terms that hybridizers use, and learning the characteristics of different flower types can help us in selecting violets. From VioletsFun issue #2.
“Natural Planting Made Easy” Basics in miniature landscapes made on natural materials. Excerpted from workshops presented in spring of 1998 by Olive
Essays and lighter fare
From very early issues of our “VioletsFun” newsletter, a compilation of some of our favorite essays on the hobby and the growing “experience”, written by the Violet Barn owners and reprinted here.
- “About Us… A Fairy Tale” Can two “plant nuts” meet and live happily every after? The true story (in a “nutshell”).
- “It’s Hot in Here!” When your greenhouse becomes a “hot” house.
- “Of Mice (and more) and Men” Trying to live with nature’s little creatures.
- “More Tales of Mice and Men” An update.
- “The Joy of Watering” True happiness found among the plants (our favorite essay).
- “Good Help is Hard to Find” Everyone loves plants, but do they love the work?
- “Help! (gasp)…I need (ack)…Water!” When we should water isn’t always when we do.
- “Things that Hop…and Things that Slither” Amphibians (and reptiles) at the Violet Barn.
- “Violets as House Plants” Not every plant is a showplant, nor should be.
Back issues of “VioletsFun”
Each issue features new or sale items listed on our catalog, notices of upcoming events and important dates, and cultural information and advice. Also, fun contests and prize winners. Many of our back issues can be seen here. Though content is same, appearance here differs from the original newsletter (the format is somewhat different). Issues beginning with no. 28 are in shown in pdf format.
Current issues e-mailed (usually) monthly, to subscribers. To subscribe visit our online catalog and enter your email address in the field provided.
Click the links below to find a table of contents for that time period. Our apologies, but our original issues prior to 2016 are either lost or not pdf friendly.
Brief highlights of each issue shown below :
No. 28 – June 2016: Discolored streptocarpus leaves. Summertime tips.
No. 29 – July 2016: TGS Convention show. Short bloom stems. Episcia problems.
No. 30 – August 2016: Summer heat. Streps and self-watering pots. Violets under desk lamps.
No. 31 – September 2016: Micromini violets growing tips. Mildew and mold.
No. 32 – October 2016: Ohio AVS show highlights. Chimera violets and mutations.
No. 33 – November 2016: T8 vs T12 florescent bulbs. When will hoyas bloom?
No. 34 – December 2016: Wick-watering streptocarpus.
No. 35 – January 2017: Losing leaves, lack of bloom. Wicking material.
No. 36 – February 2017: Photo contest winners. Repotting into larger pots. Sinningia tubers.
No. 37 – March 2017: Leaf cuttings not sprouting. Propagation mix.
No. 38 – April 2017: Photo contest winners. Common repotting mistakes.
No. 39 – May 2017: Root pruning when repotting. Proper water temperature.
No. 40 – June 2017: Brown edges on streptocarpus leaves. Rooting crowns.
No. 41 – July 2017: Photo contest winners. Gesneriad Society convention highlights. Growing kohlerias. What to do with very tall sinningias.
No. 42 – August 2017: Saintpaulia species. White crystals on foliage. Water pH.
No. 43 – September 2017: Primulinas. Summering streptocarpus outside. Moving outside plants inside.
No. 44 – October 2017: Growing trailing violets in larger pots. Dealing with overgrown violets.
No. 45 – November 2017: Watering and soil. Water temperature, softening, and pH.
No. 46 – December 2017: Trimming streptocarpus leaves, thinning out and grooming.
No. 47 – January 2018: Care and repotting of Primulina.
No. 48 – February 2018: Symptoms of overwatering. Florescent lighting comparisons.
No. 49 – March 2018: The icy grip of winter. Leaf cuttings. What’s that white residue on leaves? Dealing with Episcia stolons.
No. 50 – April 2018: New listings of Saintpaulia species. Rochester GardenScape review. When and how to repot African violets. Growing Kohleria.
No. 51 – May 2018: Preview of AVSA convention. Plantlets growing beneath soil surface. Drooping outer leaves.
No. 52 – June 2018: Highlights of AVSA convention show. Potting up violets into larger pots–removing soil, grooming beforehand.
No. 53 – July 2018: Gesneriad Society convention show. Plants wilting after repotting. Rooting leaves without stems.
No. 54 – August 2018: Difficulty growing variegated miniatures in cooler temperatures. Pruning of small houseplants.
No. 55 – September 2018: Can I resuscitate my Sinningia? Violets in self-watering pots–can the soil be allowed to dry?
No. 56 – October 2018: Adding drainage material to bottom of pot–is it necessary? How close together should violets be grown? How to tell if soil is dry enough to water.
No. 57 – November 2018: Making extra cuts in leaves for propagation. Violets growing crowded with bunched leaves–how to prune or thin out foliage.
No. 58 – December 2018: Is “mother leaf” necessary for plants to develop? Can it be reused in propagation?
No. 59 – January 2019: How much cold will violets tolerate? Proper wick size for pots.
No. 60 – February 2019: Judging proper watering amount. Propagating–why are leaves rotting?
No. 61 – March 2019: Growing a violet in water–repotting in soil? Repotting violet with long neck–is rooting hormone needed?
No. 62 – April 2019: How often to repot violets? Bagging violets after repotting. Repotting Episcias–removing leaves and stolons?
No. 63 – May 2019: Opinions on foliar feeding. Proper lighting for terrarium.
No. 64 – June 2019: AVSA Convention show highlights. How to prune African violets. Removing spent Streptocarpus blooms. Wick watering Streptocarpus.
No. 65 – July 2019: Gesneriad Society convention show highlights. Pruning and repotting overgrown trailing violets. Light meters and how much light is needed for African violets.
No. 66 – August 2019: Renovations at Violet Barn. Unusual houseplant–Hedera helix ‘Willie’. Self watering pots and fungus gnats. Using perlite and vermiculite in soil.
No. 67 – September 2019: Ceropegia linearis. Removing glasshouse at Violet Barn. Unusual houseplant–Ficus ‘Lance Leaf’. Resuscitating an overheated violet. What’s a ‘soilless’ mix?
No. 68 – October 2019: Great reference book: You Can Grow African Violets. More on glasshouse removal. Unusual houseplant–Microphylla heteroclita. Growing violets in a fish tank. Problems getting self watering pots to process water.
No. 69 – November 2019: Unusual houseplant–Streptocarpus thompsonii. Way are centers on violets turning dry and grey, and new buds dying?
No. 70 – December 2019: Young violet growers at the Charter School of Applied Technologies. Unusual houseplant– Polypodium aureum Mandaianum. Why are there patches on my African violet’s leaves? How to keep miniature violets small.
No. 71 – January 2020: Construction of new “green room”. Unusual plant–Pedilanthus tithymoides. Restarting an old violet–how much of a stem to leave? When will it bloom?
No. 72 – February 2020: Charming plant–Sinningia glazioviana. Dealing with mealy bugs–identifying and treating.
No. 73 – March 2020: CT Flower and Garden Show. Charming plant–Peperomia minima. Suckers, and dividing a multicrowned African violet. Do all violets develop “necks”?
No. 74 – April 2020: Dealing with Covid-19 and the lockdown. Fungus gnats–cause and treatment. Streptocarpus not blooming–effect of heat and watering.
No. 75 – May 2020: Toilet paper…and violets. Thrips–identifying, symptoms of, and treatment.
No. 76 – June 2020: AVSA “virtual” show. Mold on soil surface. Blossom colors on African violets and how they are described.
No. 77 – July 2020: The shelves are bare! New pots for smaller plants. Browning of leaves and buds on violets. How to get Episcia to bloom and should I let stolons grow?
No. 78 – August 2020: Kohlerias are back! Shipping delays due to Covid-19. Unusual, charming plant–Nautilocalyx pemphidius. Identifying and dealing with “suckers” on violets. When should I remove damaged leaves on my violet?
No. 79 – September 2020: Introduction to Pearcea. Identifying a “neck” on violets and how to remedy. Can “wicking” soil be too wet? Ingredients of potting mixes for self-watering pots.
No. 80 – October 2020: Basics of artificial light and choosing bulbs–what kind, how bright, and how to use? Violet leaves growing downwards. How long does a violet take to bloom?
No. 81 – November 2020: Remodeling of Violet Barn shop and main growing area. Symptoms of overwatering–identifying and correcting. Violet potted too loosely in soil.
No. 82 – December 2020: Discolored leaves–what is normal and not. Flowers appearing on very short blossom stems.
No. 83 – January 2021: Charming plant: Malpighia coccigera. My plant looks like this: crown variegation. Using cactus soil for African violets.
No. 84 – February 2021: Unusual plant: Lysionotus montanus. Using superphosphate in soil. ‘Bushy’ plants not blooming.
No. 85 – March 2021: Gesneriads as cut flowers. Propagating violets from leaf sections. Removing crown of African violets–will it live?
No. 86 – April 2021: New release from Kathy Hajner, ‘K’s Simply Put’. My plant looks like this: excessive variegation, no green in leaves. Caring for violets when on not at home.
No. 87 – May 2021: Shop reopening to visitors. My plant looks like this: “sunburn” or too much light. Miniature variety growing too large.
No. 88 – June 2021: AVSA and Gesneriad Society Cyber conventions. Water spotting on leaves of African violet.
No. 89 – July 2021: My plant looks like this: Aphids! What they look like, treatment. Shallow rooted violets and repotting in SW pots. Streptocarpus care while away from home.
No. 90 – August 2021: Free light carts! How we water plants at the Violet Barn. Fragrant streptocarpus.
No. 91 – September 2021: My plant looks like this: lack of light. Restarting an African violet.
No. 92 – October 2021: Free plant with your October order! Grooming streptocarpus. Growing streptocarpus with single or multiple crowns.
No. 93 – November 2021: My plant looks like this: pruning Kohlerias. Can leaf cuttings be stored and how? What is a “balanced” fertilizer?
No. 94 – December 2021: Begonia amphioxus. My plant looks like this: powdery mildew. Fertilizer strength.
No. 95 – January 2022: Miniature diastema species. My plant looks like this: suckers. Best temperature for African violets.
No. 96 – February 2022: Bolbitis heteroclita. My plant looks like this: cyclamen mites. Perceived flower color.
No. 97 – March 2022: Sinningia macrostachya. My plant looks like this: needs repotting. “Failed” plants.
No. 98 – April 2022: My plant looks like this: mealy bugs. Temperature and variegation.
No. 99 – May 2022: My plant looks like this: girl foliage. Planting multiple violets in a pot.
No. 100 – June 2022: AVSA convention highlights. Dealing with weaker plants.
No. 101 – July 2022: Instability in African violet blooms. Propagation methods.
No. 102 – August 2022: Proper way to wick a plant. Violets with undeveloped root systems.
No. 103 – September 2022: My plant looks like this: old, yellowed, outer leaves. Growing in a terrarium. When to refill water reservoir.
No. 104 – October 2022: My plant like this: trailer in need of restarting.
No. 105 – November 2022: NYS Convention show highlights. Thanksgiving thoughts. Our watering system. Capillary matting.
No. 106 – December 2022: Serissa ‘Mt Fuji variegated. Streptocarpus care. Soil ingredients and purpose.