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Old 06-26-2012, 04:38 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
2,806 posts, read 5,760,099 times
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This is great information, and thank you to everyone!
My mom has African Violets that have only bloomed a tiny bit here and there, and we never knew why...I was going to send her this link, but when I called her she told me she doesn't want to "deal with" them anymore, so they are going to come home with me once it cools off and it's safe to dig them up (yup, they're in the ground, which is why they probably haven't done well, because she soaks that area a lot for the other plants that are in the same bed with them).
I love this forum !
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Charlton, MA
1,378 posts, read 4,036,586 times
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Wow. I've never known people planted them in the ground. Huh... interesting.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:10 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,082 posts, read 14,417,375 times
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I used to never be able to grow them but I started moving them around until I found just the right window for the amount of light that they like. Right now I have them in a north window and they are growing so well that I need to divide some of them. Otherwise, I'm a fairly negligent plantkeeper-- I water when they start to droop. Sometimes I give them a little black coffee with their water and they love that.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:10 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
2,806 posts, read 5,760,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
Otherwise, I'm a fairly negligent plantkeeper-- I water when they start to droop. Sometimes I give them a little black coffee with their water and they love that.
It's probably good that you let them start to droop a bit before watering again, I have heard that a good thing to do is mark on a calender the day you water, mark again the day you notice them drooping, count the days in-between and then next time, water one day earlier.

I put a mix of used coffee grounds and epsom salts (3:1 ratio) around my miniature roses every so often, and they love it, too . I wonder which other plants like coffee...hmmm...time to do some digging ()!
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:18 PM
 
224 posts, read 629,419 times
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I have not had much luck with AV's but I had two I had kept alive for about 6-8 months which was an all time high for me. That is till last week somehow I killed my prettier colored AV that was in the midst of blooming after it had not bloomed in months. I don't know what I did wrong.

I have two questions though- on those 2 piece pots that are made of ceramic and don't have the drainage holes if you put water with fertilizer in the bottom pot does the fertilizer still actually make it to the roots? I don't see how.

Also now that one of my violets died I want to replace it, but noticed the grocery store that had them just a few weeks ago have no more. They seem to be sold seasonally. I don't remember exactly when I purchased the two violets before, but does anyone know what time of year I can expect the stores to carry them again?
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:05 AM
 
11,214 posts, read 14,734,517 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wembley View Post
I have not had much luck with AV's but I had two I had kept alive for about 6-8 months which was an all time high for me. That is till last week somehow I killed my prettier colored AV that was in the midst of blooming after it had not bloomed in months. I don't know what I did wrong.

I have two questions though- on those 2 piece pots that are made of ceramic and don't have the drainage holes if you put water with fertilizer in the bottom pot does the fertilizer still actually make it to the roots? I don't see how.

Also now that one of my violets died I want to replace it, but noticed the grocery store that had them just a few weeks ago have no more. They seem to be sold seasonally. I don't remember exactly when I purchased the two violets before, but does anyone know what time of year I can expect the stores to carry them again?
Home depot sells them year roung try there .
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Kenmore, WA
7,166 posts, read 5,540,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamofmonterey View Post
I have read many books, and love them but they are so tempermental! I have a micro-climate with a few plants together, keep them out of cold/draft and dont overwater. Yet they bloom a bit, then shrivel....The blooms are gone now- I read they have a specific enzyme that gets produced overnight so I leave the artificial light off...I havent overfed them, have bought that expensive a.v. food though.

They are in a nice pot, and I do have a plant that lasted since 2009 which is a record....what am I doing wrong? thanks I really love the colors...just so hard to keep them alive
This is an edited version of my reply to another's post re: african violets and lighting:

Mine was given to me from my DH, in '98. It blooms almost continuously. No artificial light. I mostly ignore it.

I try to keep it out of direct sunlight, but it has had its sunny days when we were in the RV -- sitting on the dashboard when we were parked. I didn't do that intentionally, but there were times when we'd leave it in the shade, and not return until it was in full sun. Now it sits on a bookcase in our sun room, out of the direct light -- but still gets lots of light.

My aunt used to hang hers in her living room windows and they grew long. I think they were a different kind.

I change out the soil about once every three or four years -- using the african violet soil from the grocery store. For awhile, it kept putting out "babies" so I put it in one of those oblong pots, but I split them off and gave them to others and put it back into its little (4") clay pot.

I have it sitting on a much larger clay tray filled with gravel -- from our side yard. When the leaves start to droop, I water it until the tray fills. Then, I wait for it to droop, again.

When the blossoms dry up, I pull them off.
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Old Today, 09:43 AM
 
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My grandmom had an old agate watering pot and always kept egg shells in the water. Her violets got huge and blossomed beautifully. Just looked into this site this morning. I have found it very helpful--answering a lot of my questions.
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Old Today, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
8,273 posts, read 15,549,960 times
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I've got a few growing outside under the hapu'u fern, but not everyone has a hapu'u fern in their yard, I guess, so it may not work for everyone.

Sometimes I'll bring some inside. Potted into a smallish pot, they don't seem to like big pots, also with some rocks at the bottom for drainage. I use just garden soil, but maybe not everyone has garden soil that violets like. I add rabbit manure to the soil, but that's just because we've got lots of that.

I water the soil, not the plant and with enough drainage, and loose enough soil, it doesn't matter so much if they get over watered. Moist, not wet and when the leaves aren't stiff, then it's time to water. If you touch the leaf and they're stiff, then it doesn't need to be watered.

Bright indirect sunlight is what they get in our house since we don't have lights for them. Direct sunlight will burn their leaves.

Should you want to order violets online: African Violets by Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses Every few years I'll get some leaves to root from these folks since bare leaves can be shipped here. If you're on the mainland, I think they can ship you whole plants.
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Old Today, 05:19 PM
Status: "Life is Good..." (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Delaware
177 posts, read 66,907 times
Reputation: 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamofmonterey View Post
I have read many books, and love them but they are so tempermental! I have a micro-climate with a few plants together, keep them out of cold/draft and dont overwater. Yet they bloom a bit, then shrivel....The blooms are gone now- I read they have a specific enzyme that gets produced overnight so I leave the artificial light off...I havent overfed them, have bought that expensive a.v. food though.

They are in a nice pot, and I do have a plant that lasted since 2009 which is a record....what am I doing wrong? thanks I really love the colors...just so hard to keep them alive


They must be watered on the bottom..... Give them a good watering and then let them dry out in between. If you want them to bloom, feed them African Violet food according to package directions. They like bright, indirect light.
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