Welcome! Let's talk about all things relating to the growing, showing, hybridizing and appreciation of African violets and gesneriads. And while we're at it, anything else that's interesting about plants too!
Please join us at the next meeting! Guests and new members are always welcome!
We are hitting the modern age! We are now on Twitter NSAVCTC @NSAVCTC and on Face Book at North Star African Violet Council a community page for everyone interested in African violets and other fun things!
Sometimes violets will not automatically bow to your wishes and bloom precisely on time for the big show.
What do you do?
Here is one thing that might slow down a plant that will be in bloom before you wish it to be. This crafty grower put the plant on the basement floor, which is cooler than on the shelves, and not directly under the lights on the stands. You can see the stands to either side of this shot.
Sometimes this will slow the plant down so you will get just the perfect blooms on the days you were hoping for. Other growers turn off lights, or severely reduce the number of hours of light the plants are getting, and some even put them in a dark closet for a few days.
Janice O, sent these photos of some stunningly lovely variegated plants.
Both of these are "oldies but goodies" as the saying goes. Ness' Candy pink was hybridized by Minnesota hybridizer Don Ness in 1995.
This lovely plant by Delores Harrington, also from Minnesota, was hybridized in 1998.
The variegation on each is striking and the flowers are really complementary with the leaf color.
I should mention that Janice grew these for a fall show. It's sometimes hard to get good looking variegated plants over a hot summer and keep the variegation as nice and evenly colored. In warm weather, variegated African violets may start growing new leaves that are less variegated or even totally green. Not all variegation is affected by temperature but most seems to be. Once a leaf starts to grow, it will keep the patterning that is on that particular leaf throughout it's little leafy-life. A particular single leaf does not change its appearance. The plant produces leaves and grows (hopefully) continuously and the look and color is reflected in the plant as a whole. So, variegated varieties of plants that grow in cooler circumstances tend to have coloration that displays the variegation more than ones that are grown in warmer circumstances.
The previous post was about propagating more plants using a bloom stem.
This plant's version of trying it out is unique to me, but I found a plant that did the job for itself.
This is a very quirky African violet named 'Never Floris'. It never blooms, the buds form and stay that way permanently.
The first picture shows one of these stems which are quite long. The tweezers is pointing it out for you. The buds apparently didn't form but it made it's own "baby" on the top of the bloom stem.
I've pulled one off to show you how large this thing really is. It's a fully formed small plant with an incredibly long stem.
This shot from above shows that the main plant has 6 or more of these little plants forming the crown of the plant. The true "crown" of newly growing leaves was overcome or shaded out and is now dead. This is what is left.
So.... You may have heard that you can propagate an African violet by using a bloom stem.
Sometimes this is important to you because certain varieties of African violets do not "come true" or reproduce the same sort of flower if you simply reproduce another plant by rooting a leaf. Chimeras are one type of plant you must either take a sucker from OR start a bloom stem if you want the flowers to have the typical two color or striped pinwheel pattern on them.
To begin, you must put the name of the plant on the pot with permanent marker. No one remembers what that little thing in the unnamed pot is a couple of months down the road. PUT IT'S NAME ON THE POT!
Here you see some bloom stems just taken off the plant with the spent flowers still attached.
Next you see that the spent flowers are trimmed off and the broken bent stem is trimmed so there is a fresh cut on the bottom of it.
There is still a little flower bud on the lowest one.... that should be taken off too. The stem needs to use it's energy on making roots and not trying to open that flower.
The topmost stem has larger "leaves" on it. The bloom stems that work the best are the ones that have the biggest "leaves" on them because they catch the most light and photosynthesize for the stem. Some varieties of violets produce bloom stems (or peduncles) that have larger green appendages ("leaves") and some produce ones that are almost nonexistent. Now, after the stems are in the soil, you water the pot and keep the pot moist but not soaking wet. Covering with a loose Baggie or a dome keeps up humidity. Many people prefer keeping newly starting plants covered till the new "babies" are 1/2 to 1" tall.
Bubble Gum CharmLarge, single, creamy light pink stars, shimmer and boast darker pink edges, that are also outlined with darker pink flecks. Flowers stand proudly above the large growing, medium green, tailored foliage.
I am a big fan of this particular violet. It's got the greatest color combination and it lays very flat.
Also notice, the petals are fused until just near the outer edge of the flower, making a saucer shape. Not all violets are like that. Even the flowers have the "hair" on them?
This is a fading blossom but pretty anyway. The flowers last a long time and are nicely large. It puts on a good show!
I can't help but love that you can see some of the pollen on the exterior of the anthers. Also you can see some of the "shimmer" or sparkle of the flower. I know you want one! Lyndon Lyons is one of the vendors that carries this variety. Questions?? Comments???
Just a little bloom to help you THINK SPRING! There are two upcoming shows in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota area in about a month! The AVSM show April 11-12, 2014 at the Har Mar Mall. Look for us at a new location down toward Staples! The Twin Cities Gesneriad Society show is also coming up on April 26-27, 2014 at the Bachman's on Lyndale in the Heritage room. Plants, plants, plants..... Join us at both shows and then prepare yourselves for the National Orchid Society show which will be hosted in the Twin Cities this year the weekend after the Gesneriad show! It's a great spring for plant lovers! Questions??? Comments???