Our last couple of posts have been about entering your plants in a show! Well, what about trailers? They're a little different from a "standard" violet. What do you have to consider with a plant that has so many crowns and does not lay in a nice rosette of leaves?
Here are some pointers from someone that knows how to "take home the blue" in the 'trailers' class!
One of the greatest things about growing/showing a African violet trailer is that if you have a bad leaf for two, it usually won't affect the symmetry of the plant. If you have a bad leaf on a standard, you either take a chance on loosing points for symmetry or you have to take off a whole row of leaves. You do need to watch to see that the leaves on a trailer are somewhat the same size, for it gives a more consistent appearance. If you remove yellow and damaged leaves as you see them, you have a better chance that it will fill in the gaps with fresh new leaves before the show.
You need to remember when growing trailers that you must have at least 3 crowns. To get a good number of trailer stems you need more light to encourage more compact growth! This will also help to get more flowers. It is best to have an even distribution of flowers on all the main crowns for the show. Before you show a trailer, make sure you remove all the old or yellow leaves and/or bare stems.
I try to disbud my trailers just as I do other African violet plants. It can sometimes be more challenging to keep it disbudded, but well worth it at show time if you have a well grown trailer with lots and lots of beautiful flowers!
Special thanks to C. S. for today's article and to S. O. for the lovely picture of "Spunky Trail"