Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Cool Is That?

This violet decided to try something new and novel. If you look closely at the photos, the leaf produced the "baby" plants NOT from the end of the petiole (stem) but from right in the middle of the leaf. In one photo you can see the small roots from the babies starting out up on the "mother" leaf, not down at the bottom part of the stem that would be buried in the soil. (You can click on the photos to enlarge the view.)

This was sent in for us by Patty. We'll ask her to send in another photo as these new plants progress through their growth. I'm very interested to see what the babies will look like when they are ready to be separated and put in their own individual pots. I'm also curious to know if, like other "mother" leaves, will it continue to grow on even after the "babies" are separated from it.

Please comment on whether you have ever seen this happen when starting leaves before. The violet is called Persian Lace.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Strep Results!

Last year at the February meeting, strep seeds of some self-pollinated pods were passed out. It was a club experiment to see if we could grow streps from seed and to see if there was anything interesting with the offspring... if they all would look like their parents or if with the hybrids there would be quite a bit of variation in the offspring. Sandy kindly sent a couple of photos of a few of the babies. You can see that there are not only some really, really pretty flowers from this planting, there are really quite striking differences in the various blooms.

I am especially fond of the light color one with the yellow middles. The yellow color is being bred for in streps like it was for in the African violets about 10 years ago. There are now a couple of (mostly) all yellow strep flowers like Alisa on the market.

Thanks Sandy for the photos!!

Just an update.

Thought it would be nice to show the terrarium after it started to fill out a little more. The violets in here are a bit of a nice surprise. "Why?" You ask. Well, let me tell you.... Violets in terrariums are a bit hard to grow long term because they stay much too wet usually. Or at least for me they do. I think I found a small trick that seems to be working to keep the African violets watered but not too wet.

I have been using an all long-fiber sphagnum moss in the bottom of the terrarium as the "dirt" part. In other words I didn't put in soil this time, just the moss. It holds many times its weight in water and looks nice from the outside too. Then I wicked the little violets before putting them in the terrarium. That's putting in a small string into the soil and letting the end of the string hang out of the end of the pot. IF the violets start out moist, the wick will "wick" (or pull up) water to the soil in the violet pot when it starts to be less moist than the surroundings.