Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The ROUND ROBIN experience

"African Violets Are Good Travelers" *

They change their clime, not their disposition, who run beyond the sea.


The NEW Complete Book of African Violets by Helen Van Pelt Wilson @1951, 1963.
* (Title and quote from Chapter 15 Heading) 
Chapter 15 is a step-by-step sketched guide for packing plants and leaves for mailing.
Carolyn K. Rector, author of how to grow African Violets  mentions running a Round Robin. @1951.

Sometimes things don't go as planned. They don't even go anything like you imagine.
So you need to regroup and change course. It's helpful if there are friendly Voices to lift your resolve [and your mindset] when it's needed most.
My name was 3rd in a recent Violet Voice Round Robin. I anxiously awaited delivery for days and days. Our mail service has been sketchy for the last year, with mail going to all the wrong boxes - off by one or two addresses, either side of us. We usually sort it out amongst ourselves. But you just never know where your mail might land or be certain every person who gets wrong mail will value its safe return into the system.
And delays are not good when it comes to plant material inside hot boxes!
When the Round Robin delivery time went into week 2, there was cause for concern. It had to cross through US/Canadian customs before getting to me and was taking its own, sweet time. And appears to have been frisked at the border, if lack of tape was any indication!
The smell of rotting leaves, once the box arrived September 20th at nearly 4 pm, was horrific. Most of the starting packets were baggies of brown-goo mush. A few wedges were cut from leaves with any sign of green life. A long shot with nothing to lose! 
(The remaining wedge of "International" was doing the best of these attempts, but I fear it's starting to fail. Really wanted that one to have a happily ever-after [ironic name] outcome!)
I was in denial for over an hour. THIS Round Robin was STILL going to go exactly as planned and I would get it back into the mail stream for the next person in line. Except, in my heart and in my head I felt nothing was ready to go back into the box and not be turned to goo if it meant four or five more days with USPS.
My anxiety was through the roof. (What if everyone thought I was one of "those kind of people?")
As a "starting over" grower I didn't have replacement leaves for a new box. Thankfully, PLAN B went into effect and the next person in line FIXED EVERYTHING by starting a new box. 
Plants and leaves in my care were "planted" to stay a while. Time to recover.
I hesitated naming what came out of the box until they proved to be survivors. JINX?

UPDATE Nov. 2nd: A few weeks in I noticed Petite Blarney Plantlet was actually 2 so decided to separate. DISCOVERED WHITE FUZZ & BUG. Panic subsided and treated rather than tossing the lot. Playing with fire? I hope not! 
Plantlets have been tipped out and checked weekly. 

{Roots removed and reset like sucker.}

* Babies beginning to appear marked.
Lost marked with strike line... or deleted.

Ness' Crinkle Blue - Baby Plantlet  - {treated twice}
Ness' Satin Rose - Baby Plantlet  - 1 leaf saved, plantlet tossed
* Persian Prince - 3 leaves - {1 leaf tossed/treatment caused to fail}
Little Bo Peep - Baby Plantlet - 3 leaves saved, plantlet tossed
Petite Blarney - Baby Plantlet + 2 leaves {TREATED MULTIPLE TIMES}
Trinket Terrific - Baby Plantlet - {treated 3 times}
* Mickey Mouse - 2 leaves
Mikinda Girl - 6 leaves
* Frosted Whisper - 2 leaves
* Teen Bride - 4 leaves
Pacific Pearl - 3 leaves ? do I still have this one - need to check!
* Foster Trail - 3 leaves (+ 2 half leaves)
Sassy Sister - Partial leaf - nearly whole
Rob's Squeeze Toy - 1/2 leaf
* Rob's oolong - 2 leaves
* Blue Dragon - 2 leaves
* Opt. Little Moonstone - 2 leaves
Futuriste - 1 3/4 leaves
S. ionantha 1/2 leaf
* Von's Baby Jay - 2 leaves
Opt. Little Crystal - 3 leaves
1 stem of Strep. "White Butterfly"

♥ Wishes Fulfilled - Some of these (Plantlets & Persian Prince) are the ones I dared mention I would really like most, when asked if we had any wishlists. I have risked treating rather than tossing at discovery of aphid-like bugs on backs of some leaves and base of most of the plantlets. Hope I don't regret this choice!


  1. i wish you could heal my poor snake plant, she is so slouchy. i guess maybe she needs a haircut because it is too much weight to hold up but i kind of like the volume of the slouch.

  2. Laurie...your green thumb amazes me... AGAIN!
    The growth of the young starters you received earlier was/is amazing!
    I wish my plants would look that happy!
    YES, me too... I want you to HEAL some of my plants!