Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Well, That Ship Has Sailed!

From the Cooperative Extension

So the same day I jotted off a note to the Schultz Plant Food people I also clicked the local Cooperative Extension website and wrote a note to them about the possibility of looking at my Lime Jewel plant under a microscope or something.
I'm wondering if there are any experts in the office that take a look at houseplants to see what ails them? ;)
I bought some starter African violets on ebay...risky business I know.            (But was lured in by 100% positive rating and a bargain discount!)
The plant in question is Lime Jewel.
It has a very twisted growth of leaves and I'm not so certain the center growth is improving much. I have removed many leaves thinking maybe the new growth just can't get around itself.
I tried one lady's advice to put a bit of tissue over the center to see if too much light was the culprit. It just got a bit bleached out...
I suspect a combo of high temps and too much light/fert from the grower where it came - TEXAS! Perhaps... it was pretty hot there this summer from what I can tell?
Most of the other 10 plants are showing improvement. It may be this one with light green "quilted leaves" is not a keeper. Before I wash my hands of it ....I just wondered what was available to local want-to-be gardeners at the extension.
...just signed up for the newsletter and thought what the heck - I'll send a note. Totally understand if this is not something the extension deals with :)
A reply! 
The following advice will no doubt explain the title of this entry.
Hi Laurie, 
Thanks so much for your excellent questions.  It's really tough to make a diagnosis without seeing the actual plant.  It sounds like you haven't had the plant in your care for very long.  If so, I would take the wait and see approach for at least another few weeks.  If plants have been stressed, it can take a while for them to recover.  You'll want to avoid removing any more leaves.  It's best to not remove any leaves unless you think they may have a fungal problem because any photosynthetic tissue can help with your plant's recovery from stress.  
I'm sure you know this already, but African violets preform best in diffuse, indirect light. They are sensitive to over fertilization, so be sure to follow the directions for use on any fertilizers that are appropriate to use on African violets (more is not better).  Twisted growth does sound like a fertility issue, but (again) it's tough to say without seeing the plant and knowing more about how the plant was treated before it reached you (which may be impossible to find out).  Usually commercial growers are set up to provide the appropriate conditions for the crops they are growing.  Therefore, I doubt that it would be a sunlight or heat issue even if they did come from Texas.  Sometimes, fertility issues can happen because of inconsistencies with automated irrigation.  
I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck with your lovely African violets!  Let me know if you have any more questions.
Best wishes, 
I know crowns are sometimes removed to force suckering - that could then develop into new plants when removed from the mother. If the center of this plant improves it will probably be a miracle! As it was, the twisted mess was making ME stressed. So leaves got yanked in my usual ruthless gentle, loving manner. 
It will be what it will.
This was an impulse purchase variety and I have no ownership/loss anxiety! 
I plan to only keep plants that make me happy.

I figure the propagating leaves of Lime Jewel are the ones surely to produce "mouse ears" first and most prolifically! 

1 comment:

  1. Those 'propagate like rabbits' babies of Lime Jewel might be the ones that perform the best for you.... I am going to add one more tidbit of advice: How about adding a TB of vinegar to your water the next time they need a drink? I have heard that brittle, twisted leaves might be due to ph problems. ?????
    Might indeed be a variety issue... the two photos in FC2 program were cut in close to the blossom, and didn't show much foliage. The one photo that had some foliage looked a bit like yours! The photo on Ebay, from seller, looks a bit like yours also.
    Good News is: you MIGHT be able to cull this one, and that will give you a 'justified' feeling for one of the others you will keep! :)