Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh, flowers!

How could this NOT brighten your day?

S. ionantha
With the all too vivid memory of how fast a collection of African Violets goes downhill if you don't pay attention to them - at least a little bit - every day, I'm relieved to be still enjoying their care after nearly 3 months.   
And happy to see I can still coax them into putting on a show! 

S. ionantha was a gift from Mrs. John in Montana and I'm so pleased this one forgave my rough treatment and has settled in. I've grown this before and would easily add it to my Top Ten Favorites List!  :)

Most days my second cup of coffee in the morning competes with the attention needed by a shelf of plants.
Rob's Heat Wave
Often the coffee goes cold!

I remember very well the overwhelming "I'll do it tomorrow" lack of energy that took over before, almost without realizing it was happening, until all my plants were dead or dying.  
I do not want to follow that path again. 
I keep remembering a quote from one of the vintage African violet books I own that scolds, "Don't be at it all the time." 
But it feels like so long as I'm "at it" I'll catch problems before they snowball out of my control.

Kandy Kitchen, maybe?
I'll admit there are still times when the plants might prefer a gentler, softer touch than my Rip, Repot and Ask Questions Later method!

Kandy Kitchen suffered a bit of a set back when I went to lift it back onto a higher shelf after watering and noticed some frighteningly red leaf backs.  So of course my first thought was "I've done something wrong!" - thus following the Rip & Repot routine one more time. I've been told this is likely birth marking, combined with sporting and not actually my fault. I'm not totally convinced it wasn't brought on by something I've done, but it was in pretty dreadful shape when I got it!

It was just looking as if it had turned the corner and lots of buds had begun to appear. Of course I didn't remember to go find a camera to document how the plant looked until AFTER I ripped off all its leaves.  I disbudded all but one bloomstalk. I wanted to at least see what it was going to look like in bloom.  
Turns out it's bloom is supposed to be quite different 
I like it this way, but several new plantlets have been separated off on their own to see if they might grow better under my conditions from the beginning. 
Perhaps one will bloom true. And then we'll see which is nicer. 
Unless Mother Nature has other ideas!

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