Friday, June 14, 2013

Changes Can Cause Problems


For a couple of months I watched as things did not quite look right with some of my plants. 
About a 3rd of the plants were in bloom and seemed fine.  By the time blooms started to fade though, centers started looking like crap.
Other, smaller recently divided plants developed a second crown or looked stunted. 

Centers that don't look "right"
makes me worry. 
I've been through this before!
BUT some things had gradually changed:
  • For most of the winter cold months I had rolled the shelving unit to the hallway off the kitchen so we could close off the area they normally grew. They went back once it got "warmer". Too soon?
  • I had started wick-watering more, with some bottom watering in individual saucers. That meant less leaching from top watering.
  • Domes were removed. 
  • Usual soil mix ingredients were out of stock all winter. I experimented! ONE WAS HIGH IN CLAY AND SAND texture. The other got horrible reviews. Were those people right?
Over Memorial Day Weekend I repotted EVERYTHING. Lots of duplicates got chucked into the trash if they looked too bad.   Nothing was really overdue for repotting but when I started turning out the plants it was clear the soil mix since December was too sandy. It was drying out way too soon. Some of the plants were still in Solo Cups. If what was happening was something toxic in the mix or a lack of nutrients, the small containers were perhaps bringing it on faster?

(It's only been 2 weeks but I am an optimist!)
  • I bought Miracle Grow potting soil and just added a little perlite. 
  • I potted a lot of things UP to a size larger than I had been doing, especially standards. (Future topic: SOLO CUPS...Solution or Part of the Problem?)
  • I put TALL domes back over everything on 2 of 3 shelves. THOSE look the most improved!
(At my request!) A local nursery started stocking TALLER DOMES when they opened for the spring. They're pricier than they should be! But the larger micro-climate seems easier to control for my conditions than the short domes. I'm going to go back to more of my tried & true top-watering method. Domes mean less watering, although over-watering is more obvious when I get it wrong!

On a positive note:
Violet Voice has it's latest Virtual Show online right now.
 (Go vote!)

I managed to get a few things entered before they started failing miserably. Some were sacrificed willingly for practicing more Design efforts. 
More about those efforts later! 


I'll do the best I can NOT to kill my African Violets on purpose
But crap happens sometimes! I'll see soon enough if I'm dealing with this right...

1 comment:

  1. How are your plants????
    And I have been curious about your promised review of solo cups! :) I am having questions about them myself!