African Violet Blog

Welcome to my blog! I plan to blog about all things African violet and related to that end. I hope you will find it interesting, and maybe even learn something new. More importantly, I hope to learn from you, so please feel free to add your comments, critiques, and criticisms at the bottom of the page. Thanks for visiting TheFranklinhouse!

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January 31, 2011

Hello there. When I took my small vacation, as you saw, many of my plants suffered but most, if not all, recovered well. One of my few standards, 'Ness' Blue Velvet,' as a larger plant tolerated my absence just fine. In fact, it is really coming into a nice bloom. You may be getting sick of seeing this plant, but here it is again, in almost a full bloom. As I may have mentioned before, this is this plant's first full bloom since I restarted it at my house from a leaf, so I'm really pleased that it is blooming true and so well. Sometimes plants that have a Geneva edge will lose that edge or it weakens through propagation, but this edge came out clear and strong. I am really lucky to have such a nice specimen of this plant. What are some of your favorite plants? Have you ever had problems propagating plants with Geneva edges?

Ness' Blue Velvet

January 27, 2011

Oops. I almost forgot I was going to show you my plants all recovered from my vacation. Well here they are, none the worse for wear. 'Jazz Bouquet' and 'Classic Rock,' one old favorite and one becoming a fast new favorite. 'Classic Rock' has been a consistent show winner for me for many years. I love everything about the plant. It has great variegation and it has really killer blossoms. I see that while I was away a bloom stalk has sneaked up on me and is peeking through the foliage. I'm going to let this one bloom for you just to take a picture of the blossom. It's one of my all-time favorites, ranking right up there with 'Ness' Blue Velvet.' For me, there's just something about this bloom.

The other plant, 'Jazz Bouquet,' is a new favorite of mine because I have just recently started growing it for show, and it has performed well for me. If I can use it in collections, which I probably will be able to, it will definitely be a keeper. Even though the bloom on this plant isn't typically the style I go for, (the bloom stalks grow between the rows of foliage and stick out the sides instead of from the top), it gets so darn many of them, that it makes up for the weird bloom position. Plus, the blooms really are very pretty. What are some plants you are growing for show?

two plants

January 20, 2011

Good day bloggers! If you read my last post you saw that I was on my way out of town. Now I'm back and I have to suffer the consequences of taking a small vacation. Because I top and bottom water, and I don't wick, extended times away are not good for my plants. They dry out in about three days. Four days they start to go limp. Five days and they really droop heavily. As you can see from my pictures, they went without water for five days. But, never fear, my plants will recover. I have found that the best treatment for this level of dryness is never too much water. In fact, you actually use less water than a normal watering. The first watering I do after a vacation will be a light bottom watering, with water only, no fertilizer. This will be enough to satisfy the plant and start to bring it back to its normal state. Then, the next day or the day after, I will give them another small dose of water with the fertilizer. This should have the plants back to a normal watering schedule again without too much shock, in about three or four days. Considering the big fun I had on vacation, I'd say that works for me. In my next post, I will show you the same plants all recovered from my trip. Until then, happy growing!

limp plant

January 15, 2011

Guess what fellow bloggers? You know the expression, "it's a small world?" Well, that was true for me yesterday when I was at the airport and who was sitting at my gate? None other than the famous streptocarpus hybridizer Dale Martens! What fun was that. She told me all about some violets that she was working on, and they sound really promising. One variety she had, had a puff fantasy around just the edges of the blossom. How cool is that? I can't wait to see them when she finally names them and shows them. Until then, we'll just have to patiently wait. Makes me want to start hybridizing. Here's a picture of me and Dale at the airport.

Andrea and Dale Martens

January 11, 2011

Holy cow, today is one, eleven, eleven. Happy once in a lifetime! Yesterday was a fun day for me because my friend John Regan came over for a visit, and it's always great to talk with violet people, who's eyes don't glaze over after five minutes of violet talk. I was able to show off my 'Ness' Blue Velvet,' coming into a full, beautiful bloom. If you've been reading my posts, you know I'm a bloom lover, and once a blossom opens I have to let the plant come into full bloom. Well, now it's 'Blue Velvet's' turn. That means it's probably out for the next show, but now my loyal viewers will get to see a really beautiful plant that is not often in shows. (Maybe that's why). :)

John got me one of my best Christmas presents! As I have also previously mentioned, or if you have ever seen any of my presentations, you know I like to grow my violets in translucent cups. (I'm speaking of my minis and semiminis now). Well, for years they had been everywhere I shopped, so I always bought just what I needed. All of a sudden, I couldn't find them anywhere. I searched and searched, but no luck. I sent John out after them, and after he had no luck finding them, he ordered them for me on-line, and I got a whole case! Thanks John! Now, I have no excuses, time to start re-potting!

In the first picture is John holding 'Ness' Blue Velvet' which is about 1/4 of it's way into full bloom. The second picture is my bounty of cups. The last picture is me and my pal, just for fun.

John Regan's visit

January 7, 2011

Hello there. I hope everyone's new year is going well. I keep saying that I am going to start my transplanting that I usually do in December, but I have yet to begin. I am enjoying what's still blooming on my shelves. I have things blooming because I have been so neglectful to my plants lately. If I don't keep them dis-budded, bloom stalks will slip by me and before you know it, I have buds opening. Once I see buds opening, that means the plant has started blooming and once it starts blooming I never have the heart to disbud them until they are done blooming. This often results in losing a show plant for the next show because either the center foliage is small or there is a culture break. Ridiculous I know, because I can diligently pull off bloom stalks full of buds. But, once those buds have opened, I'm sucked right in, and it's all over. I have to let them bloom. It's like the flowers have hypnotized me and they are saying "let me bloom!" This happened on my miniature 'Shirl's Hawaiian Lei,' a plant I continually grow because it performs consistently. Before I knew it, the old set of blooms I was going to pull off was instantly replaced by a new center row of blooms that I had to leave on. So, I yanked off the old dried up outer row of blooms and this is what I was left with. This plant has not been groomed at all besides that, so there are many outer leaves I would take off. But all in all, you can see it has a pretty good shape and bloom head.

Shirl's Hawaiian Lei

January 4, 2011

Hello fellow bloggers! Today I want to share with you a nifty little plant I am new to growing. It is 'Jolly Cameo.' It reminds me a lot of 'Jolly Mischief.' The blooms are very similar and the foliage is green. I was hoping that it would shape up as nicely as 'Jolly Mischief,' and it seems to be doing just that. This is a baby plant and its first bloom. It has quite a few buds coming, and the blossoms are true. I had a problem with 'Jolly Mischief,' in that it kept sporting to a solid on me. I'm not sure if it happened during my heat spell, or if this plant has a tendency to sport. Anyone else with experience with either 'Jolly Mischief' and/or 'Jolly Cameo?' For now, Jolly Cameo is definitely a keeper, which I will try to show at the Illinois state show this spring. If it gets a blue ribbon, it goes on my sale list. If not, I'll still give bonus leaves if requested, but until it's a champion, it doesn't make the cut!

Jolly Cameo

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Comments to date: 2. Page 1 of 1.

Andrea   from TheFranklinhouse

4:01pm on Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Hi Deb! Thanks for your post. As far as I know, the IL state show will be the last weekend in June, at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I will definitely be posting about it when it gets a few months away. Contact me if you need more info. when it gets closer. Would love to see you show! Happy growing!

Deb   from Bridgeview

2:46pm on Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Hi Andrea,
When is the Illinois state show? Do you have any info on it yet?
Love your blog! So much neat info!

Thanks!
Deb


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