Last updated 23rd June 2016
The cold and the rain is terrific but not so terrific so have to try to keep the African violets around 15 degrees Celsius overnight although they are made of "sturdy stuff" when you see what they can put up with. Doing the usual maintenance but not potting on during the winter months! You can have trouble with Powdery Mildew at this time so take to provide a little air circulation and have a look at our articles on these subjects.
If you are thinking about potting on, perhaps pause a moment and think that not much growth can occur with African violets. Like people they like to be warm and out of the wind. When growing in front of windows they still need their 8 hours light. I have a number of dish gardens and a Terrarium which are doing well despite single figure overnight temps and some cloud covered days with you guessed it .. rain. These have been going since before our Annual May Show (about three weeks before) so it now nearly three months since I combined the layouts for entry.
African violets will not lose their blooms suddenly, they will not need as much water given low temperatures. They however, might not like to change the bed they are in as it does require a bit of adjustment to new potting mix. If you think that your African violet needs a bit of a new bed, just change the wick rather than put in new potting mix.
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Click on the email button below and send us a "hello" or query about your African violet. Or maybe even join! Plenty of information in the Articles (12 available at the moment); and Maintenance Pages above. Also there are links to other Australian African violet groups, as well as Q&A (generic answers to some questions already there however if you have one then please submit it) at the bottom MENU of this Home page. There is also the Origins button below that provides an interesting History about African violets, including more views of the Usambara Mountains.
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Streptocarpus 'Lisa's Love' Fibrous Rooted
Dish gardens are considered Artistic and many different designs come from the entrants in this category for shows. Containers can vary from a flat dish to different glass bowls to terrariums to small log bases. The choice of plants to accompany the African violets or Gesneriads displayed are usually small plants but not cacti or succulents.
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Our Society's next general meeting is Saturday the 16th of July 2016. Come along at 12.00 pm with the Trade Table and Plant Sales until 1.15 pm. The Meeting starts at around 1.30 pm. Where? Our venue is the MANNING ACTIVITY CENTRE, at 3 Downey Drive, Manning. Cost of entry is $2.00, see you there.
Hi, we had a good meeting yesterday. Lots of good information from our experienced growers about Pests and Diseases, a lovely table competition, a very nice afternoon tea and slack and white versions of our May June Violet Talk Newsletter. If you are one of our members, then go to the Members Only sight and download a colour copy as it will really enhance the photos within. If you are a visitor, welcome and I am sure you will find something of interest in the other pages that you can access. Have a lovely day!
Winter Tasks - (Margaret Taylor)
The cold months and short days of winter allow us the opportunity to tend to our African violets in the warmth.
Many varieties show an appreciation of the cooler temperatures with larger flowers and stronger colours.
Variegated leaves are more colourful once temperatures drop below 20 degrees Celsius. provided the temperatures do not go below 16 degrees Celsius on a regular basis, our violets will get over winter quite nicely.
While it is not time to be doing any radical repotting (unless you have consistent, very warm conditions) there are some problems we can watch for and keep under control.
This often occurs in winter so be diligent in removing those side shoots before they destroy the symmetry of the cultivar.
This will show up as a fine white powder in patches on leaves and flowers. It will leave damage in its wake. It is caused by damp stagnant conditions and temperature fluctuations. Some varieties seem to be more susceptible.
If an aerosol product is to be used, be careful not to spray too close to plant tissue to avoid further damage. It is best to spray early in the day preferably when temperatures are 20 C or above. Some growers like to run small fan in the growing area when mildew is prevalent. Flushing the area with fresh air will help but not if the air is cold. African violets dislike draughts.
If you have had a problem with pests such as mites and thrips over summer, this will appear to be lessened now. Do not be complacent because these pests, while not particularly interested in multiplying now, are just waiting for warmer temperatures for the green signal. It may be hard to but it will pay dividends to remove ALL flowers and buds and spray at weekly intervals for three weeks with the appropriate pesticides. Follow label instructions to the letter and do not be tempted to use a higher concentration than recommended.
If you have some variegated varieties in your collection, the absence of flower will not seem quite so bad. In a few short weeks, inspired by the warmth of spring, disbudded plants will bloom twice as heavily and (hopefully) Remember when you are tucked up in bed at night, that poor little violet will not appreciate sitting near a cold window.
Turning Your Violets: If you are growing your violets in a position where they receive light from one side (this applies to most situations), it is necessary to rotate your plants a quarter turn each day, otherwise the leaves grow towards the light and if not rotated regularly the main stem will bend in that direction, and once that occurs no amount of turning will straighten it again. This spoils the shape of the plant. It has been suggested that to turn the plant in an anti-clockwise direction will be more beneficial than clockwise. This may or may not be true, but you may like to experiment. African violets need no rest period. Given good conditions they will flower continuously forever.
Always use warm water for your violets, no cooler than room temperature. Cold water will damage the roots and cause markings on your leaves. Rain water is best for violets; tap water contains salts and has usually a higher pH than desirable Not bad for the goldfish though!
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