Last updated 25th May 2016
These images are from our Annual State Championships held at the Kardinya Park Shopping Centre 5-7 May 2016. Many thanks to the WA Horticultural Council for sponsoring the State Championship Sashes for Click on any photo below to enlarge then use your right or left arrow key to continue through the images complete with captions.
Thanks so much to all the visitors and don't forget you can contact us if you have any questions about plants.
All photos by Eric Bateman
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.
Our Annual State Championships Show Colour on Parade has finished. Our thanks to the Kardinya Park Shopping Centre for their continued support in the three days prior to Mother's Day.
It was a huge success with many of our visitors commenting on the presentation of the awards. We had visitors from the country as far away as Geraldton to the north and Busselton to the south.
Congratulations to our State Champions Aileen LaRosa in the African Violet Sash and Reiko Lee in the Gesneriads category.
How to propagate by using a bloom stem (see images below)
So.... You may have heard that you can propagate an African violet by using a bloom stem.
Sometimes this is important to you because certain varieties of African violets do not "come true" or reproduce the same sort of flower if you simply reproduce another plant by rooting a leaf. Chimeras are one type of plant you must either take a sucker from OR start a bloom stem if you want the flowers to have the typical two colours or striped pinwheel pattern on them.
To begin, you must put the name of the plant on the pot with permanent marker. No one remembers what that little thing in the unnamed pot is a couple of months down the road. It can be referred to as a NOID (no identification) so please put it's name on the pot!
Here you see some bloom stems just taken off the plant with the spent flowers still attached.
Next you see that the spent flowers are trimmed off and the broken bent stem is trimmed so there is a fresh cut on the bottom of it.
There is still a little flower bud on the lowest one.... that should be taken off too. The stem needs to use it's energy on making roots and not trying to open that flower.
The topmost stem has larger "leaves" on it. The bloom stems that work the best are the ones that have the biggest "leaves" on them because they catch the most light and photosynthesize for the stem. Some varieties of violets produce bloom stems (or peduncles) that have larger green appendages ("leaves") and some produce ones that are almost non-existent. Now, after the stems are in the soil, you water the pot and keep the pot moist but not soaking wet. Covering with a loose Baggie or a dome keeps up humidity. Many people prefer keeping newly starting plants covered till the new "babies" are 1cm to 2.5cm tall.
Why Show Our African Violets?
African violet growers could be accused of being so focused about their African violets that other plants in the gardening world do not exist. We also have beautiful Gesneriads that Saintpaulias belong to. Why do they go to all the trouble of trying to get a plant to be at its peak condition at a particular time? Why would they want the hassle of transporting many plants to the venue with the possibility of them getting damaged in transit? For most growers it is the time to share and enjoy each other's success. Different types of African violets and new varieties will be on display. Others may be inspired to join in the pleasures of growing African violets. It is also a great opportunity to advertise our Society and we may be lucky and recruit new members. Questions by you, the visiting public can be answered as our advice is to help preserve those precious blooms and provide help to grow them and maintain them. Supplies for growing African violets are available to purchase.
DID YOU KNOW? An African violet show is a good opportunity for visitors to buy new varieties and obtain all the supplies they need for growing the best plants.
Want to contact us or ask a query?
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.
or call 0407 702 879
What does N-P-K stand for? Have you looked on your African violet fertiliser pack and wondered what it means? We currently use Manutec.
N = Nitrogen 14-15-11.5 Nitrogen is the first major element responsible for the vegetative growth of plants above ground. With a good supply, plants grow sturdily and mature rapidly, with rich, dark green foliage.
P = Phosphorus 14-15-11.5 The second major element in plant nutrition, phosphorus is essential for healthy growth, strong roots, fruit and flower development, and greater resistance to disease.
K = Potassium (Potash) 14-15-11.5 The third major plant nutrient, potassium oxide is essential for the development of strong plants. It helps plants to resist diseases, protects them from the cold and protects during dry weather by preventing excessive water loss.
You can join us as an e-Member for the membership fee of $10.00 which lasts the calendar year. As a e-Member and you want to know all about the workshops we run each month. Read the Violet Talk newsletter (published every 2 months) as well as what is happening in other states of Australia through their newsletters (published once a month). The on-line membership is also for you if you are from overseas. There is such a lot of extra material available to members, even though we try to cater on our public pages with information to help nurture and advise everyone who wants to look. If you are in the Perth Metropolitan or even from a country centre and time is of the essence you can pop into our Meeting at 12.30pm any month if the opportunity arises and have a quick look at what is available. For example; trade items such as potting mix and plants.
So please contact us by clicking right here e-Member.
Where are we? Click here for a site map.
Our Society's next general meeting is Saturday the 16th of June 2016. Come along at 12.30 pm with the Trade Table and Plant Sales until 1.45 pm. The Meeting starts at around 2 pm. Where? Our venue is the MANNING ACTIVITY CENTRE, at 3 Downey Drive, Manning. Cost of entry is $2.00, see you there.
What are the benefits of membership?
Join Us - Click on Membership Tab on Main Menu
Membership: $25.00 per person or $30.00 per couple per 12 months commencing 1 July each year.
Plus $2.00 per person paid when attending our Saturday meeting, members, visitors and guests levied at the Manning Activity Centre which includes free coffee and tea.
What else do you receive - Access to the Members Only page; the monthly newsletter Violet Talk; Reports about our activities; Photos of who is part of our wonderful Society; Much more information from the African violet world about what is happening there and in our passion.
WA Country, Interstate or International Membership (e-Member) only $10.00 per calendar year January to December. Click here and join us.
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.
Some Thoughts on Fertilising African violets
It is more important that you do fertilise than exactly what you use;
Less is commonly better than more;
Young plants not ready to flower need a good general fertiliser with a balance of Nitrogen: Phosphorus: Potassium (N:P:K);
If available use a fertiliser that is high in Phosphorus and medium high in Potassium, Nitrogen needs to be available but is rather less important for fully grown plants than it is for young ones;
Fertiliser should be provided regularly so that growth is continuous and even.
When weather is very hot as it is now here in Perth in our summer, reduce the strength of fertiliser solution because the plant will take up much more liquid.
When growth is slowed because of cold weather apply less fertiliser, or less frequently.
Generally around Australia as here in Perth, we are experiencing temperatures in the low 20's in late Autumn. So the heat is a factor if your growing area goes above 25 degrees Celsius.
At these times