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African violets and most other Gesneriads (with the obvious exception of Episcia) won't mind a bit of coolness. Actually, they'll tolerate it better than you might. Keep in mind that most of the Gesneriads that we grow aren't really tropical, actually subtropical, and many are native to high elevations or areas where a bit of coolness is not uncommon.
For most, so long as your night-time temperature stays above 15 degrees Celsius (some won't mind it a bit cooler) they'll be quite content.
Come along and join us on the third Saturday each month. Signing up for Membership will be12 months for $20 with our exclusive Members Only pages loaded with heaps of extra information and a quarterly Newsletter in colour available on line.
Arrive about 1 pm to enjoy and share wth our wonderful members in activity and information until about 3.30 - 4 pm. Featured are workshops and demonstrations (see Calendar Events). Our Trading Table opens at 1 pm until 1.45 pm providing items for purchase and plants for sale. The Competition Table highlights our growers' capabilities and all members are encouraged to enter the monthly competition with a plant they have grown for at least three months. There is a door prize and the Monthly Meeting officially starts at 2:00 pm with a few notes and a presentation or activity. There is afternoon tea and everyone is in for a friendly and informative time.
Most of you will not be able use artificial light so put your violets next to a window.
I know they may look better on the mantle or on the coffee table, but they won't grow well there. Put them there just before the friends arrive, if you absolutely have to, and put them back by the window as soon as they have gone home.
An east (or north) window is best. If you don't know which way is east, pick a day when you can see the sun setting. Whichever window you can see it out of is west.
Then, put your violets next to a window on the opposite side of the house (east). If this is not possible, put them next to a north window.
If you don't put your violets by a window, at least put them under a grow light. Grow lights usually come with instructions as to how far away they should be from the plants, about 25 cm from the leaf of a standard African violet. You can connect the grow light to a light timer which will automatically turn the grow light on and off. Light timers are available at most hardware stores. Grow lights are available at some lighting shops, and most plant nurseries.
Bear in mind: if your plant doesn't flower, it's not getting enough light. If the leaves start to get brown edges or brown spots on them, it's getting too much light.
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The African violet, Saintpaulia ionantha, is one of the most widely grown of all indoor plants, and has been since discovery over 120 years ago. Often seen as 'old fashioned' they are in fact very much in demand and have been grown in Australia for many years. If you follow a few basic ideas on how to care for them they will flower magnificently. They prefer a constant warm to hot temperature and high humidity. African violets need plenty of filtered sunlight to thrive and should be planted in a special potting mix. There is minimal watering with our wick watering method and an African violet can be maintained for up to 10 days without further watering depending on temperatures. A few tips from us your African violet, will flower for months and can live for 15 years or more. If you click on the Maintenance Tab above, you will find information on how to look after it. Our Society also provides handouts at our displays and meetings on the African violets on these basics. You can grow new plants from a leaf and enjoy an exciting and wonderful experience particularly inside your own home or apartment. You will derive great satisfaction and pleasure from doing this and by entering our world, the returns are just so great.
Our aim is to promote and involve everyone in the care, propagation and development of their African violets and Gesneriads.
Just click on each Menu option and find how African violets are easy to maintain. We want to provide you with interesting information and photographs that will provide you with information and knowledge. Your new one has so much potential to put a smile on your face or for the person you may have given it to as a gift. Your home will be bright with colour and it can be a lovely hobby if you wish to do more. Just click on our Links Page to have a look for the nearest AVS organisation closest to you. We have a section called Questions and Solutions so click to have a look.
Thanks for looking at our web site and there is lots more to come.
Saintpaulia Speak - Red Delicious
Red Delicious is a Standard whose bloom is a semi-double dark red pansy hybridised by Margaret Taylor. The leaves are dark green. It is a colour that does well In a brightly lit position..
New!! A new addition to our web pages Menu is the African Violets Page where I hope to collate these segments here on the Home page as they are replaced by another one every so often.
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 Maintenance, History and Annual Show Pages above with links to other societies, as well as the rest of this Home page
Winter Chores -
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 20o Celsius. provided the temperatures do not go below 16o C 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.
Vigorous suckering This often occurs in winter so be diligent in removing those side shoots before they destroy the symmetry of the African violet.
Powdery Mildew 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, 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.
Pests 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.
Variegation 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. Remember when you are tucked up in bed at night, that poor little violet will not appreciate sitting near a cold window.
(By M. Taylor) Reprinted from The Central Coast African Violet Club Inc Newsletter June – July 2004}
Remember if you are cold so are your African violets so keep them protected as Autumn leads into winter. Have quite a few articles coming up so stay tuned. Happy times to everyone and thank you for visiting us here at this web site. There is plenty to see, so look up the Menu pages for lots of info and help. The rest of this page is about general this and that which we hope is interesting. Would very like feedback on what you would have seen and would like to see so click on the Email button below and send us a few clues as these pages are for you. Cheers!
Two of Andy Kuang's recent Gesneriad hybridized outcomes.
We have a special set of web pages for our Members Only. You could also see these pages by joining us for a modest fee. Visit our Membership Page to see how you can join us to enjoy this very special addition to your African violet knowledge with many special features and heaps more information. There is the current April/May Newsletter now available as well as past issues of previous Violet Talk newsletters. You will also see so much more information including, Meeting Minutes, Financial Statements, extra growing tips, past events, members photos, humour and many other Pages with information specifically for you when you become part of our team.