African Violet Update

I told you that my African Violets were pretty dead and depressing.  Well I tackled them last weekend.  I had to.  It was literally do or die as many of them were working harder at dying than living.

Remember I showed you the pretty picture of one of my favorite violets that once looked like this??

…and when I finally got to the plant it looked like this???

I managed to try to salvage this.  How depressing.  I’m not sure if it will take but I am going to give it a try.  I hard try.

My favorite one…this one… (picture of it a year or two ago) ended up in the garbage.  It was all the way dead.

I had gotten it from Kayla.  I think in the past I had given her a plant start of it.  I called her to see if she had any.  The answer…No.  UGH.  She bought it for me at the Camp Courageous thrift store in Manchester, Iowa.  If anyone is ever there and sees an African Violet.  BUY IT FOR ME!!  I’m guessing someone likes to propagate them and then donates them.

Repotting is always a mess!!  See??

I’m happy to report that I saved more than I tossed.  Four got completely thrown away.  It made me sad….but I have others that I know I’ll be able to save so I guess in the end it could have been worse. 
There are a few that are iffy.  This one…  It was clipped from another plant as two crowns were starting.  There isn’t a good root system on this.

…and this one.

This one suffered from root rot.
It looks good but their roots are terrible.  I had tried these pots for Violets and it turns out they were terrible.  Initially I liked them but my plants haven’t trived with them.  I think the plants get too wet.

Although they are self watering…I still don’t think they are right for Violets.  I ended up getting rid of all of these pots.

In the photo the plants look good at a quick glance but all of them are suffering from foliage that isn’t filled out like it should be.  See all the leaves are heavier on one side than the other?

In the end I’m really grateful.  It could have been MUCH worse.  Little by little, I have hope, that these guys will all get a chance to grow and be what they once were.

So now that the Violets are taken care of, it’s on to the sewing room.  It needs attention.

13 thoughts on “African Violet Update”

  1. Donna Pheneger

    How I wish I had a green thumb. More like a black thumb. ;-)
    The plants that I have survive in spite of me I think.
    Good luck with your violets. They sure are pretty!
    Love and prayers

  2. I’ve been on your journey with you since your hubby got sick. I can’t imagine what that is like, but want to thank you for sharing. It’s the simple daily things you do to reclaim yourself that I’m very inspired by. I wish you only well, and know that you have a reader in me that’s been inspired. I miss the strong quilting content, but realize that often life gets in the way. Thank you!

  3. I love African violets but they don’t seem to survive my care so I’m hopeful with yours and all that repotting work. I think having those wonderful windows will help them. Enjoy tackling the sewing room

  4. Stearns Carol

    I gave up on plants years ago. Used to have hanging wandering jew plants that were easy but no more. Good for you to save them.

  5. I’m not a big Kant person Jo, but my mom could grow the best African violets. Just like you, she loved them. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    Hope yours recover.

  6. Jo, funny story about my experience with violets. It was about 40 years ago, my grandmother gave me a couple and showed me her wicking way to grow them. Margarine came in small yellow tubs then, only about an inch high. And of course we never threw them away. She set the violets on top of one of those with a scrape of cotton coming out the bottom and her favorite fertilizer in the tub. They did wonderful. Before long I had acquired and started many violets. It became an obsession. Grow lights and big racks everywhere. (I tend to do that). It would take me over an hour to fill all those little yellow tubes. As long as the leaves did not touch 1he dirt they grew great!! Too great! One day I decided I had too many and carried a bunch outside to a garage sale I was having. One customer went crazy over them and bought almost all of them. But as soon as she paid me, she made a huge show out of lifting every one up and dramatically jerking out their wicks!! She said she couldn’t believe I’d subjected them to that treatment. Mind you these were beautiful, lush plants. I cant remember what I did yesterday but I’ll never forget that experience. I said nothing to her and tried not to laugh. Of course she left the little yellow tubs! I cant see a violet without remembering that experience of being told I’d abused the plants! I still think keeping the stems and leaves dry but the roots damp was the perfect set up in east Texas but she certainly did not agree! Deborah

  7. My mom passed away in 1997 and I’ve kept a peace plant alive since her funeral. It was thriving in our previous house but when we moved two years ago, I had to move it to three different locations before I finally found a window it was happy in. I was so afraid it would die. I have an African violet in the same spot that I’ve also had for many years that blooms almost none stop all year. It’s funny how you can become so attached to certain plants that have meaning to you.

  8. Always good to keep busy! I’m away from my sewing room for a couple of months as I await the birth of my first grandchild and my niece’s 2nd baby. Life goes on and so do we. Hugs!

  9. Katherine Anne Chapman

    African violets are beautiful. They always bring me happy memories of my grandfather, who grew them as a hobby for several years. I don’t have his gift, but it’s worth the effort for something that beautifies our everyday life. Happy thoughts to you and your recovering violets!

  10. African Violets are resilient little plants that can go through some hard times but they bounce back with care. Kind of a metaphor really. I love the variegated one. Does it have a name? I found you and your blog at the burning of the couch. I am so glad I did. I lost my husband six years ago, next month, after being his caregiver for almost two years.

    1. Hi Carol…what a time to find the blog. I was at my worst then…I’m slowly getting better. I admire all of the blog readers who are also widowed and have spoke up and shared like you did. It makes me see that I can do it too!

  11. I gave up all my African violets when I moved to Montana last fall. This spring I have started over again placing 2 orders from hybridizers in New York. Lord bless Lyndon Lyons and the Violet Barn!
    Surprise! I even found some miniatures locally! I grabbed 4.
    I also had to order 2 new small grow light fixtures to fit my shelves. I don’t have plans for another huge collection again…but you never know!

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