African Violet Mud Pie

Dr. Bill's Orchids, LLC

Regular price $11.00

  • Description
  • African Violet Culture
  • Description
  • African Violet Mud Pie

    Fully-double flower, purple color. Bright contrasting yellow anthers. 

    Species/Hybrid: Hybrid

    Mature Plant size: Standard (>8" crown diameter when fully grown)

    Pot size: 3" round

    Fragrant?: No

    Culture: African Violet culture

  • African Violet Culture
  • PDF version can be downloaded here: Dr. Bill's Orchids, LLC African Violet Culture Guide

     

    Dr. Bill's Orchids, LLC African Violet Culture Guide
    Water

    There are several ways to water- regular top watering, bottom watering, and/or wick watering (if you consider this separate from “bottom watering”). One thing to keep in mind is that temperature of the water does matter- not like an exact temperature, but ideally the water should be comfortable room-temperature. Cold water can shock the roots and over time can lead to increase chances of rot and decreased blooming.

     

    Signs that your AV needs water: droopy, dull, or limp leaves, top soil is dry to the touch at 1 knuckle depth, the pot is extremely light in weight when picked up. Summer months will need more frequent watering, Winter will need less. I normally suggest checking with your finger down to the first knuckle in the media to determine moisture levels with any new or newly repotted plant. Once new media is “broken in”, after a few waterings, you can usually tell by the weight of the pot whether or not it is time to water again. If in doubt, wait a day or two.

    General advice usually suggests to keep water off the leaves “at all costs” but they CAN get wet. The caveat is that they need to usually be kept warm and/or dry off quickly so it does not create fungal cold spots or act as a magnifying glass to scorch the leaves in the sun.

     Light

    Usually put in the “low” light houseplant category, AV’s do appreciate bright, indirect
    light. They grow beautifully in an east window and can be grown in a south or west window if
    protected by a sheer curtain. Artificial lighting can easily be provided. Usually artificial lights are placed 6 to 12 inches above the leaves*, 12 to 16 hours a day, following natural day length. If
    you find that your plant becomes “leggy” or lopsided, then usually there is not enough light
    being provided. “Lopsidedness” can also be minimized by regularly rotating your plant by approximately a quarter turn once a week or so. Once the plant is in bloom you can place it anywhere in your home out of direct sunlight to enjoy. It can tolerate a little while of decreased light. If your plant does not re-bloom, increase the amount of light that it receives.
    *height above the leaf canopy depends on the light intensity you’re providing. Stronger lights
    should be farther away.
    **AV’s tend to grow very nicely alongside Phalaenopsis orchids! Great orchid buddies! 

    Temperature

    African Violets are easy to grow because they will often do well in average household temperatures: 65-75 F. Most AV’s will slowly deceline if they are exposed to 60F or lower for extended period of time, likewise, if they are exposed to higher temperatures, they will need increased water and air movement to avoid them drying up to a crisp.


    Keep in mind that temperatures close to the window on a windowsill will be colder or hotter than your general house temperature (if growing on a windowsill, or anywhere really, I suggest having a thermometer/hygrometer). Fluctuating temperatures can cause bud drop on plants with buds ready to open. Also be wary of placing in the air flow of a heating or air conditioning vent!
    This can easily blast buds and/or spikes.

    Fertilizer According to the African Violet Society of America, any balanced orchid (or other plant) fertilizer (look at the numbers on the container, 20-20-20, 7-9-5, 20-14-13, etc) will work for your AVs. If you don’t have that on hand, generic Miracle Gro can be used to fertilize your orchid at ¼ strength once weekly until you do get a more balanced formulation (you don’t want to be constantly feeding a 30-10-10 or else you will get leaves and no flowers). Feeding weakly at every watering (usually 1/4 strength from box directions) weekly works well. I feed at approximately 45-75 ppm N once week during warm months and down to once every 1-2 weeks or so during cooler months (higher concentration during warmer months when most growth is
    occurring). At least once a month, use plain water to flush any accumulated salts from the potting
    mix.

    Humidity

    AV’s will definitely appreciate humidity being between 50 and 80 percent. They will tolerate lower levels, but will do best in the range listed above. In very humid climates, as in greenhouses, it is imperative that the humid air is moving to keep nasty infections at bay. In the home, you have a few solutions to increase humidity: 1) set the plants on trays of gravel,
    partially filled with water, so that the pots are not sitting in water 2) group plants together to
    increase local relative humidity 3) add a humidifier to your growing area (I personally like coolmist ultrasonic humidifiers for indoor growing).

    Potting

    Best done regularly to continue best growth. Usually I recommend repotting and “freshing up” the potting mix about every 6 months or so. Depending on who you ask, it can be recommended that you wait for a lull in blooming before repotting, or to cut off all the flowers to help focus new root growth. However, AV’s can technically be potted at any time- flowering or not. During this repotting time, also trim away any older, dying leaves or those that have been damaged. If your AV has developed a “neck”, trim away a portion of the root ball that is
    approximately the same length as the “neck”, as this will help ensure that the “neck” will become
    covered in soil and put out new roots once repotted. If your plant is particularly stressed before
    repotting, after a repot, it may be a good idea to give it a good bottom watering, and then put it in
    a clear plastic bag for about a week after repotting. The bag will help increase the humidity
    around the plant to help it get a “kickstart” on its path to better growing.

     

    AV’s thrive in mixes that allow for consistent moisture, resist compaction/is aerated, and doesn’t hurt for it to be just slightly acidic for nutrient uptake. Can you use any potting mix from the box store? No, it’s not recommended, as many of those mixes will become too dense over time and lead to too much moisture retention leading to root decay. AV mixes tend to have a decent amount of vermiculite or perlite (or both!) to help promote aeration. 

    Pot Sizing

    The “Goldilocks” effect, AV’s do best with juuust the right pot size where they are snug, but not too snug. AV’s that are in the wrong size pot will not grow to its full potential by growing slower, smaller leaves, uneven growth habit, and/or not producing buds/blooms. When repotting, it is not uncommon to go back into the same size pot. When up-potting because the rootball can no longer fit into the original pot, go up by 1 pot size, there should be just enough space in the pot to add a bit of soil around the existing roots while not sticking out over the top of the pot or going out of the drainage holes.


    Some recommendations for pot sizes by AV type:
    Miniature: 2 in diameter
    Semi-Miniature: 3 in diameter
    Standard: 4 ins diameter
    Large/Specimen: 6 in diameter
    If in doubt, a good rule of thumb is (diameter of the crown) / 3 = pot size.

    Grooming

    When the blooms are finished, you can trim or pinch off the spent buds to help promote more blooming. Once the entire flower spike is spent, cut or pinch the spike down to where it emerged from the crown. AV’s take very well to some leaf grooming if a leaf is old or dying or has become severely damaged, you can easily cut or pluck the affected leaf out. When trimming off any flowers or leaves, look along the crown to see if any “suckers” have started to appear and trim them out (for non-trailing types). Suckers along the main stem will eventually
    lead to multiple crowns from the same stem, which will lead to crown crowding and usually will
    result in decreased flowering and vigor over time.


    Trailing type AV’s will naturally develop multiple crowns via suckers as that is how they
    develop the “trailing” trait

     

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