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What to do once you get your AV babies in the mail...answers by the AV Queen herself!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by FlowerNewbie on February 10, 2006 03:12 AM
Hey guys this is a compilation of messages between Barley and myself. We thought this could help some people. The lines across signify a new email...

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BY FLOWERNEWBIE

Hello Barley the AV queen,

I kneel before you and ask for your pity and instruction [teacher] I just received 7 babies last night from a purchase I made on ebay. I was up all night searching through forum after forum and website after website. While, I did develop some useful info, I'm still not sure if I am doing this right. I quite frankly ended up tired and discouraged by the end of the night. [sleepy] I was wondering if it were possible to have an actual conversation with you or if you're uncomfortable with that perhaps a live chat. It would be soooooo much appreciated!

Also, wanted to know if you had any leaves or starts to spare. I am starting an av collection myself. I bought six different "names" types. They are all babies though. I also took some of the leaves that fell off and seeing if I can grow them, not sure if it will work cause they are off a baby plant. I would love to have a whole collection so if you want to donate, to trade (I'll have to wait till they get bigger not sure how much bigger though), or have me pay to cover shipping and whatnot. My varieties are Anastasia, Irish Whisper, Ness Coral Sunset, S.Grandifolia, Rebels Splatter Kake and Whirligig Star.

Thanks!

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By barleychown

Good morning, Flowernewbie!

Today is my day to sit in the office all day. [Razz]

I will have my laptop with me, and while i cannot promise an immediate answer, as I may be on the phone with clients, I can promise to answer and questions you PM me as fast as possible. [thumb]

Tell you what...I have to shower and drive to the office, so that will give you time to get your first set of questions together and sent back to me. Then when I get there, I will check here again, and answer anything you send. Deal? [grin]

Most of all don't get discouraged! AV's are tough plants, a lot tougher than we give them credit for.

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Kitten in Life  - , Tiger in Love  -
by FlowerNewbie on February 10, 2006 03:14 AM
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BY FLOWERNEWBIE

Thanks for the fast response! I guess I should just start from the beginning...

Once upon a time [Big Grin] (yesterday),

I got in my 7 plants from the mail. Here they are the pics from seller,

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They arrived in pretty good condition. So this is what I've done with them since;

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Kitten in Life  - , Tiger in Love  -
by FlowerNewbie on February 10, 2006 03:14 AM
1. Put drainage holes in four corners and 1 in the middle of the bottom of 9 oz clear solo cups the measure about 3" Wide and deep.
a.) Are these to big? If, so should I re-pot them again?

2. Prepared 1/2 potting soil with phosphorus and 1/2 perlite
a.) Is the added phosphorus bad? I tried to find just plain soil or african violet soil but nothing at home depot. This is the only one that I could find the didn't have added miracle grow.

3. Took each of them out of the little tiny (ugly) cups.

4. Poured the gravel like substance in existing cups into bottom of new solo's

5. Filled with soil mixture.

6. Added plant just the way it was, did not separate or tamper with roots at all.
a.) These plants still have the mother leaf attached should I remove it?
b.) In you "what to do with new leaf forum" you say to separate the babies into individual plants should I have done this here?
c.) The root ball was VERY moist, should I have tried to remove the moisture or get as much of the existing soil off the roots?

7. I then filled in about the plant.
a.) I did not seem very sturdy in the pot, I patted it down, but since the roots were pretty small it didn't seem to good in there. Is that a problem?
b.) When placing in some of the lower leaves touched the soil, and pretty much got ruined. Could I have done this differently?

8. Along the way I put labels on them that stated there type.
a.) Is there any other useful info that I could put on the labels?

9. I filled a cookie sheet with mildly warm water and sat each newly potted plant in for about 15 minutes.
a.) Is this the preferred way of doing it?
b.) Is the time a good amount?
c.) I read that to use "feel it" technique it should feel like a wrung out sponge, but honestly the soil from the bag already felt the texture, any other tips on how to tell when's enough.
d.) I am in zone 6, how often would you say they will need watering?

10. I took them off the sheet and place them on a platter. It seemed there was a little dripping out of the bottom, so I took a rag a kindof dabbed the bottom to collect in excess water there was. In this process, I was working over the plants and dripped some water on the ones below, oops!
a.) Water on the leaves, am I doomed? It was not that much and I tried to get as much off as I could but the kindof ended up muddy from the left of soil on the leaves.
b.) The leaves are dirty, I tried to used I artist brush to wipe them down, it worked a little but not that well.
c.) This morning some of the leaves are looking less happy, some are curling a little and some hove little brown spots on the tips, will the just go away.

11. When re-potting them I have about 4 "healthy looking" leaves with stem fall off.
a.) Are these okay/ old enough to propagate?

12. I went ahead and put the leaves in the small "fruit cup" containers with the some soil as the plants and put the on a tray with the larder 9oz solo cups on top. Then watered.
a.) I only put a small amount of water but since there was so little soil it did feel pretty moist, bad?

13. Today I put all the plants (including leaves) I a tall wicker shelf stand by a south east window (I'm on the east coast). This window seemed to have the most sun "rays" coming though and also felt the warmest standing next to. I do not use the heat during the day any more just at night.
a.) Should I remove the plants from the window at night because, 1. the heater - it is a taller cabinet. 2. The cold coming in through the window at night is pretty COLD.

14. Do I need any fertilizer and when and what kind?

15. Do I need any buggy be gone (lol don't know what it's called). If so, what kind?

16. Any other recommendations (or did I cover it ALL [lala] )

Well, now you see why I wanted a phone conversation. lol. But it's all here, every question I could think of. I am at your mercy, AV Queen!!

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Kitten in Life  - , Tiger in Love  -
by FlowerNewbie on February 10, 2006 03:16 AM
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by barleychown

quote:
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1. Put drainage holes in four corners and 1 in the middle of the bottom of 9 oz clear solo cups the measure about 3" Wide and deep.
a.) Are these to big? If, so should I re-pot them again?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think these pots will be fine for now.

quote:
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2. Prepared 1/2 potting soil with phosphorus and 1/2 perlite
a.) Is the added phosphorus bad? I tried to find just plain soil or african violet soil but nothing at home depot. This is the only one that I could find the didn't have added miracle grow.

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Ideally you want a plain potting soil. However, phosphorus isn't a terrible thing, and if I remember right, it helps with rooting. I have never used one with added phos. but I don't really see what it could hurt...

quote:
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6. Added plant just the way it was, did not separate or tamper with roots at all.
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Probably a great idea for now, because they are already under stress from shipping and because your growing conditions are different from what they were growing in.

quote:
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a.) These plants still have the mother leaf attached should I remove it?
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Here's the deal...because these are named varieties, if I were you I would want to get as many babies from each mother leaf as possible. So, in this case, I would not remove the leaf until I separated the babies, and at that time, I would re-pot the mother leaf again.

quote:
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c.) The root ball was VERY moist, should I have tried to remove the moisture or get as much of the existing soil off the roots?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think they will be okay...

quote:
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7. I then filled in about the plant.
a.) I did not seem very sturdy in the pot, I patted it down, but since the roots were pretty small it didn't seem to good in there. Is that a problem?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think they will settle in and seem sturdier.

quote:
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b.) When placing in some of the lower leaves touched the soil, and pretty much got ruined. Could I have done this differently?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ruined how? Dirty, or torn? If only dirty, you can use a dry soft paintbrush or make-up brush to gently dust it off...

quote:
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8. Along the way I put labels on them that stated there type.
a.) Is there any other useful info that I could put on the labels?
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I like to also include the date that they were potted, so that I don't try to rush them too fast into a bigger pot.

quote:
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9. I filled a cookie sheet with mildly warm water and sat each newly potted plant in for about 15 minutes.
a.) Is this the preferred way of doing it?
b.) Is the time a good amount?
c.) I read that to use "feel it" technique it should feel like a wrung out sponge, but honestly the soil from the bag already felt the texture, any other tips on how to tell when's enough.
d.) I am in zone 6, how often would you say they will need watering?
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Yes, that is how I water mine. 15 minutes is good. the way the soil looks in a new bag is about right. You will just learn how to do it by sight and feel. For now, less is better, because with a new pot, there is a lot of dirt, and not much root, and you don't want it too wet because you don't want the roots to rot. I would say give them at least 2 weeks before watering again, maybe even 3.

quote:
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b.) The leaves are dirty, I tried to used I artist brush to wipe them down, it worked a little but not that well.
c.) This morning some of the leaves are looking less happy, some are curling a little and some hove little brown spots on the tips, will the just go away.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The brush will work better when the dirt on the leaves is dry. Water on the leaves is an old wives tale. You don't want to get them overly wet, or let water sit on the leaves, but just dropping on and being wiped off is fine.

You are noticing a change in the leaves because of all they have been through in the last few days...about a week, maybe two and they will have settled in and should be looking better.

quote:
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11. When re-potting them I have about 4 "healthy looking" leaves with stem fall off.
a.) Are these okay/ old enough to propagate?
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I would guess that they are, but if they are not, they will just turn into a puddle of brown goo...what have you got to loose by trying?

quote:
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12. I went ahead and put the leaves in the small "fruit cup" containers with the some soil as the plants and put the on a tray with the larder 9oz solo cups on top. Then watered.
a.) I only put a small amount of water but since there was so little soil it did feel pretty moist, bad?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They may be okay...maybe a little wet, but that's okay. To increase their chances, you may want to find a way to dome them. And hold off on watering them again until the soil is almost dry.

quote:
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13. Today I put all the plants (including leaves) I a tall wicker shelf stand by a south east window (I'm on the east coast). This window seemed to have the most sun "rays" coming though and also felt the warmest standing next to. I do not use the heat during the day any more just at night.
a.) Should I remove the plants from the window at night because, 1. the heater - it is a taller cabinet. 2. The cold coming in through the window at night is pretty COLD.
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There isn't any direct sun falling on them, right? They need something more along the lines of bright shade. Hold your hand over them. If you can see a clearly defined shadow, it's too bright. If the edges of the shadow are fuzzy, it's okay.

How cold is cold? Perhaps find a small digital thermometer to keep by them. Anything less than about 65* is bad. 70* is good. Above 85* is not good, above 90* is bad.

quote:
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14. Do I need any fertilizer and when and what kind?
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NONE right now, and later any regular AV one at half or less of what is recommended on the bottle.

quote:
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15. Do I need any buggy be gone (lol don't know what it's called). If so, what kind?

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I wouldn't worry about it unless you see a problem. There are different treatments for different buggies.

quote:
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16. Any other recommendations (or did I cover it ALL )
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If you don't mind, if you could start a thread in the house plants forum with all of your questions and my answers, I am sure it would help lots of people!

Here are some sites that I find helpful:

http://www.rachelsreflections.com/

http://groups.msn.com/TheVioletVoice

http://www.african-violet-brats.com/community/

Did you think of any more questions? [grin] [grin] [grin] [grin]

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Kitten in Life  - , Tiger in Love  -
by FlowerNewbie on February 10, 2006 03:17 AM
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by FlowerNewbie

Nope, you did wonderful and it sounds like I did to (for the most part). No more stress now time to just sit back and enjoy (at least for the next 3 weeks). I did have one other question though. At what point should I separate them? and will the plant be "fuller or "bigger" if I leave them together?

I'll defiantly post this on the website I was actually going to ask if you wanted me to. Cause with all of the reading I've done, I really didn't find anything about "What to do when you get your babies back in the mail." Hey that got a ring to it don't it, I'll think that will be the name of the topic! I'll keep everyone posted on the status of my little guys!

Thanks again

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by barleychown

I meant to tell you that you got some great varieties! Have you seen pics of their blooms?

I would wait about a month to give them time to get use to your house, then separate them...by then they will be strong enough to handle it! [thumb]

So far, you are doing great! keep it up!!! [flower] [flower] [flower]

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Kitten in Life  - , Tiger in Love  -
by FlowerNewbie on February 10, 2006 03:18 AM
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by FlowerNewbie

Thanks!!! [flower] [clappy] [flower] I'm so happy now!!! ...and yes I have seen the pics of them in bloom... I want to the avsa website. This of course made my new habit worse than pokemon - 'cause I gotta catch em 'all [lala] ehh... okay so I am around kids a lot. lol. But that site is great they have a bazillion (is that a word [nutz] ) pics of every type I could imagine.

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by barleychown

I agree it's very addictive...that's what happened to me! [Embarrassed] [grin]

Don't start worrying until you get rid of your spare bed to make more room for AV's.... [lala]

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Well there it is - hope someone finds this usefull!

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Kitten in Life  - , Tiger in Love  -
by barleychown on February 10, 2006 03:28 AM
Thank you! [flower]

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We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.

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