Table of contents:
- What to choose: a blooming violet or a leafy stalk?
- Where and from whom to buy violets
- When you can and can't buy violets
- What to ask when buying violets and what to check
- What to do right after purchase
- What to do if the violet withers
What to choose: a blooming violet or a leafy stalk?
It depends on the purpose of the purchase. A flowering adult plant is, of course, more expensive, but you will probably buy the variety that you wanted (although violets sometimes have variability, this plant may bloom in a different way in a year).
An adult plant with formed buds can bloom for two months or more, depending on the variety and keeping conditions. If you do not have much experience in breeding Saintpaulias, it may turn out that after one lush flowering, the plant will lose its decorative effect, weaken and gradually decay. More often, an adult flowering plant is bought to make a gift or if you urgently need to decorate the interior for some kind of celebration.
When buying a baby, the plant adapts more easily to changing conditions. Further, if there is no experience in breeding, then by consulting with knowledgeable florists from a small plant, you can grow a beautiful blooming violet specimen, but then you may be disappointed: the flowers may not correspond to the description of this variety. This means that you have come across a so-called sport, i.e. a plant in which flowers have not retained the peculiarities of varietal color. So, instead of white stars with blue specks and stains, you get a plant with pure blue flowers.
True, sometimes the sports version is also very good, but I would like to have an original variety. The likelihood of sports formation depends on the variety of violets. For example, the variety "Phobo" forms a sport in one out of ten cases, but the variety "Nessa Blue Confett" in almost every second. The likelihood of sport formation in violets with longitudinal colored stripes on their petals (such violets are called "chimeras") is almost 100%.
In general, it must be remembered that all varieties that have strokes, spots, stripes of a different color on the petals than the petal itself give sports. When buying babies, ask the seller how often this variety has sports to make sure you are not buying a pig in a poke.
If you already have experience in growing violets from leaf cuttings, then it is better to buy a leaf, and when several children are formed from it, root all of them. If this is not a "chimera", then you will definitely get the desired variety, although not so soon.
Where and from whom to buy violets
You can buy a violet at a flower shop, but there you will get an already adult plant, either flowering or with buds. It is preferable to choose an instance in which the buds have just begun to open and the first flowers have appeared. Such a plant will bloom longer. The shops sell violets exported from Western Europe, most often these are the so-called commercial flowers, they were grown to be sold to please the buyer for a month or another with a beautiful bouquet bloom, and then thrown away. Not every amateur can cope with the problems that arise after the allotted time. So, for example, Dutch violets are sold planted in pots of the largest possible size for a given variety, filled with high-moor peat. In this case, it will be impossible to transplant the plant into fresh, nutritious soil after flowering,since the thin delicate roots of the violet will braid the entire lump of the coarse-fibrous substrate and it will not be possible to shake it off the roots without damaging them. The nutrients in the soil are enough for an average of 2 months. Watering with fertilizers from above does not give the desired results. It remains to be hoped that it will be possible to root the top of the outlet or the side stepson, which also does not work for everyone.
Some stores sell home-bred violets purchased from people professionally breeding collection varieties of Saintpaulias. It will be cheaper to buy such a plant directly from the breeder, especially since it will be possible to make a choice: buy an adult plant, a baby or a leaf stalk, you can also get advice on breeding. Violet collectors often have their own email address, you can get to know them at violet exhibitions, some have their own retail outlet, send planting material by mail. A good collector has his own catalog, he constantly updates his collection with the latest varieties, buying mainly leaves from breeders at the largest Russian and foreign exhibitions.
When you can and can't buy violets
Never buy violets and planting material during the cold season or extreme heat. When buying a violet in frost, you run the risk of buying a plant that has been severely hypothermic. Especially the roots suffer from hypothermia. It may happen that the violet still looks quite healthy, the leaves have not lost their turgor, there are many peduncles with unopened buds, but the roots are already damaged and after a day or two you notice that the plant is dying.
The plant also does not tolerate overheating well: flowers, if they are already in full bloom, wither very quickly, the buds can dry out altogether. Although the plant will not die, it will not bloom. Leafy cuttings, which began to root in the heat, very often rot. Pathogenic microflora spreads very quickly in hot weather, and in addition, in such conditions, ticks and other parasites appear very quickly.
The transportation itself is a great stress for the plant, and diseases and pests harm the plant in a stressful situation much more. Heat and cold add to this stress.
Preferred buying time: spring - early summer (if there is no heat). By autumn, the purchased plant will be able to get stronger, and then it will more easily survive the winter.
What to ask when buying violets and what to check
First, you need to find out what type of size this violet belongs to:
- standard - from 20 to 40 cm outlet diameter,
- large - up to 60 cm,
- miniature - up to 15 cm,
- half-miniature - up to 20 cm
- microminiature - from 6 to 10 cm in diameter
The choice of container in which you plant your plant will depend on this. And most importantly, you will understand what exactly you are getting: a young baby of a large violet or an adult plant of a miniature violet. A tiny baby can be a perfectly healthy miniature violet or a very weak baby of a standard Saintpaulia.
You can ask the age of the plant (the store may not know this, and random sellers in the market cannot say), ask when it was last transplanted, and what recommendations will be for the subsequent transplant. It is better not to buy a plant more than 1 year old. Take a close look at the stem of the violet. At first glance, it may seem that it does not exist at all, but it is not, there is a stem, but it is very short. The violet has a young and healthy stem, short, green juicy, no traces of broken leaves are visible. The stalk is therefore not visible because leaves grow from it in all directions.
It is bad if a stalk 1-1.5 cm high with traces of broken leaves is visible under the leaves - the tissue of the surface of the stem is dried and brownish. This is a plant that has begun to age. When buying, make sure that the outlet, even a young one, is symmetrical. An unbalanced outlet is a marriage.
There should be no plaque on the surface of the soil. The leaves are all healthy, without spots. Collectible varieties of violets on the pot have a label with the name of the variety. From abroad, re-grading often comes to stores, there are no labels on it. The plants that collectors sell - violets, are also always labeled.
It is advisable not to buy young Saintpaulia plants grown in a greenhouse, the acclimatization period will be very long, the older the plant, the more difficult it will be to adapt to the new conditions of the apartment. Peduncles and buds may not open up, after drying out. Do not buy Saintpaulia babies with very light leaves on long, elongated petioles, the size of which is larger than the length of the leaf itself. Such a plant grew in poor light conditions, it is unlikely that a neat proportional rosette will then turn out from it.
What to do right after purchase
Examine the plant again, but now with a magnifying glass. Whether the anthers of the flowers are damaged, are there small, white, very mobile worms - the larvae of thrips (one of the most dangerous and common pests of violets), it is more difficult to see the adult thrips. There should be an absolutely smooth surface on the back of the leaves, no crumbs or dots - traces of mites.
Experts always recommend a 2 week quarantine for a newly purchased plant. In fact, this is not always done, try to prevent the new violet from being in the same room with other plants. Saintpaulia babies can be quarantined in a transparent plastic cake box, preventing droplets of moisture from appearing on the lid and walls. You can use the aquarium by covering it with glass or plastic wrap.
If something confuses you in the appearance of a plant, then treat it with Maxim, a systemic fungicide that disinfects the ground and kills pathogens of many fungal and bacterial diseases. The drug is diluted with water according to the instructions and watered at the root, you can also spray the plant (the solution has a bright red color), but after 20 minutes you need to blot each leaf with a soft napkin or toilet paper - Saintpaulias do not tolerate dampness on the leaves. If insects have been noticed or there is a suspicion that the plant is pest, then you can water the outlet with a solution of actara - this is a systemic insecticide that also works against ticks. You can also spray the anthers on the flowers with the solution, but again after 20 minutes, blot the moisture with a napkin.
This violet has a small cup - its rosette is 3 times the diameter of the cup.
We carefully remove the contents from the jar so that nothing crumbles.
We insert the glass into a new pot, cover it with earth and carefully tamp it.
We take out the cup and insert the violet root ball into the formed mold.
It is impossible to tamp the violet in the new "nest"; we fix it with paper clips.
Now you need careful watering and a well-lit place.
Take your time replanting the newly purchased plant. If you have not received any recommendations on this matter and find it difficult to determine whether a transplant is needed, then after 1-2 weeks, carefully remove the outlet from the pot and inspect the earthen lump. If white roots are visible on all sides of the earthen coma, if the roots have penetrated the drainage or drainage hole, then increase the size of the new pot not by much - take a new pot 1.5-2 cm larger in diameter.
The plant does not need a transplant (with a complete replacement of the old soil), we do a transshipment so as not to damage the roots. At the bottom of the new pot, put a drainage 1-1.5 cm high from small pieces of foam or expanded clay. Then a layer of nutrient substrate, also about 1-1.5 cm, put the old pot with a violet exactly in the middle of the new pot, fill the space between the walls of the old and new pot with a teaspoon or scoop with fresh soil, tamp it with your finger or a stick. Now take out the inner violet pot with a screw motion.
You should get a mold, just the opposite. Now carefully remove the socket from the old pot, being careful not to fall off the soil from the roots, and place it in the mold in the new pot. Make sure that the ground level in the pot is not higher than where the leaves begin to grow on the stem. If the base of the leaf petiole is sprinkled with earth, then it can rot. Well, if the ground level at the walls of the pot is slightly lower, then when watering, water will not accumulate near the base of the outlet, which is very dangerous, especially for young plants.
If the size of the outlet of the newly purchased violet is less or almost the same as the diameter of the pot, do not rush to transfer. This proportion must be observed: the size of the rosette should be 2-3 times the diameter of the pot. If the rosette is smaller in diameter, then the transplant is not needed yet.
What to do if the violet withers
If during quarantine you notice that the violet is getting sick sharply: the lower leaves wither, remove the plant from the pot, check if the roots are rotten, they should be white! If the roots are brown or blackened, this indicates that the plant was flooded or frostbitten. Try to remove rotten roots by untangling the earthy ball with a sharpened stick (using a pencil). Rinse the roots in a slightly pink solution of potassium permanganate, then sprinkle the roots with clean river sand. Prepare a mixture of sphagnum moss mixed with crushed charcoal. Sphagnum can be bought at the store, and if you don't find charcoal, buy several packs of activated charcoal from the pharmacy and crush it. Take a pot with a smaller diameter than the previous one, put a drain, a small layer of fresh earth,then overlay the bottom and sides with a mixture of moss and charcoal and carefully insert the remnants of the roots of the diseased plant. You can remove the bottom row of leaves by sprinkling the breaks with charcoal. Remove all questionable and damaged leaves and be sure to remove the peduncles. Cover the top of the pot with moss.
Carry out the first watering no earlier than 3 days later, instead of ordinary water for irrigation, you can use a solution of the drug zircon or maxim (according to the instructions), as well as root or heteroauxin. When new leaves appear, the violet can be considered saved.
The author of the article is Rusinova T.A
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