African Violets…Find Out More!

On Thursday, 4 October, Althea and Barry Connor will be the guest speakers at the meeting of the Mitchelton and Districts Garden Club in the Enoggera Memorial Hall situated at the junction of Wardell and Trundle Streets.  They will talk about African Violets.

A club member has said, “Don’t ever give me an African Violet.  I always kill them.”  Well,  African Violets are very fussy and if they don’t have the correct conditions, they just sulk and die.  If you heed the following in connection with growing African Violets, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful flowering plants for years.

LOCATION:  A place with good light, but not direct sunlight;  Perhaps near a window away from draughts, but not on the window ledge; In a laundry or bathroom where there’s a little humidity.

SIZE OF POT:  African Violets prefer to have their roots restricted.  When it is necessary to repot, the new pot should have a diameter of roughly a third of the rosette of leaves.

WATER:  Always put water on the potting medium which should have good drainage,  not on the leaves.  If watering this way the compost should be left to dry out a bit (not enough to cause the leaves to wilt) between watering.   Having a wick through the pot into water in a saucer in another way to let the plant take up water.  Don’t sit the pot in the water.  Let it sit on stones to raise it above the water.

BLOOMS:  African Violet plant food or a fertilizer with a relatively high phosphorous content will promote flower growth.  In summer feed your plants every week.

TROUBLES:  The leaves could be scorched by the sun or develop brown spots from water droplets.  Yellow leaves could indicate overfeeding or the air is too dry.  Pale leaves show the plant is too cold.  Night temperatures should not drop below 16 degrees Celsius.  Drooping leaves could be showing the plant has developed crown rot from overwatering, or it is wilting from lack of water.  Powdery mildew makes mouldy leaves which should be removed and disposed of.

PROPAGATION:  Cut off healthy leaves with a stem about 2 to3 cm long.  Dip the end of the stem in cutting powder before  inserting it in a moist sandy mixture. The stem will take root and produce several little plants at the base of the original leaf.  When the baby plants are big enough put them into very small individual pots.

Lots of things in the garden require attention now Spring is here.  It’s time to plant flower and vegetable seedlings.  Established shrubs and plants need extra nutrition, so does the lawn.  Winter flowering shrubs will require pruning when the flowers are spent.  One of these is the Poinsettia and care must be taken to avoid its irritating sap.  Marigolds, phlox and petunias planted at this time will produce blooms for Christmas.

This club meets on the first Thursday of the calendar month.  The hall is close to public transport and is wheel chair friendly.  Meetings commence after morning tea which is served at 9.45 a.m. and visitors and new members are most welcome.

For more information, please phone Pat, the president, on 3356 1256.

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