Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Treat

I love the orchid my daughter bought me so much I decided to treat myself. This is Odontocidium Wildcat "Rainbow"

The pseudo bulbs are cool!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My daughter bought me a gift. We saw so many beautiful orchids! Then I saw this green Lady Slipper and I gasped, so she grabbed it and put it in the cart. I tried to make her put it back but that didn't work LOL

The dragonfly clip is cute, too

Neat markings!

The leaves are gorgeous!

I think it's too pretty, I'll never be able to take care of it properly, but I'm going to try. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bloom Time!

Richter's Green Dawn

Richter's Green Dawn again

Chirita Moonlight

Chirita Diane Marie

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Awesome trade!

I just completed a trade with a fellow collector. I sent some of my larger-growing violets in exchange for chirita. I received waaaay more than I expected!

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Happy Mother's Day gift

Thank you daughter and son-in-law for the Mother's Day gift! Here they are, from Lyndon Lyon (click on photos to enlarge):

Back row, left to right---subrhomboidea (in bloom!!) and Hisako
Front, left to right---Diane Marie and liboensis (with buds!!)

Here they are in isolation in front of the only window with a shelf. It's a north window so they should be happy. In fact, C. subrhomboidea enjoys winter temps down to near freezing and will respond with a flush of bloom in the spring. That's the main reason I wanted it. This window is cold in winter. The picture is a little fuzzy because it's a low-light photo without a tripod.

Left to right---Diane Marie, Hisako, subrhomboidea and liboensis

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nope, not out there, either

I took the remaining previously mentioned potting mix and potted up my basil in it. My previously green basil plants are now turning yellow, just like my violets were. That's it, out it goes. Maybe it was a bad batch, but never again will I buy that crap.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Repotting & Chiritas

And more repotting. Gads I hate Miracle Gro potting mix for African Violets. Now, don't get me wrong, it is absolutely fine for other tropical houseplants and for your garden!! But not for gessies (African Violets and other gesneraids). First of all, if you are new at growing violets, the bag says it will fill two 8-inch pots. Please don't think you should grow your violets in 8-inch pots! My friend A :-) has a nice violet care and potting tutorial. You should check it out here:

Read all on one page (start from bottom of page and read up)

Or read the pages individually:
Plants part 1

Plants part 2

Plants part 3

Restarting a Crown

Consistent Care

Plants part 6

(excellent tutorial A :-) !!)

So...maybe you are wondering why in the world I potted my violets in that stuff and what happened? Well, for one thing, I ran out of potting soil, some of my violets were severely overdue for repotting, and there was a lot of stuff going on and I had no time to order. I used to be able to choose from a couple brands sold locally but now the shelves are COMPLETELY DOMINATED by one brand. So I thought---add some perlite (which I still had from last year---the plain UNFERTILIZED kind).

At first my plants seemed to perk up, but then leaves started to yellow, and some started turning bronze. Well, that's no good. That means the plant's ability to use certain minerals has gone completely catawampus. So they were going to need to come out of that crap fast!! I emailed a violet friend who was able to mail me a big box of >>REAL<< African Violet potting soil. Thank you!!!!!!

I started repotting two days ago (I only do a few at a time). I noticed when I pulled the plants out of the potting mix it was WAAAY too wet. This was even with lots of perlite added (because I wick water). So I am hoping (and expecting) them to start looking better with the new mix, which has NO fertilizer in it and NO wetting agents. (In all fairness, maybe if you are top-watering only and letting the plants almost but not quite dry out before watering again, the Miracle Gro will work for you).

Ok...on to other news. My two Chirita plants are looking happy and healthy. The markings on the leaves are more pronounced and they are already putting out new leaves!! Because Silver Surfer has a long "neck" or stem, I potted it down (lower in the pot). I checked and it is already putting new roots out along the stem!

NOTE---just because this is working with Silver Surfer doesn't mean it will work with all of them. There are many different Chirita.

The rooting leaves are doing fine, except for Kitaguni, which wilted. I just now pulled it out of the pot because I figured I would try making a new cut on the stem, but I saw two baby roots and put it back. So I think it will be ok after all!

I am very interested in Chirita for several reasons, mostly pertaining to their culture. They like a more alkaline environment, which we have a lot of in Indiana (limestone---it makes the water hard, which Chirita like). So I don't need to adjust the pH of my water when I water them. Also, they like to grow very cool in winter (I have trouble keeping my violets warm enough), and they only need to be repotted once a year! Yay! A big plus is they have beautiful leaves. Sometimes it's hard to get them to bloom., but some of them are so pretty they don't need blooms to be admired.

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Babies!

I have never grown Chirita before, so I hope I don't kill them! These were a generous gift from a friend.
Front, left to right---Betty and Silver Surfer
Back, left to right---leaves of Piccolo, gemella and Kitaguni

Friday, January 1, 2010

Time for Pictures!

Glitterstar (I. Fredette) Bright pink/ruby sparkle edge. Variegated dark green, ivory and rose, plain. Standard.

Glitterstar was given to me by a friend in Missouri and she got it from her mom. I was playing with some lighting effects. Below is the same plant under my plant lights, a few days earlier when only one bloom was open.


Curlina (A. E. Adams) Single rose pink, faint geneva. Variegated TL. Miniature.

I love this little plant. I wish I knew what year Curlina was introduced.

Windsome (10116) 08/15/2009 (H. Pittman) Semidouble medium blue/white edge. Medium green, plain. Miniature (DAVS 1508, TX Hyb).

Windsome is another cute little plant. I won best in class with this one in a show a few years ago. It has been around for quite awhile, but I see there is a registration date now, so it must have been registered last year. Now I can't recall when it was introduced. I wish the AVSA would preserve the introduction date when an old violet is registered. The picture above in indoor lighting and below is window light.


Kaper (Richter)

Topps (Richter)

There is a story behind this picture. I grow minis. They like me. Standards tend to stay small-ish for me, more like large semi-minis. Usually by the time they are approaching standard-size the outer leaves are dying. I don't have a lot of luck potting up, either, but I received a couple 5-inch pan pots (really shallow pots for planting bulbs). So I potted Topps in a pan pot. It is wick watered, but it often runs dry. It sits on a high shelf in a south window, sheltered from full sun by a lace curtain. None of my home-made light shelves are wide enough. Anyway, the last time I took it down for watering I thought "holy cow this plant is getting big!" So I took a picture with a 12-inch ruler. The plant actually measures nearly 16 inches across. I know people who regularly grow violets this size and larger but this is a first for me.