Houseplants forum: My inside winter garden......African violets

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
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Paul2032
Dec 21, 2015 4:56 PM CST
Each year in Oct or Nov gardening out side is done here for the year. Then turn to houseplants in my sunny windows. This year it is African Violets. Here are some which look nice right now.........
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Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Deebie
Dec 21, 2015 5:07 PM CST
Nice collection of beautiful happy plants. Thumbs up
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 21, 2015 7:23 PM CST
Paul, WOW ... looks like you have house full of gorgeous African Violets! Really beautiful! Lovey dubby
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Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Dec 23, 2015 5:29 PM CST
Beautiful collection,all your hard work shows Thumbs up
Name: Stillwood Blakely
Madison, Alabama (Zone 7b)
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blakelyatstillwood
Dec 29, 2015 3:03 PM CST
Paul - I especially like #8 from the bottom - the blue one. I am new here on ATP and relatively new to AV plants. For years in NC I grew orchids in a greenhouse (with varying degrees of success!). When I moved to AL in Nov 2014 I could not bring my greenhouse, of course. Now I have a few orchids under lights in the house. But I decided it was time to try some different houseplants (which had never been my focus before). I have several AV plants (all from Lowes - not special)although I like them. But the color range and leaf type is limited and I have started looking for sources for more varieties not available in the big box stores. I would appreciate any advice as to good vendors from the experts on this thread. Thank you.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
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Paul2032
Dec 29, 2015 3:11 PM CST
I sometimes find nice ones at the big box stores if you can get them when they have just came in and not been over or under watered. Large groceries stores with floral departments get them here. There are also some good local nurseries here that get them in. A week before Mothers Day is a good time to check.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 29, 2015 3:49 PM CST
I am nowhere near an expert and it's been a long time since I grew African Violets and other Gesneriads ... and sometimes I really miss them! *Blush* I'm such a horrible plant caretaker anymore that I don't know if I'd keep them alive for long. When I grew AV's and other Gesneriads I ordered a few times from Bluebird Greenhouse in N.C. but upon googling just now it says their website is closed. I'm not sure if they are out of business or just closed for the season ... used to be their website was up and running year-round so perhaps they've gone out of business.

This is not the time of year for shipping plants, especially tender tropicals so I'd be leery of ordering during the winter months unless the vendor guaranteed overnight shipping with heat packs. I think the best vendors would refuse to ship at this time of year.

Dave's Violets always had a great reputation, they used to ship from April - October: http://davesviolets.com/ and always offered a wonderful selection of plants and leaves.

Another place I used to buy from is The Violet Barn: http://www.violetbarn.com/ They shipped healthy plants but they were usually quite small and had to be babied along.

One year I ordered a couple of plants directly from Optimara and they were decent size and very healthy: http://www.optimara.com/mailorder.html

Although I have no experience with this vendor, I remember folks from another Gesneriad forum always raving about Gary's Out of Africa: http://garys-out-of-africa.com/ I believe they ship from April to November.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Stillwood Blakely
Madison, Alabama (Zone 7b)
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blakelyatstillwood
Dec 29, 2015 6:29 PM CST
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I figured it was too late in the season to order any now (although it was 77 degrees this past week!). Winter will be here for real soon - cooling down all this week rapidly after that unusual warm spell over Christmas). I am trying to get a bit organized better and be ready for spring (probably a forlorn hope). Every year I say I am going to do better - oh well, Best laid plans and all that... Anyway I am making a list from your suggestions and will let you know in the months to come how it all works out. I really like that bright blue one in Paul's list.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 29, 2015 7:15 PM CST
Paul: Wow, that is a slew of African Violets you are growing. I know they must brighten your home and make it more beautiful during the long winter months! Some of those gorgeous flowers look like velvet, while others look like they are glowing! I click on one photo and think it's my favorite, just to go to the next and say the same thing. They are all really beautiful! Lovey dubby

blakelyatstillwood: LOL, I've been trying to get better organized for ten years and I'm still working on it. The first of May we are moving about 100 miles south so I really need to get busy and start to get stuff organized. All of my plants will fill my husbands 24 foot enclosed trailer and then some ... we will have a large moving truck for furniture and household stuff but the plants will be the first thing we move. Green Grin! Keep us posted on what plants you decide to order in the spring. I'm thinking once we get settled in our (final/forever/retirement) home that I might set up one stand with AV's and maybe Episcia, or Chirita or ....
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Stillwood Blakely
Madison, Alabama (Zone 7b)
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blakelyatstillwood
Dec 29, 2015 7:25 PM CST
Plantladylin - when we moved, I had to make some heartbreaking decisions about plants - I literally threw out a bunch of large orchids (cymbidiums) that I knew I would have not anywhere to keep as I would not have a greenhouse and which were wanted by no one except me. I gave away a large number of other plants of various kinds. I was able to move my very old rose (Vogue), a bunch of snake plants (Sansevieria), and pots of hens and chicks. I brought about 10 orchids and one African Violet. The moving company would not move plants, so I was limited to what we could carry in our RV on one trip here and in a trailer on the second and final trip.

After shedding a few tears, I got over it and have started anew. So I am going to focus on house plants and especially AVs. Outside I have some potted plants (roses) and one flower bed It is sad not to have my large garden with many beds, but on the other hand, it is sort of nice not to have so much work to do. New directions.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Dec 30, 2015 9:16 AM CST
Paul, those are some gorgeous African violets! Lovey dubby You have a lot of them, too--wow!

I only have three, but I'm happy with how they have grown in the last year. Atleast two of mine look like varieties you have. All the of mine are just common, unnamed varieties from chain stores. The purple/white one was my first, purchased from a small chain of grocery stores that no longer exists. The deep purple and deep magenta African violets came from Walmart.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Dec 30, 2015 11:01 AM CST
blakelyatstillwood ... I hear ya about New Directions and Less Work! As I've gotten older, I've downsized greatly in the number of plants that I keep. When we sold the house here in town that we'd owned for 45 years, I gave many, many plants to my neighbors. I'm fortunate that our climate allows us to leave all but the most tender tropical plants outdoors year round but there are times when we have had extended freezes in this part of Florida where I had to move orchids and other plants indoors and cover those on the deck and screened porch with old blankets in hopes they'd make it through the cold spells. The house we are retiring to in a few months is 100 miles farther south and the property is just under an acre with lots of trees so I will be able to leave my few orchids and some other plants outdoors year round!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Caroline
Oregon
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JuniperVenus
Dec 30, 2015 1:08 PM CST
Paul2032 said:Each year in Oct or Nov gardening out side is done here for the year. Then turn to houseplants in my sunny windows. This year it is African Violets. Here are some which look nice right now.........
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Wow, those are beautiful! Great job with growing them. Thumbs up Hurray!
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Name: Brenda
Winnipeg, south of (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Lilies Roses Daylilies
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echoes
Dec 30, 2015 1:38 PM CST
Beautiful collection of AVs. Makes me miss the days when my window was full of them.
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
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Linneaj
Feb 14, 2016 12:38 PM CST
I potted up 7 leaves of one like your 3rd plant down and then took the plant to the Garden Club's Christmas party as a present. I lost all 7 leaves!

This year, I ordered 21 leaves/plants from Texas. 2 leaves didn't make it. The others are well.

Let's see if I can post some pics with my phone.
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
Garden Art Daylilies
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Linneaj
Feb 14, 2016 1:02 PM CST
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The upstairs north west window. Probably Optimara Connecticut or Lucia. We will see when she opens.

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The north west window bunch: Big box Optimaras and noIDs.

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The north east bunch of mixed houseplants.

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Rhapsodie Rita being pink and white. She varies a lot.

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Frosty Cherry being almost white.

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The Texas bunch in a north west window.

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Sunkist Sugar Plum's first buds.

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Rhapsodie Rita set back from south west window being almost white.

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New supermarket noID, maybe Optimara Natasha.

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Optimara Maine II found at a thrift shop for $2. Leaf cuttings set up mouse ears really fast! I have 2 started. Blooms are about 1.25 inches in diameter - an easy grower.
Don't make fear based decisions.
[Last edited by Linneaj - Feb 14, 2016 1:18 PM (+)]
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