Houseplants forum: African Violet leaves curling under

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Cape Town, South Africa.
BMcruiser
Jun 23, 2017 3:58 AM CST
Greetings good folks,
A question : my AV outer leaves have been curling down, so I went down to a smaller pot container, and repotted using commercially available AV mix soil. At the same time I removed as much old residual soil as I could from the root ball.
Have been watering from the bottom, standing the pot in tepid water for half an hour or so at a time. It is in a well-lit location with no direct sun. About a month since I repotted and there is a little new growth visible, but no change to the curled leaves, which are dark green in colour with purplish undersides.
My question : will the curled leaves ever recover, and if so, how long should I wait for this? Or is it better to remove the curled leaves (I was reluctant to do this as it's a young plant and only has a dozen leaves, 50% of which are curled.

Would be very good to have some knowledgeable opinions.

Thanks in advance
Thumb of 2017-06-23/BMcruiser/fb7a58
Thumb of 2017-06-23/BMcruiser/102c86

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Jun 23, 2017 4:16 AM CST
Welcome!

A site for diagnosing African Violet problems suggests these possibilities for leaves curling under, do any seem to fit? You may need to look carefully, better with a magnifying lens, to see if there are any mites:

http://www.optimara.com/doctor...
Cape Town, South Africa.
BMcruiser
Jun 23, 2017 4:32 AM CST
Thanks very much for your quick response sooby. I had looked at that site previously. Apart from mites, It suggest any or all of too much sunlight, temperature too cold, and water too cold. It gets no direct sun, so possibly I can rule that out. I'm watering with tepid water, so I don't think it's that. We have had a season change since I got it, daytime temperatures have dropped from around 25C, to around 16C, with lower night temps. (I know 16 might be a little cool, but it was warmer when the leaves first started to curl).
I have limited knowledge so not sure what and where to look for mites - the plant stands alone and was healthy and flowering in the store when I got it. I'm going to examine it carefully as far as possible with a mag glass though, to see if I can spot anything.
Was also curious to know if the curled leaves can recover, and if so, how long that should take, assuming I find and fix the cause.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jun 23, 2017 9:15 AM CST
The article mentioned three kinds of mites, for the ones they mentioned I would look at the undersides of the leaves, and in the very middle of the plant from where the new leaves emerge. If none of the article suggestions fit then maybe we need to consider something else. It may also take a while to recover from having the old potting mix removed from around the roots when it was repotted. Is the air dry in the house where it is located?
Cape Town, South Africa.
BMcruiser
Jun 23, 2017 9:25 AM CST
I had a good look with a magnifying glass, and all the areas you mentioned seem clear - I can't find any trace of pests of any kind on the plant. It's our winter here at the moment and winter is our rainy season so there is usually a fair amount of moisture in the air (sitting at 53% relative humidity at the moment, and seldom drops below 45%). Perhaps I must just give it more time. It doesn't seem to be getting any worse, and there is new growth there. Do you think I should remove the curled leaves?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Jun 23, 2017 10:58 AM CST
There are some more detailed descriptions of African violet leaves curling under on this page from the African Violet Society of America. One suggestion there is that the potting mix may be too dry. If that was the case it will also need to recover from the loss of roots when it was repotted. There is a houseplants forum here on NGA, maybe someone there can help, I'm no expert on African violets, I can kill them as well as anyone Hilarious! . If you'd like to move the thread to that forum click on "Suggest a Change" below the post.

http://www.avsa.org/faq-diagno...

[Last edited by sooby - Jun 23, 2017 10:59 AM (+)]
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Cape Town, South Africa.
BMcruiser
Jun 23, 2017 1:44 PM CST
Thanks very much for your time and for the pointer. Your thoughts make sense to me. I'll pop on over to the other forum as you suggest. I've killed one already and this is my second attempt :-)
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
Image
fiat
Jun 24, 2017 2:49 PM CST
Hi BM, Just came to your thread now. I am not an AV expert either, but luckily have some experience in growing AV. I had my first AV about three years ago and it didn't fair well (falling leaves, rotting stems, etc) for it's Fall time right b4 the cold winter. However it revived surprisingly the next spring/summer with lot new leaves and frequent blooming... it even continued flowering into winter... and for whole year around! This spring it has grown to, I think, too big a size (plant above soil)... So I decided to trim and repot it (into the same pot). I thought I have cleared (trimmed) it to the smallest size I could... but then after repotting, I kind of remembered few leaves down bottom had curled and shrinked under like yours. At the time I paid no attention thinking it's a tough plant I got there... Now reading your post and looking at my AV, it almost completely back to its glory again! (except only one curling leaf remain)

So I think give your AV some time for recovery from repotting shock, it will return joy for you again. (I think mine took at least 3 months to come back.)
Here are some pictures of my AV (the last pic is taken today, first and second ones taken a year ago, my AV received some direct sunlight through window some time in summer as you can see some burned leaves)
Thumb of 2017-06-24/fiat/9ba6d1
Thumb of 2017-06-24/fiat/20d492
Thumb of 2017-06-24/fiat/2f1a82

If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Cape Town, South Africa.
BMcruiser
Jun 24, 2017 11:41 PM CST
Hello fiat and thanks for taking the time to respond. Your AV looks great.
So you say the curling leaves recovered on their own? This is the main part of my question I guess : whether to remove the curlers or leave them.
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
Image
fiat
Jun 25, 2017 1:05 PM CST
I have no sure answer. But from my experience, I had done both: remove the curling, shrinking leaves and leave them until they either recover or fall off. Either way, there was no sign of hurting or killing the plant (from my experience). My latest experience: leave/ignore the seemingly shocked, sicked leaves hanging down and have them recovered much later... GL to you.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Jun 28, 2017 6:05 AM CST
I'd guess loss of root during the repotting. You might try tenting the plant, to keep moisture around it, and then the leaves may uncurl. (mini greenhouse effect)
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Cape Town, South Africa.
BMcruiser
Jun 28, 2017 6:08 AM CST
Thank you sallyg. That is a good idea. I'm going to give that a try.

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