Ask a Question forum: African violet might be dying

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Alberta, Canada (Zone 3a)
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Draconiusultamius
Mar 5, 2018 11:19 PM CST
Haven't been on here for at least month since I asked about my tillandsia (which is doing very well although looking a little odd after some pruning of dried leaves). Anyways. I'm doing this thing in my biology class and my teacher decided to bring in her own plants to help with my experiment (counting stomata). She brought in this large basket of mixed plants, which includes pothos, heart-leaf philodendron (possibly), ficus of some sort and an African violet. Unfortunately, she forgot the basket in the back of her car for at least 2 hrs in below -20C temperatures and the leaves were slightly cold when she finally brought it in. This was last thursday. Today, I noticed that about half of the leaves on the violet had turned splotchy and dark, possibly some sort of rot and I showed her. We came to the conclusion that it might have been too cold in the car and I feel really bad since it would have been fine had I not needed the plant for the experiment. Is there anything I would be able to do to save it or is the situation virtually hopeless? I will post pictures from my phone in a minute, but I'm on the computer right now since ask a question seems to be having some issues with thread creation on mobile.
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[Last edited by Draconiusultamius - Mar 5, 2018 11:22 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 6, 2018 10:33 AM CST
Yep! That violet got too cold. But, what I can see, the center rosette of leaves looks good and that is the important part. The damaged leaves will always be damaged - there's nothing you can do about them but the plant is fine.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Alberta, Canada (Zone 3a)
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Draconiusultamius
Mar 6, 2018 12:04 PM CST
Thanks so much! I was really worried that the whole plant was going to die. Would you like me to take a picture of the whole plant to see the full rosette? Otherwise, I'll update if anything changes for the worse. Should I water normally as well? I heard one site saying to not water for a week and to cover the plant with a bag.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

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plantladylin
Mar 6, 2018 12:05 PM CST
I agree, the damage is due to spending up to 2 hours in the car in temperatures of minus 20c. I'd remove those damaged leaves; the black will probably continue to spread and those leaves aren't salvageable. As Daisyl suggested, the center rosette looks healthy and I even see buds so the plant should be fine.

I'm confused about an African Violets (Saintpaulia) being potted in the same container with Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum aureum) and what appears to be Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina 'Variegata') which both have different light and water requirements than the African Violet.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 6, 2018 12:15 PM CST
Edited to remove. Posted on wrong thread.
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[Last edited by greene - Mar 6, 2018 12:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 6, 2018 12:21 PM CST
I'm confused by that too but assumed they were all in individual pots in the basket.

When you remove the leaves, cut the petiole, don't try to pull the leaves off the main stem. Then, after the petioles soften, you can pull them off.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Alberta, Canada (Zone 3a)
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Draconiusultamius
Mar 6, 2018 1:28 PM CST
They're all in the same basket and have been for a few years. It seems to be working, at least to me. The teacher in question told me that the basket was a gift from a former student of hers. I'll ask the teacher for permission to prune the leaves after school today. The pothos has two leaves with dry, black edges, which I just noticed today. It appears to be ok otherwise, so I'll just leave it for now.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Mar 6, 2018 2:44 PM CST
It is the leaves that experience the most damage from cold as they are more exposed than the roots, which are partially insulated by the soil. The fact that not all of the leaves were damaged is a good indication that the roots are still okay and the plants will survive. I'm not sure that will help you with your stomata count, but the plants do have a future.

It is all too common for plants species that really have very different cultural requirements to be potted together into "dish gardens" by retailers who are more interested in creating something interesting that they can sell rather than something the will be easy to care for.
Will Creed
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Alberta, Canada (Zone 3a)
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Draconiusultamius
Mar 6, 2018 5:13 PM CST
Thanks everyone. I'm pretty nervous about pruning all damaged leaves since it looks to be more than 50% of the plant, so I will cut the worst ones and leave some for now. Upon closer inspection, some of the leaves on the other plants in the basket don't look too great either.
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Full violet
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After pruning
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Hope I didn't take too much. Might try rooting the damaged leaves and see what happens.

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