No 13 – October 2014

The Violet Barn newsletter                                      October 2014 – No. 13

Newsletter has been copied to this page–appearance may differ from the original.

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October 14, 2014.
International orders must be placed by this date for shipment week of October 20.

October 23-25, 2014.
NY State African Violet Society Convention and Show
Treadway Inn, Owego, Ny
For info:

November 2, 2014.
Place orders by this date to have safe delivery guaranteed when shipped by Priority mail week of November 3.  Orders placed (and shipped) after this time will only be guaranteed when Express mail is selected.

Free stuff and how to get it!

See the show, get a plant!
Print out and bring a copy of this newsletter to our booth at the NYSAVS show in Owego and redeem for a free plant (our choice, one plant per subscriber).

2015 AVSA Show awards.
Best Robinson collections
1st place: $200
2nd place: $100

Write a review.
Write a review before ordering, good or bad, we’d like to know.  Get a free plant added to your order.

“What’s This”? Contest

Shown above is (part of) a plant that we currently list in our online catalog–though not necessarily from the same photo online.  Correctly identify the plant and win free express shipping upgrade on your next order order ($20 value). 

Contest rules:
1.  Email:
Place your guess in subject line.
2.  One entry per household.
3.  Entry deadline Oct. 30, 2014
4.  One winner randomly chosen from among all correctly answered.

Rob's Dodo Bird


Lynn Wallach sent us the photo above of her award-winning plant of ‘Rob’s Dodo Bird’.  Terrific!

Bob Clark was our winner of last month’s ‘What’s This?’ contest, correctly identifying the pictured plant as Lysionotus sp. , its a small grower, never growing more than 6-8″ or so in diameter and usually smaller.

Contact us:


mail. POB 9, Naples, NY  14512

phone.  585-374-8592
Monday-Saturday, 12-5 pm ET

Our shop and glasshouse at:
7209 County Road 12
Naples, New York 14512
Open Tuesday-Saturday 12-5 pm

Planning a visit?

Like the outdoors?  Autumn in the finger lakes region of upstate New York can be breathtakingly beautiful. Like the indoors?  Our shop and glasshouse are always a great place to visit!

Accomodations?  Ask about the “Violet House“.  Available for rental to our guests and customers.




(Some of) What’s New:

HCY’s Chinese Opera.  Miniature sinningia with double mauve-purple blooms with purple spots on white throat.

Bristol’s BoomerangNew streptocarpus with cheerful fuchsia-red blooms with clear, broad, white borders held in bouquets above compact growing foliage.  Great bloomer and easy grower.

‘Dandy’ pots.  An attractive way to display your violets and an easy way to water them.  Colorful, wick-watering pots with scalloped tops to support leaves and reservoir to hold water.  Available in four colors, for both miniature and standard sized plants. 

To see more:

What’s News:

In September, we attended the recent Ohio State AVS show.  Great weather, great show.  ‘Ma’s Blue Spinner’ was the Best in Show winner.  Congratulations to Marge Farrand for such a growing such a beautiful plant!  Our entry of Columnea ‘Aladdin’s Lamp’ won best other gesneriad.  To view photos of the show, visit our facebook page (click on facebook icon on this newsletter).

We attend 6-10 shows each year, and would encourage all who can to attend as well.  We post our upcoming shows both here and on our website.  Perhaps one is near you.  It’s a great way to see well-grown plants in person, buy plants (from us or another vendor), and meet other “plant people”. 

Inventory updates:

Growing supplies.  In addition to the the ‘dandy’ pots which are new to our listing, we again have a full selection of leaf supports (plant ‘rings’) in stock.

Sinningia speciosa.  After a short absence due to high demand (and not enough plants), we again have plants available for shipping. 

This month’s question:

I purchased four plants from you earlier this year.  All have been growing well until several days ago, when I noticed ‘Ma’s Ching Dynasty’, having a problem.  The leaves and flower show dark discoloration.  I cannot see any insects.  I did spray with Schultz House & Garden insect killer.  Can you advise please?

This is quite normal for this variety, as well as a number of others.  Think of it as a ‘birthmark’.  It’s not uncommon for many varieties with multicolor blooms.  ‘Ma’s Ching Dynasty’, for example, has white and yellow blooms with a blue edging.  Typically (but not always) when you see more of the darker mottling in the foliage, you will also see darker colors in the blooms–you’ll probably see a darker, or thicker, edge on your plant than you might otherwise.  We actually prefer plants to show a bit of birthmarking, since this usually gives us a more colorful plant. 

All multicolor bloomed varieties tend to be more genetically unstable than those with simple, single, colors.  This is the ‘side effect’ of such beautiful, unusual blooms.  It also means that mutations (sports) are more likely, which can be frustrating if you want predictability, but also has provided collectors with many new, and unusual varieties.

For more information, visit our plant care pages

This month’s tip (from a reader):

“Back in June, I ordered several AVs and wrote that I was thrilled with them but a bit disappointed because ‘EK Cherry Blizzard’, which was starting to bloom when it arrived, was not really red.  It is now in its third blooming and is a gorgeous deep red!”

“I just happened to look at the blog on your site and saw your posting from last year about the difference temperature, etc. can make on bloom size and color.  In the past I have had flowers morph in color after several years but never knew why!  Was glad I read that explanation which probably accounts for Cherry Blizzard’s color”.

Our note:  Color, like beauty, is often in the ‘eye of the beholder’.  Though African violet blooms don’t, in fact, come in a true “red” (it’s not yet genetically possible), this variety is about as close to this color as they come.  In addition to growing conditions, which will affect the actual color of the bloom, so much of the color we perceive depends upon many thing besides the plant itself.  Try this;  Take a plant move it from window to window and place it under different light bulbs.  Look at it against different colored backgrounds.  You’ll notice quite a variation.

Bloom color depends upon genetics (what the plant is capable of), plant care and environment (reaching its genetic potential), and the environment in which it’s viewed (how we perceive it).

Are you an AVSA member?

Consider joining!  Sign up through our website and get a free plant!  For more information, visit



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