(Some of) What’s New:
All are good showplants. In fact, we acquired each of these at various African violet shows after seeing how nice they were in person. They’ve done just as well under our care.
Carolina Ariosa. Semidouble lavender-purple stars with pink fantasy puffs and occasional blue fantasy streaks and specks, slightly frilled, thin white edge. Dark green, quilted, serrated, foliage. Standard violet.
Cajun’s Royal Knockout. Double bright purple stars with frilled green edges, even prettier when grown cool. Medium green, quilted, ruffled, foliage. Standard.
Heinz’s Sentimental. Semidouble to double deep red pansy blooms over medium-dark green, cream and pink, variegated foliage. Standard.
Yes, it’s cold here. After a mild December, it’s been brutal the last couple of weeks. It’s rare that we can’t ship plants, but we’ve had to reschedule recent shipments due to the extreme cold. For those who’ve had to wait an extra week of so to get their plants, our apologies. That said, read below….
Winter shipping–yes, we do still ship!
As stated online and in all of our advertising, we will shipanywhere at anytime. Keep in mind though that it is winter! Even though it may be warm where many of you live, it may not be for us (or for points in transit). This means that we can guarantee safe delivery when shipping plants by ‘express’ mail only. Orders typically arrive to you the day after shipping, and will require a signature upon delivery. This ensures the safe arrival of your plants, no matter what the weather–here, there, or in between.
Lots of new material, some of which is shown at the top of page. For those looking for primulina, our apologies as we’re behind schedule in potting more of these for sale. We should have more in stock in another 4-6 weeks.
We’ve noticed that winter is a time when many plant terrariums or miniature container gardens. We have an extensive list of plants suitable for terrariums on our site, probably the largest selection of truly miniature terrarium plants you’ll likely find.
This month’s question:
I purchased some kohlerias from you about a month ago. They seemed to be catching on fine. I planted them in the same pot. I had a rather large pot and learned belatedly that I should use a smaller pot. However, they were growing. The problem comes when I try to water them. I watered them using lukewarm water without touching the leaves and they have just kind of wilted, the leaves drying up on some of them. What am I doing wrong? They were growing. They receive lots of light. My apartment is warm. I was watering them sparingly. Can you give me some insight?
As a general rule, if older (outer, lower) leaves are turning dark and mushy and falling off, the plants may be getting too much water and/or the soil is too heavy and dense. If the leaves are turning brown and crispy or dry, then the plants are likely being kept too dry or the air is too warm and dry (you mentioned that your apartment is “warm”).
Kohlerias are VERY vigorous growers, and with proper care can outgrow their space if not controlled. As you’ve discovered, there’s no need to group multiple plants in a pot, since any one plant can fill a pot on its own, especially once its rhizomes start sending up more shoots. They can also take over a space if not pruned and kept to size. Because kohleria can be such good bloomers, many growers are afraid to prune plants back when in bloom–don’t be! An occasional pruning keeps the plants more attractive and bushy (giving you even more blooms later)…and you can put the blooming cuttings in a vase to enjoy them as cut flowers–they’ll root in the water and keep growing!
Because kohlerias mature quickly and grow so easily and fast, they can also show signs of stress when they need attention and don’t get it. Keep their roots happy–use a light soil containing plenty of perlite and repot them as they become root-bound. Feel free to divide large plants if necessary. Actively growing plants will consume more water than smaller, immature, ones, but be careful not to drown them (this is where a light soil helps).
Finally, kohlerias are rhizomatous, and can appear to want to go “dormant” if stressed. This doesn’t mean they’ll actually lose all of their leaves and cease to grow, just that they’ll begin to look a bit ugly and grow more slowly. If your plants are old/large (which may be the case if they’ve been doing so well ups to this point) they may just need some severe pruning and a chance to produce some new growth.
For more information, visit our plant care pages.
This month’s tip:
Can’t find small saucers for your miniature plants–those plants in 2 or 3″ pots. We don’t sell them as we have yet to find a source. Here’s what we use, and you may have an even better idea–the tops to plastic cat litter containers. Flat, hard plastic, with a rim, and just the right size. They can be colorful, but if the particular doesn’t suit your taste, different litter mixes will have different colored caps–if your cat doesn’t mind, you’ll be able to find the color you want.
Are you an AVSA member?
Consider joining! Sign up through our website and get a free plant! For more information, visit www.avsa.org