No 17 – February 2015

The Violet Barn newsletter                                     February 2015 – No. 17

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

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February 18, 2015.
International orders must be placed by this date for shipment week of February 24. 

February 19-22, 2015.
CT Flower & Garden Show
Held at the Connecticut Convention center in Hartford.  Visit us at booth 800-802, just to the left of the show entrance!  For details,

‘Winter shipping’ in effect!
We do ship in winter.  Please note the follwing, however: 

Orders shipped now through April 15 guaranteed only when shipped via Express mail and signed for upon delivery.  At customer’s risk when shipped by Priority mail.

Free stuff and how to get it!

Congratulations to those readers who solved our simple puzzle in January’s newsletter then took advantage of our coupon!  Try our February puzzle!

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 order.


Solve a puzzle, get a coupon!
Solve a simple, fun, jigsaw puzzle on our website, identify the plant, receive a valuable coupon good towards a purchase from our online catalog!

Click on the photo above or go to:

Complete the puzzle and redeem the coupon by February 28.  Or, just do it for fun–no purchase necessary.

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?

The best time to visit, as the lower shipping volume means more of the nicest plants stay on the shelves.  Also a good reason to come in from the cold!

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




(Some of) What’s New:

New kohleria hybrids from Taiwan!  For those who haven’t tried kohlerias, they are just about the easiest to grow (and hardest to kill) houseplants there are.  Given good light (about the same as for violets), they’ll bloom nearly every day of the year.  We grow many of ours in windows as well as under lights.  More information can be found on our “plant care” pages.

Here are just some of the spectacular new hybrids that we’ve added to our collection:

Designer Evening Gown.  Creamy white face heavily dotted with dark burgundy-purple, salmon-pink backing.  Dark, serrated, foliage with red backing.  A larger grower and heavy bloomer when mature.

Designer HalloweenSpectacular, a must have!  Blooms have dark blackish-burgundy lobes and netting on white to chartreuse face and purplish-pink backs.  Dark green, red-backed, pointed, serrated, foliage.  Stiffy, upright grower and heavy bloomer.  Wow!

HCY’s Peach Queen.  Terrific grower.  Large salmon-orange backed blooms with cream face spotted with dark orange-red.  Dark, red-backed foliage on stiff, red, stems.  Vigorous grower and good bloomer.

What’s News:

Seems like another cold, hard, winter, and according to our groundhog friend we’ve got another 6 weeks of it.  Still, we’ve only missed one week of shipping due to extreme weather.  To avoid the coldest weather, this sometimes means shipping later in the week than we normally would, so be patient if you’re expecting a delivery from us–you’ll get an email telling you when your order has been shipped.

Inventory updates:

Mini wicking pots are back in stock.  For those waiting for certain varieties of primulina (aka chirita), we’ve been busy potting these and a wider selection should be available soon.

This month’s question:

I bought this plant from you a few years ago.  About a month ago, I noticed it wilting even though I watered it.  A couple of weeks ago I pulled it out of the soil and saw that there were no visible roots!  I repotted it, but it is getting worse.  What do you recommend I do?

If the plant is wilted, even after watering, this can be a sign that the plant’s root system has been damaged and it no longer can use the water you’re providing it.  Once this has happened, watering more can make the problem worse, by further damaging the roots that remain.  This seems to have been the case here.

If the center/new growth of the plant is still firm, you can try to reroot or “restart” the plant.  Remove all of the damaged (likely outer, or older) leaves.  If the roots don’t appear healthy, you may remove what remains of them as well.  To reroot, fill a small pot (no larger than 2 1/2″) with soil.  Moisten the soil (not soggy), make a small “divot” in the soil surface, then firmly place the base of the plant crown in the divot.  Make sure the plant is firmly in soil and not wobbly.  Place plant and pot in a clear, plastic bag or container and seal.  It should reroot in 4-6 weeks, at which time you can remove from the bag.

To avoid this happening again, use a light soilless potting mix, containing plenty of vermiculite and perlite–use more perlite the wetter you keep the soil.  Don’t use pots whose diameter is more than 1″ larger than the plants root system (i.e. don’t “overpot”).  Repot plants every 6-12 months, providing them with fresh soil.  All of these practices will help to keep your plant’s roots happy, which will lead to a happier plant.

For more information on restarting plants, see our lesson on“restarting” a plant on our plant care pages.

Another question:

Can hoya be grown successfully in hydroculture?

Yes!  In fact, we have two plants that have been growing and blooming, rooted in nothing but water (in plastic soda bottles) for the past few years.  They sit in the east-facing window of our workplace restroom. 

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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