(Some of) What’s New:
Episcia ‘Raspberry Tart’. Bright orange blooms on dark, quilted, leaves with metallic silver to hot pink midrib and veining.
RS Fluttering Moths. (RS Porkhaiushie Motylk) A new trailing hybrid from Russia with semidouble cream-white to light satin-pink stars with hints of occasional blue speckling. Medium green semitrailing, semiminiature foliage.
EK Ruby Violet Moon. (EK Ruinivaia Luna) Another new Russian hybrid. Semidouble red stars with irregular white edges. Medium green standard foliage.
The final show results for 2014 are in and our hybrids appear prominently. The top two winningest semiminiatures at AVSA affiliate shows in 2014 were ‘Rob’s Dodo Bird’ and ‘Rob’s Antique Rose’, while four of the top five trailers were ours as well, topped by ‘Rob’s Boolaroo’ and ‘Rob’s Gundaroo’. Congatulations as well to all of those winning exhibitors!
Primulina and sinningia inventory has been updated recently, with many new miniature sinningias appearing on our listing. Our popular ‘mini wicking’ pots are in very short supply do to recent high demand–we’re looking to get more soon. They will reappear on the catalog when this happens.
This month’s question:
I would really appreaciate some advice. I have been successfully keeping violets for about 45 years, but the miniatures really have me stumped as to how to successfully transplant them into the same pot, while removing some of the neck. They usually get fungus and gradually die. Is there any transplant adive you can give me?
The basic idea behind repotting is the same for both miniature and the larger, standard, varieties. In both cases, you want to remove some of the bottom of the root ball then lower the plant into the pot, covering the neck (the stem exposed over time when older lower leaves are removed) with fresh soil. This is best done every 6 months or so, when the neck isn’t so long as to make this difficult.
Miniatures can be a bit more difficult only because of their small size–it can be hard to get our big fingers under those small leaves and into such a small pot! Our trick is to fill the pot (no larger than 2.25 or 2.5″ for minis) with soil (moist, but not wet), doing so firmly so it can be “molded”. Burrow a hole vertically into the soil, large enough to accomodate the root ball of the plant. Don’t feel squeamish about removing some of the root ball, after all the point of this excersize is to give your plant a “fresh start” and encourage new root growth. There should be a small ‘mound’ of soil above the pot rim when this is done.
Insert the plant into the hole…it likely won’t go in very far. Push it down most of the way, then ‘roll’ your fingers over the mound of soil to press it down the rest of the way. It will take some practice to get good at this, but it is far easier this way then to try spooning or adding soil a little at a time beneath the leaves and into the pot.
One common mistake in repotting is not the repotting, but the watering afterwards. Once potted, lightly water the plant. Again, moist but not soggy. Keep in mind that your repotted plant needs a chance to grow some new roots before it can use all of that water! If you wick water (or use self-watering pots) water from the top for a couple of weeks or so until you begin to see new growth, which indicates new root growth. Until then, your plant can’t process that much water.
Lots more information can be found on our “plant care” pages.
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