Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Violet Grooming for the Non-Violet Grower
I'm going to say right now that for a serious violet grower/shower this plant would never have made it onto their shelves for starters and if such a plant was in their collection they would strip it down to about three leaves and start it all over again. This tutorial is for the person who doesn't want to start their plant all over again but just wants to spruce it up and see that it's healthy and will continue to provide pretty bloom and enjoyment at home for a long time to come.
In the very center of this picture besides the small leaves you will note the two leaves that are close together but not in the center. This is called a sucker and needs to be removed so that the parent plant will not create a twin plant side by side and ruin the round "rosette" shape that violets are grown for. This is the very start of another new plant.
Besides, fresh flowers are lovely to look at, dead ones just look like the plant is neglected.
Ideally, these twisted leaves probably be removed but sometimes you really don't want to make your plant into a tiny "starter plant" because it's looking good otherwise. So... you can try gently moving the leaf into the position you want it to be in and inserting a straw, coffee stir stick or toothpick next to the leaf stem and holding it in the place that you wish it to grow.
Take the plant gently out of it's pot, loosen a little of the dirt in the root ball and place the violet back in the center, filling in any extra soil you might need to fill the pot again properly.
This violet also shows that it perhaps had a little less light than is optimal, the petioles (stems) of the leaves are longer than they could be. More light will make them grow shorter and make the plant appear rounder.
By taking the time to tend to your violet now and then, you get a plant that uses it's energy to grow proportionally, bloom more regularly and make a more pleasing display. It' well worth the effort!
We'll see if our grooming helps this plant make some pleasant improvements in a few weeks. Stay tuned for future photos.....
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