Sunday, April 29, 2012

No sprouts and still mites

An update.  It looks like I have a lot of green algae colored perlite, maybe some moss growing. No African violet sprouts.  Oh well. The next pod in waiting is Gecko's Vespa Vino (seed parent) x Butterfly Blue Eye. Dated 1-8-12, It's still developing on the plant. Even if it dries up in May, it should hopefully have crossed that 4 month viability limit.  The previous pod may have only had 3 months. I forgot if I am supposed to count the first month or not. I may have mistakenly counted it when I said I had 4 months.  The Vespa Vino pod is at least 4 months now even if I don't count January.

This cross should be interesting because the plants are like polar opposites. Butterfly Blue eye grows very flat. Vespa Vino is anything but flat. Butterfly Blue Eye is neat and follows its own symmetry.  Vespa Vino is anything but neat.  It's a wasp.  Blue eyed wasp flowers should be cool. I'll get to see if Vespa Vino carries the star flower gene.

Drawbacks:  Vespa vino is a semi-double dropper. Jeff Smith and others have stated wasp violets can't be droppers. The same is said about semi's and doubles. I've seen Marrie Lorraine and even Ness' Fantasy Gold drop a bloom or two. My particular African violets must be freaks. They defy all tried and true logic.

Butterfly Blue Eye is also a dropper. If both have the dropper gene, being recessive 100% of the offspring will drop their flowers before they fade.  Some people like this trait and some do not.  I'm not a fan of it, but I won't throw away a good plant just because of it. But then again if part of what Jeff smith said about semis and wasps holds true, I may still see sticktites or occasional droppers.  Time will tell.  To be honest I'm more excited about this crossing than the previous. Even if that means no variegation.



Still can't get rid of the buggers...  I tried a product called Mite x which seemed promising. I didn't even mind the garlic and clove smell. Apparently it's not the best for African violets. It burned out the crowns on just about any violet that got touched by sunlight.  Losing the crown isn't the end of the world, but heck, it's going to take a while for the plant to recover. It will assure that if I want a decent symmetrical plant, I'll have to start over from one of the crown suckers. This is bad news if I wanted to have those particular violets show worthy by August.  But enough of that. Survival is top priority. Show worthy later.

I changed over from a regular family dollar spray bottle to a pump sprayer.  That seems to give better coverage and soak a lot more with forbid than the regular spray bottle did.

On a side note, I may lose my Butterfly Blue eye father parent. I think I still have leaves.  I forgot to check on it this week and left it in with the plants under my grandma's care. The plant ended up (drying out first) soaking wet and drowning in the pot.  I salvaged it, but I can see the mites or something sure took a toll on it's upper leaves. The lower leaves are wilted. The Mite x killed the crown. No healthy leaves = failed plant or harder than heck chance for recovery.

I'm planning and gathering up plants to send over for diagnosis. Anyone know where I go to get that done?  I looked up the University of Minnesota extension website but couldn't see a link to where I send or bring over plant material for diagnosis.  I'll keep posted if they can give a diagnosis.

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