Posts Tagged African Violet

What’s Growing Under the Light Shelves…

Today, I thought I would show everyone what’s underneath my fluorescent lights. I have a variety of flower and vegetables seedlings, houseplants, and more.

My coleus: I love the color variegation on these:

My coleus: I love the color variegation on these. (click to enlarge)

Coleus with flower buds. It’s pretty but I pinched it off to keep my coleus living. (click to enlarge)

I have some sweet and Thai basil. I have some in some self-watering pots but I thought I would grow some more in individual pots so I can grow them anywhere in the garden and not just in a pot.

Basil Seedlings (click to enlarge)

I have beans growing and sprouting! Yippee.

Top Crop Beans 12 Days (click to enlarge)

Endive seedlings (click to enlarge)

Under my lights, I have lots of African Violets:

A pretty pink African Violet (click to enlarge)

Propagated African Violets from leaf cutting (click to enlarge)

Older baby African violets (click to enlarge)

For my daily blog readers who would like to get email notification of any new posts here at Apartment garden Click here to subscribe!

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Garden Update 02-28-08

Pretty African Violet

I got this pretty AV awhile ago at Lowes. It was a pathetic little thing at Lowes. It was discounted to $1.00. All it needed was a little TLC. I placed it under my grow lights and it’s done really well as yal can see.

Today, I planted more peas to my garden. They were sugar snap peas. I hope to have lots this season. I love cooking with snap peas because there’s no shelling involved and you can eat the whole thing including the pod. It’s great in stir fry, orzo, and just raw. I hope they do well with no inoculant. I’ve never tried innoculants before but I wonder if it would give me a bigger crop. Anywho, I’ve always been satisfied with the crop I get. Maybe next year I’ll get some innoculant.

The coleus outside are doing well. No losses yet although, I did have to get rid of a cat that wondered into my garden. They are so annoying. I have gates up but they still manage to get in. I just wish they would leave my garden alone! Urgh. Darn cats. As I was doing some garden clean up, I noticed a tray of lettuce seedlings I had neglected. They had blown over a couple of weeks ago and were damaged by the storm. I had propped them up and forgot them. Some were doing surprisingly well. I transplanted about 4-5 lettuce seedlings in a part of my garden that gets part sun/part shade. I put one seedling in a pot to see how well it does in a container compared to the dirt. We’ll see.

There’s no sproutage on any of my Chinese Houses or Chinese Lanterns. I grew Chinese Lanterns last year and they didn’t take this long to sprout. It’s the weirdest thing. I wonder what’s going on! It might be that it needs warmer temperatures to sprout and since I have my fan on the seedlings, its probably making it cooler and harder for them to sprout. I’ll give the fan a rest in the next couple of days to give them a chance. We’ll see.

I noticed that my garlic was getting thicker at the soil line. I dug done a little and saw a new clove. I hope they’ll do well considering they were in containers. I planted them in November and they saw it takes 9 months for them to form bulbs so I have 5 months to go. Here’s hoping.

I have my first flower of 2008. It was an African daisy from my wedding. There were 4-5 blooms. I’m going to wait until they get bigger before I cut them and put them in a vase on my dining room table. I also saw that there’s some new growth on my hydrangea plant too. I thought I had killed this this winter. I’m so glad I didn’t. There were also some flower buds on my geranium. I can’t wait for it to bloom and try collecting seeds from this one. It flowers a magnificent pink.

Comments (2)

Office Plants Update 01-19-08

Click on picture for larger image
I thought it would be fun to provide an overview of all the plants I have at work. At my work, we have L-shaped cubicles with a light source on one end of the cubicle. The size of the light is probably around 3 feet in length and it illuminates that whole side. I use that side for housing my plants and since I have two desks that are adjacent to one another so I have two lights to play with. I take most of my houseplants from my apartment to my office during the winter and take them back in spring when all my seedlings are outside and growing. I just don’t have enough space on my grow shelves to accomodate all my plants that need light so fortunately, I have lights at work. It’s an extension of my grow shelves.
Click on picture for larger image
Currently, I have 4 coleuses, 5 spider plants, 3 hydrangea cuttings, a Christmas cactus, 3 african violets, 1 Hawaiian Scheflerra, and finally 1 pothos. The coleus, african violets, hydrangeas, and Christmas cactus will come home with me in a couple of months but the rest permanently stay at work. The Hawaiian Schefflera and pothos are doing super well at work. The pothos was having some issues in the beginning like turning yellow and dropping leaves but it has adjusted well. I am currently rooting some pothos in soil so I can have a plant at home. I am also growing some pothos in a jar of water. It’s doing well and has already produced 6-8 leaves!

Click on picture for larger image

I’m excited to see what color blooms will produce from my discounted Christmas cactus. I probably won’t know for a couple of months but it’ll be fun to know. I got another Christmas cactus at Walmart the other day. It was discounted 50% off to $3.44. It has pretty pink blooms. I currently have a red, white, and pink Christmas cactus. I hope this new one will be a pretty white one. Here’s hoping.

Comments (1)

Garden Update 01-17-08

My celery seeds have finally sprouted. Most people said it was really hard for celery to germinate but I didn’t have any problems with it germinating. It took awhile, say around 12 days. Out of all the seeds I planted, I would say I had an 80% success rate with the seeds. I plan on pre-germinating eggplant-black beauty, various pepper seeds (Korean Hot, Hungarian yellow Wax, Jalapeno, California Wonder, Kung Pao and Long thin cayenne peppers), and more Swiss chard seeds since these are last years seeds I’d bet my best bet with pre-germinating since there’s a chance they might not germinate.

The way I pre-germinate my seeds is called the wet paper towel method. It’s as simple as that. All you need is a paper towel and a baggie.

Step 1: Get a paper towel and dampen it
Step 2: Lay seeds in one even layer on half the towel
Step 3: Cover the seeds with the other half of the towel to make a “seed package”
Step 4: Put the package into the baggie and close shut
Step 5: Place the baggie on something warm like the top of your fridge and check every couple of days until you see some growth. The seeds with growth are the good seeds and the seeds with no growth are the bad ones and should be thrown away. Plant the good seeds and presto-magic; you have germinated seeds, no more having empty cells in your trays to seeds that didn’t germinate!

Coleus from seed (approximately 79 days) (click on image for larger picture)
I just wanted to provide an update on the coleus I grew from seed. The seedlings are thriving into lush little plantlets. I love that they have different colors and that I don’t have to spend outrageous amounts of money for plants when I can just grow them from seed. I bought a packet of seeds from grocoseeds.com for 1,400 seeds for only $1.99 and I already have 20+ plants. I would typically spend around $3.00 for a six pack of coleus and I spent a fraction of that price if not less. If you did the math, I spent less than a penny for each seedling minus the cost of potting soil. I hope by the time spring comes around, I’ll be able to put them out in pots and as companion plants.

African Violet (click on image for larger picture)

I also wanted to show my African violets. They’ve been neglected since I’ve been busy with seeds and seedlings. They are doing well. I have one I bought last year in May that blooms a pretty white and purple flower. It just started blooming recently and it’s so pretty. It looks like a little pixie fairy came by and sprinkled it with glitter.

Comments (6)

Easy Way to Get Rid of Black Gnats On Your Houseplants

Lately, since I’ve overwintered some of my plants which include coleus, hydrangeas, and geraniums, and also some of my African Violet leaves I’m trying to propagate, tangerine plants, Christmas Cactus, spider plants, etc. I’ve noticed a lot of black gnats around my plants. I’ve tried a lot of remedies to get rid of these things including cutting little yellow rectangles with petroleum jelly to trap these little suckers.

The only remedy that works with these pests is a dish of soapy water. All you need is a saucer (I got some at the dollar store in a pack of 4 for a $1.00), water and a couple drops of dish soap (I use lemon dish soap: it attracts these bugs). I add dish soap to the saucer and fill the saucer with a cup of water. I allow the soil in my houseplants to dry out to kill the baby fungus gnat eggs. I then put the saucer near the inflicted plants and the gnats eventually seek water and go to my “trap” saucers. The soap prevents them from flying away and they eventually drown. In a couple of days, you’ll notice that there are dozens of gnats in the water! Success proven! I hope this helps anyone who are burdened with these pests.

Comments (5)

Garden Update November 10, 2007

I just wanted to provide an update on the various garden projects I’m currently in this winter.

The cuttings I took from the ivy have rooted. The boxwood cuttings will take a little longer to root. I haven’t seen any growth on those.

Yesterday, I started some coriander (aka cilantro) seeds I got from the grocery store. I got a big canister for $1.50. We’ll see if they work. If not, at least I have them for cooking. The coleus seeds I started have started to get some of it’s true leaves. Once they do, I’ll transplant them into individual cells. Hopefully, by the beginning of spring, I’ll have a ton of coleus to give as gifts or plant in my garden.

I also started some more African Violet leaves from the AV I got from my husband last Valentine’s Day also the AV from Walmart that blooms these variegated white and purple flowers, and the AV I got from the .99 cent store and also this white AV I got on clearance at Lowes. I started 3 leaves per plant. In a couple of months I’ll get babies that are this size:

This week, I also transplanted my radish seedlings to the garden. I placed them in front of the peas and beans I started several weeks ago. They’re just poking their little heads out this week. We haven’t seen a frost yet. The meterologists expect a frost at the end of November. Lucky us.

Seed Collecting:

I collected some of my peppers for its seeds this week. I’ll start some this spring and give out some as trades. They have tons of seeds in each pepper. I got this plant on clearance at Wal-mart two weeks ago. It was only $1.40 and had these gorgeous yellow peppers.

I also collected some daisy seeds from this huge daisy bush at my apartment complex. It had a ton of seedpods on it and the maintenance men probably didn’t mind since I was picking the dead seed pods for them. No trimming for them! Hehe.

Well, that’s all for me this week. Check back next week for more of my gardening ventures.

Leave a Comment

Update on African Violet Suckers

African Violet Sucker at 107 days.

In February, I had written a post about African Violet suckers and I thought it was time to update yal on the progress.

The before picture shows the tiny suckers not looking like much. I must admit, I was not hopeful to see these little things survive but this experiment is just a testament to show that anything is worth trying. They were very easy to root. I mean simply easy.

Follow these steps to root African Violet suckers:

What you’ll need:
-Small pot
-Moist potting soil or seed starting mix
-African Violet suckers
-A large zipper bag
-1 Straw

1. Gently pry the suckers off the mother plant. You can use anything from a pencil eraser, popsicle stick, or an exacto knife (that’s what I used). If you don’t know what a sucker looks like, click here for a picture.

2. Put the moistened soil in a small pot. Insert the sucker into the dirt. Make sure there’s ample contact between the base of the sucker and the dirt.

3. Put the pot inside the bag and if you need to, insert the straw in the dirt to prevent the bag from resting on top of the suckers. This is important since if the bag touches the suckers, the condensation from the bag will cause the suckers to rot. Put the pot under some bright lights and…

4. The hardest part of this process is: patience. It’ll take a couple of weeks for it to take root and a couple more to show signs of leaf growth.

Results:

At two months and a couple of days, here’s what the suckers should look like. At this time, you can take the bag off and keep them underneath some strong, indirect light.

After several more months, they should like like a new plant. The picture is of 75 days.

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »