John and Tracy ...
Thanks so much for your responses.
The soil in the little pot is indeed quite wet, and so I think your
overwatering theory is probably correct. I'm not even sure why I
watered it so much, as I generally tend to let them get dry in between
John, the plant wasn't flowering at the time I watered it. In fact,
I've put all three plants out on my balcony rather than in their usual
location inside because I thought perhaps more light out there might
encourage them to flower. The one in question hasn't flowered for
I don't have any extra soil on hand but if the soil the plant is in
doesn't begin to get dryer today, I guess I will purchase some. Any
suggestions on what to purchase? And I'll also see if I can start
rooting a leaf, too.
I hope the plant will be able to dry out. As I said, it has
sentimental value to me.
It would be fun if the plants would also flower (although I'll be
happy if that one just dries out okay), but I'm not sure what else to
do beyond trying to give them more light.
Thanks again for the help and suggestions!
AV's with proper soil, warm temperatures, fertilizer, light and water should
have flushes of blooms every four to five months. Have you ever repotted
them into high humus soils such as the types sold by Schultz or MiracleGro?
In fact, most garden centers carry potting mixtures specifically designated
for AV's. AV's like bright light but little sunlight, particularly in the
summer. An east window in the winter is fine. They will also grow and bloom
well under eight to ten hours of flourescent light a day if placed four to
six inches beneath the light. Fertilize with a low nitrogen such as Schultz
Bloom Plus (10-60-10) at half strength every other time you water. With this
type of regimen your plants should thrive. It's also better to place a
saucer underneath and water from the blottom. They develop water spots on
the leaves if they become wet. BTW, I had a sad looking specimen, an
Oprimara, thrust at me two months ago. It's now blossoming. I also have a
leaf from it sending up plantlets.
Oops! I made a typo when I spelled Optimara, which is the correct spelling.
BTW, AV's should be divided, if they develop more than one crown, and
repotted every yearly. They respond well to fresh growing medium and you
don't have to be too careful when you remove the old soil. Just be sure most
of it is gone. I wash it off outside with a stream of water and repot
Outside with no hot sun should be okay for the time being, providing night
temperatures don't drop down into the fifties or low sixties at night. I
have the leaf outside on the front porch, which faces north, and it's really
beginning to grow.
That shouldn't be a problem as long as they get at least 8-10 hours of light
each day. Bright light is a plus, but they really don't need intense light.
Remember that they will also grow and bloom well under flourescent lights. I
have the blooming one in a south window in our sun room at the moment, where
it has warm temperatures and is getting very bright light but no sunlight at
the moment because of an overhang. When the sun begins hitting it later in
the season, I'll move it to an east window.
Don't go overboard on keeping the plants excessively dry. That's almost as
bad, but not quite as bad, as keeping them too wet. The leaves will let you
know by becoming very tightly bunched, curly on the edges, and a dark,
unhealthy green color. The optimum is moist, but not wet. You can tell by
sticking your finger into the soil or do what I've learned to do when
watering plants. If the pot is light when I pick up, it needs water. If it
isn't, wait a couple days and check again.
AFs might go up to a 3.5 maybe 4" pot max, then that's it. They like
a little more watering than most other plants. Sometimes you can get
insect damage. The cyclamin mite is a tough one to deal with and
usually means throwing out the plant to prevent spreading the disease.
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