Now, I’ll give you an update on my little plants that are being wicked. It always amazes me to see how quickly plants will positively respond to wicking. On so many of these plants, I am already seeing buds forming! When I potted them just a couple weeks ago, I removed all buds and flowers. I can’t attribute this development to fertilizer, because the first batch of water I used to fill the reservoirs did not have fertilizer in it. I am just now seeing that some of the reservoirs are getting close to needing a refill, so I will use fertilizer next time. But all the plants are doing amazing!
Imp’s Christmas Wrap seems to have tightened up its growing habits. The petioles on the newer leaves are coming in shorter, and the leaves themselves are darker. This is probably because the plant is closer to the lights. With the reservoirs, they are approximately 2 ½ inches closer to the lights than they were in the trays. I’m liking the way the plant is looking now. I’ve already removed a few baby leaves, so it shouldn’t be long before it begins to look more mature. I can’t wait to see the blooms on this one! They sound very busy, and I love busy blooms!
Celina Elegance has also reacted to what I think is the strength in the lighting. The leaves have definitely started growing a little more downward, so I want to keep an eye on this one and make sure the petioles don’t get too short on new leaves. When that happens, it will inhibit the blossom stems from making it above the foliage and make the crown bunchier, which I want to avoid. I prefer a little bit more open growth than is sometimes seen on show plants. I don’t want to look down and see soil, but I also don’t want to have it be so tight that the plant looks like cabbage. Also on this little plant, I am watching to be sure that the foliage will show variegation, which can sometimes temporarily go away if grown too warm or bright. From photos I’ve seen, the variegation should be really striking on this variety, so I don’t want to lose it. If it appears to be getting too much light, I will move it to the end of the shelf where the intensity of the bulbs is less.
The last one we are watching is Tiptop, a registered variety from 1987 (a vintage!) I have not really noticed too much change in this one, although it is definitely growing. Since the foliage is naturally a dark green, it seems to enjoy being closer to the light bulbs and hasn’t shown any culture break yet. I think this variety has good show plant potential. The foliage is nice and flat, overlaps well and seems to stay in nice form without effort. It’ll be interesting to see how it shapes up and if the bloom count makes it a keeper.
There you have it! Until next time, good growing!
By Amy Cash-Allison
It's all about the violets! :-)