Remember 2 blogs ago...from all the way back in November of 2013? I reported on a plant that had suffered from some stem rot. It was nearly a lost cause, really. I did my best to try to salvage what was left, but it ended up being barely more than a stub in the soil. Well, guess what? It survived! How cool is that?! It just goes to show you that these are tough little plants when you understand how they work. Even with a tiny bit of green, there is still hope! Since this little guy has been in a baggie for a year and a half, he's a little rough looking and does have some discoloration from moisture build up and temperature fluctuations. But, new growth is strong and fresh, and the plant is well on its way to a complete recovery!
Oh my goodness! Thanks to all of you who have reached out to see what is going on in my world and inquiring when I’ll be back on the violet scene. That is a fine question, friends! My world has been flipped on its axis in the last year and a half…between a very demanding job and yet another house move just last month; the violets have unfortunately taken a back seat. Truth be told, I have lost several varieties, but in today’s violet world, even some of the older and more rare varieties are becoming easier to relocate due to the online social scene that makes connecting with one another much easier. And perhaps, I will eventually be able to list some of the varieties I have lost in hopes of reaching those folks who have purchased them from me in the past.
I am certainly not gone from violets for good, so no worries there! For now, however, my focus is on settling into our new home (which, hopefully will be our last!) After I get all my plant stands set up again, I’ll be rebuilding and restarting. That in itself is likely to take me through summer and probably also into fall.
Allow me to paint a picture of my current situation. Sometime last spring or early summer, I condensed all my plants onto one stand. This was not an easy task! I had to water each pot carefully and then put them in baggies to “hibernate” while I focused on the rest of my life. There they sat for months on end with very little love. Some of them did ok in the baggies and kept truckin’; others failed early or succumbed to rot along the way. I never planned to have them in bags for so long. We had originally intended for our house to go on the market last spring! Unfortunately it didn’t happen until October, and then we had to wait through the market downturn, holidays, winter, etc.
Occasionally I would peek in on the plants, but it became too painful and guilt inducing after a while. When the house finally sold, I opened each bag to inspect the plants, water them as needed, remove the dead ones, etc. I condensed them again and shoved them into long plastic under-bed storage containers for the move. This wasn’t necessarily a long move as the others had been, but a move is a move after all.
My growing methods may be changing with our new house, because my plants will be living in a basement! I’ve never grown in a basement before, but I know many people do. I can use all the help and advice that you can throw my way, because I am honestly a little nervous about the cooler temperatures down there. I worry that the plants will get powdery mildew or that they will rot being too cool and wet. Do people have success wicking when they grow in a basement? Is it better to not wick? Please, some feedback would be appreciated.
I am slowly setting up my new growing space. It isn’t officially a “room,” but I’m going to make it as functional and nice as possible! Right now only one stand is set up, and the plants are still in bags. I have only pulled out 2 plants so far and put them on wicks in my kitchen window to see how they will do. So far, so good. Well, friends, I could write much more, but there’s no time right now. Stay tuned for more updates in coming weeks.
By Amy Cash-Allison
It's all about the violets! :-)