Time Laps of African Violets

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Time laps of tiny African violets growing (or any plant for that matter) always fascinates me.  The concept of plant movement, real, somewhat precise and purposeful escapes us.  It is only when we see these time laps images does it put into perspective the world from a different view point.  Hope you enjoy watching them.

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Party Fun Or Is The Party Over?













This is not the first time I observed this behavior in other chimera African violets.  This time it happens to be in Party Fun.  It starts out as a bifurcation of the bloom stalks coloring.  One of the flower stalks turns a solid color.  In this case purple.  The other stalk remains true to it’s chimera color and pattern.  In time the entire plant appears to succumb to the dominant solid color and the plant loses it’s chimera expression.  I have observed this with a number of chimera African violets.  Sometimes the conversion is fast and complete without the bifurcation.

Chimera African Violets Gone Wrong (More)

Attached is the latest to my photo collection of chimera African violets that have gone wrong.  Perhaps better described as images of frustration.  With the exception of one of the mutations producing what I considered a favorable outcome (Shimai) the rest of these are really not welcome changes but I must admit always interesting.

Chimera African Violets Reverting Page 6

The link below will take you to the entire collection of chimera African violets that I have seen revert, digress, or mutate.
Click here to see the entire set of image

Powdery Mildew (Oidium Fungus) Eradication From African Violets


Image 1001

Powdery Mildew is caused by the Oidium fungus and can be eradicated from your African violets in a simple 10 min process.  I discovered a few plants that were isolated in the corner of the growing room that had a significant infection.  The plant on the left is the chimera Bob’s Monkey Shine that I did not want to lose.  Of all the infestations that can befallen  African violets this one gives me the least concern as it can be addressed directly.   The plant on the right is the very same plant as on the left but 1 week after treatment.  The treatment is safe for the plant and with the exception of losing a flower stalk and 1 leaf as a consequence of my less then gentile handling the plant has not missed a beat in growing.  Click on each image to enlarge and inspect.

Click here to see how you can eradicate powdery mildew on infected plants in 10 minutes. (May take a full 2 minutes to download (a lot of pictures)).


Sport Of Shimai, F1

Shimai Sport

Back on 9/15/13 I posted this image of a sport of Shimai.  The entire plant was producing these types of blooms.  I tissue cultured 3 flower stalks prior to the sport succumb  to Crown rot, ( the work of the fungi Phytophthora).  I also posted a few images of the 4 young plants that were growing .  Well two of them bloomed over the last few weeks and I was a bit disappointed.  My hope was blooms that were identical to the above image.


This was the first bloom.  The edges were purple and the purple green stripes were only strongly present in two of the five stripes.


But to make the picture more complicated (no pun intended) note all the blooms on this plant.  Click on the image to enlarge.  The coloration is essentially all over the place.


The second plant also bloomed so far one bloom.  This had dark green tips with faded purple and slightly green stripes.   It is apparent that the F1 of the sport of Shimai is demonstrating some genetic instability in its blooms.  I will continue to monitor into a second bloom.  What might be interesting is to stem culture specific stems that illustrate a specific trait and see if the plant that is produced is an expression of that bloom stalk or another plant with different blooms on it.



Revisiting Rob’s Monkeyshines, Chimera African Violet




Click on any of the above images to enlarge.

It has been years since my last Rob’s Monkeyshines bloomed, literally years.  It sat dormant, growing nicely just not blooming.  This is a semi-miniature white pansy chimera with red-purple colors with blue fantasy.  A remarkable little bloom where no two blooms are the same as exemplified in the images of three random blooms on the same plant.  I could have taken 10 pictures and they would all look different.  The appreciation and wonder of the genetics in chimera African violets is exemplified in this plant.  This plant like all chimera African violets  have two genotype populations that live on the same plant resulting in this little gem expressing this interesting flower phenotype.

When Is A Chimera Concord Not A Chimera Concord?

Flower Plant 1

It all started with an email from someone that I had just sold a Concord chimera African violet to.  The buyer of my plant stated that he was happy to get the Concords I was selling because they had larger white strip sections.  I did not really understand what he meant since I purchased my Concord a long time ago (a decade or so back) from Lyndon Lyon’s Greenhouse.  So what perception was the person that e-mailed me working under?   To me a Concord is a Concord.  Even gringo beginners can pick out a Concord from 25 yards.

So it was not but a few months later when I saw on ebay (the epitome of the free market), a chimera African violet, Concord.  And sure enough the photos of what was being offered appeared a little skimpy on the white strip portion in the blooms as well as the blooms looking smaller.  I carefully read the text and the seller was selling this Concord as a special strain that had a little different look.  Never the less he was still selling it as Concord.  I had to have to it. So I placed an aggressive bid.  Read More »

Crown Rot, Root Rot Among My Chimera African Violets


Above Crown rot, ( the work of the fungi Phytophthora)  I knew about it but never experienced it in my many years of growing African violets.   Well I was not only introduced to it first hand in December and January but it moved into my growing room and took up residence.   I have now lost 1/3 of my plants.  I believe now it has been banished from my plant room if not my house thanks to a number of practices I have changed and 10% bleach.   It was my fault.  I have always used a rather heavy potting mix as I try to minimize the time I spend watering plants.  And with this very early and very cold winter we are experiencing in Ohio (Temperature as of this writing is -5 degrees below zero or -20.5 degrees Celsius) I am seeing extremely  low indoor relative humidity levels.  The plants dry out then I over water.   I had not been inspecting the plants on a regular basis as I have been busy with other projects.  Root rot, crown rot is caused by the Phytophthora  fungus, which attacks the roots and, most notably, the crown of African Violets.  Usually the first sign and  symptom which I missed as I was not paying attention is the drooping of the leaves despite the fact the soil was moist, if not wet.  That was indicative of the fact that the roots have failed and are not absorbing the moisture.  At lease at this point the crowns are salvageable which I did a fair share of crown removal, bleaching  and rooting including a 10 yr old Granger Red and White stripe.  Most all the plants I removed the crowns and treated with 10% bleach and placed in fesh potting mixture or mixture that was baked at 380 degrees for 45 minutes.  They are all doing very well. 

Hear is a nice example of a very advanced case of crown rot.   


Other Symptoms include but not limited to when the crown has a web like substance on and around it. Leaves become darkened and or wilt while green.  Growth is slowed or totally inhibited.

I did an extensive web search on treatments and the findings were rather dismal.  Nothing can really be done other then discard the plant and soil and pot.  On plants where the crown was still in tact I removed it making sure the cut was above the infected area.  I then placed the crown in a solution of 10% bleach (I prefer Clorox).  It was sealed in a container and essentially inverted for 10 minutes.  It was rinsed well and potted in soil that was baked at 380 degrees F for 45 minutes.  And the pots I used were also placed in 10% bleach for 30 minutes and rinsed well.  The crowns in their new soil (moist but not wet and much lighter)  were placed in plastic bags.  In 2 weeks most of the crowns has a nice little root system and were removed from the bags.

Prevention is always your best bet for successfully controlling Crown Rot I guess. But since I never had the issue I just assumed I was fine and it was not something I was concerned about.  So going forward I will  not overwater, I not let the soil dry out completely before watering.  Finally I started using a more light, porous potting soil.  I am also (for the first time) starting to consider some sort of self watering device.

I cannot end this post with the painful pictures of the carnage of a fungus.  The below image comes again courtesy of J. Miemietz, a grower of African violets  and an  exceptional photographer who resides in Germany.  This is her  Mauna Loa that was grown from a crown.  Good to know as bleak as things are or were on my plant stands in Ohio, things are green and in bloom in Germany.

Mauna Loa (Eyerdom)

Follow-up On Some Chimera African Violet Projects

For whatever reason there has been minimal blooming this month but a lot of growth with plantlets I produced from flower stalks from some “different” blooms. First I have the 7 petal Mauna Loa (Eyerdom) bloom. I produced a plantlet from that stalk. Not that I am expecting a plant that has 6 or 7 petal blooms, but the concept and frequency of 6 petal blooms on some chimera African violets intrigues me and although I do not expect selecting them by stalk can produce a higher frequency petal bloom per plant, I just have the urge to do it. What if? So I am. The link to the previous article and image can be seen reviewed by just clicking here.


Click on image to enlarge

 The next two photographs below were plantlets produced from the flower stalks of the sport of Shimai.  Click on ‎this link to review the article and see the sport.  They are glowing nicely and I expect a bloom in April or May.  While the third plantlet


Click on image to enlarge

almost seemed as if it was failing to thrive as it was rather small and was growing at a much slower rate.

sport Shimai 2

Click on image to enlarge

A closer look from a side angle revealed two plantlets.  Once I get a little more growth from both I will separate them.  How true or if any of these plantlets will be true to the parent plant is still in question.  The parent succumb to what I believe was Cylindrocarpon or root rot.   The habit of letting the plants get very dry and then over watering in large part the result of my schedule.  I will have to seriously start considering wicking or some other means to maintain these plants.   I removed the crown in an effort to save the plant so it will be a while before more stalks of this sport can be produced.

Sport of Shimai

Click on image to enlarge

Can You Grow Chimera African Violets from Seed?

NO!   You cannot.   I have seen articles and post on occasion pop-up stating you can grow Chimera African violets from seed.  You can’t.  Chimeras are made up of two genotypes in the body of the plant.  The very process of pollen and egg production excludes one of the two genotypes.  Hence you cannot produce a chimera African violet from seed.  I have in past posts demonstrated this in an experiment.   But can you use the seed of chimera African violets to produce African violets (non-chimera)?  You sure can!  Attached is a link to a very simple and very effective way I grow African violets from seed. Click this link to see how to plant African violet seeds.




The Image above illustrates how small an African violet seed really is.  So small is an African violet seed  that a single seed can get lost in the center of a “C” in the word “cent” on a penny.  Orchid seeds which are the tiniest of seeds are not that much smaller than an African violet seed.  Compare the seeds using the key at the bottom.

Shimai From Germany


shimai (1)


Click on any of the above images to enlarge.  I admit I enjoy receiving pictures of plants I sold as I often wonder how they are doing.  I also enjoy taking pictures of African violets and especially chimera African violets.  But I will be the first to admit the quality of my photos are at best substandard.  So when I receive a picture of one of the Shimai I sold and it was shipped to a place that was a little further then New York or Chicago and it is thriving and blooming and on top of that the quality of the images are exceptional, well I just have to share it with everyone.  These photos are courtesy of J. Miemietz.  Attached is a Flicker link to enjoy many more exceptional images of Ms. Miemietz.  In my estimation these are some of the nicest images of African violets on the web.   Click here to link.

Concord an Observed Color Variation

Concord, AVSA Reg. #7807 (Horikoshi/Ozaki), Is one of my favorite chimera African violets.  I am apparently not alone with that assessment.  Perhaps it is the deep purple stripe on the bloom that is contracted to the pure white stripe.  As far as propagation it is also a bit more challenging, often times just refusing to grow in tissue culture or just sitting there for an extra 4 weeks before any signs of growth or life than finally producing a small plantlet. I usually grow them with maybe a 1/2 dozen in culture and another 4-5 in some stage of growth in pots.  As they bloom true I either place them on eBay or am contacted by one of the readers and friends of this blog and sell the plant to them.  So it leaves little time to compare blooms.   It was several months ago I sold a Concord on eBay and thought to myself as I was posting the picture, that the image appeared lighter than the other blooms. As you know chimera blooms or for that matter African violet bloom can vary a bit in color based on lighting and water conditions.  Recently I had a couple of Concords blooming in concert.  As far as I am concerned the temperature, watering conditions and lighting was near identical between these two plants yet the shade of purple was different.  See the plants in bloom below.  The images were taken under the same lighting and at the same time to eliminate any variance in the photography so the true color difference could be noticed.  Click on the images to enlarge.

Concord Standard Color ConcordL

I also removed a petal from each bloom.  They were equivalent in size as well as the white margins were of the same size.  Below is a photograph of the petals overlaid on each other.  One was with the light petal on dark and the other was dark petal on light.  Can you differentiate between the two?  Click on images to enlarge.

L over DD over L






There are a couple of questions now.     Is this variation the result of an environmental factor or a real mutation?   There is no way to tell other than allowing another blooming cycle and  tissue culture the stems of both plants and see if the two different shades remain constant in the next generation.  This will take 8-9 months but will be an interesting experiment.   I will keep you posted.