Friday, June 15, 2012

Sick African Violet Plant Sample

The African violet foliage showed a number of symptoms, with the majority of the sample showing mild leaf curling, bleaching, or yellowing of tissue, brittle leaves, and these symptoms seemed to affect the younger leaves more than the mature ones. It was noted that the plants were still flowering, although not as much as they had before the symptoms began appearing. What could be the problem?

Cyclamen mites can be a problem on African violet.  They can cause young leaves to be thick, hairy, deformed, brownish-green, and the cup downward.  They can be difficult to control because they can be down in the crown of the plant.  They can only be seen with a dissecting scope.  The mites must be alive and present when treated.  They can be treated with insecticidal soap or a miticide.  Read and follow label instructions.  Heavily infected plants should be destroyed to protect uninfested plants.

African Violets cannot handle temperatures below 65F at night and 70-72F during the daytime. When exposed to cold temperatures leaves can become discolored, brittle, and curl under. All of which were observed symptoms.

Too much light could also be an issue. Excessive light can lead to stunted plants with crinkled and discolored leaves.
African violets prefer a soil in the range of 6.0-6.5, and soil should be adjusted for accordingly.  A soil pH imbalance could lead to nutrient deficiency in the plant. For future adjustments, it is recommended to use something more stable such as lime or calcium, and to test the soil with a soil pH test kit.

Excess watering can also cause leaves to curl.

In addition we used the resources: How to Grow African Violets by Harrison, Heimann and Pellitteri, African Violet Care by Lerner and Dana, Growing African Violets by Cindy Haynes, and Growing African Violets by Charles Fischer (all found on the web).

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