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Think my African Violets are History!!!

11 years ago

Last year, around this time, I had approximately 40 Africaan Violets.

Most were purchased in 2004, 2006, and 2007/8.

To many here, a 7-yr-old AV isn't considered long-keeping, but in my case, before 1992, my AV's usually died within a year, so I deem a 7-yr-old AV a rarity.

From 2004 until 2008 my AV's bloomed throughout the year. Moreso in winter.

After, let's say 2009, something went wrong. 98% stopped blooming.

Sorry for the history lesson. lol

A couple years ago, I bought two huge bags of Perlite. Perlite is one ingredient added to my AV mix.

The bag was left outside..Stupid me, didn't think anything would go wrong if Perlite was left outdoors, so I continued using, mixing with other mediums.

The last two types of plants this wet Perlite was added: African Violets and Clivias.

Oh, one more thing..My plants are sprayed with an organic insectide I make up, so it's been years since I've seen pest on plants. However, I never spray AV's or any other fuzzy leaf plant.

This winter, I noticed a white substance on AV's and Clivias. At first, I assumed it was the Perlite. I cleaned leaves, and all went well. A couple weeks later, the white 'things' returned..It was then I realized these little creatures were Mealy.

I once again wiped/cleaned them off, but they're persistent, and made another appearance.

Humilated, I placed every AV in a plastic bag, took outside, removed pots, and hosed..Hosed the entire bunch and pots. The day was chilly and water cold.

This isn't something I'd ordinarly do, believe me, but I was so darn disgusted, it was done as a last resort.

Hosing took about 15 minutes. AV's were brought back inside, and repotted in fresh soil and scrubbed, plastic pots.

The following day, most of the leaves were frost-bitten. Some 'entire' plants broke apart.

I'm also assuming Mealy munched on roots, because 50% were w/o any.

One last thing..this isn't an excuse, but I have back and knee problems. Last Aug, I had knee surgery..Unsuccessful knee surgery.

To be honest, I stopped watering plants, ALL plants as needed.

I don't know if the wet Perlite or lack of water attracted Mealy, but it had to be one or the other...or both.

I just counted remaining AV's..13! And I don't know if they'll survive the torture they went through.

So, I'm thinking about starting over. The problem is, I fear bringing in more AV's if the remaining plants have Mealy eggs. What to do?

Should I toss the remaining AV's? I dread doing this, especially since they're struggling to survive. I haven't any room to house is more of a nursery than a home.. :)

If this happened to you, would you discard or keep AV's?

BTW, my Clivias survived the same cleaning methold as my AV's, and are Mealy-Free...Toni

Sorry this is so long.

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